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If there was ever paradise on earth on it would most definitely be the Caribbean. As an island girl I am more than proud of my heritage. Of all the islands, there are a few that are favoured more than others.

Antigua (An-Tee-Ga) “the Gem of the Caribbean”  is actually a twin island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The twin island nation boost of being the premier honeymoon destination of the Caribbean. With crystal turquoise water and white sandy beaches it is a favoured destinations for couples and families alike.

It was so different visiting my tropical home with my munchkins.  As a former local, here is some top notch advice that your taxi driver will not tell you.  There is a vast array of food options across the island. From high end to the middle tier restaurants. My personal  fav for eats would most definitely be a roadside grill.  These pop up spots usually can be seen on Friday and Saturday nights.  The typical menu includes eats from BBQ chicken/pig tails, fried fish (#yumyum), bakes (fried dough balls). The meal is accompanied with carrot juice, sorrel drink and ginger beer.

The best way to see the island is by driving.  Antigua takes around 3 to 4 hours to traverse 108 sq miles. Driving in Antigua is an experience. All the rules your driving instructor taught you…forget them. Driving isn’t reckless per se… just a little different.

The best way to navigate the island is to simply ask the locals for driving directions, rather than using GPS. My people are friendly,  helpful and happy to assist.

Here are a few places to visit while on the island:

Devil’s Bridge, Parham, Museum of Antigua, Forts of Antigua, St John’s Cathedral (under renovations), Public Market, Sugar Mills of Betty’s Hope, Dow Hills Interpretation Centre, Shirley’s Heights, Fig Tree Drive, Nelson’s Dockyard, Harmony Hall – Art Studio

A word of warning.  Hurricane season is June to November. For more info check out the Antigua and Barbuda tourism site.  On the site, there is a calendar of events and  information on the island.

The next time you are thinking of your next getaway beach filled holiday, Antigua is a lovely destination to consider. The beach is just the beginning.

-Jus’ Dye