A Kids’s Perspective: Living on Antigua in the Caribbean West Indies

Katherine Woodhouse in her school uniform at Curtain Bluff Resort on Antigua
Katherine Woodhouse in her school uniform at Curtain Bluff Resort on Antigua

Every parent knows that their kids’ happiness is key to a successful vacation. That’s why the vast majority of parents traveling with kids polled for the MMGY Portrait of the American Traveler report. Their kids influence where they go on vacation, where they stay and what they do when they get there.

Kids love hearing from other kids, especially those who live where they are going. Katherine Woodhouse, 10, has lived her entire life on the Caribbean island of Antigua  where her mom is the resident manager of the Curtain Bluff Resort. Because Antigua was so lucky to avoid damage in the 2017 hurricane season, it is greeting more visitors as other islands recoup at resorts and on cruise ships.

Eileen interviewed Katherine recently and here her take on the Caribbean island she calls home:

WHAT SHOULD KIDS WHO ARE COMING TO ANTIGUA FOR THE FIRST TIME KNOW?

There are 365 beaches and they are beautiful, the water is warm and the sun is very hot—you need sunscreen.

Everyone speaks English but also a dialect called Patois. Most people are really friendly.

Here Fig is another name for a banana.

Don’t be scared of the little lizards that run around. They won’t do anything.

Mermaid Gardens at Galleon Beach on Antigua
Mermaid Gardens at Galleon Beach on Antigua

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE BEACH?

Half Moon Bay—there is a calm side—you can do more things, swim and play with toys in the water.  But the other side of the beach you can surf and boogie board.

I also like Galleon Beach because you can hike up to Mermaid Gardens. There is a beautiful rock pool. You can jump off into the ocean and have a nice relaxing day. 

WHAT SHOULD KIDS DO IN ANTIGUA?

Water sports!  Cades Reef is my favorite place to snorkel.  Look for Rainbow Fish! Boat tours are fun because you get to go  snorkeling and then you stay for the rest of the day and  swim around the boat.

One of my favorite places is Zipline on Figtree Drive in the rain forest.

Kids should go to Stingray City  on the East side of the island. There is a boat that takes you out to the floating dock and you jump in and swim with the stingrays and feed them.

Tennis courts at Curtain Bluff Resort on Antigua
Tennis courts at Curtain Bluff Resort on Antigua

WHAT SPORTS DO YOU LIKE?

Soccer — we call it football —tennis, golf and watersports, of course. I like to sail and take sailing lessons. Since it’s always warm, we can do sports outside all year. At school we have PE outside all year! 

WHAT SHOULD KIDS EAT?

Mangos!  I love everything with mangos when they are in season.  

Kids coming to Antigua should try new food We eat a lot of West Indian Curry and Jerk Pork. Most of the kids on the island eat spicy food because we’re used to it.

And at Dennis’s Beach Bar and Grill next to Darkwood beach, try Conch Fritters  —good for fries too!

WHAT SHOULD KIDS TAKE TO THE BEACH?

A cooler with some food and water.

If you forget sunscreen, use mud.

WHAT SHOULD KIDS DO AT CURTAIN BLUFF?

Take tennis lessons—all the pros teach kids—and go out on the snorkeling boat.

Delicious Chocolate Lava Cake at Curtain Bluff Resort
Delicious Chocolate Lava Cake at Curtain Bluff Resort

WHAT SHOULD KIDS EAT AT CURTAIN BLUFF?

The best desert is the chocolate lava cake!

The best for lunch is the pasta they make right there and the fish.

If you aren’t a vegetarian, their steak is  really, really good.

And there is a West Indian breakfast buffet every Sunday—I like pumpkin fritters and johnnie cakes — we call them Bakes

WHAT SHOULD KIDS GET FOR A SOUVENIR?

St John (the largest town and capital) is crowded, but it’s the place for souvenirs. If you aren’t coming on a cruise ship, try to come when there aren’t many people there.

Get a little keychain that has the Antiguan flag on it or Antigua on it, so you can have a piece of Antigua wherever you go.

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