Half Moon Bay#3 in Best Things To Do in Antigua
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You'll have to put a little effort into visiting one of the most breathtaking beaches of Antigua, as easternmost Half Moon Bay is far away from just about everything, but recent visitors promised it's well worth it. The trek has its advantages, though, namely fewer beachgoers to distract from the charm of this national park. Windsurfers will appreciate the sizeable waves toward the beach's center, while snorkelers can find calm waters near the edges. For those looking for a place to relax, the soft white sand at Half Moon Bay offers a comfortable viewpoint to enjoy the vast seascape.
The beach's off-the-beaten-path location means you'll want to visit before sunset. Half Moon is notoriously hard to find and the paved, yet windy road has little signage to help you out. Add in the no-see-ums (tiny insects, sometimes called sand flies, that come out to nibble after dark), and Half Moon is definitely a beach to enjoy when the sun is up.
All Antiguan beaches are free to visit, but if you travel by taxi you can expect a hefty fare to Half Moon (it's about a 40-minute drive from the cruise port). Pack a lunch, bring a chair or towel and plan on spending the whole day in the area so that you can get the most bang for your buck. Recent visitors also reported that a few vendors sell beach and chair rentals should you not have access to your own. Plus, there are a few beach bars.
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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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