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ITSMEEEEEE Oct 26th, 2004 04:16 PM

Antigua ? Anguilla ? USVI ? BVI ?
I need some help in planning a trip in June 2005. Single women (40's) traveling, looking for great beaches, great restaurants, ocean front accomodations, snorkeling/water sports, no big cruise ship crowds, some shopping, and SAFETY. Like to have restaurant choices within walking distance. Maybe a little nightlife but nothing to wild. We have travelled to Aruba, Grand Cayman, and the Bahamas. We really enjoyed Aruba and Grand Cayman. I have read some about Anguilla and Antigua, and have tossed around the possibility of Puerto Rico or the VI. Looking to keep airfare & hotel under $2,000 per person NO AI. Any suggestions would be great !!!!

MaryD Oct 27th, 2004 02:30 AM

Anguilla may not be for you -- it has great beaches (more than 30) and great restaurants (around 80) but you really need to drive to them as they are not clustered anywhere (several beach bars on Shoal Bay East but not open for dinner). As for nightlife, there are a couple of beach bars with live music (not near any of the resorts) and as for shopping -- virtually none. You would also be hard-pressed to keep to the price you want (airfare alone in June is $500+ from just about anyhwere on the east coast). If you want to ckeck out the hotels/restaurants go to & click on "hotels" or "menus" at the top of the homepage.

RonUSVI Oct 27th, 2004 04:37 AM

St. John would be what you are looking for. Most all the restaurants are within walking distance. A short taxi ride to the best beaches , all nightlife concentrated in the town area as well. Look for Gallows Point, Hillcrest Guest House or Estate Lindholm as three places within your budget.

Callaloo Oct 27th, 2004 04:38 AM

The BVI may be just the ticket for you -- but with a caveat (there's always a catch, isn't there?).

Given your wishes, I would suggest staying in Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. It's a beautiful beach with a number of well-priced small hotels at the waterfront. There are many restaurants and spots for nightlife here as well. Snorkeling and watersports are also available here, but are even better a short drive away (e.g. Brewer's Bay, Smuggler's Cove). It's safe here as well, though you will want to exercise the ordinary precautions (don't leave your wallet laying around, etc.)

The catch: CGB is a cruise ship day-tripper favorite, and you'll find it quite busy in the middle of the day. But, if you're like most people who stay at Cane Garden Bay, you be off on your adventures during the day while the hordes are there, and return in the late afternoon to have it to yourself. Since you are going in June, the cruise ship issue is less than it would be in high season.

Knowing Oct 28th, 2004 09:50 AM

You may want to look into Antigua a llitle more. We had some wonderful afternoons on their beaches, enjoying soothing swims. We found the island to be very congenial - a warm sense of hospitality. We enjoyed the shopping and took great delight in it's attractions.
I liked the VI. The bays were beautiful, I felt safe there, great taxi drivers. (We used the same one for all our outings. We would not have driven there)But it had it's mundane side. We were very disappointed with the food and strolling through the shops is a nightmare as evey cruise ship in the world is on STT.

ejcrowe Oct 28th, 2004 11:13 AM

Since you've visited Aruba & Grand Cayman and loved both of them, I would think that of your list, Antigua would best fit the bill. Dickenson Bay is the beach with the most action. There are lots of restaurants, beach bars, small hotels, all-inclusives, water sports vendors, you name it--along this stretch. It's a beautiful beach, but there are lots more all over the island. I'm not a night life person, but it's my impression that what Antigua has available is along that same strip.

I'd recommend a day sailing catamaran trip with Wadadli Cats or Kokomo Cats, and eco-tour by kayak, and a trip out to Harmony Hall (art gallery, restaurant, and small offshore island for sunning & snorkeling) if it is open in June.

The roads in Antigua were resurfaced a few years ago, and while there's not a lot of signage, the actual roads should be easy to negotiate. We've had nothing but warm experiences talking with Antiguans and would give a big thumbs-up to a day spent touring the island at your own pace, talking with locals and getting a feel for the island. My favorite hotel is Long Bay Hotel on the east coast, very far away from the action, so I don't think its location would suit you very well, but it's on a lovely beach with some good snorkeling (relative to Antigua standards) just off shore. It's also near Devil's Bridge, which is worth seeing if you do a day tour.

You can avoid cruise ship crowds on days when there's one in port by going to one of the other beautiful beaches on the island. Most cruise ship passengers stay on the two main quays for shopping, venture to Nelson's Dockyard/English Harbor, or go to DIckenson Bay, so they're pretty easy to avoid. Please let me know if you have more questions about Antigua. It's a lovely island with lots to offer.

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