The British Virgin Islands (BVI) are more than just a yachter’s paradise. They’re a beach bar lover’s dream. Here are five of our favorite quintessentially Caribbean spots to enjoy all the rum cocktails you could hope for, in fun, unusual settings.
1. Bomba’s Surfside Shack
This Tortola institution really is a shack made of cast-off materials like surfboards. It’s also one of the liveliest spots in the BVI, especially during their monthly Full Moon Party. The ramshackle nature of the place is part of Bomba’s charm. You can just kick back and soak up some sun, sand, and rum punch anytime. Or try the magic mushroom tea, which purports to have psychotropic qualities.
2. Foxy’s Tamarind Bar
This Jost Van Dyke beach bar is legendary for its weekend festivities, great barbecue, and Foxy himself. The man knows how to tell a great story, sing a great song, and throw a never-ending party. It’s rare that the place isn’t packed with people enjoying specialty drinks like the Sly Fox, made with its own rum, or drinking one of its house-made microbrews. The original Great Harbour location has proved to be so popular, it added another bar (Foxy’s Taboo) in Diamond Cay.
3. Pirate’s Bight
If you’re looking for good food, good drinks, and a great relaxing setting, look no further than this Norman Island gem. The crowd here is more laid back and less raucous than at the neighboring Willy T’s (more on that next), and the atmosphere is more upscale — but not dressy or stuffy. Be sure to get here in time to hear the cannon shot at happy hour, then sit back with a rum punch and enjoy the waterfront view.
4. Willy T’s
This is the place everyone warns you about when you visit Norman Island. The Willy T (short for William Thornton) is a bar and restaurant located on an anchored hull of a schooner. You’ll find a hard-partying crowd here most any night, though it’s more subdued at lunch. Don’t be surprised if people start jumping off the top deck after the rum’s been flowing for a while; it’s kind of a tradition here. Good luck finding your boat after a visit to Willy T’s!
5. Soggy Dollar Bar
Dock your boat in White Bay and swim to this Jost Van Dyke hotspot. It’s the only way to get there, hence the name. Soggy Dollar claims to be the originator of the Painkiller, the BVI’s deliciously deadly rum, coconut, and pineapple concoction that goes down easy but sneaks up on you in a hurry. Pull up a chaise in the sand, a sofa in the shade, or just drop down at the water’s edge and settle in for a long day of doing nothing but relaxing.
Find your piece of paradise — and enough rum to sink a ship — at one of these fabulous, fun beach bars. They surely prove that the BVI knows how to have a good time.