Looking down into harbor with sailboats and islands.
Hike up to the top of Shirley Heights and take in a beautiful view of English Harbour.
Photo Credit: Getty Images

8 Ways to Experience History and Beauty in Antigua

Shirley Heights

What was once a fort and military complex now enjoys a reputation as Antigua’s best viewing point. You can hike or take a taxi or bus up to Shirley Heights, which looks out over the boats of English Harbour (in Nelson’s Dockyard National Park). On a clear day, you may even see the active volcanoes on nearby Guadeloupe or Montserrat.

While the views are certainly pretty, the real draw is Shirley Heights Lookout, a bar and restaurant on the summit of the hill that holds weekly Sunday night parties. End your week with a perfect view of the sunset, a live reggae band as your soundtrack, and mouthwatering seafood to fill your hungry belly.

Beach with kayakers just offshoreDickenson Bay is the go-to spot for beach-lovers.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Dickenson Bay

One of the most popular beaches in Antigua, Dickenson Bay has lots to offer beach-goers, whether they’re looking for relaxation or adventure. Surrounded by resorts, villas and cottages, and only 15 minutes from the capital and cruise port of St. John, the beach’s convenient location on the north side of the island makes it an ideal spot for tourists and locals alike.

Pick a spot, rent an umbrella or beach chair, and spend the day swimming in crystal-clear water or lounging on pure white sand. Before you go, snag a photo in the red English telephone booth or enjoy a sunset dinner from the quaint blue and white Warri Pier.

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Two miniature donkeysSpend quality time with adorable donkeys at the local sanctuary.Photo Credit: Getty Images

Donkey Sanctuary

Are you an animal lover? At Antigua’s Donkey Sanctuary, you can get up close and personal with native donkeys like Charley, Dee or even Stevie the blind donkey. Over 150 donkeys live at the sanctuary, which is operated by the Antigua & Barbuda Humane Society. Wild donkeys live all over Antigua, and the sanctuary takes in and rehabilitates injured or sick ones.

Visitors can brush, pet and take photos with the donkeys or even sponsor one through their adoption program, making it a favorite attraction for families, especially those with small children.

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