We break down Antigua into localised areas and only show items of interest to the tourist. This makes a great resource for you depending where you are staying. Do read about all of the areas however because you can drive across Antigua in 50 minutes most trips are less. Please do suggest anything you learn about that is missing. This helps us maintain the Antigua Tourist Map.
The following areas can be considered as logically grouped in relation to tourism communities and or roads make them feel linked in some way apart from the obvious geographic areas. Where are you staying and what’s nearby? This page shows you the tourist spots with beaches and other attractions which are close to you. You can almost use this as a guide to self drive around Antigua.
The Tourist Areas of Antigua
Not including St Johns the area north of St Johns up the north west coast line and into the pretty north west corner of Dickenson Bay around north east to Blue Waters Resort. Your one stop shop if you are staying in any of the resorts in this area such as the Halcyon Cove Resort, Trade Winds Hotel, Sandals Grande Antigua and Blue Waters to name a few.
There are a couple of resorts on the north side of Antigua. Hodges Bay attracts a diverse voyager and those hungry for a picture with the iconic Antigua spaceman statue. For a tranquil stay there is the Ocean Point Resort and Spa. In the north east the island hosts the interesting American University in Antigua AUA; a medical school. There are few touristic points in this part of the island and the beaches are wilder. However it is worth a drive around to see this less explored corner. It lacks any hills of note which is one reason why the airport is situated close by. Restaurants include The Bistro of note.
The airport frames the upper east side along with Garden Grill and Cecilias. The latter restaurant is popular with it’s food and garden area and proximity to the airport. There is Camp Blizzard a military base you may inadvertently need to make a U turn to get your rental car back in the right direction. If you want to explore the better side of this part of Antigua try by boat. The waterside area here has an abundance of marine life around the various islets and mangroves. This area is collectively known as the North Sound. Some tours explore the area such as the Xtreme Circumnavigation or the Eco Tour . The resort of Jumby Bay is here on Long island.
The rest of the east has little of interest for the tourist until you get to the land point for Stingray City on the way to Devils Bridge. If you are coming via yacht then the north sound marina here may be of use.
Bettys Hope was a sugar plantation one of hundreds across the island- a crucial part of the history of Antigua. So this makes a pleasant stop if you are driving around the area. It’s a small cost to visit and you will see a partly restored mill- read more on Bettys Hope here.
Pares Village Main Road leads out to the trio of resorts now on the peninsular in the east of Antigua. They are Pineapple Beach Club (also the location of Long Bay Beach where the finest sand exists on the island), The Verandah and the newest addition Hammock Cove continue on up to Devils Bridge.
The roads stop linking here so you can’t easily go to the next southern resort of Nonsuch Bay, instead you are forced road wise to double back to take the left turn onto Collins road to Newfield and then Freetown we have now left the east side.
The Escape at Nonsuch Bay is a little isolated in that it is 10 minutes drive from the nearest junction then another 5 to Half Moon Bay or 20 to Piccadilly. Bettys Hope is 15 minutes away. It’s seclusion is some of the idea. They have everything you could need onsite.
Otherwise in this area which is good for hiking is Half Moon Bay where an abandoned resort exists and The Roadhouse Restaurant and Bar popular with locals and expats alike but not usually on tourist maps.
Falmouth and English Harbour dominate the area as two touristic centric spots. Towards the east there is St James Club Resort, well located for the south attractions such as the Sunday BBQ at Shirley Heights (10 mins) and English Harbour.
This is arguably another good location for nightlife in season as the area is popular with yachties. There are good beaches restaurants and daytime bars a plenty. You could explore all of them in a week. Admirals Inn is located inside the Harbour.
Head out of Falmouth on Matthews Road through Liberta and then Swetes where you turn off at a large pink church towards the South West through the highest part of Antigua through the drive called Fig Tree Drive. We should mention the skippage of Rendezvous Bay a hidden beach that is under development and you can hike or drive here part way. There is also a route of a mega hike from Walling’s Dam see South West but you would be experienced or need a guide.
Pineapple fields cover the lower flats before giving way to the Caribbean sea after of course fine caribbean beaches. Here you will find the resorts of Jolly Beach, Cocos Hotel, Cocobay, Curtain Bluff, Keyonna Beach, Hermitage and Carlisle Bay. When you drive from Swetes through Fig Tree Drive and break out onto the other side get your camera ready as the expanse of the caribbean sea greets you. It is truly a lovely moment and with the promise of more to come. The marina Jolly Harbour is a mini touristic hub of it’s own with many villas two great beaches and a few shops. There are loads of dining spots in the area. This is a great area to be located in.
Here you find the resorts in Five Islands parish. Galley Bay and The Hawksbill.
The town is busy and bustling with a big market with foods and fish. A large Cathedral dominates on days when large cruise ships aren’t parked in the expanding quays. It is worth a look if you want to see another side of Antigua. It is generally safe and friendly. The area around the quays is geared to the tourists and you probably want to avoid it if it’s cruise ship day and they just arrived or passengers are all coming back. If you find yourself driving having rented a car, then follow the flow of traffic as it has a one way system.
Barbuda is very different to Antigua and really has a Robinson Crusoe feel.