Known as the largest English-speaking Leeward island, Antigua is located in the southwestern corner of the island and is 14-miles long, 11-miles wide and encloses 108-square miles. Barbuda, on the other hand, is a flat coral island that only has an area of 68 square miles, lying nearly 30 miles due north from Antigua. The islands as a whole are located in the middle of the Leeward islands, Eastern Caribbean — about 17 degrees north of the equator. Their current population is roughly about 68,000 kind and welcoming individuals. The temperature in Antigua & Barbuda usually ranges from mid-70s towards the winter months and mid-80s in the summer, which sounds like perfect temperatures all year round with low humidity. Finally, the average rainfall is only 45 inches, making them the sunniest islands in the Eastern Caribbean.
In 1684, Sir Christopher Codrington, an enterprising man, arrived at Antigua to see if the island would support the large-scale sugar cultivation that was already prospering elsewhere in the Caribbean. After realizing that the island was a perfect provider, the next 50 years, Antigua became a huge sugar cultivation center. In the midst of the 18th century, the island started up 150 cane-processing windmills — each a focal point of sizable plantations. The island’s history goes far back, with first settlements dating around 2400 B.C. By the end of the 18th century, Antigua became an important strategic port as well as a valuable commercial colony.
The island is known as the “gateway to the Caribbean”, as it offers control over sailing routes to and from the region’s rich island colonies. In 1784, Horatio Nelson arrived to develop the British naval facilities at English Harbor, helping the ability to enforce stringent commercial shipping laws. Finally in 1834, Britain abolished slavery in the empire, and to this day celebrates that abolition by hosting carnival festivities.
Need a place to stay on the island? Look no further than Antigua Village Beach Resort, touching the Caribbean Sea and located right outside of the capital, St. John’s. This resort is one of the most beautiful and high-end vacation spots on the island. A four-acre, beachfront sight and a mix of 94 villas, one-bedroom suites and studio apartments — they truly have gorgeous settings to stay in. Every individual property is designed with colorful gardens with tropical coconuts and fruit trees surroundings the premises. Highlighting the accommodations are shared swimming pools to relax in and enjoy.
The resort also provides two restaurants of your choice, water sports, sailboat charter and excursions on the beach. Not to mention that they offer taxi drivers, so you can tour around historical landmarks and other main attractions on the island at your convenience. Don’t miss out on taking a short trip to St. John’s and visiting local supermarkets that offer freshly grown fruit and vegetables — it’s worth it. The resort is very close to local restaurants and other exciting areas on the island — which makes it beneficial for vacationers looking to taste the island’s culture.
One of the dining options right by the village is the Coconut Grove Beach Restaurant. It’s surrounded by palm trees and on the water’s edge, making this open-air restaurant even more highly recommended by all satisfied and happy customers. With a beautiful environment designed with stone doors and palms growing through the roof, it gives the place an authentic Caribbean look. Serving the freshest seafood on the island, with two tanks containing your choice of live lobster, it boasts a menu to be desired. The Coconut Grove is open daily for breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well.
The next surefire dining option is Ana’s On The Beach, set on Dickenson Bay beach, right near the village too. It’s a cool, resort-style restaurant that provides coffee, lunch, cocktails and dinner. This place is the perfect go-to spot for a quick bite or just casually having a meal with family or friends. Another option, five minutes away by a taxi, is La Bussola, serving top-quality Italian dining, containing a beachfront garden with a beautiful gazebo and comfortable lounges. Guests can dine in the garden, enjoying drinks or lunches while observing the breathtaking garden.
Antigua & Barbuda offer a wide variety of fun and thrilling activities for travelers of all ages. Golfers will love Cedar Valley Golf Club, an 18-hole, par-69 championship course of 5932 yards, set five minutes from the village. Equipment and carts are available for rental, as well as lessons for beginners. The gold course includes a bar/restaurant for that much-needed break at the turn. Past the golf, one of the most popular attractions on the island is its premier horseback riding. The Antigua Horse Society is located at the Spring Hill Riding Club in Falmouth — right by Dickenson Bay. With all that said, visitors will undoubtedly fall in love with the shores of Antigua & Barbuda.