Fifty Shades of Blue: Falling in Love with Tranquility on a Caribbean Island Jewel 


In “Fifty Shades of Blue” Laura Manske highlights the low-key activities, natural beauty, and tranquility of Anguilla. She also offers 43 spectacular photos to illustrate what she means by “In Anguilla, you always feel blue.”

In Anguilla, you always feel blue. And that is a good thing! The Caribbean Sea’s clear water particularly shimmers here in myriad shades, a dazzling backdrop wherever you look. Blue hues lap at sugary-soft, white-coral sand of 33 beaches and coves, all of which are public and by law accessible to everyone. Anguilla’s juxtaposition of brilliant sea and shore, fringing a flat strip of land only 16 miles long and three miles wide at its curviest bump, can almost be too beautiful on some days, when you whisper “Pinch me” and then “Pinch me again,” giddy with happiness that this dream is reality.

But that alone is not what deems Anguilla a treasured jewel. On its 35 square miles of scrubby inner terrain, masterful chefs dish up top-notch delectable fare, wooing foodies from all over the world by creating a thriving restaurant scene (with more than 100 eateries) that would be buzz-worthy anywhere yet is even more impressive in this out-of-the-way getaway.

And there is more to Anguilla’s magic, which is really about less. This self-governing British Overseas Territory in the chain of Leeward Islands, an easy half-hour ferry ride from nearby St. Maarten (where most travelers initially fly into Princess Juliana International Airport), exudes serenity. Yes, you can snorkel, sail, scuba-dive, and deep-sea fish here, as well as bicycle, bop into art galleries, and swing balls around a tennis court or golf course. But there is no casino. No wild discos. No water parks. No chockablock shopping malls. No cruise ship docking.

When the clock strikes midnight, staring at an ink-black sky scattered wide with stars is often the only bright-light nightlife.

Ultimately, though, what wraps Anguilla (pronounced ang-gwill-a; rhymes with vanilla) in stellar peacefulness and friendly flip-flop chicness are its remarkable 15,000 residents, who warmly welcome visitors, many of whom return repeatedly. [. . .]

Frequent globetrotter Laura Manske has visited most U.S. states, explored 80+ countries, and cruised 70+ ships. She loves to wander the world, unearthing travel joy, beauty, adventure, and humor through her camera lens and articles.

For full article and spectacular photos, see

[Photo credit: Laura Manske “Anguilla: Tree Sea Sailboat” (accessed on]

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