A Native's Guide to The Island of Antigua

June 18, 2019

by Casey Campbell

If you are thinking about a family vacation but can’t make up your mind on where to go, you’ve come to the right place. I have traveled to many of the islands in the Caribbean such as St. Lucia, Saint Martin, Barbados, Aruba and more. My favorite island I loved so much, that I decided to ditch California and move to? St. Johns, Antigua! One of the leeward islands in the Caribbean. Living on the island of Antigua & Barbuda, twin islands surrounded in aqua waters, I became more and more in love with the paradise I called home. Here is my guide to the wonderful island of Antigua.

Beaches

St. Johns, Antigua is home to 365 beaches and each is very unique and different from one another. A beach for every day.
Jolly Beach. Located in Jolly Harbor, you can plan a snorkeling trip for the family, rent jet ski’s for the day, or para sail above the blue waters.

Half-Moon Bay

Get away from it all and have this beach all to yourself! A mile-long stretch of pink sands and warm clear waters. Located off the beaten path. walk along the shore to the rocky jetty at the end, where you will find sea urchins and other sea life.

Half Moon Bay

Turners Beach

Enjoy lunch on the beach with your toes in the sand. Turners beach serves the island best chicken roti. Slow roasted curry chicken with carrots and white rice and tropical island spices with a bit of a spicy kick. This is my favorite meal in the whole world!

Coconut Grove

Soak in the sun on the white sandy shore while sipping from a fresh cut coconut. Plenty of coconut trees decorate the beautiful stretch of sand along the coast. Climb a coconut tree and  enjoy the freshest coconut you’ve ever had!

Quench your Island Thirst

Antigua is known for their abundance of fresh mangoes, pineapples, guavas, tamarinds, and other various exotic fruits.While trying to decide on what drink to order while glancing through the long list of island combinations, take my word and try these. Find Ribena, a juice made from black currants similar to grape juice at the local epicurean.

Coconut Crush

Fresh coconuts, sweet coconut creme, ice, blended together and topped with sprinkles of nutmeg and a cherry. If you could only drink one thing the entire vacation in Antigua, a coconut crush is what I highly recommend! I am going to make one today because I am craving one all of a sudden.

Ting

Antigua’s version of what we call Squirt or Sprite. It is a carbonated grapefruit soda that comes in a green glass bottle.

Mount Gay Rum

The most popular rum on the island. Visit during Sailing week for one of the biggest parties of the year . One of the most popular parties of the year, tourist and locals join together for the Antiguan Mount Gay Rum Party.

Commissioners Grill

You’ll find this grill on Radcliffe Street,  in he capital, #St John’s . This popular lunch spot and the first restaurant tourist see as they arrive by cruise ship. A  great, authentic Antiguan experience.Try the crab cakes and pumpkin soup!

Le Bistro

Hodges Bay Bistro, Owned by Chef Patrick Gauche. The best French restaurant on the island, Open Tues to Sun for dinner. My recommendations are hands down the Dover Sole entree with the Escargot appetizer.

Putters

England meets America. Family fun restaurant  and bar where you can enjoy 18 holes of mini-golf, arcade games for the kids, and live music at night. Breakfast at Putter’s is a  unique and delicious  american cuisine. Try the fresh fish n’ chips!

Abracadabra’s

Live reggae music, outdoor bar, a local hot spot for adults. The best place to spend your New Year celebration, with an outstanding firework show.
Putters. A family restaurant featuring live bands, and an 18 hole mini golf course. Barbecue chicken, island Creole jambalaya, and pineapple ice cream.

Only in St. Johns, Antigua

Antigua is the home to some of the most and unique artifacts ,  flora and fauna, fruits and wildlife. I have held sea-ants in my hand, came face to face with a preying mantis that stood as tall as I and even  rode a donkey without a saddle. Only in Antigua have i come across these animals.

Tarantulas

What would you do if you opened your villa door to be greeted by a fury spider, the size of your hand!? These are local to the island and usually found in the evenings walking across the veranda.

Iguanas

Iguanas and lizards dominate this island and roam the island freely. This guy was huge!!!!

Sea Turtle

I couldn’t believe that a sea turtle swam right up to my jet ski long enough for me to take this photo. They are seen swimming and walking along the shores.

 

Tropical Treats

Getting away from the United States for a while and vacationing in paradise isn’t just amazing and beautiful, it is also good for you! The entire time I spent in Antigua I did not eat processes foods at all. Everything there you can order fresh. It is amazing the meals and entrees that this island creates.

Grilled Corn on the Cob

Many times I have pulled over to enjoy a local selling grilled corn on the cob, right there on the side of the road. Delicious! I have made this Antiguan treat for my friends and family in the U.S. and they loved it.

Sugar Cane

Antigua is known for having many sugar plantations and sugar mills from the early days on the island. Sugar cane is still growing all over and in large quantities. Spend $10 US on a large bag of peeled, ready-to-eat sugar cane sticks.

Tamarinds

A healthy anti-oxidant is found all over the island terrain. Pick your very own tamarinds  right off the tree and enjoy the sour and tangy flesh of the tamarind or make a sweet and sour juice.

#Antigua & Barbuda is the home to the most kind and loving people you have ever met. Every word that you hear spoken from many locals is how grateful they are to be alive. Antigua’s inhabitants treat people the way that everybody would like to be treated and radiate pure joy and happiness. So not only is Antigua paradise, full of gorgeous beaches, fresh tropical fruit, and warm island sun, it is home  to 80.000 beautiful Antiguan locals.  Cheers!

 

 

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RomanGodess

June 22, 2019

In 2014 my husband and I spent our honeymoon in Antigua and we loved eating at Le Bistro. We also have pictures of one of those giant tarantula spiders! They are so big! Lol. Thanks for the great article. It brought back many great memories! Thanks Casey