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What to Do in Antigua When You’re Not on the Beach

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With a beach for every day of the year, it’s obvious why the twin-island nation in the eastern Caribbean is a beach bum’s dream. But, when you’re ready to drag yourself away from the 365 white and pink sandy beaches, here’s what to do in Antigua.

Adrenaline junkies can get their rush by land, sea, or air. You can breeze through the lush rainforest by zipline with Antigua Rainforest Tours; take in the aerial view on a helicopter ride; or go caving and snorkeling on Eli’s Eco Tour, designed by a local former Olympian.

Known as the sailing capital of the Caribbean, Antigua is also host to a year-round calendar of sailing activities. The true can’t miss event is its annual Antigua Sailing Week, a world-class regatta that attracts hundreds of entries at the end of April. If sailing’s not your sport, the island’s also known for its devotion to cricket.

Even nature lovers will have no problem figuring out what to do in Antigua, with hiking trails abound. There’s also a four-month turtle watching season during, which hawksbill sea turtles nest and lay eggs.

If you’re looking to party, grab a Wadadli—the local lager—and head to Shirley Heights on Sunday nights for a decades-long tradition of steel bands and barbecue under the stars. The biggest party of the year, of course, is Carnival, the annual festival from late July through early August that will have you dancing in the streets of the capital, St. John’s.

Now that you know what to do in Antigua, here’s where to stay:

If you want to get closer to nature:

Hermitage Bay, a luxury resort with an eco-friendly ethos, takes the locavore movement to the next level. It offers an on-site organic kitchen garden, tours of its local supplier farms, and a weekly cooking demonstration using local ingredients.

If you want to relax in seclusion:

Does a private island accessible only by boat sound like your idea of heaven? Jumby Bay is a hideaway in the truest sense, with 40 luxurious guest rooms and villas spread across 300 acres.

If you want to work on your serve:

The numerous amenities at the all-inclusive Curtain Bluff are capped off with a tennis facility featuring four championship hard courts, three resident pros, and three annual multiday tennis camps—all just steps from the Caribbean Sea.