10 Reasons To Vacation In Anguilla
By Nancy Schretter, Editor
Families heading to the Caribbean often seek out islands with beautiful beaches and superb family-friendly accommodations. They’re also looking for opportunities for relaxing, enjoying unforgettable experiences, and making lifelong family vacation memories with their children and grandchildren. Anguilla offers all that ?and much more. It’s an unspoiled island paradise where families can play, unwind and renew.
Here are ten great reasons to visit Anguilla on your next family vacation.
1. Beautiful Beaches. Numerous travel publications rank Anguilla’s fabulous white sand beaches at the top of their lists of the world’s best seashores. With 33 spectacular beaches around the island, it’s difficult to choose just one favorite. Shoal Bay, Maundays Bay, Rendezvous Bay, Meads Bay, and Crocus Bay are some top spots to visit. Shoal Bay East was named the best beach in the world by The Travel Channel. Walking along this two–mile long white sand beach, it’s easy to see why. The turquoise waters are clear and calm, there are no throngs of people, and the area seems relatively untouched. It’s a great place for families to play.
2. Fabulous Luxury Resorts. Anguilla is home to a number of world–class beachfront properties, including the Viceroy Anguilla, Cap Juluca and CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa. These lavish hotels feature large rooms, suites and villas with lovely ocean views, private plunge pools, extensive spa facilities, and a wide array of amenities. With their outstanding service and superb accommodations, these five star properties are sure to please the most discerning families. The Viceroy Anguilla provides year–round complimentary children’s programs for ages 4–11 at their well–equipped Generation V vacation center. Teen events and parties are also offered during peak family travel times such as holidays and spring break. The CuisinArt Golf Resort & Spa and Cap Juluca host seasonal children’s activities for their young guests. For those seeking a smaller property, Mediterranean–style Frangipani Beach Resort is another boutique family favorite. Resorts can make babysitting arrangements with proper notice.
3. Friendly, Welcoming People. While families may initially come to Anguilla because of its beaches and resorts, the warmth of the island’s people brings them back over and over again. Anguilla residents love children. Parents and grandparents often mention the genuine concern and caring nature of staff members and islanders as a reason for returning. Once families get a taste of Anguilla, they’ll keep coming back for more.
4. Uncrowded and Unspoiled. Located less than a half–hour boat ride or flight from St. Maarten/St. Martin and St. Barths, Anguilla is easily accessible – but it feels worlds apart. Although many celebrities vacation on the island, Anguilla isn’t just for the rich and famous. Its unpretentious nature is part of the island’s charm. Just sixteen miles long and three miles wide, this British Overseas Territory is home to less than 15,000 people. There are no crowds here and a feeling of safety pervades the island. One main road runs through the center of Anguilla and there are only a few stoplights on the island. Anguilla’s building codes mandate that structures can be no higher than a palm tree, which also helps to preserve the island’s natural landscape.
5. Delectable Dining Options. Often dubbed the 揅uisine Capital of the Caribbean,?Anguilla is a top choice for foodie families and parents who love fine dining. The island has over 100 restaurants from which to choose, from upscale to casual. Beachfront dining venues combine stunning ocean panoramas with exceptional fare. Straw Hat Restaurant and Cap Juluca’s Pimms on Maundays Bay have particularly lovely views. Families often head to da’Vida Restaurant’s Bayside Grill on Crocus Bay and Smokey’s at The Cove, where kids can easily play on the beaches while parents dine. CuisinArt Resort is known for its restaurants’ outstanding dining venues and its on–property hydroponic farm growing tomatoes, lettuce, peppers and other vegetables. The resort’s restaurants are exceptional at handling food allergies and dietary restrictions. The Viceroy’s restaurants, including the Bamboo Bar & Grill, also get rave reviews. Children’s menus are readily available.
6. Villas With Lots of Family Room. Villa rentals are a great vacation option for families and multigenerational groups, and Anguilla offers over 300 vacation villas from which to choose. These range from exclusive family–friendly retreats such as the roomy eight–bedroom oceanfront Ultimacy 揝uper Villa?to upscale villa enclaves providing resort–style amenities. C锽lue Villas & Beach Resort, for example, is comprised of eight five–bedroom villas perched on a hillside overlooking Crocus Bay. While each villa has its own private pool, guests enjoy access to the property’s clubhouse and fitness center, children’s play rooms, and adjacent beach club, oceanfront restaurant and spa. Freshly made brick oven pizzas are available on–property and babysitting arrangements can be made as well.
7. Budget–Friendly Boutique Escapes. Anguilla offers for families on a more modest budget, too. Some are beachfront, including the one– and two–bedroom units at the award–winning Carimar Beach Club situated directly on magnificent Meads Bay. Others, such as Paradise Cove, are located just a short stroll away from the sea. On an island with so many high–end luxury properties, it’s nice to know that Anguilla serves up an affordable slice of heaven to fit the bill for family vacationers.
8. Awesome Activities for Families. Anguilla offers a wide array of family–friendly activities including dolphin encounters and swims, glass bottom boat rides, horseback riding, and exceptional snorkeling and diving in crystal clear waters. Top snorkeling locations include Crocus Bay, Little Bay, Sandy Island and Shoal Bay East. Playing with the dolphins at Dolphin Discovery is one of Anguilla’s most popular activities for families. Guests can choose from simple dolphin encounters to extensive swims. Be sure to make your reservations in advance, as these dolphin experiences are very popular. Sporting families will find plenty to do on Anguilla. Boating is ingrained into the island’s culture and heritage, so sailing is very popular here. Tennis is another favorite sport on Anguilla. Some of the island’s resorts have tennis courts, but families without court access can head to the Anguilla Tennis Academy for opportunities to play and instruction for both adults and children. Anguilla also has an exceptional 18–hole Greg Norman championship golf course with panoramic ocean and island views.
9. Cool Island Hopping Experiences. Day trips are popular on Anguilla, particularly those to Sandy Island or Scilly Cay. On these tiny islets not too far from shore, families can play on the beach, enjoy watersports, and dine on grilled lobster and other mouth–watering delights. For those who truly want to go island hopping and experience another culture, Dutch St. Maarten, French St. Martin and St. Barths are located just a short boat ride or quick flight away. Regularly scheduled ferry service makes day trips to St. Maarten and St. Martin easy and the pricing is reasonable as well.
10. Entertainment and Diversions. Music and dancing are part of the island scene on Anguilla, but it’s still low key. There are no casinos on Anguilla, but there are plenty of opportunities to enjoy entertainment at numerous venues around the island. Sandy Ground is Anguilla’s weekend hub with spots like The Pumphouse, Elvis’ Beach Bar and Johnno’s. Named the world’s best beach bar by CNN, Dune Preserve on Rendezvous Bay is owned by famed reggae artist Bankie Banx. Located just an easy stroll away from the CuisinArt Resort, Dune Preserve is popular place for parents to go to enjoy Bankie’s live music and watch the colorful sunsets. Live Caribbean music is often featured at the Bayside Grill and Smokey’s at The Cove as well.
Anguilla is a captivating vacation destination for families. To get a better feel for this visually stunning island, take a look at this Pinterest board. Relax as you take this virtual Anguilla vacation, then start planning your family’s next visit.
If You Go:
- For more information on Anguilla, visit the Anguilla Tourist Board site at www.ivisitanguilla.com.
- Make sure all passports are valid for at least an additional six months. Check the Anguilla Tourist Board site for more information.
- Anguilla is a particularly budget–friendly choice during the Caribbean’s low season, which conveniently occurs during the summer months. Trade winds typically keep the island breezy during this time and temperatures are often cooler than those in many U.S. cities and beach destinations. It’s a great time for families to visit.
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