Beaches of Anguilla
Concierge.com's insider take:
There are at least 33 talcum white beaches encircling the 35 square miles of Anguilla, but even at the height of the tourist season, you'll find dozens of deserted strands and a beach for every mood: long for walking, calm for snorkeling, secluded for snuggling, quiet for meditating. Others are bustling with bistros, beach bars, live music, and water sports facilities. Mercifully though, jet skis are not allowed. The most popular beach is Shoal Bay on the northeast coast, two miles of gently sloping white sand and turquoise waters with a coral reef sprouting from one end, numerous beach bars and several reasonably priced hotels. Although large cruise ships are banned, Shoal Bay East is the busiest of Anguilla s beaches, as day trippers from St. Martin often fill the chairs, mainly around Uncle Ernie's and Madeariman restaurants next to the Ku hotel and watersports center. But take a leisurely walk east to discover more quiet shores beyond Elodia's Bar & Grill and the point as far as Gwen's. Center island on the east coast, Road Bay hosts the busy commercial port and village of Sandy Ground, especially lively weekends with its string of beach bars and casual restaurants from Johnno's and Elvis', to Roy's and the Barrel Stay, and for night owls the Pumphouse across the road. On the southwest coast is the long, wide stretch of Maundays Bay with calm waters perfect for water skiing and smooth sails. Although it's home to luxury resort Cap Juluca, Anguillan law requires all beaches to have public access. Also along the southwest coast with views of St. Martin are Rendezvous Bay (the island's longest), Merrywing, and Shoal Bay West, the last two busily undergoing construction. Along the northwest coast is Meads Bay, another long silky strand. Sandy Hill, on the west coast above The Valley, and Little Bay, to the east, are small coves good for snorkeling, the first easily reached by road, the latter only accessible by boat or down a steep cliff at the road's edge. The crashing waves, karst rock, and wild frangipani at the far eastern end of the island make Captain's Bay and Windward Point dramatic and scenic, but dangerous for swimming.