5 years ago
Islands Undiscovered: Antigua

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This past Christmas, I decided to surprise visit my younger brother who happened to work in Antigua. Prior to this trip, I had never even heard of this island. And as a single who is ready to mingle at a moment’s notice, I was hopeful for an experience comparable to MTV Spring Break. Boy…was I wrong.

Instead of a “Hangover” sequel filled with blurry nights and bad decisions, I experienced the complete opposite: countless women wearing rings, and countless beaches that were empty. But what started out as complete and utter disappointment, gradually turned into appreciation for tranquility.

In other words, an island getaway that was destined for travel-dating:

MissTravel Pros

  • Numerous beaches that vary in size and seclusion. Ideal for couples who seek a more private setting. Optimal setting for “Sex on the Beach” (not the drink).

  • More exclusive, with numerous all-inclusive resorts that directly cater to couples.

  • Very friendly locals who gladly welcome all visitors.

MissTravel Cons

  • Not as fully developed as other island hubs.

  • Relaxed culture and “Island Time,” which is anything but punctual. Slower pace can be frustrating to less-patient tourists.

  • The airport is rather small, so any delays in the states can greatly affect the flight schedule. Some airlines only have one departure flight per day.

To help organize my island assessment, I created six categories: Food, Culture, Shopping, Beaches, Nightlife, and Romance:

Food: B+

Most of my meals consisted of a fresh catch on top of a bed of rice and vegetables. I like spicy and I like seafood, so I was in culinary heaven. For others, this could result in porcelain hell.

Antigua is known for its Caribbean cuisine, which is an eclectic mix of African, East Indian, Chinese and European culture. The selection is heavily seasoned and often infused with English fare to accommodate to the tourists. If you’re a seafood lover, you will sure enjoy Antigua’s fresh selection of same-day caught lobsters, oysters, and red-snappers.

Ideal Breakfast: An Outdoor Cafe

For breakfast, try the Bay House, an al fresco venue that overlooks all of Dickenson Bay, which is known for its intensely white beaches. Combined with the restaurant’s selection of locally-inspired dishes, the gorgeous view from Bay House is an ideal way to start your day. And if the timing is right, one can marvel at the remarkably magical rainbows that accentuate Dickenson Bay.

Ideal Lunch: A Beachside Bar/Restaurant

Lunch is best-experienced at one of the many waterfront bars and grills that border the island. Westpoint Bar & Restaurant is a marina locale that offers a lively view of ship traffic, whereas Millers by the Sea offers a more beachside atmosphere with its live reggae band and close proximity to the water.

Ideal Dinner: An Intimate Locale

Seeking a more private affair? I suggest dining at Le Bistro: Antigua’s first authentic French restaurant serving for over 30 years. The location itself is smaller and exclusive, making it an ideal location for couples. However, if you’re looking to truly marvel at the island’s beauty, we suggest going to Shirley Heights Lookout, which is undoubtedly the best view of the sunset that the island has to offer. Tourists from all over the island arrive as early as 4:00 PM to reserve a spot for the view.

Culture: B

Locals are very welcoming of tourists and embody a feel-good mentality that is comparable to Jamaican culture. The island moves at a slow pace, everyone can’t be bothered, and all scheduled activities are tentative in nature. Be wary of this easygoing vibe. “Island Time” can be your best friend or worst enemy, depending on your patience. For example, expect every meal to last at least 45 minutes due to slower service. Starved? Order your food during the first drink order. Parched? Order 2-3 drinks at one time. You’ll thank me later.

Beaches: A+

Did I mention that most of the beaches are empty? Some will appreciate this “one-with-nature” vibe, but I preferred to visit the busier, beachside bars (sue me, I’m single). But in respect to travel-dating, the beaches are bountiful, varied, and cater to a couple’s every need. There are areas for long, romantic walks, and venues for lively, beachside festivals.

Shopping: B-

Numerous duty-free shops line the harbors, but they pale in number to the much larger ports of authority located in Mexico or Jamaica.

Nightlife: B

My favorite part. For a memorable night, I suggest visiting the bar scene concentrated at English Harbour, which is located on the northern end of the island. The majority of establishments are a combination of outdoor clubs and bars with live bands. Single med students and Europeans who work on the harbored yachts frequent this scene (not that you couples care).

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My favorite location, Abracadabra, offers the perfect setting for dancing in the moonlight. But for those up all night looking to “get lucky” outside the bedroom, I suggest visiting The Majestic Isle Casino, a brand-new establishment in the South that is directly connected to The Sandals resort.

By all means, do not venture downtown late at night unless you’re with a local. I kid you not, I bought a six-pack from a convenient store and immediately had a beer taken away because a bum wanted to “borrow it.” ‘Nuff said.

Romance: A-

Nature takes its course on this beautiful island: the views, the beaches, and the remoteness allow any couple to truly enjoy and appreciate each other. If you favor “hustle and bustle,” avoid this island at all costs. But if you’re looking to create sparks on an island getaway, Antigua will be your paradise.

MissTravel’s Overall Score: B+

If you want to take the island less-traveled, then plan a trip for two to Antigua. Its perpetual island-vibe, combined with an array of intimate beaches and breathtaking views, creates an ideal atmosphere for any budding romance.

 

In the mood to experience the wonders of Antigua? Join MissTravel and arrange your island-date today!

6 Responses to “Islands Undiscovered: Antigua”

  1. Leroy Velasquez says:

    All personalities and perspectives are welcome on this blog, while personal attacks and name calling are not. It’s inevitable that there will be disagreements, but let’s handle it as mature adults with class to keep the dialog constructive and respectful. Please refer to the “Blog Etiquette” section for more details. Now comment away and let’s enjoy the blog!

  2. Chanel says:

    Antigua is undeniably a peaceful paradise with its pristine beaches, majestic views, and entrancing sunsets. If you’re seeking a felicitous escape, this under-the-radar island is the perfect destination to make any special occasion travel unforgettable.

    Native of Antigua

  3. Stacy says:

    I have been to Antigua twice and I love or there.. Very nice undiscovered island . great place for a getaway for two

  4. Julia says:

    We agree that Antigua isn’t quite as developed as some of the other islands, but that definitely seems to add to its charm. I think a lot of people want to go to the Caribbean for a laid-back, rustic vibe and if it’s all polished all-inclusives and no personality then they’re usually bound to be disappointed.

  5. Antigua and Barbuda – a state in the West Indies, located on three islands – Antigua, Barbuda and Redonda. The country is made of convenient bays, sheltered from storms by coral reefs, white beaches and mountain peaks covered with lush vegetation.

  6. Antigua is a beautiful place in West Indies sheltered from storms by coral reefs, white beaches are just lovely as well as lush vegetation

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