Anguilla Travel Guide

Anguilla  #5 in Best Caribbean Beaches
Credit

Courtesy of Angelita Niedziejko/Getty Images

Best Things To Do in Anguilla

Soft sands and clear blue waters lure many of Anguilla's visitors to spend the majority of their time sunbathing or trying a water sport. But, for at least one day, you should get away from the beach for a taxi tour. Highlights include the small Heritage Museum Collection on the East End or the Wallblake House in The Valley. At night, check out the live music scene, especially at Dune Preserve.

How we rank Things to Do
  • #1
    Things to do in Anguilla
    View all Photos
    #1 in Anguilla
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Swimming/Pools, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located on the western end of Anguilla, Meads Bay is beloved for its silky-smooth sand, aquamarine waters and gorgeous views. Plus, recent visitors said this beach is never as crowded as Shoal Bay East, and there are always chairs to rent and places to eat: many travelers and locals recommend dining at Blanchards Beach Shack, which is open Monday through Saturday at 11:30 a.m. (get there early for lunch).

    Like the rest of Anguilla's beaches, it is free to spend the day here. Keep in mind that the waters can get a bit rough during the winter season (December through January), but are usually mild during the summer. The easiest way to get to Meads Bay is via taxi, unless you’re staying at a hotel that’s within walking distance of the beach.

  • #2
    Rendezvous Bay
    View all Photos
    #2 in Anguilla
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    This 2-mile slice of paradise is reason enough to visit Anguilla, some say. With calm enough waters for even the least confident swimmers and the mellow sounds of Dune Preserve in the background, Rendezvous is an idyllic retreat for vacationers looking to escape Shoal Bay East's hustle and tourist bustle.

    Rendezvous is free to enter and easy to enjoy any day of the week. But if you really want to get away from it all, avoid the beach on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday afternoons, when crowds gather for Dune Preserve's live music. This southwestern beach also hosts the Moonsplash Music Festival every March.

  • #3
    Sandy Ground
    View all Photos
    #3 in Anguilla
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sandy's is the beach on Anguilla for fun. So pack your towel and swimsuit, but leave your summer reading at your hotel; you won't have time to lounge around here. Located in front of numerous restaurants, (including the popular Johnno's Beach Stop, Elvis' Beach Bar and The Pumphouse), this western beach is also Anguilla's main harbor, and it's jiving at all times of day. Sandy Ground especially receives a lot of traffic from foreign sailors and families (all those food joints and accessible bathrooms nearby are hard to resist).

    Sandy Ground is a public beach open all hours every day, but some travelers recommend you visit on a Sunday to hear jazz wafting from Johnno's.

  • #4
    Dune Preserve
    View all Photos
    #4 in Anguilla
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Entertainment and Nightlife
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Plenty of Anguilla vacationers have never heard of the musician Bankie Banx or his beachside restaurant and lounge, Dune Preserve. So consider making an evening trip to this Rendezvous Bay hot spot to get acquainted. After a successful music and touring career as a reggae artist, native Anguillan Banx returned home to open this marquee live music spot. The ramshackle-themed venue receives plenty of lunchtime traffic from the nearby beach's sunbathers (visit the website for lunch and dinner hours), but you should visit in the evening. Several nights a week Banx takes to the stage to entertain his patrons. Sometimes he's joined on stage by famous friends like Jimmy Buffett, Marcia Griffiths and Gregory Issacs. 

    According to travelers, Dune Preserve is definitely worth experiencing; however, visitors do warn that prices for drinks are a bit steep here. The Dune Preserve is open Tuesday through Sunday.

  • #5
    Shoal Bay East
    View all Photos
    #5 in Anguilla
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Anguilla has approximately 33 beaches, but the most popular one is Shoal Bay East. This northern shore is set up to entertain daytrippers from St. Martin-St. Maarten, so there are plenty of bars and restaurants, plus rental equipment for snorkeling, parasailing and scuba diving.

    Recent visitors say that a trip to this beach is an absolute must-see, and recommend renting a few beach chairs and making a day of it. While this beach is popular and known to attract crowds, recent travelers remarked they did not have trouble finding a quiet spot to relax.

  • #6
    Little Bay
    View all Photos
    #6 in Anguilla
    Beaches
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    For one of the best beach experiences, travelers suggest you sneak away to Little Bay, a cove carved into northwest Anguilla. Couples particularly enjoy snorkeling and swimming in the aquamarine water there, especially in the late afternoon as the sun sets. Recent visitors recommend getting to this beach early, as it can get crowded quickly.

    Travelers used to climb down a rope ladder to get to Little Bay, but the rope ladder was recently removed. Now, the only way to get to this hidden cove is by boat: Once you get to Crocus Bay, look for a man named Calvin – he sets up camp under a mahogany tree, and he can also be reached by phone: 1 (264) 497-3939/772-1332. Calvin will take you to and from Little Bay for a round-trip fee of $15. For more information, visit Anguilla Tourist Board's website.

  • #7
    Prickly Pear Cays
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    #7 in Anguilla
    Beaches, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Hop on a boat from Sandy Ground to experience one of the more tranquil and picturesque beaches of the Caribbean: The Prickly Pear Cays are two small uninhabited islands located about a 6-mile trip from the mainland. The area has become popular with travelers (especially families) thanks to the islands' shallow, calm swimming waters, plus the cute canaries and finches that willingly come to feed from visitors' hands.

    You'll find plenty of beach chairs for rental on the cays and an on-site restaurant that's open Tuesdays through Saturdays to serve refreshments, lunch and dinner. But the experience will set you back; the boat trip can cost upward of $60 per person, and does not include food or water sports rentals. Still, recent travelers insist the trip is worth it. Consider saving some money by packing a picnic for your day away.

  • #8
    Wallblake House
    View all Photos
    #8 in Anguilla
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located in the capital city of The Valley, Wallblake House is one of the oldest buildings on Anguilla. Many choose to forego visits to this now tiny complex, but other travelers say it could be a worthwhile visit for you if you like history; Wallblake is the only standing plantation home left on the island.

    The 1787 construction of the home is normally attributed to a sugar planter named Will Blake, but changed hands several times over the years. Nevertheless, the house and grounds have been fairly well-maintained, and tours of the place take you through the plantation's kitchen, stable and slave quarters. You can schedule a visit to Wallblake by calling to reserve your tour. Tours are free, but additional donations for the house's preservation are encouraged.

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