The Caribbean has a major new destination: Nelson’s Dockyard in Antigua, the region’s newest UNESCO World Heritage Site.
While it’s long been a destination for travelers in the know, for those in search of one of the most fascinating sites in the Caribbean, the UNESCO designation gives Nelson’s Dockyard a major new validation, and could be a boon for Antigua tourism.
It’s officially known as the Antiguan Naval Dockyard and Related Archaeological Site, consisting of a group of Georgian-style naval buildings and structures in a walled enclosure.
It was a significant strategic position for the British Navy in the early 1700s, thanks to its protected harbor and position at the south of the island.
From 1784 through 1787, Horatio Nelson was sent to Antigua to enforce British law in the colonies; when the site’s restoration began in the 1950s, it was renamed Nelson’s Dockyard.
But the area is also a wonderful tourist destination in its own right, with several charming small hotels led by our favorite, the Admiral’s Inn (which expanded several years ago with its jaw-dropping Gunpowder Suites) along with art galleries, restaurants and museums and remains a big yachting draw.
And no visit to the area is complete without stopping at Shirley Heights Lookout, atop a hillside in view of the dockyard, and home to a very popular Sunday barbecue party.