Antigua and Barbuda together form a two-island nation straddling the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean. They are a part of the Leeward Islands, with Antigua as the largest island in the archipelago. St. John's is the capital city and accounts for 25,000 of the country's total population of about 86,000. The climate is warm and sunny all year round, and the trade winds ensure it does not get too hot. While most Caribbean islands claim to have stunning white sand beaches, Antigua stands a foot taller than the rest with its 365 beaches. You could spend each day lazing on a different beach if you had a year. But tourists have 3-4 days or a week at most, so the best you can do is to book your car rental in Antigua and Barbuda right now and figure out which of the best beaches you want to see. The car will help you move around and visit St. John's, English Harbor, the beach at Half Moon Bay near Freetown, and other island towns.
If you are arriving by boat or on a cruise ship, the first thing you notice are the graceful lines of the white and baroque St. John's Cathedral. The capital city has two separate waterfront areas and a healthy collection of shops and restaurants. Get a car for hire in Antigua and Barbuda and you can continue to the Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, housed in a fine colonial building from 1750. The farmers' market on Fridays and Saturdays is a thoroughly enjoyable spectacle at the south end of the city. The beaches nearest the city are Fort James and Deep Bay.
English Harbor is located just past Falmouth Harbor, less than half an hour from St. John's. English Harbor is Antigua's historic district, with the 15 square mile Nelson's Dockyard National Park as its core. The dockyard, developed by Admiral Nelson, was shut down in 1889, but has since been restored and is now the world's last remaining Georgian dockyard. Everything else of interest in English Harbor is right on the waterfront, including beaches such as Pigeon Point. Do not miss a visit to Clarence House, built for the soon-to-be King William IV who was at that time serving under Nelson's command.
The best beach in Antigua and Barbuda is Half Moon Bay, which is saying something when you consider that there are 364 other competitors for the same title. This east coast beach looks impossibly beautiful with its pink sand and a gentle breeze aiding surfing conditions. The beach is five minutes away from Freetown village, and around half an hour from both St. John's and English Harbor.
Assuming you have already "done" all the aforementioned places, you still have hundreds of beaches left – and that's just on Antigua. Barbuda is supposed to be the real beach holiday, with its pink beaches, reefs, and shipwrecks. Barbuda also has the Frigate Bird Sanctuary. Get a car for rent in Antigua and Barbuda and visit Dickenson Bay, Turners Beach, Morris Bay, and Darkwood Beach on the west coast. In addition to Half Moon Bay, the east coast has a gem in Long Bay.
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