Planning a Family Vacation in Anguilla

Anguilla is, like many Caribbean islands, a wonderful destination for families. The beaches are beautiful, with sugary white sand. The calm turquoise sea is clear and ideal for snorkeling, and the island is not too commercialized. If you are planning a family vacation to Anguilla in the future, here’s what you need to know.

2017 Hurricane Damage to Anguilla

Most people remember the devastation caused by the 2017 hurricane season when Hurricane Irma swept through the Caribbean. Anguilla was one of the islands that was badly affected, but it has most hotels, villas, and resorts have already reopened. The island’s main ferry port was destroyed, but ferry services are running between Anguilla and St Maarten while the terminal is rebuilt. The airport has reopened, and visitors can still catch flights between Anguilla and the nearby islands.

Why Families Love Anguilla’s Beaches

A beach vacation on Anguilla is perfect for families with kids. There are 33 beaches in Anguilla, most of which are ideal for families. All beaches are open to the public, even the beaches adjacent to the big resort hotels, so you can sunbathe and swim practically anywhere.

  • Shoal Beach is popular with tourists, but it can get a bit crowded when day trippers from St. Maarten arrive. There are plenty of food outlets and rental shops if the kids want to try snorkeling. Take some cash with you, as most outlets are cash-only. If you want a beach with a plentiful supply of burger joints and snack bars, Shoal Bay is ideal.
  • Barnes Bay is nice and quiet, perfect for families with younger children. There are no rocks or coarse sand, so little ones will be able to play safely. The water is calm and shallow for swimming and splashing around.
  • Dropsey Bay is perfect for beginning snorkelers. The waves are mellow, and you are never more than knee-deep when you venture out. There are lots of fish to see under the water and the kids will have a ball!
  • Savannah Bay is nice and quiet, but perfect for a day of beachcombing and looking for shells or sea glass.

Avoid Captain’s Bay! Although it’s very scenic and you can sometimes spot whales basking offshore, there is a powerful undertow.

Staying on Anguilla

There are hundreds of small hotels, resorts, and villas in Anguilla. Most have reopened following the 2017 hurricane season, but a few of the larger resorts are still undergoing renovation programs. If you are travelling with kids, a villa is your best choice. Look through the wide variety of Anguilla villas and select one in a quiet location, preferably on the beach. Kids can come and go as they please while you relax. It’s much easier to cater for fussy eaters when you are free to prepare food at your villa, but you can still eat out at local restaurants if you need a break from cooking.

Don’t forget to introduce the kids to water sports while you are vacationing on the island. Snorkeling is great, but older kids may enjoy kite-surfing – book lessons if your kids have never tried it before.