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Anguilla as a vacation destination can be described as a "best of both worlds" Caribbean paradise. 

For the traveler whose vacation dream is simply walking along a stretch of powdery white sand, Anguilla's 33 beaches are in a class by themselves. Grab a book, grab a drink, and decompress in near-perfect 80-degree temperatures.

For the traveler who likes to take in all that a destination has to offer, Anguilla aims to please. Scenic diversions range from boat charters, island hopping, snorkeling, scuba diving, fishing, paddle boarding, golf, tennis, ATV routes, horseback riding, and a nightlife scene offering legendary food, music, and drink.

Anguila, blue sea
Visitors to Anguillan are often drawn to the stunning ocean, exploring the water on sailboats and catamarans. © Angelita Niedziejko / Getty Images

Anguilla By Sea

A day trip to Prickly Pear Cays is one of Anguilla's most popular island excursions. Imagine arriving on an uninhabited white sand beach that is perfect for snorkeling. Swim, birdwatch, sip a cocktail, or go exploring on Prickly Pear. Top off your day with a scrumptious meal at the Prickly Pear Bar & Restaurant. Excursions can be booked through boat charter services such as Calypso Charters Anguilla.

The Gourmet Catamaran Excursion is smooth sailing aboard a luxury cruising boat. You and seven other passengers will enjoy an itinerary featuring ocean views, beaches, and gastronomy. On your trip, you'll view Anguilla's best beaches, islands, and cays, with opportunities to snorkel, paddleboard, and kayak, although the highlight of the adventure just might be the four-course gourmet lunch served aboard.

Yellow sunset at the beach with a sailboat in view
Cruises are offered during the day or evening, and can last from a few hours to an entire afternoon. © Alberto Guglielmi / Getty Images

Since 1984, vacationers have made the half-day trip to Sandy Island an integral part of their Anguilla escape. Departing from Sandy Ground, your arrival at this one-mile strip of sand might feel like stepping into "Robinson Crusoe." Once your toes are in the sand, enjoy drinks, food, music, and chats with the occasional yachtie coming on-site to see what's happening.

Additionally, many accommodation options on the island make exploring the ocean easy. The Carimar Beach Club, for example, has a concierge that can help you book excursions and offers free rentals of snorkeling equipment. Or, simply enjoy the easy beach access offered by most hotels such as Royal Palms Holiday Suites, which also features a secluded pool. 

Anguilla By Land

Most vacationers are surprised to learn that Anguilla is home to a world-class golf course. Seven of the 18 holes at the Greg Norman-designed Aurora International Golf Club are along the ocean, with panoramic views of St. Maarten. Aurora's Mediterranean-style clubhouse deck also delivers amazing views after your round. 

For tennis lovers, there's the Anguilla Tennis Academy located near Blowing Point. This ultra-modern facility features six courts, a locker room, and a pro shop. Just to remind you that you're playing tennis in Anguilla, the facility is surrounded by palm trees. 

Seaside Stables Anguilla is a private ranch, and it's the place to go for anyone who has ever dreamed of riding a horse along a deserted beach. Seaside's Paso Fino horses are said to be some of the most gentle and smoothest riding horses in the world.

One way to enjoy Anguilla’s white-sand beaches and turquoise ocean is while on a horseback ride along the shore. © nomis_h / Shutterstock

Anguilla on wheels

One of the best ways to experience Anguilla is to rent a car and just drive. When you see a photo opportunity - pull over. When you see an exciting restaurant - pull over. When you see an entrance sign for a secluded beach or snazzy hotel - pull over. There is a $25 fee for a temporary driver's license while on the island. Most rental car companies will deliver your desired ride right to your hotel.

If you're a vacationer who likes a bit of flair in their automobile, look into renting a Moke from Moke Anguilla. These open-air vehicles are a cross between a golf cart and a jeep. Mokes display a rainbow of colors and tout colorful names such as "Mango," "Starfish," and "Flamingo."

Malliouhana Resort on Meads Bay sits on 25 luxurious acres. A pedaling tour is a relaxing way to take in the resort amenities, flowers, and landscape. Hop on a cruiser bicycle and make your way along their paved bike paths threading throughout the property.

Trying a new activity on Anguilla

If your children accompany you on your Anguilla vacation, consider signing them up for a sailing lesson with the Anguilla Youth Sailing Club. After checking in on the beach at Sandy Ground, a certified instructor will train your child on one of their Hobie Cat sailboats.

If you've never tried stand-up paddleboarding, then Anguilla Watersports will make a believer out of you. Their instructors teach newbies about technique, balance, and building your core strength. Anguilla's calm waters are the perfect place to learn this fun and relaxing sport.

The calm waters in Anguilla make it an ideal spot to stand-up paddleboard, especially for beginners. © Aleksei Potov / Shutterstock

Wouldn't it be great to bring your favorite Anguilla beach memory home with you? AnguillArts offers painting classes and parties by the Caribbean Sea. Contact owner Karen Vendetti for details on setting up a painting party or attending one of her classes. 

Anguilla By Night

For some, an Anguilla island vacation is all about making a magic moment. One of the best places to take in an Anguilla sunset is the aptly named Sunset Lounge at the Four Seasons. Located on dreamy Barnes Bay, this bar and restaurant proposes toasting your sunset experience with one of their vintage rums. 

Speaking of rum, discover a new favorite by attending the Rum Master Class at the Aurora Anguilla Resort. Peruse their extensive selection of white rums, dark rums, and premium-aged rums. When in Anguilla, sip as the Anguillans do.

On your final night on the island, go all out at reggae legend Bankie Banx's Dune Preserve. This beach bar on Rendezvous Bay is a tribute to driftwood construction, live music, and all things Caribbean. Order up a plate of delicious barbecue and a refreshing rum punch. Even once you've returned home, there's still Bankie's song "Still in Paradise" to remind you of your Anguillan adventures.

Sponsored by Anguilla Tourist Board

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This story was crafted collaboratively between Anguilla Tourist Board and Lonely Planet. Both parties provided research and curated content to produce this story. We disclose when information isn’t ours.

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