The eastern Caribbean island of Anguilla is a small jewel with stunning beaches, crystal-clear waters, and an interesting past. If you’re a traveler looking for a tranquil retreat from the stresses of regular life, this tiny island refuge is the place for you. There is a lot to see and do on this wonderful island, making travel planning challenging. But don’t worry—we’ve put together a list of the top things to do in Anguilla to make sure your trip is one you won’t soon forget. Discovering secluded beaches, enjoying wonderful regional cuisine, and engaging in adrenaline-water sports are all things that you can do in Anguilla. Get ready to enjoy the Caribbean region at its best.
#1. Visit Meads Bay
Meads Bay is well-known for its silky-smooth beach, clear waters, and stunning views, and is situated on the westernmost point of Anguilla. There are also numerous dining options, and recent visitors said that this beach is never as congested as Shoal Bay East. Blanchards Beach Shack, which is open from noon to 8 p.m. on Monday through Saturday, is a popular dining destination with tourists and locals.
It costs nothing to spend the day here, like all of Anguilla’s beaches. Remember that while the summer months are often calm, the waters can become a little turbulent during the winter months (December through January). Except if you’re lodging at a hotel close to the beach, the most convenient method to travel to Meads Bay is by cab.
#2. Visit Island Harbor
Local fisherman launch from Island Harbour, a sheltered fishing community on the island’s northeastern side. This is an excellent place to observe local life. Visit in the late afternoon to observe the fishermen unloading the day’s catch as they park their colorful boats along the confined beach. Around Island Harbour are a few tourist destinations. 28 Amerindian petroglyphs from the 9th to the 15th centuries can be found in a partially collapsed cave that is protected by Big Spring National Park, which is beside the village’s main road.
Additionally, Festival Del Mar, a two-day “celebration of the sea,” is held in Island Harbour in late March or early April. It has a variety of amusement, contests, food, music, activities, and (of course) a fishing tournament. It’s one of the best family activities, so don’t forget to bring the kids for more enjoyment. You may have to navigate some choppy waters to reach the stunning beach on the western side of nearby Scrub Island, which boasts excellent snorkeling.
#3. Explore the Beaches
When visiting this Caribbean paradise, experiencing Anguilla’s famed beaches need to be at the top of your list of things to do. The island’s more than 30 immaculate beaches each provide tourists with a distinctive experience. There is a beach for every kind of traveler, from quiet lengths of fine white sand to busy areas with beach bars and water activities.
You can spend the day swimming, snorkeling, and sunbathing at Shoal Bay East. This beach is well-known for its two miles of fine white sand and its crystal-clear turquoise waters. Mead’s Bay is an excellent choice if you want a more private experience. This beach is less crowded and provides a tranquil setting where you can unwind and enjoy the sunshine.
Rendezvous Bay is the ideal location for kiteboarding and windsurfing for those looking for a more daring experience. The site is perfect for these sports due to the high winds and calm waters. Little Bay is an excellent place to go snorkeling if you’re interested in learning more about the marine life on the island. Only boats or swimmers can reach this secret treasure from Crocus Bay.
#4. Experience the Local Cuisine
Trying native cuisine is one of the best ways to fully experience Anguillan culture. The island of Anguilla is well-known for its delectable seafood, and there are several eateries and food stalls that serve up seasonal fare all over the place. Try the crayfish, spiny lobster, and conch fritters, some of the island’s most popular meals.
Visit one of the island’s many beach bars and eateries for a genuine local experience. These laid-back, outdoor venues frequently feature live music and breathtaking ocean vistas, making for a really unforgettable supper. Elvis’ Beach Bar on Sandy Ground Beach and Smokey’s at the Cove on Cove Bay are two of the most well-liked beach bars.
Numerous eateries on the island provide exquisite dining options if you’re searching for a more upmarket eating experience. Many of these eateries let you experience the best of both worlds by fusing international and regional food. For instance, Blanchards Restaurant in Meads Bay provides a beachside dining experience with a cuisine that incorporates fresh, locally produced foods, while Veya Restaurant in Sandy Ground provides a distinctive fusion of Caribbean and Mediterranean flavors.
#5. Take a Boat Tour
In Anguilla, a variety of boat activities are offered, including island hopping excursions, sunset cruises, and snorkeling and diving excursions. You can select a tour based on your preferences and interests, or you can hire a private boat and plan your own itinerary. Exploring the offshore cays of the island, such as Prickly Pear and Sandy Island, is a popular boat excursion option. These little islands have picturesque landscapes and waters that are ideal for swimming, snorkeling, and lazing on the beach.
Consider going on an island tour at sunset for a totally unique experience. While drinking a beverage and taking in the fresh beach breeze, you can observe the sun disappear below the horizon.
#6. Dune Preserve
Many tourists to Anguilla have never heard of musician Bankie Banx or Dune Preserve, his seaside eatery and bar. So, to meet new people, think about visiting this Rendezvous Bay hotspot in the evening. Anguillan Banx, a native of the island, opened this prestigious live music venue after a successful music and touring career as a reggae artist.
The laid-back wooden beach bar gets a lot of foot traffic during lunchtime from people sunbathing at the neighboring beach (see the website for lunch and supper hours), but you should go in the evening. Several times per week, Banx performs on stage for his customers. On occasion, he performs with well-known pals like Jimmy Buffett, Marcia Griffiths, and John Mayer.
Dune Preserve is well worth visiting, but tourists should be aware that the pricing for drinks is a little high here. The Dune Preserve is open from Tuesday through Sunday. On the majority of Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, and Sunday nights, you will hear the beautiful music of musicians. A reminder that Banx only plays on specific days: before you go, check the Dune Preserve website. Also, think about going to Anguilla in late March when the annual Moonsplash Music Festival is held at Banx and Dune Preserve.
#7. Maundays Bay Beach
Maundays Bay Beach is a gorgeous expanse of smooth, powdery sand and azure sea that stretches for 1.5 kilometers. Along this beach, the renowned luxury resort Cap Juluca, with its Moorish design, attracts both overnight guests and day visitors.
Beachgoers can enjoy fantastic snorkeling and swimming in the crystal-clear ocean when the weather is calm. Sailboats and windsurfers skim the bay on breezy days. Weddings are frequently held at this gorgeous beach, which offers a view of Saint Martin across the lake.
#8. Go on a Hiking Adventure
Going on a hiking expedition is a must-do activity if you want to get outside and take in Anguilla’s natural beauty. Despite being a small island, Anguilla offers a wide variety of hiking opportunities to suit all fitness and experience levels. The Heritage Trail, which passes through both historical places and natural landmarks, is one of the most well-liked hikes. The Wallblake House, a renovated plantation house, serves as the trail’s starting point. It then travels through beautiful landscapes such as Katouche Bay and the Big Spring Heritage Site.
Consider ascending Crocus Hill, the island’s highest point, for a more difficult hike. You’ll be rewarded with expansive views of Anguilla and the surrounding islands from the summit. If you’re up for a longer hike, the 8-mile East End Loop trail passes through a variety of environments, such as salt ponds, scrubland, and beaches. The ideal way to complete this hike is with a guide who can show you the many types of flora and fauna as you go.
#9. Anguilla Dive Sites
Divers will be happy to learn that Anguilla is covered in a double reef system with a wide variety of corals. The island is particularly well-known for its shipwrecks. This includes ones that were deliberately sunk and have since flourished as artificial reefs.
Dog Island, Prickly Pear, Seal Island Reef System, Little Bay, Sandy Island, Shoal Bay Harbour Reef System, and Stoney Bay Marine Park are the seven marine parks that surround the island. Many of the dive locations are home to turtles, stingrays, and garden eels. At Scrub Island, sharks and barracuda are frequently encountered. The El Buen Consejo, a Spanish galleon from the 18th century that sank in 1772 off the southeast coast of Anguilla, is buried in Stoney Bay Marine Park. The location is a recognized underwater park that is accessible to certified divers.
#10. Explore the Historic Sites
Anguilla is a stunning island with a fascinating past that is begging to be discovered. Visiting the island’s historical landmarks is one of the best ways to become fully immersed in its culture. There are numerous interesting things to see, including the Wallblake House, the island’s oldest still-standing plantation house. It was originally built in 1787 and has since undergone restoration to serve as a museum where visitors can discover the island’s colonial past and the lives of the plantation owners and slaves who formerly resided there.
The Heritage Collection Museum, which is situated in East End Village, is another important destination. The museum’s amazing collection of artifacts, images, and records serves as a display of Anguilla’s history and cultural heritage. You can find out more about the island’s colonial past, Arawak and Carib Indian origins, and the independence movement.
Visit St. Gerard’s Catholic Church in The Valley to get a feel for Anguilla’s religious heritage. This church, which was constructed in 1937, is a stunning illustration of colonial design. Additionally, you can go to the nearby Methodist Church, which dates back to the late 1700s. Discovering the island’s intriguing past and developing a deeper understanding of its distinctive culture can both be accomplished by visiting its historical sites. It’s the ideal activity for history enthusiasts and everyone who wants to learn more about this lovely island’s past.
#11. Visit Fountain Cavern, National Park
The Fountain Cavern, which is close to Shoal Bay, is Anguilla’s most important historical site. Two freshwater lakes and several Amerindian petroglyphs can be seen in this natural and cultural marvel, which is located 15 meters below in a cave. The most notable of these is a large stalagmite that has been sculpted into the form of “Jocahu,” the principal deity of the Taino Indians.
It is believed that the Fountain Cavern served as a significant regional center of worship and a site of pilgrimage for Amerindians. The cavern, colloquially referred to as “the fountain,” has pure drinking water that has provided generations of locals with sustenance.
#12. Explore Art Galleries and Museums
There are several galleries on the island where you can see the creations of both domestic and foreign artists. The Heritage Museum Collection is one of the must-see museums in Anguilla. Through a selection of artifacts, images, and papers, you can learn about the island’s past and present here. From the island’s earliest occupants to its colonial past and beyond, the museum’s exhibits cover it all.
The Wallblake House Museum is yet another fantastic attraction. This old plantation mansion has been lovingly restored and is now a museum devoted to the history and culture of Anguilla. From the island’s earliest occupants to its colonial past and beyond, you can view exhibitions here.
Be sure to visit the Savannah Gallery if modern art is more your style. This gallery, which features the creations of both national and international artists, is becoming a must-visit location for tourists who enjoy the arts. The Devonish Art Gallery and the Cheddie Richardson Carving Studio are two other noteworthy art galleries.
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#13. Attend Local Festivals and Events
The Moonsplash Music Festival, which takes place in March each year, is one of the most well-known events in Anguilla. In addition to local Anguillan talent, this event offers some of the top reggae, soca, and calypso musicians in the world. The festival offers an exceptional experience because it is staged on the Dune Preserve’s stunning seashore.
The Anguilla Summer Festival, which lasts ten days in August, is another event well worth going to. Boat races, parades, pageants, and live music performances are just a few of the activities that are part of this festival. The soca monarch competition, which brings out the best in regional soca performers, is the festival’s main attraction.
The Anguilla Culinary Festival should not be missed by foodies. Cooking demonstrations, tastings, and competitions are all part of this festival honoring the island’s food. The festival, which is held in November, draws culinary lovers from all over the world. It’s a terrific chance to interact with people, sample local cuisine, and learn about Anguilla’s distinctive culture by attending local festivals and events.
The Caribbean island of Anguilla is a well-kept secret that provides travelers with a wide range of amazing adventures. There is something for everyone on this magnificent island. This ranges from the gorgeous beaches and crystal blue oceans to the rich cultural legacy and wonderful cuisine. Think about including Anguilla on your list of must-see locations as you prepare for your upcoming holiday.
Enjoy some of the island’s renowned seafood and rum punch while exploring some of the finest sights, including Shoal Bay Beach, Wallblake House, and Little Bay. Anguilla is a favored destination for those seeking a unique Caribbean experience overall. Make travel plans right away to experience everything that magnificent island has to offer.