With a population that currently stands at around 22,500 inhabitants, St. John's is the capital and considered the most important commercial city of Antigua and Barbuda. St. John's is the trading centre of this Caribbean nation and the site of the famous Cruise Terminal at Heritage Quay.
Antigua & Barbuda Tourism board 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." I personally have of course not yet visited them all in fact I have only been to a mere dozen, but two beaches worth visiting located close to St. John's are Dickenson Bay and Runaway Bay along the northwestern coast. Of course, there are the other 363 beaches, which as well as beaches favoured by tourists, also include many secluded coves along either sandy or rocky coastlines. If you are wondering how to get to Antigua, I recommend a yacht charter, and it is better to go with a crewed yacht unless you are an experienced sailor.
Runaway Bay This resort area is the closest to St. John's and it consists of everything you would imagine when thinking 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 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 beautiful striking landscape and beach, but offers much more action due to the access to jet skis, parasailing and other popular high-energy watersports and activities. It is lined with open-air restaurants, along with dozens of hotels and vendors selling t-shirts and jewellery. For those seeking a more crowded location and a bit of sporting action, Dickinson Beach is definitely 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 old world 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 really no surprise that all of the major cruise lines and yacht charters make a point to stop in this fascinating Caribbean coastal city.
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