How can a "must do" experience on an island be leaving the island? When it's visiting the one-of-a-kind, totally off-the-beaten-path island of Montserrat. A modern day Pompeii, Montserrat used to be an emerald gem in the crown of the Caribbean. Rock royalty such as the Rolling Stones, the Police, and Dire Straights frequented the island to record at the legendary Air Studios. The rich and glamorous flocked to see and be seen in the capital of Plymouth.
Then the island was devastated by a hurricane in 1989, but the knockdown blow didn't come until 1995 when Montserrat’s Soufriere Hills Volcano suddenly erupted, burying Plymouth under several meters of ash and turning nearly half of the island into an exclusion zone.
The Montserrat that has emerged in the years since is a very different destination. Gone is the celebrity cache that came with the jet-set days of the 1970s and '80s. Now expect an overabundance of quiet, lush green hills, and pitch-black sand beaches all to yourself.
Day trips from Antigua are easy to book, so definitely don't miss sampling this curious neighbor.