My perfect four days in Antigua. I’ve been visiting Antigua for over twenty years so filling up a four day itinerary is a walk in the park. Or I suppose, a walk on the beach. Antigua is jam-packed with culture, fine food, and sight seeing so it’s a trip in itself.
Island Hopping: Antigua
So you’ve arrived in Antigua. To get your trip started, head just five minutes up the road from the airport to find a restaurant that’s knock-your-socks-off kind of good. Cecila’s. The owner of the self-named restaurant is a larger than life character. Swedish and a former model, Celica now lives in Antigua serving up some fabulous Swedish, Antiguian fusion. Photographs of her shot by Helmut Newton and other famous photographers can be found in nooks and crannies of the restaurant. A pitstop here is something you will never regret.
I recommend your next stop to be the Nelson Dock Yard. In the eighteenth century, the British Royal Navy used the English Harbour of Antigua to protect their ships from hurricanes. Today, it’s home to some of the best boat sightseeing. Not to mention there’s also the Dockyard Museum, restaurants, and shopping right there on the harbor. If you’re lucky enough to be in Antigua in late spring, keep an eye on the Sailing Week dates to catch a front row seat to one of the most spectacular boat races.
While in the English Harbour area make a stop to Colibri where the French Creole cooking will leave you speechless. I’m still dreaming about the New Orleans Beignets and the Lobster Risotto we had the last time we dined there. Trust me, they are a must.
Time to explore the rest of the island. The island is mountainous with a modest rainforest which takes up a little less than half of the island. The beaches, numbering over 365 of them, are stark white and quite the relaxation spot. Truly the best of both worlds all crammed into the island’s 108 square miles.
Fig Tree Studio. This is a place you’ll use as a dinner party talking point for the next five years. It’s the kind of thought provoking establishment that has you questioning if you too need to move to the rainforest and run a gallery/garden combo. The setting is just magical. It’s as if the island has a small bit of the Amazon on loan.
Sallie Harker and her husband, Dassa, the powerhouse couple behind this property, live lives that must be the plot of a movie. Sallie, an artist, runs the Fig Tree Studio, her studio and art gallery featuring local artists. The space is colorful, and mood boosting. Dassa has a garden like I’ve never seen before. He grows his own vanilla bean, cinnamon trees, ginger, and so much more. I suggest popping into the gallery where you can support a local artist with a purchase and then head to the garden for a tour. Dassa also offers hiking tours in the rainforest which would make for an unforgettable experience.
If you finish your hike of the rainforest and are still chopping at the bit for more outdoor activities, make a stop at Half Moon Bay for surfing or Mount Obama for more hiking.
If your vacation isn’t already filled to the brim with my above suggestions, add in Abracadabra for Italian food and dancing, and of course, soak up as many beach days as you can get. And now one last piece of travel advice. Take a moment to pause and stare at the stars. As someone who lives most of the year in the Tri-State area, I find the clarity of the stars on Antigua mesmerizing.
I wish you the best of trips to Antigua. I hope you enjoy the island that has inspired my Tropics Collection and so much more.