Five ways to enjoy Antigua

When you travel to an upscale resort, it’s pretty hard to leave the property. It’s not like you’re held captive, of course. I had no problem actually leaving Curtain Bluff physically, but it was hard to get motivated enough to leave. This is where the accusations of snobbery enter the picture. The elite prefer to stay within the sheltered walls of the property. For some, this is true, though the judgment is often hasty. High-end resorts are designed to make you as happy as possible. Everything is supposed to be perfect … and why would you leave perfect?

Regardless of how amazing your resort is, there is plenty to see outside the gates. Even if you take just one day of your vacation to roam this small island (Antigua occupies only 108 square miles), you’ll walk away without regret.

So, you’re outside the gates in Antigua … now what? After the jump, check out five recommendations to get you started.

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1. Nelson’s Dockyard
This national park boasts buildings several hundred years old and has a small museum chronicling the island’s maritime history. Be careful around the sick-house: once upon a time, there was only one cure for every ailment – rum.

2. Mix with the locals
Every Sunday evening, there’s a part at Shirley Heights. It’ll only cost you around $8 to get in, and the barbeque never disappoints.

3. Open an offshore bank account [Just kidding!]

3. Check out the cricket stadium
Even if Sir Vivian Richards Stadium is empty, reflect on the fact that it accommodates 20,000 people … on an island of only 85,000 (as of a year ago).

4. Hang out with Sir Allen Stanford [It turns out he's busy right now, and probably won't be coming back to Antigua for a very long time.]

4. Ascend Mount Obama
Right now, the highest point on Antigua is Buggy Point. In October, the mountain will still bear this distinction, but it will have a new name: Mount Obama. Antigua is an island of Obamaniacs, with cab drivers celebrating the U.S. president on their dashboards and signs scattered across the country.

5. Tempt Fate at the Devil’s Bridge
This small strip of rock was carved by a brutal ocean current. It’s slippery, and even when the waves around it look tame, you’re gambling with your life. One false move, and you could walk be carried away from Devil’s Bridge like one German tourist – with three broken ribs and two broken arms.

To learn more the other reason why Devil’s Bridge is famous, watch the video below.

Disclosure: Curtain Bluff did pick up the tab for this trip. Honestly, a prolie blogger like me wouldn’t be able to cover this destination without support from the resort. That said, my opinions are my own. Worried that my experience was positive? Blame the resort staff for doing a kickass job. I could lie and say it all sucked, but that would come at the expense of my editorial integrity.