Visit Shirley Heights in Antigua for stunning views, BBQ parties, and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy sunsets, live music, and affordable drinks in this iconic spot.

Shirley Heights, Antigua and Barbuda

Visit Shirley Heights in Antigua for stunning views, BBQ parties, and vibrant atmosphere. Enjoy sunsets, live music, and affordable drinks in this iconic spot.

Matt and Britney Weidert

Matt Weidert

Shirley Heights, located above English Harbour on the southern coast of Antigua, is renowned for its spectacular views and vibrant atmosphere. This historic lookout point offers breathtaking vistas over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour, making it a must-visit destination for anyone exploring Antigua.

Where is Shirley Heights located?

Shirley Heights is situated on the southern coast of Antigua, overlooking English Harbour. The viewpoint is part of the Nelson's Dockyard National Park and is easily accessible by car or on foot. For more information, visit English Harbour.

Enjoying the view on a recent Yacht Warriors trip

Why visit Shirley Heights?

Shirley Heights is famous for its stunning panoramic views, especially at sunset. Visitors can enjoy a variety of activities and experiences that make this location a highlight of any trip to Antigua.
  • Spectacular Views: The lookout offers some of the most iconic views in Antigua, with sweeping vistas over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour. The sunset views from Shirley Heights are particularly breathtaking, drawing visitors from all over the island to witness the daily spectacle.
  • Sunset Parties: Shirley Heights is well-known for its lively BBQ parties held on Sundays and Thursdays. These events feature live music, dancing, and delicious food, creating a festive atmosphere that is perfect for socializing and enjoying the local culture. The parties often include live bands and DJs, making for a fun and memorable evening.
  • Historical Significance: The area was first used as a signal station during the War of American Independence, with soldiers stationed to spot approaching enemy ships. By 1825, the site housed over 50 structures, including barracks, artillery stations, and signal stations. Many of these structures have been restored and now serve as historical landmarks within the park.
shirley-heights-ruins.jpg 314 KB

Historical Significance

Shirley Heights was named after Sir Thomas Shirley, the Governor of the Leeward Islands who initiated its fortification in the late 18th century. The military compound included numerous structures such as Fort Shirley, barracks, officers' quarters, and a signal station. The signal system was crucial for early warnings of approaching enemy ships. Today, the restored lookout buildings serve as a restaurant and event space, hosting the famous Sunday and Thursday night parties. Read more about the history on wikipedia.
Shirley Heights after dark

What to Expect at Shirley Heights

  • BBQ Parties: The Sunday and Thursday BBQ parties are a major draw, offering a taste of local cuisine, music, and dance. These events can be a bit touristy, but the lively atmosphere and beautiful setting make it worthwhile.
  • Affordable Drinks: The bar at Shirley Heights offers a range of drinks at reasonable prices, allowing visitors to enjoy the evening without breaking the bank.
  • Tourist-Friendly: Despite being a popular tourist spot, Shirley Heights retains a charming and welcoming atmosphere. The mix of locals and tourists creates a vibrant and diverse crowd, enhancing the overall experience.

Tips for Visiting Shirley Heights

  • Transportation: If you plan to stay for the evening events, consider arranging transportation back to your accommodation or boat, especially if you are not comfortable hiking back in the dark.
  • Timing: Arrive early to secure a good spot for the sunset and enjoy the full range of activities and performances. It can get very busy!


Shirley Heights is a must-visit destination in Antigua, offering stunning views, lively parties, and a memorable experience. Whether you hike up for the adventure or drive up for the convenience, the breathtaking sunset and vibrant atmosphere are sure to be highlights of your trip.
  • Views: Spectacular panoramic views over English Harbour and Falmouth Harbour.
  • Events: BBQ parties with live music on Sundays and Thursdays.
  • Activities: Historical tours, dancing, and socializing in a picturesque setting.
For more detailed information about English Harbour and nearby attractions, check out English Harbour.

Antigua and Barbuda charter planning?

Consider booking with the Yacht Warriors.