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If you only break from the beach for one day, head to the beautifully restored English Harbour where you'll find Nelson's Dockyard National Park. The naval dockyard was once the home of the British fleet during the Napoleonic Wars, and served as the headquarters of Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson from 1784 to 1787.
You probably can't hit all the dockyard's attractions in one visit, but you can enjoy a fair few if you plan ahead. The park's official website lists all there is to see and do, including special events, but here's a quick summary: There are plenty of restaurants, cafés and shops; the Dockyard Museum, where Nelson's telescope and tea caddy are on display; and Dow's Hill Interpretation Center, where visitors can watch a 15-minute presentation on the history and culture of the island. Other Dockyard activities include sightseeing along the marina, relaxing at the nearby beach, or taking a trip up to Shirley Heights.
Recent travelers suggest heading to the dockyard on a day when cruise ships aren't in port and tour groups are limited. The extra crowds can take away from the atmosphere. "Cafes along the waterfront were a pleasant place to sit and enjoy views of the boats in the harbor," one TripAdvisor reviewer said.
Nelson's Dockyard National Park is open daily from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. The cost of admission is $8 USD and includes a guided tour as well as entry to all sites including Shirley Heights and Dow's Hill. Tours do not run on Sundays.
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