Best Attractions & Activities in Anguilla
There are plenty of attractions for Anguilla’s visitors to explore.
Beach-going is the main draw for many of Anguilla’s visitors — in fact, many consider Anguilla’s beaches to be among the most beautiful in the world. Its dazzling white sands and turquoise seas attract visitors to this tiny island paradise, but other interesting attractions add to Anguilla’s interest.
There are over 30 beaches in Anguilla, all of which are open to the public. Though many would agree that there is no such thing as a “bad” beach in Anguilla, if you want to know how to spot one of the best beaches, be on the lookout for a string of high-end resorts right along the shore line. The presence of these resorts will be a good indication that the beach front property is some of the most sought after on the island. Animal-lovers may be lucky enough to see turtles laying their eggs on the beach, but if not, crabs and lizards also abound. A few beaches also display striking stone formations, built by the waves as large pieces of coral wash ashore.
You’ll find a large number of beaches to visit on the island. Regardless of whether you’re looking forward to people watching, or you’d rather have more of the beach to yourself, you’re likely to find what you want. You can click on the name of each beach to read a detailed article concerning that specific beach.
Sandy Ground Beach
Sandy Ground Beach is one of the most popular beaches in all of Anguilla. This strip of sand is busy day and night with its many piers and just as numerous bars and nightlife options.
Another option worth considering is Junks Hole. On the eastern end of Savannah Bay, Junk’s Hole boasts wonderfully calm waters and soft sand. It’s a less crowded Beach on Anguilla, but it’s becoming increasingly popular.
Sandy Island Beach
Barbecues, cabanas, cold drinks and the sun are what defines Sandy Island Beach. While the island was once known only to a few lucky travelers, the addition of some low impact tourist development has made this into a must do for guests who can make their way here.
Although much of Anguilla is only lightly developed, you can still get a sense of its history. Several small museums and a few private collectors welcome visitors to view their artifacts. Anguilla’s past is full of intriguing stories. There is only one surviving plantation house that shows what life was like in the 18th and 19th centuries. But other historic buildings have also been restored, with some of them now home to small businesses, including a famous restaurant. At the Old Salt Factory and Pump House, tours demonstrate the inner workings of this once-important island industry.
In case you like to expand your knowledge of other people and places, you should consider visiting a museum while on vacation on Anguilla.
The Valley, Central Anguilla
A landmark that often intrigues visitors is Wallblake House. It is found in the Valley, in central Anguilla. Wallblake House is the oldest and most intact plantation house on Anguilla, built in 1787. The entire complex of buildings is intact, including kitchens, worker’s quarters and stables.
Culturally-minded guests think that it is essential to study as much relative to the culture and history of the country they are visiting as is attainable, and this museum gives that opportunity. A huge part of the multiple showcases at this attraction, visitors will discover a group of permanent exhibits. These are the museum’s stable expositions.
There at least a couple nearby open air options to participate in when you are not taking in Wallblake House. Museum patrons also hoping to play a round or two of golf will be pleased to learn of the closest golf course to the museum, CuisinArt Resort Golf Course. If you aren’t a golfer, you’re not out of luck – head to Forest Bay North, which is the closest coastline to visit. Although the selection isn’t overly extensive, a couple other comparable opportunities in the sun exist in the area. If you and your family would rather remain indoors, there are also a handful of other places you may want to visit only a short distance away. One of the most closest indoor attractions in the neighborhood of the museum is Old Factory, which can be found a short distance away.
Heritage Museum Collection
1.1 mi. North of Central East End
Another landmark worth visiting is Heritage Museum Collection. It is Island Harbour, in northeastern Anguilla. Now a site of historical significance that is part of the Anguilla Heritage Trail, this private museum is run by a local writer who is also a huge wealth of knowledge regarding history and culture of the island. The property details the fascinating history of the island’s people, from the British settlement and importation of slaves to averting plans to depopulate the island.
More of a people’s history than the history of the island itself, this museum focuses on important figures from the past and the perseverance of the local people through adversity, endemics, and hurricanes. Exhibits include photographs, artifacts, and archaeological finds, but the owner, Mr. Petty is the most impressive feature.
There is a small collection of convenient alfresco enterprises to pursue during the times when you and your group are not exploring Heritage Museum Collection. Museum guests also wishing to get in a game of golf will surely enjoy heading over to nearby CuisinArt Resort Golf Course. Free days can also be enjoyed at Junks Hole, the nearest beach. Though the selection might be scarce, a few other equally enjoyable outdoor options to choose from nearby. Visitors are also close to a small handful landmarks in the area. One of the few additional landmarks nearby this museum that foreigners will likely enjoy is Goat Cave.
In case you like to immerse yourself in the historical roots of a foreign place, you might want to visit a few of these historical attractions while on vacation in Anguilla.
The Valley, Central Anguilla
One popular destination is Old Factory. It is located within the Valley, in central Anguilla. One of the major businesses in Anguilla for a time was the exportation of cotton to England. Old Factory is a still standing reminder of this trade, serving as the historic spot where a great deal of the island’s cotton was ginned.
Old Salt Factory and Pump House
Sandy Ground Village, Central Anguilla
With the high quantity of resources, salt mining was a major aspect of Anguilla’s early economy. The Old Salt Factory and Pumphouse is a reminder of that history and shed light on how the process was done. Guests are welcomed to visit the old factory and take a tour to learn about the entire industry.
Old Salt Factory and Pump House is located in Sandy Ground Village, so visitors to this area of Anguilla will have the benefit of easy site access for the duration of their trip. With only a small number of hotels around the community around Old Salt Factory and Pump House, less than average foot movement might be expected.
And, one of the most exciting options while spending some time exploring the area is eating a dish at a restaurant within traveling distance of Old Salt Factory and Pump House. The most proximate eatery is The Pumphouse, which serves American meals. It’s maybe around less than a hundred yards from this site’s location, so check it out and try something off the menu. Also near Old Salt Factory and Pump House you’ll find eateries like Dad’s Bar & Grill and Dolce Vita Italian Beach Restaurant And Bar where you and your group will be able to try out Italian food and enjoy the local foods and culture of Anguilla.
Another landmark that often intrigues visitors is Warden’s Place. It is located within central Anguilla. Just like many of the Caribbean Islands, Anguilla depended, in part, on the sugar trade. Warden’s Place was once a sugar plantation that was built in the 1790’s.
Old Fort at Sandy Hill
1.8 mi. South West of Central East End
Overlooking Sandy Hill Bay, this old fort was the colonist and British took their final stand against an invading French Force in 1796. In the end, the French were defeated and thanks to “The Battle of Anguilla”, the island remained part of the British Empire.
A welcoming part of Anguilla is a good option for those wishing to visit Old Fort at Sandy Hill, since those staying in this region of Anguilla will have the benefit of easy access to this historic attraction during their visit. There is a sufficient number of lodgings in the neighborhood within range of Old Fort at Sandy Hill.
There are multitudes of restaurants to pick from in the region surrounding this historical site. Fat Cat Gourmet to Go, which plates up American fare, is very close-by, making it a great option for patrons here. The dining establishment is a slight ways off, but distant enough that you may want to decide on having a particular type of transport to get there. English Rose Restaurant and Lisa’s Restaurant offer additional dining options close-by where you will be able to try a new dish and experience the Anguilla culture.
Although most people visiting the area have heard about the beautiful water and coastline, that isn’t the only way to experience the natural beauty of the land. Anguilla has an interesting collection of caves that are known for their mysterious nature that tourists simply can’t resist. Each cave is unique. Dropsey Bay Cave is a small cave with an underground bridge that is inviting to snorkelers, while Goat Cave is better for non-swimmers. Take a look below for the locations of these underground wonders. Anguilla offers some great options, including two caves.
- Dropsey Bay Cave – 1.9 mi. South West of Central East End
- Goat Cave – 2.9 mi. Northeast of Central East End
Because Anguilla is only 17 miles long at its greatest length, hiking to see the sites is a very real possibility. There are numerous locations along the coast line where projects to create new real estate began, but were never completed, and these paved paths make for excellent hiking locations.
In 2010, the Anguilla Archaeological and Historical Society, Anguilla Hotel and Tourism Association, Anguilla National Trust, and the Anguilla Tourist Board joined forces to create the Anguilla Heritage Trail. Though other sites will be added to the trail in the future, when the Anguilla Heritage Trail had it’s grand opening, there were ten sites marked along the trail. These sites are all historical and important to the island’s culture, and include Crocus Hill, the Factory, Heritage Collection, Katouche Bay, Old Valley Well, Pumphouse, Rendezvous Bay, Sandy Ground, Wallblake House, and Wardens Place. Along with these sites are 30 directional signs to guide hikers and drivers along the trail.
Always be sure to wear clothes that are light weight, but cover your body to protect you from bugs, and hiking boots to protect your feet. You’ll also want to be sure to bring plenty of water along with you.
If equine exploration is your thing, Anguilla is a great choice in the Caribbean. There are a few stables and tours that allow tourists to traverse the island on horseback. Seaside Stables, for example, takes guests out on rides along the beach. Options include daylight and moonlight rides, and some guests are even permitted to swim on horseback. Tours within the interior of the island are also available. Prices range from $60 to $85(USD) an hour.
Between the months of April and November, visitors have the opportunity to view a rare, and wondrous site. It is during this time of year that the green, hawksbill, and leatherback sea turtles makes the beaches of Anguilla their nesting grounds. The Anguilla National Trust can direct you on the proper course of action to take to properly view the nesting grounds without interfering with the sea turtles natural process. Some of the best beaches to do this include Captains Bay and Meads Bay.