ANTIGUA, ANTIGUA & BARBUDA
On Antigua, life is a beach. Its corrugated coasts cradle hundreds of perfect little strands lapped by beguiling enamel-blue water, while the sheltered bays have provided refuge for everyone from Admiral Nelson to buccaneers and yachties. If you can tear yourself away from that towel, you’ll discover that there’s a distinct English accent to this island. You’ll find it in the bustling capital of St John’s, in salty-glamorous English Harbour, and in the historic forts and other vestiges of the colonial past. Yet, Antigua is also quintessential Caribbean, full of candy-coloured villages, a rum-infused mellowness and bright-eyed locals that greet you with wide smiles.
Antigua’s capital, St John’s, is tucked into a sheltered bay, about 5 miles west of the airport. Most hotels and resorts cluster north of here along Dickenson Bay and south in historic English Harbour. The best beaches hem the west coast between Jolly Harbour and Old Road village. The wind-swept east is sparsely settled and has only a few beaches
If life on Antigua is a beach, Barbuda is a beach: one smooth, pink-tinged strand hemming the reef-filled waters. Birds, especially the huffing and puffing frigates, greatly outnumber residents on this Caribbean dream island.