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The Five-Point Weekend Escape Plan

Skip the Glitz in Antigua


5. Oddball Day

One of Barbuda's many secluded beaches.  

Hop a ferry to Barbuda, Antigua’s much-less-populated sister island, and treat yourself to an escape on stretches of pink and white sand that are distinctly long and empty compared to Antigua’s more baylike beaches. Start the day at the Public Market in St. John’s, where you can grab a bag of mangoes for the two-hour ferry ride on the Antigua Express (one-way fare is about $41). Once in Barbuda, arrange a full-day hire (approximately $100) with a taxi driver to get to Coco Point, one of the most beautiful—and isolated—beaches in the entire Caribbean. You'll be dropped off near the guardhouse for the Coco Point Resort, which is closed to nonresidents, but the beach here is open to everyone. From here, you'll also see the entrance gate to Princess Diana Beach, recently renamed for the royal who vacationed at the abandoned and overgrown K Club. Spend as long as you want on the beach, then cab it over to Uncle Roddy’s (268-785-3268; reservation required) for a lobster lunch (about $20), then return to the sand in front of the restaurant if you desire. If you’re feeling active, however, head to the jetty in Codrington, the island’s main village, and hire a boat (about $50 for four people; the government worker at the dock will call the boat) to the Frigate Bird Sanctuary, the world’s largest colony of these magnificent black birds. At 5:45, board a fifteen-minute flight (about $55; book in advance) back to Antigua. When you’re ready for dinner, go to St. John’s and find AJ’s SmokeHouse (St. George’s and Popehead Streets; 268-734-1797), where the owner smokes and grills jerked meat in his streetfront shop; a dinner with jerked chicken or pork, rice, salad, and bread is about $9. Afterward, if you’re up for the drive, head down to English Harbour and ask the guard at the Antigua Yacht Club if you can roam the docks to gawk at the yachts, which are especially spectacular at night.

Published on Jan 31, 2013 as a web exclusive.

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