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Exploring the island from GBP

Ottawa, Canada
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Exploring the island from GBP

My husband and I are staying at the GPB for 2 weeks on Feb 13. We can't wait! (thanks to all who take the time to post on this site - it is tremendously helpful!)

I gather that the GPB is pretty isolated. We love the beach and desperately need som R&R, but we are also the type to really get out and explore the island, and are wondering if there is anything nearby that we can walk to (shops, restaurants, etc.) and what our options are for getting around the island while staying at the GBP - in other words, are local buses readily accessible near the hotel? How much to rent a taxi for the day to take in some of the sights/beaches - and does anyone know a reliable driver? What are everyone's thoughts on renting a car - we drive on the other side of the road here! Lastly, with the appropriate mode of transportation nailed down, are there any "must-do/see" sights/beaches/activities/shopping that we should really take in? (Aside from Shirley's Heights - there seems to be an abundance of information out there about it).

Realize this is a loaded question, but appreciate any snipits of info that people are willing to share!

Many thanks. s

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1. Re: Exploring the island from GBP

How comfortable are you driving abroad? I have driven on lots of islands and yet not this one...time issue. It looked to me like a totally reasonable place to drive. So maybe renting a car is a good choice for you...do some more research about comfort etc...

We met with Alex Browne (see another post of mine for details) and he did a fantastic tour of the island for us for a totally reasonable price...I strongly recommend him!

I really don't think there is much shopping etc...within close proximity...there is a lovely little town close...but not a shopping dining spot. On the beach there are like two or three little tiny other non hotel spots...and there are sweet little beach vendor huts too...thats it. So yes get out there and check it out...if you are drinking when out - stick with the reliable driver to make sure you get home safe and sound and don't end up in a dangerous situation - the whole do abroad as you would do at home!

Have a wonderful time!! Two weeks sounds fantastic esp. if your home base is the excellent GPB!

Guelph, Canada
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2. Re: Exploring the island from GBP

We just returned from a 2-week stay in Antigua. We rented a car for the entire period and used it daily. It was my husband's first time driving on the left and he got along fine. The roads aren't in very good shape, but there isn't that much traffic and we found the other drivers pretty reasonable. We were staying near Jolly Habour but did drive up to the area where GBP is one day. It's definitely remote. You could walk to Devil's Bridge from there, but that's about it so if you want to get out and explore a car would be the easiest. If you don't want to pay for one for the full period you are there, you might consider sticking close to the resort for your first week to decompress and then rent a car and do your exploring the second week.

Cape Elizabeth...
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for Portland, Antigua
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3. Re: Exploring the island from GBP

As you suspect, there isn't much out this way. And as to buses, forget about it.

There are only two restaurants here----Barrow's, which as a lunch place closes around 6:00 p.m. and is so awful I'd avoid it anyway; and Mamma Pasta, a funky little bar/pizza joint who also closes by 7:30 p.m.

Realize that the longer the period of time for which you rent the car, the cheaper the per-day rate is. I have one right now that I rented for my kids; taking it for 3 weeks is costing me about U.S.$31 per day (for a car that is so small that if they can't find a parking space, they perhaps could fold it up and put it in their pocket). Day-rates for cars are U.S.$50 or more.

The fact you are at an A.I. place makes this a difficult question. You sound like the kind of people who would truly benefit from having a car at your disposal to explore the island. To me, part of the exploration-----and even though I live here part-time I do this myself-------is to take a day and go to a whole other side of the island. Or, as I just did earlier this evening, go to English Harbour, hang out for a while soaking in the atmosphere, perhaps go up to Shirley Heights to watch he sunset, and then go out for a fabulous dinner (in our case at The Inn).

So I guess the best answer to your question is that you need to figure out what is most important to you and balance it with your budget. If y ourbudget is unlimited, I would say, yes, definitely, get a car the whole time. Any "expert" on this website can tell you of enough things to do that will keep you occupied each day for a week. Assuming though that like most people you have to be realistic about costs, I would just say rent a car for as long as you can.

Bromsgrove, United...
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4. Re: Exploring the island from GBP

Stacey - I would recommend you get a taxi through 'marvellous Marvin' (Everyone will know him from the beach at GPB. He is reliable and insured and reasonable and HE WILL NEGOTIATE!.

Check out a couple of places you fancy (Dinner at Hemingways in St Johns' si excellent) Nelson's Dockyard is great.

If you see what you like, hire a car , for the second week. I am told the rental rate at GPB (by the bar area) was fine.

Bear in mind the island is 12 miles x 9 miles...it's not a big place, but it is beautiful.

5. Re: Exploring the island from GBP

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