Winter may still be howling in the Great White North, but the weather's fine on Anguilla, the up-until-now secret beach getaway for the likes of Liam Neeson, Paul McCartney and Denzel Washington.
The island is wonderfully less travelled, highly cultured and also high on the list of safest places in the British Caribbean. Here, five reasons to visit.
1. The beaches
There are 33 of them—on an island that's only 91 square kilometres. Barnes Bay, Meads Bay, Shoal Bay and West End Bay are among the most scenic. Or take a quick speed boat to Scilly Cay, a rustic islet just off shore with swimmable beachfront and a restaurant, serving fresh daily catch and lobster on the barbecue with live music.
2. The tunes
The island is a music lover's paradise, with Bankie Banx the island's premier reggae musician and resident poet lauded as the Bob Dylan of Anguilla leading the charge. Banx, who also hosts the annual Moonsplash reggae festival, has his own outpost, Bankie Banx's Dune Preserve, but he plays all over the island. There are plenty of other local musicians performing fast-beat soca, calypso and reggae at local hangouts such as Pumphouse or Straw Hat. Tip: Thursday is the new Friday – the night to catch some of the island's best live music acts. www.bankiebanx.net
3. The food
Banx's club is just down the road from the CuisinArt Golf Resort and Spa—the Cuisinart of culinary fame, where you can take cooking lessons, then dine on your creations and spend the night. In November, The Reef by CuisinArt opened, a boutique extension of its sister property with 80 suites. www.thereefbycuisinart.com
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