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Getting Active, Finding Adventure in Antigua

On Antigua, where protected harbors have lured sailors for centuries, most adventures are linked to the Caribbean Sea and involve sailing, scuba dives, snorkeling and surfboarding if not dolphin and stingrays.

In recent years, land-based adventures have developed. Driving cross-country, rural roads pass hiking trails in a tropical rain forest, the zip-line above the trees and the shooting range where clay pigeons are prey.

En route to English Harbor, my driver pointed out the cruise ship port of Saint John, the capital city. Here, the Anglican Cathedral towers soar over the 18th century Court House and surrounding corrugated iron rooftops. She passed some of the 109 sugar mill towers that are privy to adventures dating from the 17th century as well as cyclists racing toward the coast. They are creating 21st-century memories complete with crews and friends cheering them on to the finish line.

On the south-east coast, the meticulously restored historic district abutting English harbor includes 15 square miles of Nelson’s Dockyard National Park which has been in use since the 16th century. The British commissioned it in 1755 to protect it from competing French, Dutch and Spanish fleets. From 1784-1787, it served as headquarters of the British fleet in the Leeward Islands and British hero Horatio Nelson used the facility to repair English Royal Navy ships. Modern-day feats still take place there every spring; Nelson’s Dockyard is the HQ for Antigua Sailing Week.

Inside its original walls, this landmark is still a working dockyard, an active marina as well as a destination for visitors to its restored 18th century Georgian buildings. These house the Dockyard Museum …

Read more: Peter Greenberg

 

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