OUR PERSONAL GUIDE TO BRITISH VIRGIN ISLAND BEACH BARS
This is the land of the beach bar, and nearly anywhere you anchor or tie up in the BVI, there’s a good chance you’ll find at least one just a short dinghy ride away. Wherever you’re limin’, you can count on a few beach bar basics: lots of rum drinks, cold beer, simple seafood and local island dishes, music, and a laid-back atmosphere. The following list is not comprehensive. If we’ve left out your favorite, or if you discover a new favorite, please let us know. Cheers!
Cane Garden Bay
Quito’s Gazebo is owned by Quito Rhymer, an extremely popular local reggae singer/songwriter who often performs here, both solo and with his band, The Edge. On Wednesday evenings there’s a fish fry.
An amble down the beach will bring you to Al Henley’s Big Banana Paradise Club, Rhymer’s Beach Bar, Stanley’s Welcome Bar, and Myett’s Garden and Grill. All offer drinks and meals, as well as live music on selected nights. Happily for those anchored nearby, the bars try to alternate the nights on which they have bands. The way sound travels across the water, two steel bands playing at the same time would not be music to even the most enthusiastic ears!
West End/Sopers Hole
Pusser’s Landing & Company Store has two restaurants, a variety of shops, and a popular bar. When you order your first Pusser’s Painkillerthat seductive blend of rum, orange and pineapple juices, and coconut creamask for a card. When you’ve visited three different Pusser’s bars and had a Painkiller at each one, you’ll receive a Pusser’s Triangle pennant to fly from your boat or hang at home!
Bomba’s Surfside Shack takes the art of ramshackle beach bar to a new level. An evening hereespecially if it’s for one of the monthly Full Moon Partiesis an experience not soon forgotten (unless, perhaps, if you have a bit too much of Bomba’s infamous mushroom tea). A landmark since 1976, Bomba’s is the real deal.
Back in the 1960s and 1970s, The Pub, below Fort Burt Hotel, was the original bar here. Its popularity waned in subsequent years, but it’s made quite a comeback and is again a lively spot, especially on weekends.
There’s a Pusser’s here, too (the second point in Pusser’s Tortola “triangle”), as well as bars at Village Cay Marina and Mariner Inn and many other spots, but they’re not really beach bars. That said, lots of charterers make a tradition of having a drink at one of them when starting and finishing a cruise.
The Last Resort was actually the first: Since the first charterer chartered the first charter boat in the BVI, it has been the place for live entertainment. Founder Tony Snell and his wife Jackie have handed the reins over to their daughter and her husband, who now put more emphasis on the restaurant, but there’s still great live entertainment every evening. De Loose Mongoose is another popular yachtie hangout.
On Trellis Bay’s south shore, there’s an appealing jumble of local shops, artists’ studios, bars, and restaurants. If you’re here when the moon is full, don’t miss the Full Moon party, held every month. Large “fireballs” are set alight and there’s dancing on the beach well into the night.
Now owned by Pusser’s (the third point in the triangle), this famous island resort has a bar at the very top of the island that’s great for sundowners. There’s live music some nights, too.
If you’re looking for a wild and crazy party, you’ll most likely find it here. Expect the unexpected on board The Willie T, home to plenty of drinking and ribald antics. This 100-foot steel schooner anchored in the Bight is legendary for shenanigans. Some patrons seem to feel compelled to liberate their clothing, and until a few years ago (when a customer almost drowned), anyone who jumped off the top deck au naturel received a free T shirt. This is not the place for the faint of heart, and it’s definitely not recommended for kids.
For a more relaxed way to watch the sunset, head to Pirate’s Bight, where the choice of drinks includes every exotic frozen concoction you can imagine. Happy Hour is very popular here, and there’s also live music and dancing.
Set on beautiful Machioneel Beach, the popular restaurant and bar at Cooper Island Beach Club is a very appealing place to have a drink and watch the sun go down over Drake Channel.
JOST VAN DYKE
If you were to jump overboard with money in your pocket, you’d end up with some soggy dollars. And that’s exactly how the Soggy Dollar Bar got its name. Since there is no dock here, patrons have been known to do the Australian crawl to sundowners (and you thought the crawl came only after visiting a few bars!). The Soggy Dollar is where the Painkiller was actually invented, and they’re still famous for them. Order one and settle into one of the hammocks.
If you’ve heard of just one Virgin Islands beach bar, chances are it’s Foxy’s Tamarind Bar. Ed remembers bringing his charterers here in the 1970s to listen to Foxy play true calypso music while everyone feasted on lobsters at one long table. Since then Foxy has become a legend and his bar has grown enormously. Foxy still plays here, often in the afternoon, but these days the place is run by Foxy and Tessa’s daughter. She books all kinds of talented local bands and musicians who play late into the night. Be sure to bring something personal to tack to the ceiling. Business cards, hats, and all sorts of other tokensand yes, even underwearhang above the tables. Foxy’s isn’t for everyone, but most people at least stop for a drink so they can say they’ve been to Foxy’s.
There are several established local beach hangouts here, including the restaurant/bars Abe’s by the Sea, Sidney’s Peace and Love, and Harris’ Place. All are laid-back places to enjoy a drink and some local seafood, burgers, or West Indian dishes.
Little Jost Van Dyke
Foxy’s Taboo is also owned by iconic raconteur Foxy Callwood, and you’re more likely to find him here than at his original bar, Foxy’s Tamarind Bar in Great Harbour. This newer bar is the “in” place these days, but it can be a rough spot to anchor or moor in unsettled weather. The food here shows a Mediterranean influence.
You’ll often find live music and dancing at The Bath and Turtle Pub, a pleasant patio tavern located on the Yacht Harbour.
A great place to relax with a drink after snorkeling in the Baths is Poor Man’s Bar. The menu offers sandwiches, hot dogs, and burgers.
You’ll find a great beach barbecue, complete with live music and entertainment, in Leverick Bay every Friday.
Set on Vixen Point Beach in Prickly Pear Island National Park, the Sand Box Seafood Bar & Grille is a casual place serving lunch and dinner. They also provide moorings, ice, and showers.
The well-known Bitter End, a large, luxurious, full-service resort, offers water-sports facilities, shops, a poolside bar, a fine-dining restaurant, and the English-style Crawl Pub. You’ll often find live music and entertainment here, too.
On the tiny island of Saba Rock you’ll find an excellent bar and restaurant of the same name. It’s especially popular for two-for-one drinks during Happy Hour as it offers an ideal spot from which to watch the sun set over The Sound.
If you’re swimming at Loblolly Bay, base yourself close to The Big Bamboo. It serves great lunches and its large outdoor bar is just a couple of sandy steps from the beach.
The closest bar to the dock is Anegada Reef Hotel, Restaurant and Bar. Have a drink at the casual, popular bar, but if you’re planning to stay for their famous lobster, be sure to let them know ahead of time!
A bit farther down the beach, Neptune’s Treasure is a quieter restaurant and bar. It does get quite lively on weekends thanks to an influx of Tortola residents looking for a little R & R.
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