Itineraries for Your Trip to St John's

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1 Day in St. John’s for First Timers

Curated by Lydia SchrandtLydia Schrandt is a writer, editor, and award-winning photographer currently based in Houston. She’s a contributor for USA TODAY 10Best and serves as the first chair of the Editors Council of the Society of American Travel Writers. Her work has appeared in Draft, Time Out Beijing, Travel+, USA TODAY, San Francisco Chronicle, and others.

About half the population of Antigua lives in St. John’s, the historic capital city on the shore of a sheltered bay. A day gives you enough time to tour the town’s historic attractions, see some of the island, and hit the beaches that make Antigua famous. Here are some tips for how to spend the ultimate 24 hours in St. John’s.


Get oriented on Antigua this morning with a round-island tour by 4WD vehicle. You’ll cover a lot of ground in a short amount of time, with stops at notable island landmarks such as Pot Works, Betty’s Hope, Devil’s Bridge, and Long Bay Beach. Most tours start and end in St. John’s, so save some time for a stroll around town. Don’t miss Heritage Quay, the vegetable market, and the bustling town center, where you can pick up a range of local gifts and souvenirs. History buffs might opt instead for a tour of the historic Fort James site by Segway.


To truly appreciate the appeal of Antigua, you have to spend some time in the water. This afternoon is all about fun in the sun. Take a boat ride to Stingray City for the chance to swim with gentle stingrays in their natural habitat, spend some time snorkeling in Cades Reef, or try something new on a sea-scooter snorkeling tour—an excellent way to view wildlife in Antigua’s underwater wonderland. Alternatively, head to one of Antigua’s many blissful beaches—Galley Bay, Ffryes Beach, and Half Moon Bay among them—for a little relaxation beneath the Caribbean sun.


Polish off your perfect day in St. John’s with a sunset cruise around the island. Hop aboard a catamaran for cocktails and appetizers as you watch the sun sink below the horizon, all to the sounds of soft music. Once you’re back on solid ground, sit down for a seafood dinner at one of St. John’s many restaurants, and if you still have energy to burn, head to the King’s Casino for an evening of retro gaming, dancing, and live music to wrap up your island time.

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