The capital of Antigua, St Johns, is also the islands commercial centre and where approximately one third of the overall population of Antigua lives. Located in the North West of the island, this section of the island is also the center of tourism on the island but retains its island-flavour in its market places and quays.

In St Johns, as well as the obvious attractions of duty free shopping at Heritage Quay, visitors can find the old courthouse which hosts the museum of Antigua and Barbuda, and a short walk up the hill will bring you to the lovely cathedral. Picturesque Redcliffe Quay is home to many different local restaurants and boutiques. Cruise ships visit all the year round. There is a comprehensive vendors market situated just in front of Heritage Quay, and the public market is well worth a visit, especially early on a Saturday morning. 

English Harbour is no longer Antigua's main port - this is now located at Deep Water harbour in St Johns, but was built by the English in the 18th Century. The government of Antigua has worked to restore much of its heritage monuments and building, including the beautiful Nelson's Dockyard. Visitors can also explore Fort Berkeley which hangs above the harbour’s west side and the nearby Shirley Heights, named after an English Governor General, which is a hugely popular spot for Sunday evening BBQ. Here tourists can kick back and enjoy the daze that the local rum punch brings on the head, while local reggae music is performed by artists.

All beaches in Antigua are public, including those with resorts located on them.  The island boasts a beach for every day of the year, but some are relatively inaccessible without a boat. Some worth visiting include:

Fort James - popular with island residents, with one of the islands many forts at it's end, now home to a bar and restaurant - a great spot for a sundowner.  

Runaway - a mile long stretch of very unspoiled beach - particularly nice for walking at the water's edge.

Dickenson - the island's busiest beach, with many resorts, watersports, bars and restaurants,

Jabberwock - home to the islands kitesurfers

Deep Bay - popular wreck diving site 

Galley Bay - one of the few surfing spots when the waves come in

Hawksbill - four beaches, including the only clothing optional beach on Antigua 

Jolly Beach - mile long stretch of perfect caribbean beach

The south western beaches, including Valley Church, Ffryes, Darkwood, Turners, Morris Bay and Carlisle Bay are all good for swimming and liming, many with small local bars for refreshments. Further south still the beautiful Rendezvous Bay and Doigs Beach are only really reachable by an energetic hike or by boat. 

Between these beaches and Falmouth/English harbour lies Fig Tree Drive the island's rain forest, with lush vegetation and freshly grown fruit available at roadside stalls. The local Antiguan Black Pineapple is particularly well worth a taste!

There are a couple of good beaches - Pigeon Beach and Galleon Beach in the English Harbour area, and on the south eastern side lies one of the most photographed beach in the world - Half Moon Bay, which, whilst having no ameneties, has areas of crystal clear water for snorkelling, as well as bodysurfing waves and even off beach fishing. 

In the NorthEast tip of Antigua, lies the famous Devil’s Bridge, a unique natural phenomenon. Nearby Long Bay,  has one of the better beaches for snorkeling or just a day of escape for sand-castle making and exploring. Also in the Eastern end is the popular Betty’s Hope plantation.

One of the best ways to see the island's varied coastline is by boat, and water based tours, including island circumnavigations, are always popular. 

Local buses are a safe and cheap way to travel - though many run only during the daytime and the destinations are based round the islands villages rather than its beaches and other attractions. Taxis operate a fixed price system - always ensure a fare is agreed before setting off, and if it's a return trip, don't pay both legs have been completed. Antigua's taxi drivers are also excellent guides, and can provide great sightseeing tours, including beach stops. 

Not to be forgotten is the sister island, Barbuda. With it's isolation, endless pink-sand beaches, colonies of frigate birds and tiny population, Barbuda offers a desert island experience for a day, or for longer for those looking to truly unwind. Day trips are available from Antigua by boat or air.