Shirley Heights Sunday Barbecue


When staying at one of the marvelous all-inclusive resorts in Antigua you will feel like you might not need to leave the comfort of your beach chair.  You will have everything that you need on property.  But, if your stay includes a Sunday I recommend getting out of that chair and making a trip to experience the sights, sounds and culture with the most famous view on the island of Antigua and probably throughout the Caribbean.  You won’t regret it. 

At the most southerly tip of Antigua you will find Shirley Heights.  Shirley Heights refers to the military complex along the whole ridge leading up to the Lookout that commands a breathtaking panoramic view overlooking the English Harbor and Nelson’s Dockyard. The complex is mainly in ruins, except for the Lookout which began restoration in 1981 and is open from 9 am to 10 pm for lunch and dinner every day except Monday when it closes at sundown.  Sunday evenings are known as the islands ‘biggest and best party’.  The evening begins at 4pm with the live steel band music that later turns to reggae, soca and calypso music.  You will also find vendors with local crafts, delicious barbecue, a bar and did I mention the views?

Most hotels offer a shuttle service to this event for an additional fee. You can also arrange a private taxi from your hotel or if you would like a unique tour of the island on your way to Shirley Heights I highly recommend Nnieke’s Taxi service (268) 720-7034 (  There is an additional fee (usually around $8 pp) to get into the park and all the money goes to preservation of the historical site. 

I would recommend getting to the party early.  Tourists young and old from all over the world come to this event.  We saw a few families early in the evening, but it is challenging to have a stroller to push around on the cobblestones.  By arriving early you can get some amazing pre-sunset pictures and enjoy the surrounding nature trails, food and drinks.  The food lines for local entrees such as grilled jerk chicken can get long, but move pretty quick.  There is an outside and inside bar where you can try the local Wadadli beer, English Harbor Rum, a fruity concoction, soda or water as needed.  Make sure you have cash for the food, bar and local vendors (US currency is accepted).  There is an assortment of vendors selling gifts such as wood carvings, colorful jewelry hot sauces (the preferred brand is Susie’s Hot Sauce).

Even if you are not there to eat, drink and shop the views and music make it worthwhile.  The bands play a variety of music.  I even heard a steel band’s version of a Frank Sinatra song.  (don’t forget the bands always appreciate tips)

The evening concludes at 10pm and you can head back to your resort to make sure you get a good sleep before you head to your beach chair the next morning.  You don’t want to miss Shirley Heights that overlooks the English Harbor with a view of Montserrat and Guadeloupe.  It’s the perfect setting for residents and visitors alike to congregate on Sundays for the liveliest party in Antigua. 

Contact Us:

If you are ready to be a part of this event, contact us at Wanderlust Travel Boutique to get the party started.

Jamie Jackson: (336) 263-1977 or

Travel Concierge at Wanderlust Travel Boutique

At Wanderlust Travel Boutique, we will create a truly personalized, hassle-free vacation with a comprehensive itinerary so you can enjoy an unforgettable experience.

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