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Land Sports in Antigua

Tennis: Tennis is a top sport in Antigua with good courts found at hotels and private tennis clubs. May's Antigua Tennis Week is hosted at Curtain Bluff Hotel, a property that includes four championship courts, two lit for night play, and a full-time pro.

Golf: The most challenging course is Cedar Valley Golf Club (268-462-0161), an 18-hole, par-70 course. The course includes views of the north coast and is located three miles from St. John's. It was designed by the late Ralph Aldridge to fit the island's contour. In mid-March, the Antigua Open is played hereby some of the Caribbean's top golfers. A nine-hole course is available at Half Moon Bay Hotel (268-460-4300).

Cricket: Cricket rules in Antigua. As much a cultural event as a sport, cricket was brought to Antigua by the merchants and military during colonial days. The season lasts from January to July, and formal regional and international matches (called Test Matches) are held at the Recreation Grounds in St. John's.

Hiking & Walking: Antigua has many hiking and walking opportunities. Walkers will enjoy a downtown stroll through St. John's as well as the national park at Nelson's Dockyard. For a challenge, hikers can climb Monk's Hill, Boggy Peak, Fig Tree Drive, and Megaliths at Greencastle. Group hikes are sometimes arranged by the Historical and Archaeological Society, (fax) 268-462-1469.

Birding: Birders will enjoy Cobb's Cross Egret Colony, located in Nelson's Dockyard National park on the island's southern coast. At sunrise, these egrets take off in flight, creating one of the best birding sights on the island. Nearby, the mangrove swamp at Indian Creek is home to herons, egrets, pelicans and the magnificent frigate bird.

Driving: For a scenic afternoon, Fig Tree Drive is a good one to enjoy in your rental car. It winds from the plains up volcanic hills of the Parish of St. Mary on island's southwest side. Fig Tree Hill is named, not for figs, but for bananas (which Antiguans call figs). Look for banana trees as well as groves of mango and coconut on this scenic drive.

Off-Roading: Off-road fun can be found at Monk's Hill for views from Great Fort George or Rendezvous Beach. Four-wheel drive vehicles are available for rent from many operators.

Bicycling: Bicyclists will find 18-speed bikes for rent by the day from Sun Cycles (268-461-0324). Five speed bikes are also available. Free delivery and pickup from St. John's area hotels is available; there's a delivery/pickup charge outside the St. John's area.

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