Anguilla is a British Overseas Territory located in the Caribbean, consisting of the main island as well as numerous offshore cays.
From the long stretches of white sand to the serene cyan waters, Anguilla is a little slice of heaven on earth.
With no high rises or cruise ships and a modest population of 15,000, there is a genuine and down-to-earth atmosphere everywhere you go.
Tourists flock to the island to enjoy a laid-back lifestyle of walking barefoot, listening to funky live music, and indulging in some famous rum punch.
Another reason to visit Anguilla is for the food. Anguillan cuisine is influenced by numerous other cuisines from around the world, including Caribbean, Spanish, English and African.
Here you can expect to indulge in some delicious fresh seafood cooked in a myriad of flavours.
While you already know from the pictures that Anguilla is absolutely gorgeous, what can you expect to do once you get there? Keep on reading for 19 of the best things to do in Anguilla.
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One of the best beaches in Anguilla can be found at Crocus Bay. The waters are calm, clear and reasonably shallow, making it an ideal spot for kayaking and paddleboarding. You’ll even be able to spot tiny fish swimming among the coral reefs.
Up on the white sand shores, umbrellas and beach chairs are available free of charge. If you’re looking for some romantic things to do in Anguilla, stay until the evening and watch the gorgeous sunset together.
Looking up at the cliffs, you will see Crocus Hill, which the bay was named after. With an elevation of 73 metres, this spot is the highest point in Anguilla.
The go-to nighttime spot in Anguilla is Sandy Ground. On most evenings, people converge around the island’s main harbour to hang out and watch the sun go down.
Elvis’ famous rum punch is considered the best on the island, so don’t miss trying this signature cocktail.
One of the most rewarding places to see in Anguilla is Little Bay. This crescent cove on the north shore of the island is surrounded by rock formations, offering a secluded vibe.
This serenity is one of many reasons the bay is high on the list of the top Anguilla attractions.
Although this is a popular spot, it’s usually not too crowded since it can’t be accessed by car. Relatively untouched by the outside world, you can truly relax and forget about your troubles here.
This also means no shore-side amenities, so remember to pack everything you need before you head out.
Your best option to get to the bay is to rent a paddleboard from Crocus Bay or take a boat from the nearby shores. However, if you’re an extra adventurous person, you might choose to take the plunge and jump from the rocks!
Fear not, the water below is deep enough that many visitors have safely done this jump before.
Don’t forget your snorkelling gear so you can properly admire the vivid coral underneath the emerald-green waters.
Prepare to see all sorts of interesting creatures here, from crabs and iguanas lazing in the sunshine to parrotfish and blue tangs swimming around. If you’re lucky, you might even see some turtles.
Interested in some unique things to do in Anguilla? By the eastern tip of the main island is another small piece of land known as Scrub Island.
Making up only eight square kilometres, this island is privately owned yet easily accessible by boat. Wander around and explore the abandoned houses and spot the remnants of the abandoned airfield.
The southern coastline of Scrub Island is a great spot for whale watching. There are plenty of birds around to look out for too, from laughing gulls to royal terns, and some cool reptiles like dwarf geckos. You may even spy some feral goats wandering around.
Since there are no facilities on the island, you probably won’t want to stay more than a few hours.
That being said, it’s a special place for a private picnic lunch if you want to pack something beforehand.
Anguilla Watersports’ Kiteboarding Academy
One of the top Anguilla activities is kiteboarding, and Anguilla Watersports has the only kiteboarding academy on the island.
Regardless of your level of experience, the friendly and professional staff can help you have a safe and enjoyable day.
If you’re a beginner, there’s a special eight-hour program called Zero to Hero, which can be broken up into smaller chunks of time if necessary.
You’ll learn about the wind window, how to set up your gear, and all the basic skills you need to start out.
Eight hours is usually the minimum amount of training time required for a solo ride, so this is the best option for newbies.
Private lessons are available by the hour if you want to improve your skills and learn some advanced tricks and stunts. Anguilla Watersports also offers kayak and stand up paddle board rentals and tours.
Frangipani Beach Resort
If you’re the type of person who doesn’t like to organise too far in advance, stay somewhere that offers every amenity and activity you could think of.
Frangipani Beach Resort is an incredible boutique hotel on Meads Bay. Family-owned and operated with only 23 rooms and suites plus a four-bedroom beachfront villa, the resort provides guests with a personal experience that has all the offerings of a five-star chain.
There’s an on-site tennis court and basketball court, bicycle rental, a boutique and a fitness centre. From 10 am until 4 pm, take part in complementary water skiing, wakeboarding, tubing, kayaking and Hobie cat sailing.
Consider hopping aboard the FrangiCat, the hotel’s 36ft-catamaran, for a fun day of beach hopping, rosé sipping, and chatting with other guests.
To relax and unwind after a day of adventures, the resort’s Plumeria Balinese Spa has you covered.
Massages, facials, body scrubs, manicures, pedicures and waxing are all available. Plus, treatments can be done at the spa, on the beach, or in your suite.
Prickly Pear Cays
The Prickly Pear Cays are two tiny uninhabited islands that can be accessed via boat from Road Bay. These two unspoiled slices of heaven are called the West and East Cays.
The West Cay is about 1.2 kilometres long. The shorelines are covered with shrubs and surrounded by rocky coral reefs, making it a little challenging to get to.
The East Cay, however, has very little vegetation and clear, sandy shoes. This island is also slightly larger than the other, reaching 1.6 kilometres long.
The soft white sand beach along the northern side of the East Cay is perfect for laying in the sun, while the surrounding turquoise waters are ideal for snorkelling.
You can also go for a short hike and bird watch along the way. Look out for bananaquits in particular, who are known to fly around in search of food.
Although no one lives on either of the islands, the staff of the Prickly Pear Bar and Restaurant travel over each day from the mainland.
On the menu here is an assortment of freshly caught seafood, including lobster and crayfish, plus BBQ chicken and ribs, salads, and both alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
From the bar, you can rent equipment for paddleboarding, kayaking and snorkelling. Cabanas, umbrellas and beach chairs can also be rented for the day, and you can even pre-book a massage on the beach.
All in all, a day trip to the Prickly Pear Cays makes for a superb and memorable Anguilla excursion.
Tradition Sailing Charters
If you’re eager to book a traditional Caribbean sailing adventure, you can’t go past Tradition Sailing Charters.
Tradition is a 50-inch sailboat crafted in 1978, allowing between six and 12 passengers at a time. The captain, Laurie Gumbs, is a licensed operator who grew up in Anguilla.
While there are a few different packages on offer, a two-and-a-half-hour sunset sail along the coastline of Anguilla is highly recommended.
Sip on champagne from the bar, indulge in some tasty hors d’oeuvres, and sit back and admire the natural beauty around you.
Custom private charters are also available if you have at least six people in your party.
This is a fantastic option if you’re planning a small wedding ceremony, or you simply want a memorable photoshoot from your group trip.
While Tradition Sailing always has three professional sailors aboard to take care of all the work, anyone interested in learning about sailing is free to pitch in and help out.
Rendezvous Bay is one of the largest and most impressive beaches in Anguilla. With calm, turquoise waters, small children and less-confident swimmers will certainly feel relaxed enough to take a dip.
Along the bay, you’ll come across one of the most popular bars on the island, Bankie Banx’s Dune Preserve.
This laid-back live music bar is sustainably built from a collection of wooden planks, driftwood, shells, and various other items that have washed ashore.
If you’re visiting in late March, Bankie Banx hosts an annual music festival here called Moonsplash.
Anchor Miniature Golf
One of the best things to do in Anguilla for families is a round of mini golf! If you feel like taking a break from the beaches, hop on over to Anchor Miniature Golf at the Anchor Complex in Island Harbour.
The 18-hole course is perfect for all ages and guarantees some fun, quality time together. The upbeat music and tropical scenery add to the playful atmosphere.
There’s a snack shop too, selling treats like slushies, ice cream, lollies and hot dogs.
The best place to go shopping in Anguilla is Irie Life. Whether you need a new swimsuit and beach coverup or a few souvenirs to take home with you, you’ll find whatever you’re looking for here.
While many products are made on-island in Anguilla, other clothes and jewellery are sourced from Jamaica, Saint Barths, Saint Martin, and other islands throughout the Caribbean.
Irie is a Jamaican Patois word that invokes feelings of positivity, and this is exactly the vibe the Irie Life team hopes to bring.
The vibrant red, green and yellow shopfronts can be found in two locations: South Hill and Sandy Ground. Be sure to stop by and visit the friendly faces of Pam, Gathy and Ulynis, who are always willing to assist.
Heritage Collection Museum
For those interested in learning about Anguilla’s history, the Heritage Collection Museum is the best place to go. The building is easy to spot, painted in white, red and blue stripes – the primary colours of the Anguillian flag.
Located in the East End Village, the museum is curated by historian Colville Petty. His enthusiasm and varied knowledge are evident through the extensive collections and personal accounts on show.
Through the photographs and artifacts, you’ll gain an understanding of the different eras the island has gone through, including colonisation and the phosphate trade.
You can even learn about more recent events on the island, like the annual crowning of the Calypso Monarch.
Alak Art Gallery
If you’re still feeling cultured after the museum, pop into Alak Art Gallery in Shoal Bay Village.
Owner and artist Louise Brooks sells her gorgeous paintings, pottery, and other handcrafted works. She also offers afternoon art classes.
Some of the pieces available make thoughtful gifts for loved ones back home, or can serve as a reminder of your special trip.
Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club
Built in the 1980s as the CuisinArt Golf Resort, this Grecian-style beachfront property was one of the first luxury resorts in Anguilla.
Following a change in ownership and a few renovations, it reopened in late 2021 as the Aurora Anguilla Resort and Golf Club.
Due to its private location and direct charter service from the United States, this luxe resort is said to be popular among celebrities.
The resort is home to the only golf course on the island. The Aurora International Golf Club overlooks Rendezvous Bay with views of Saint Martin on the horizon.
The Greg Norman 18-Hole Championship Course is perfectly suited to those looking for a challenge, while the Avalon Links nine-hole course awaits beginners, families, or anyone wanting to get in a quick round.
Right by the east end of mainland Anguilla is a privately-owned island/restaurant known as Scilly Cay. To get to this tiny little gem, take the boat that departs from the Island Harbour pier.
If you can’t find the right boat, simply wait a little while for the captain to make the return journey.
Once you get to the restaurant, you need to try the grilled lobster. Crayfish and snapper are usually available too. The infamous rum punch is always affordable and plentiful, so drink up and enjoy the unbeatable atmosphere.
The cay is also known for its unique wall of stacked conch shells surrounding the island, offering a perfect photo opportunity for visitors.
Keep in mind, Scilly is usually only open on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Sundays for lunch between 11 am and 3 pm. However, guests are welcome to stay until 5 to lounge around and enjoy another drink.
Want to find out what makes Anguilla the Caribbean’s cuisine capital? Make a reservation at Veya Restaurant in Sandy Ground for an evening of fine dining.
Chef Carrie Bogar’s menu of creative and flavoursome dishes makes Veya one of the best restaurants in Anguilla.
While you can expect lots of delicious fresh seafood, there are plenty of fusion options to surprise both you and your taste buds.
Veya is one of the island’s more high-end restaurants, so feel free to dress up and make it a date night.
After dinner, head downstairs to Meze, Veya’s Moroccan-style cocktail lounge. Local musicians play between 8 pm and 10 pm from Monday to Saturday.
Blanchards Beach Shack
For more affordable cuisine, your best bet is Blanchards Beach Shack along Meads Bay. This funky beach bar is one of the top rated places on the island and offers a casual dining experience without compromising on taste.
On the menu, you’ll find fish tacos, jerk chicken sandwiches, fresh salads, Caribbean cornbread and more.
Vegan and gluten-free options are available too, as well as homemade desserts and special frozen drinks.
There’s a special happy hour menu between 4 pm and 6pm that you won’t want to miss, offering $5 sangria and rum punch, hamburger sliders, nachos, and other tasty comfort foods.
The beach shack is open from 12 pm to 8 pm from Monday to Saturday. For an extra $5, you can rent a beach chair and umbrella and hang out by the seaside for a while.
The Wallblake House is the only remaining plantation house in Anguilla. It was built in 1787, making it the oldest structure on the island.
Surrounded by a white picket fence, the building has been completely restored to its original design and now hosts a range of events including art shows and marriage ceremonies.
If you wish to get a closer look inside and learn more about the history of Anguilla, tours can be arranged upon request.
East End Pond
Located in the East End Village is a protected salt pond and conservation area. You’ll find a wide variety of flora and fauna here if you spend enough time looking around.
For instance, the limestone shores are home to a plethora of fiddler crabs. There are also sheep and goats grazing nearby the red mangroves, and green iguanas hanging out in the sunshine.
Although the pond dries out into mudflats during the summer, this attracts many shorebirds, herons and egrets. If you visit during winter, however, you may get to spot a flock of adorable ruddy ducks.
Recommended tours in Anguilla
- Traditional Sailing Adventure to Anguilla’s Prickly Pear Cays
- Half-Day Sail, Snorkel Adventure, and Lunch at Little Bay
- Best Of St Maarten Private Nightlife Tour
- SUNKISS Hydro-Flight in Anguilla