With panoramic views of the small island and the vast Caribbean, Shirley Heights is Antigua’s most popular lookout point. Visitors often go up for views of the sunset and stay for live music and drinks at the on-site bar and restaurant.
Shirley Heights is a popular stop on basic tours of the island’s highlights, which range from Jeep tours to driving-and-boat combos. Private tours allow you to add an extended stop at the lookout onto the day’s customized itinerary, ensuring plenty of time to snap photos and enjoy the sunset. As a landmark within the historic Shirley Heights military complex, history-themed tours also typically include the lookout, along with Nelson’s Dockyard and Betty’s Hope sugar plantation.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Shirley Heights is ideal for first-time visitors to Antigua, landscape photographers, and anyone wanting to catch a spectacular Caribbean sunset.
- The lookout is often visited in conjunction with English Harbour.
- The on-site bar and restaurant offers a full menu and is known for its homemade jerk chicken.
- The lookout is not accessible to wheelchair users.
How to Get There
Shirley Heights is located just southeast of English Harbour, a 30-minute drive south of the airport. Take Sir Sydney Walling Highway to Jonas Road and drive to the top of the hill.
When to Get There
With panoramic views of the Caribbean, the lookout point is most popular at sunset—and the views are worth braving the sunset crowds. On Thursday nights the Lookout Restaurant hosts a steel drum band, and Sunday nights feature two live bands, dancing, and a barbecue feast. Antigua is busiest from December to April, when storms and hurricanes are less frequent. For a quieter trip, visit during the off-season, May to November.
Music to the Ears
Originating from Trinidad, the steel pan is a percussion instrument made from 55-gallon industrial drums and is an integral part of Caribbean culture and daily life on the island of Antigua. Shirley Heights is by far the most picturesque spot to catch a live performance, which typically features up to 14 pannists who play under the night sky.