Betty's Hope#10 in Best Things To Do in Antigua
- 0.0Food Scene
Established in the mid-17th century and named after the daughter of one of its former owners, Betty's Hope was one of the first and largest sugar plantations on the island. It's no longer a working mill, but it is a standing monument to Antigua's role in British colonial history. The main mill has been restored with new sails and crushing machinery, while most of the other buildings on the former plantation remain in ruins. You can get a better feel for what the grounds used to look like by making a stop in the former cotton house store room on-site; now a visitor's center and museum detailing the lives of Antiguan slaves during the mill's most profitable production years. A stunning view of Pares Village below makes for some worthwhile photos.
Hours seem to be sporadic for the museum, according to recent visitors who were disappointed to find it closed, though they still say the site is worthwhile to visit if you want to understand the role slaves played in Antiguan history. Others noted that you'll have to make a donation to enter the sparse museum. Reviewers also recommended visiting Betty's Hope with a local guide as part of a larger tour of the island, saying you'll enjoy a broader historical context than if you stopped by on your own.
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#1 Shirley Heights
Wear some comfortable shoes and make the hike from Galleon Beach in English Harbour to the summit of Shirley Heights. On a clear day, the panorama (located approximately 492 feet above sea level) affords views of the southern island of Guadeloupe and the active volcano Montserrat, which recent visitors called simply breathtaking.
It's a challenging hike up to the lookout and the Antiguan heat makes early morning the best time to make the trek. If you're not up for the task, you can also hop in a taxi – a recommendation from many past visitors. The popular Shirley Heights Lookout Restaurant & Bar rests at the summit. Come prepared to party on Sundays from 4 to 10 p.m., when local bands perform Caribbean music live, the barbecue is fired up and drinks are flowing. Be prepared for crowds, though. Recent travelers warned that, while worth it for the awe-inspiring sunset views, this party gets packed.
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