overhead shot of a beach with palm trees and white lounge furniture in Antigua

The twin-island paradise of Antigua & Barbuda may be your new favorite year-round Caribbean escape.

Antigua and Barbuda offers something for every type of traveler, with exciting reasons to visit throughout the year. Maybe it’s the idyllic winter and spring weather, or the always-on abundance of immersive wellness experiences. Or perhaps it’s April’s Sailing Regatta, May’s Restaurant Week, or June’s Romance Month. That’s a loaded lineup of can’t-miss events, right amid the season when you’ll be able to capitalize on sweetheart deals and even fewer crowds than normal.

It’s always beach season in the twin-island paradise that’s home to as many beaches as there are days of the year. Antigua and Barbuda is also better connected than many travelers imagine, with direct flights on multiple airlines from gateways including New York, Miami, Newark, Charlotte, and Atlanta.

Not that you need an excuse to visit a destination that’s regarded as one of the best-kept secrets in the Caribbean, of course. “Just because” works fine too, and when you return from your getaway you’ll be eager to let your friends and family in on the secret as well. Or maybe you’ll want to keep your envy-inducing discovery to yourself. We won’t judge you for it.

The 11 Must Dos: 

closeup shot of a sign that says jacuios on the beach in antigua
Courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

A Beach Per Day Keeps the Doctor Away

There are 365 beaches across Antigua and Barbuda, enough to keep you busy with a fresh toes-in-the-sand perch every day of the year. Maybe the iconic Half Moon Bay is calling, or perhaps after a historical tour of Nelson’s Dockyard, it’s time for a dip at Pigeon Point Beach, a short, scenic hike away. Names like Honeymoon Cove and Eden Beach speak for themselves.  Whether snorkeling or seaside serenity is the goal, there’s a picture-perfect beach to match your mood.

Dodge the Crowds

While so much of the Caribbean is feeling the negative effects of over tourism, alongside an over-reliance on mega resorts, Antigua and Barbuda has retained its focus on operating on a different scale and at a different pace. Think charming boutique hotels and family-run institutions with extensive histories. There’s luxury and indulgence around every corner, yet without the hassle and the crowds.

Take to the Seas

Antigua and Barbuda’s Sailing Week takes place at the end of April. The regatta dates back more than a half-century, delivering an exciting schedule of races and events with ample opportunities for spectating and post-race entertainment. You can even Chase the Race with an exclusive private yacht charter with food, drink, and plenty of sunny swimming stops.

people on stilts and red costumes in antigua
Courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

Express Yourself at Carnival

Antigua’s Carnival is known as the Caribbean’s Greatest Summer Festival. The celebration takes place at the end of July through the start of August, with an unrivaled lineup of parties, parades, and pageants. There’s nothing like the unbridled joy and freedom of expression witnessed during Carnival, and Antigua’s celebration holds up to the world’s best.

Celebrate a New Tradition

2024 marks the second edition of Antigua and Barbuda Art Week, and it’s fast become a favorite tradition on the islands. This winter’s theme is Culture in Color, with the week-long festival taking place between November 27 and December 3. Expect art, music, film, and dance, with plenty of chances to come home with a souvenir or two.

a person preparing food in antigua
Courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

Indulge in Caribbean Cuisine

You’ll never forget the flavors of Antigua and Barbuda. Get started with pepperpot, a hearty stew bursting with flavor, and pair it with fungee, a polenta-like dish made from cornmeal and okra. Don’t dare skip a plate of fresh grilled lobster, and be sure to sample both stewed and curried conch, while you’re at it. Sweet ducana dumplings or Johnny cake fried dumplings alongside saltfish will get your morning started. When food is your focus, consider a visit during the star-studded Antigua and Barbuda Restaurant Week, beginning this year on May 4.

Get Active

After those tantalizing eats, you may be eager to escape that beach lounge chair with some recreation. And active excursions abound across Antigua and Barbuda. The islands have you covered whether you want to go by land, with a well-mapped series of hiking trails for every level of enthusiast, by sea, with renowned snorkeling and diving spots, or be powered by the wind, with world-class kitesurfing and windsurfing.

The Return of Romance

When it’s time to get away from it all and focus on that special someone, honeymooners, newlyweds, couples embarking on destination weddings, and romantics at heart will be in for a treat. Antigua and Barbuda even has a full month dedicated to romance. Visit the island in June and couples can be fast-tracked through immigration with a special complimentary Love Lane. Talk about being whisked away to a Caribbean wonderland.

closeup shot of a fruit spread in antigua
Courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

Wellness Awaits

During Wellness Month in January, visitors to Antigua and Barbuda can participate in interactive health and wellness events, such as the Four Corners of Antigua and Barbuda Hiking Challenge, or special wellness retreats across the island’s leading resorts. Wellness is always close at hand though, whether it’s in the form of a relaxing spa treatment, a nutritional immersion with cooking classes and farm tours, or empowering yoga packages.

Bliss in Barbuda

Antigua’s thriving culture of hospitality and its boundless restaurants and activities are enough to keep any visitor happy, but don’t skip out on a trip to Barbuda, either. It’s a short ferry ride away and makes for an ideal day trip. Take in the spectacular Pink Sand Beach or Princess Diana Beach, or stop into the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, home to the largest colony of frigate birds in the western hemisphere. The island showcases an almost-private slice of pristine paradise.

The Twin-Islands Aren’t Done Yet

Antigua and Barbuda is only getting started. Exciting new luxury hotels and developments are in the works, including stunning projects from Nobu and Rosewood, and increased flight service will make it easier than ever to arrive. 

Featured image courtesy of Antigua and Barbuda Tourism Authority

(Article is in partnership with the Antigua & Barbuda Tourism Authority)