The Nine Best Beaches in Antigua and Nearby Places to Stay

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Advisor - Heather Budd
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Heather Budd

  • Nature Escapes

  • Couples Travel

  • Antigua

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The Nine Best Beaches in Antigua and Nearby Places to Stay
Curator’s statement

Antigua offers an idyllic escape for those seeking a dreamy and ultra-relaxed Caribbean vacation. With its pristine white-sand beaches, crystal clear turquoise waters, and a warm, inviting atmosphere, the island beckons travelers to unwind in paradise. Whether indulging in luxurious resorts, exploring historic sites, or simply relaxing on one of its 365 beaches, one for every day of the year. Antigua is the ideal retreat where time seems to slow, and the vibrant culture and natural beauty make you feel a world away from your worries! For those looking for adults only options, Antigua is absolutely spoiled for choice, but it also offers plenty of options for families.

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We spent a blissful nine days in Antigua, and because it is a relatively small island, it is super easy to explore. You can easily access many different parts of the island, historical sites and other attractions without spending excessive time on the road if you rent a car. We visited so many different beaches, sometimes a few in one day, and they are among some of the most stunning we've ever visited. Here are our top beaches and places to stay near each of them.

Jolly Beach

A long stretch of powdery sand and turquoise waters. It's a more tranquil option compared to some of the busier beaches on the island.

Where to stay: COCOS Hotel

Perched on a lush hillside and perfectly placed between Jolly Beach and Valley Church Bay, this adults only resort features private bungalows, sunset views and infinity plunge pools.

Half Moon Bay

This picturesque beach is secluded, with pink-tinged sand. The crescent shape of the bay provides a sense of privacy and tranquility.

Where to stay: Nonsuch Bay Resort

Although not directly on Half Moon Bay, Nonsuch Bay Resort offers a serene setting and luxurious villas overlooking the bay. It's a short drive from Half Moon Bay.

English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour

These harbors are not traditional beaches but offer stunning waterfront views. English Harbour is known for historical sites, while Falmouth Harbour hosts numerous yachts and sailing events. Pigeon Point has a small but very beautiful beach. We loved watching the yachts come and go, bathing in the shallow and warm water and enjoying the view of Montserrat in the distance.

Where to stay: Admiral's Inn and Gunpowder Suites

Nestled in Nelson's Dockyard in English Harbour, this boutique hotel offers historic charm, elegant rooms and waterfront dining.

Make sure to book a table for the Thursday and Sunday night barbeque parties at Shirley Heights. Enjoy the delicious food, live music, sunset and party the night away!

Morris Bay

Nestled on the southern coast of Antigua, Morris Bay captivates visitors with its unspoiled beauty and tranquil atmosphere. This secluded beach, fringed with golden sand and surrounded by verdant hills, offers a serene escape for those seeking a quieter coastal experience.

Where to stay: Curtain Bluff

Curtain Bluff Resort stands as an epitome of luxury, perched on a rocky promontory between Morris Bay and Curtain Bluff Beach. Boasting world-class amenities, including a renowned spa and exceptional dining, the resort provides guests with an exclusive retreat while enjoying the breathtaking views of the Caribbean Sea and Morris Bay.

Galley Bay Beach

This adults-only, all-inclusive resort boasts a stunning beachfront location, offering guests a perfect blend of natural beauty and upscale amenities.

Where to stay: Galley Bay Resort & Spa

Located right on Galley Bay Beach, the charming beachfront cottages and lush tropical surroundings provide an intimate escape. Turquoise waters meet powdery white sand in this picturesque escape.

Hermitage Bay

An exclusive stretch of shoreline on the western coast of Antigua, Hermitage Bay exudes a sense of secluded luxury. With powdery white sand, crystalline turquoise waters and framed by lush tropical vegetation, the views are unmatched.

Where to stay: Hermitage Bay

This private haven at Hermitage Bay Resort offers a tranquil retreat where guests can indulge in the serene beauty of the Caribbean. The focus is on relaxation, wellness and the beauty of the surroundings.

Turner's Beach

Nestled near Johnsons Point along the southwestern coast, Turners Beach beckons for a day of ultimate relaxation. Embraced by refreshing breezes that counter the Antiguan sun, this tranquil haven boasts a serene blue ocean. It is the perfect backdrop for unwinding and rejuvenation. After a leisurely day by the sea, consider treating yourself to amazing seafood and some refreshing drinks at the acclaimed Turners Beach Bar & Restaurant.

Where to stay: Keyonna Beach Resort

Set on the beachfront of Turners Beach, this boutique hotel offers panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and of Monsterrat Island.

Not far from Turner's Beach is an amazing roadside restaurant called Aunty Cavell's. The menu changes daily and features authentic Antiguan dishes and fresh seafood. Don't miss her rum punch! It's the best we've ever had!

Dickenson Bay

A lively beach with soft white sand and crystal-clear waters. It's great for water sports and has a vibrant atmosphere.

Where to stay: Sandals Grande Antigua Resort & Spa

Located directly on Dickenson Bay, this all-inclusive resort offers luxurious accommodations, gourmet dining and a range of water activities.

There is a floating Kon Tiki Bar at the south end of the bay. A little boat ferries people back and forth from the beach. We enjoyed cocktails at sunset in a very lively atmosphere!

Long Bay Beach

This was one of our favorites! Long Bay Beach is one of the best snorkeling beaches in Antigua. Along the shallow reef of Long Bay Beach, a vibrant marine ecosystem thrives. It showcases an array of small, colorful coral fish, diverse sponges and eelgrass. Explorers may encounter moray eels, parrotfish and schools of pale purple surgeonfish. The possibility of spotting graceful green sea turtles in this rich underwater environment is exponential.

Where to stay: Hammock Cove Resort and Spa

While not directly on Long Bay Beach, this adults only resort is nestled on the hillside overlooking the bay. Hammock Cove is an exclusive and luxurious retreat. This resort provides spacious villas with private infinity-edge plunge pools, gourmet dining experiences and unparalleled access to the pristine Long Bay Beach. Hammock Cove ensures a perfect blend of indulgence and seaside serenity. It is also only a 3-minute walk to the striking rock formations in Devil's Bridge National Park.

Need to Know

Antigua follows the British tradition of driving on the left side of the road. If you're accustomed to driving on the right, it may take a little getting used to, but most visitors adapt quickly. Antigua is not heavily populated, and outside of St. John's (the capital), traffic is usually light. This makes for a more relaxed driving experience compared to larger, more congested cities. If you are not keen on driving but want to see more of the island, I would recommend booking some tours and letting your guide do the driving. I have some excellent contacts.

If you are driving and see a road side fruit stand selling pineapples, STOP!! The Antiguan Black pineapple is the sweetest pineapple you'll ever eat and has next to no acidity. They are slightly smaller than most pineapples you've seen before and are green, and not black like the name suggests. We always pack some as a snack for our days at the beach, and you can't beat a slice of it in your rum punch!

Book a day out on a catamaran to go snorkeling and get a view of the island from the water. The day trip we booked picked us up from Sandals at Dickenson Bay and included grilled lobster for lunch on a deserted beach. It was fabulous!

This trip report is part of our ongoing series on travel to Antigua. In need of further inspiration? Check out Kelly Weber ’s guide, Life at Sandals Grande Antigua.

Advisor - Heather Budd

Travel Advisor

Heather Budd

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