Since St. John’s is the capital city and the commercial hub of the country, it happens to be the most populated, and is a great place to go if you like holidays with a difference. To make things a bit more crowded, the city’s historic sites and nightlife attracts many visitors who disembark from the major cruise-ship docks at Heritage Quay and Redcliffe Quay. But despite the relative crowds, there is still a feeling of a down-to-earth quality that makes the city special to visitors as well as it residents.
Antigua & Barbuda Tourism states that there are 365 beaches on the island of Antigua alone and they stand by their slogan of “One Beach for Every Day of the Year.” But two beaches worth visiting located close to St. John’s are Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay along the north western coast. Of course, there are the other 363 beaches, which include many secluded ones along either sandy or rocky coastlines.
Runaway Bay – This resort area is the closest to St. John’s and it consists of everything you would imagine about a relatively quiet Caribbean beach: palm trees, white sand, clear-blue waters, and handfuls of visitors just enjoying the sun. It is lined with plenty of private restaurants each offering beach-lounge chairs and basic tourist amenities. It is the best choice if you want a quiet and peaceful day at the beach and to simply relax with only a few people around.
Dickenson Bay – Located just a 10-minute walk north of Runaway Bay, this resort area includes the same landscape and beach but offers much more action due to the access to jet skis, parasailing and other popular high-energy activities. It is lined with open-air restaurants, dozens of hotels and vendors selling t-shirts and jewellery. For those seeking a more crowded location, Dickinson Beach is the way to go.
Although there are crowds from its busy cruise-ship port, the city of St. John’s is a charming and friendly location that offers visitors a relaxed atmosphere and many historical attractions to explore. It has managed to retain much of its British character (after their independence), which can be seen in everything from its historic structures and red telephone booths to its narrow streets. It is no surprise that all of the major cruise lines make a stop in this coastal city.