Food and Drink in Anguilla
You'll tender ashore at Sandy Ground, a small village lining a calm beach with a number of beach bars, including Elvis, Johnno's and SandBar -- all fine spots for "limin'" away the day. Captain Jojo will take you on the 5-minute cruise over to deserted Sandy Island, where grilled crawfish, barbecue chicken and ribs are on the menu. At Rendezvous Bay, the aptly named SunShine Shack straddles a sublime beach and serves island-style barbecue heaped with sides of rice and peas, coleslaw and plantains. At Meads Bay, Blanchards has been an island favorite since it opened in 1994, and the adjacent Beach Shack serves lunches of blackened mahi salad, jerk chicken sandwiches and street tacos.
There is no shortage of terrific restaurants on Anguilla, and more upscale options include Jacala at Meads Bay, a favorite for island regular Martha Stewart. The menu includes wakame-marinated tuna carpaccio, salad Nicoise, lobster club sandwiches and steak tartare prepared tableside. Hibernia, located on Anguilla's East End at Island Harbour, serves contemporary French cuisine with a strong Thai and Japanese influence. Come here for freshly smoked Caribbean fish served with a horseradish-ginger cream, grilled mahi mahi coated with salted almonds and lobster tail roasted with miso and black garlic sauce.
Beaches in Anguilla
There are no less than 33 beaches encircling Anguilla. Sandy Ground, where you'll tender in, might not quite make the island's top 10, but the ones ranking higher set a very high bar.
Best for Active Types:
At Crocus Bay, the Italian restaurant Da'Vida has water sports equipment for hire, including kayaks, paddle-boards, sunfish and snorkel gear, and you can hire a boat for a 5-minute shuttle to Little Bay, a tiny pocket of sand tucked into cliffs offering good snorkeling.
Best for a Weekend Visit:
Worth a special trip is Shoal Bay, 5 miles east of Road Town, with loamy sand and gentle beach bars bumping with reggae or jazz, especially on Sunday afternoons. Even more laid-back, Rendezvous Bay is 7 miles west and offers a broad arc of sand with posh resorts at one end. Rendezvous is fine for strolling, with the rugged profile of St. Martin rising in the distance.
Don't Miss in Anguilla
CuisinArt Golf Club: Being arid and rocky, Anguilla shouldn't be the place for a golf course. But this 18-hole course, which was part of a development that went awry following the 2008/2009 financial meltdown and acquired by the adjacent resort, comes with a promise of cerulean seas as its backdrop. While not one of the region's top courses, it is Greg Norman-designed and well-maintained enough to have lured known golf-lovers such as former President Bill Clinton. Just one question: Why is a golf club named after a kitchen blender? Answer: The founder of the home appliance company owns the resort next door. (Rendezvous Bay; 264-498-2000)
Anguilla Heritage Collection: This small but charming museum, located out on the east end, traces Anguilla's history -- from Amerindian settlements to English colonization, and from the lean days of the salt and phosphate trade to the 1967 Anguilla Revolution. (The revolt -- a comedy of errors when Anguilla rebelled against independence from Britain -- caused a scuffle with the island of St. Kitts.) A surprising amount of history and color is packed into the collection, a labor of love for local historian Colville Petty OBE, who is often present to guide visitors through the museum. (East End; 264-235-7440; 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday-Saturday.
Guided Hikes with Anguilla National Trust: Launched to sustain the island's cultural and natural heritage, the National Trust conducts hiking tours around Anguilla, on request. One easy hike visits Big Spring, where rock walls are covered with more than 100 Amerindian petroglyphs, providing insight into some of the Caribbean's original inhabitants. Other tours include bird-watching and a walking tour of The Valley, the island's main settlement. Tours must be booked 48 hours in advance, by calling 264-497-5297 or via email: firstname.lastname@example.org. (Albert Lake Drive, The Valley; 264-497-5297; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday-Friday)