A Day Ashore: Antigua, West Indies

travel Aug 30, 2017

The yacht you work on has just pulled into English Harbour, Antigua, and you have the day off to explore the island. What will you do? 

FreshYacht gives you ideas from beaches to bars, diving to windsurfing. There are plenty of activities to make you fall in love with Antigua.

Antigua is a Caribbean hub for yachting. From superyachts that stop here to re-provision and let their guests explore, to the many sailboats that descend each year for Antigua Sailing Week, if you’ve got your eyes set on a yachting job, you’re likely to spend some time in Antigua.

Whether you travel to the island in search of a job, or stop over while your yacht is traveling the Caribbean, here are a few tips to make your time in Antigua something to remember!

Those Famous Caribbean Beaches

Most travellers to Antigua will spend their days relaxing on the beach and playing in the water. From lounging at beautiful Half Moon Bay to surfing at Gallery Bay Beach to the highly accessible Dickenson Bay Beach, you can’t go wrong.

Many beaches provide rentals for beach chairs and umbrellas, and often have stands and stalls providing food and drink options. However, if you make the trip to Half Moon Bay; situated within a national park, you’ll be happier here if you bring some snacks and drinks along.


Steep in the History

Antigua has a long history of colonial rule, nautical explorations, and sugar cane plantations. While the history of slavery casts a tragic lens, today Antigua has many monuments and museums which will help you to understand the heritage, people and culture of this beautiful island.

Check out Betty’s Hope Plantation, the first and largest sugar plantation on the island, built in 1674. The plantation has been partially restored, and you can either tour it independently or with a guide. Well worth a visit, you’ll also enjoy breathtaking views.

Visit the Dockyard Museum, initially built in 1855 as quarters for Officers in the Royal Navy. Today, it’s a history museum sharing stories of Nelson’s Dockyard and archaeological research in Antigua.


Antigua boasts a range of attractions catering to every taste. One certainly worth a stop is Redcliffe Quay. Formerly a slave compound, this assortment of colorful buildings in St. Johns is now home to shops and restaurants. Some of the buildings here date back to the 17th century!

If you’re in the market for some Antiguan goods, keep an eye out for local pottery, rum, or hand-printed fabrics. You may also find some unique crafts made from shells.

Finally, don’t miss the Saturday morning fruit & vegetable market, if you find yourself in town over the weekend.

Sip Something Smooth

Mad Goose Man - previously known as the Mad Mongoose, this bar is frequented by yachties, tourists, and islanders alike. Stop by for a Caribbean beer or rum punch while you enjoy the music.

Cloggy’s at Antigua Yacht Club - While this restaurant/bar can attract families and tourists during the day, as night approaches it becomes a popular gathering spot for the yachting crowd.
Skullduggery Cafe - a popular yachty bar, you won’t find the best beer selection, but Skullduggery offers great views, a good vibe, strong coffee, and delicious rum drinks.

Adventures Above & Below the Sea

SCUBA diving & snorkeling

If getting underwater is your idea of a great time, you’re in luck; Antigua has some excellent snorkeling and scuba diving destinations. You may want to plan a day trip to Green Island. You’ll have to take a boat here, but Green Island offers some of the best snorkeling and some epic beaches, making it well worth the trip. Up for scuba? Antigua offers calm waters and a range of destinations for beginners to advanced divers. You’ll likely see plentiful fish, and maybe some turtles!


Antigua, and especially the north side of the island, is a paradise for windsurfers. It’s a great place to give this sport a try, and local schools offer training and rental gear.

Cooking Classes

Want to increase your culinary skills and take a taste of the islands with you? Why not take a cooking class! Learn about the rich history of Antiguan cuisine, from the influence of rum, the many ways to prepare the bounty of the sea, and the history of flavors like jerk, curry and more. Whether you’re a yacht chef, or just a lover of food, this is a great way to spend a few hours on shore.


It’s Been Real, Antigua…

You may find the trade winds bring you back to Antigua many times, or you may find your yachting career taking you to the other fine ports of the world. Regardless of how long you stay or how often you return, we’ll bet that Antigua will leave its unique stamp on your memory.


Want more of the FreshYacht Insider scoop on Antigua?

Pick up a copy of our Superyacht Crew Accommodation Guide, and learn more about housing and resources in Antigua and beyond!

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