Sightseeing in Antigua for Families
The capital of Antigua is home to about 35,000 residents and is the center
of both business and tourist activity. Take a stroll around this historic
city for a look at St. John's Cathedral, perched on a hilltop overlooking
town, which was first constructed in 1682 and later replaced in 1789.
It was rebuilt and re consecrated in the 19th century after a devastating
earthquake and includes two Baroque style towers. Also have a walk by
Government House, the official residence of the Governor General of Antigua,
and a good example of 17th century colonial architecture.
Museum of Antigua and Barbuda, St. James
Located in the Old Courthouse, this museum includes exhibits of artifacts
tracing the history of the islands from prehistoric times through independence.
Public Market, St. John's
This semi open-air market is the place to go for local color and culture.
Vendors sell their produce and locals stock up on fresh vegetables, spices,
and fish in this genuine Caribbean market.
Heritage Quay, St. John's
This shopping complex is located just steps from the cruise ship pier
and is home to duty-free shops.
Redcliffe Quay, St. John's
Also a popular shopping district for vacationers, this restored arsenal
houses shops as well as restaurants.
Nelson's Dockyard National Park, English Harbour
Built in 1784, this was the headquarters of Admiral Horatio Nelson, the
commander of the Leeward Islands fleet. This site is a "must-see"
on Antigua, even if you're not a maritime history buff. Make time to visit
the Dow's Hill Interpretation Centre, with exhibits on history, culture,
and nature. "Reflections of the Sun" multimedia presentation
traces the history of Antigua and Barbuda from prehistoric times to the
Copper and Lumber Store, English Harbour
The hotel was once a bustling center of marine activity near the docks.
The bottom story served as a supply store and the upper floors were used
as quarters for sailors whose ships were being hauled in for repairs.
Today those quarters are elegant rooms of a Georgian hotel and filled
with period furnishings. Two other buildings, the old Capstan House and
the Cordage and Canvas Store have been restored for additional hotel space
by the Copper and Lumber owners.
Admiral's House, English Harbour
The museum (just look for the bust of Nelson framed in the doorway) is
an original structure and is filled with mementos of England's most famous
Clarence House, English Harbour
This was once the home of Prince William Henry, duke of Clarence, who
later became King William IV. The Georgian stone residence overlooks the
Dockyard and is now home to the Governor General. When he is not in residence,
the home is open to the public with tours on the house's origins and history.
Shirley Heights, Nelson's Dockyard National Park, English Harbour
Located north of English Harbour, these ruins were named for General Thomas
Shirley, former governor of the Leeward Islands. The fortress includes
extensive fortifications, barracks, and powder magazines which serve as
good places to enjoy the view. On Sunday afternoons, Shirley Heights is
a gathering spot where vacationers can some to enjoy local reggae and
steel bands and traditional barbecue while you watch the sun set over
the dockyard. Walkers and hikers can reach Shirley Heights on the Lookout
Trail. This nature walk ascends from the harbor through a thicket of trees.
Fort Berkeley, Nelson's Dockyard National Park, English Harbour
Located about a ten minute walk from the dockyard, these ruins were once
a small outpost with eight cannons.
Betty's Hope Estate
This plantation introduced large-scale sugar cultivation and innovative
methods of processing sugar to the island. Founded in the 1650s by Governor
Keynell and granted to Christopher Codrington in 1688, the Codrington
family had interest in Betty's Hope for more than 250 years until 1920.
Both Christopher Codrington and his son served as the Governor General
of the Leeward Islands. Today two windmill towers stand along with walls
and arches of the boiling house.
One of the Caribbean's most noted art galleries, Harmony Hall features
regularly scheduled exhibits and shows. The complex includes a great house,
now home to a gift shop and galleries, and a sugar mill, first restored
in 1843, which offers a 360 degree lookout over the waters of Nonsuch
Bay. These buildings were formerly part of the Montpellier Sugar Estate
and today the complex also includes two guest cottages on six acres of
Indian Town National Park
The island's eastern end is home to Indian Town Point, which may have
been an old Arawak campsite. Look for the Devil's Bridge, a limestone
arch on the seashore. Blowholes often form when the waves are at a peak.