Head for the stunning beaches and safe waters. In the north, Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay, two of the island’s most famous beaches, offer a range of activities, including watersports and waterskiing. On the south-east coast, Half Moon Bay is a great spot for snorkeling and beachcombing, while a little further north at Long Bay, kids can seek out coral reefs in waters so shallow you can walk out to them.
Antigua is big on water-based excursions and activities. At Stingray City, for instance, kids of all ages can touch and feed stingrays and snorkel amongst tropical fish. Divers of all ages and levels of experience are also well catered for.
Eco-tours are another fantastic way to make the most of Antigua’s natural beauty. Try Antigua Paddles for kayaking, snorkeling and hiking adventures for adults and children aged 7+.
For those who like adrenalin-fuelled adventures, the Antigua Rainforest Canopy Tour offers zipline fun for those over 5 feet (1.52m) tall.
Away from the forest, Antigua has some interesting and beautiful old towns and an abundance of forts to explore. From the early 18th century to the mid 19th century, Antigua served as a major sugar exporter, with its slave population finally emancipated by the British in 1834. Take the kids on an educational tour round some of the crumbling ruins of old sugar estates or to the forts built to protect the trade around English Harbour and Shirley Heights.
Check out the former naval base Nelson’s Dockyard, the only working original Georgian dockyard in the world, with carefully restored workshops dating back 200 years. It’s now home to a marina, dockyard museum and various shops and bars. The Dockyard Historic Tour also takes in Dow’s Hill and Shirley Heights.
Don’t miss out on Antigua’s capital, St Johns. This charming town with its colourful quayside has some excellent restaurants and a pronounced West Indian character. A lively market and duty-free shopping make it a good place to hunt for a bargain.