We visited Antigua in February of 2019. It was our first vacation out of the country together as a couple. It turned out to be quite a memorable trip, as my now husband proposed to me there! Obviously, Antigua holds a special place in my heart now 🙂 We had a wonderful time and got our first taste of the Caribbean. It was exciting to visit a lesser known Caribbean Island. Although, I think it is quickly become a travel destination for many. Below is our favorite places we explored and ate!

Favorite places to explore:

  1. 365 Beaches!
    Antigua is known for having a beach for everyday of the year. There were indeed beautiful beaches everywhere. We spent most or our time at the beach in Jolly Harbor, where our hotel was located. The beaches there were surrounded by lush green hills. We honestly, spent about half of our time here just laying on the beach, reading and enjoying the surroundings. We watched the sunset most evenings and it was gorgeous and peaceful.

2. Nelson’s Dockyard National Park
Nelson’s Dockyard is in English Harbor and is a cultural heritage site. It is a once British dockyard with buildings restored from the 18th and 19th century. It’s one of those places where you can feel the history. The buildings are absolutely beautiful There were also shops and restaurants. Also a part of the National Park is Shirley Heights. It’s a lookout point that overlooks all of English Harbor. It’s breathing taking. We actually have a large print of a picture we took there hanging in our house because we thought it was so beautiful! It’s not really our scene, but there a party there every Sunday evening.

3. Betty’s Hope
Betty’s Hope is the site of a former sugar plantation that started in 1651! We learned a lot about the grueling work it took to run a sugar mill. I also think it an important spot to learn about the slave labor that was used in Caribbean. While it’s nice to disconnect from the world while visiting a tropical paradise I think it it’s important to also learn about the culture of the place you are visiting. Along with learning a lot, it was also beautiful. The old stone mills were impressive and they are working to restore the machinery and other buildings.

4. Devil’s Bridge
Nature is so impressive! Devil’s Bridge is a natural bridge formed from limestone that has continuously been eroded by the Atlantic Ocean. It is physically impressive and the ocean loudly crashes against the rock, creating large sprays. It has a dark history as it is said that Africans would go there to commit suicide in order to escape slavery. There were also some local vendors set up when we were there and we bought a few presents for family.

5. Day Trip to Barbuda
Barbuda is Antigua ‘s sister island and is about 40 miles north of Antigua. We took a ferry and tour from Barbuda Express. Just a heads up, I’m a bit of a wimpy boat rider and the ride was pretty rough and choppy for me. People were also getting sea sick. So be prepared for rough ride and definitely take motion sick medication! But, it was all worth it to get to the beautiful island of Barbuda. The island was still recovering from Hurricane Irma when we visited. The devastation was very apparent but restoration was happening everywhere.

Our first stop was to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Truthfully, I wasn’t that thrilled for this part but it ended up being pretty cool! (But we did get really wet on the small boat we took so wear cloths that will dry quickly!) The area is an estuary that has a large colony of frigate birds. I had never heard of these birds before. They are a seabird and the males have a large red inflatable pouch on their underbellies that they use to attract females. I’ve never seen anything like it!

Another memorable stop was Two Foot Bay National Park. There were beautiful beaches along with impressive cliffs and caves! Some of the beaches had a pink hue which was really cool! Barbuda is more rugged and remote then Antigua. There were wide open spaces and it really seemed untouched by humans.

Favorite Eats:

1. Local eats
One of my favorite parts about traveling is trying the local cuisine! I find it really fun to try things you’ve never eaten or maybe never even heard of. As a part of a tour, we were able to have an authentic Antiguan meal. Even after trying to research in detail, I can’t remember the name of the place we ate 😦 What I do remember is we had delicious salt fish, ducana and fungee! The others in our tour group ordered burgers and diet coke! I really think it’s important to step outside your comfort zone when traveling and embrace the culture. Ducana is a sort of sweet potato dumpling. Although, I’m not sure if it was really made out of the same sweet potato we have in the U.S. There seemed to be a lot of varieties of tubers that I haven’t heard of before. Fungee is a cornmeal made mixed with okra, similar to a polenta. It was all great! Just thinking about it again makes me want to try to make some at home!

2. Le Bistro
To celebrate our engagement we wanted to have a memorable meal, we chose Le Bistro. We took a cab over to Hodges Bay area and arrived at a very quaint and intimate French restaurant. Everyone was super friendly and we felt very well taken care of. The food was terrific! My husband ordered duck for the first time ever and loved it. I had some great seafood! It was perfect location for a romantic night and a special celebration!

3. Fresh Grilled Lobster
On our day trip to Barbuda we were treated to delicious meal on the beach. We had fresh grilled lobster, which was crazy good! I also learned that Caribbean lobsters are a different variety from Maine Lobster. What’s found in the Caribbean is typically spiny lobster. I believe we ate at Hillside View Bar & Grille. Looks like they have since expanded into a beautiful space. We were in a tent on the beach. The lobster was grilled right in front on us and it was DELICIOUS! The meat was sweet and tender. It’s a definite must if you visit Barbuda!

4. Black Pineapple
Antigua is known for there Black Pineapple. We were told black refers to the the dark volcanic soil they grow in. They are higher sugar and lower acidity then other varieties of pineapple. They can’t really be found outside Antigua because they don’t transport well. We tried some from a roadside stand. It was delicious. We wish we could have brought some home. We settled on some black pineapple jelly instead.

4 thoughts on “Antigua

  1. Lovely trip! Now I have a new destination to check out! We regularly travel to Austria, it’s time to branch out to new places. I’m a good friend of mark brunner. He shared this with me.


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