Soggy Dollar Bar, situated on a tiny island called Jost Van Dyke in the British Virgin Islands, gives a whole new meaning to swim-up beach bar. This fun little place is renowned among beach bums and rum lovers and was even featured in Kenny Chesney’s song “Somewhere in the Sun”. The only way to reach the bar is by swimming, so be sure to bring a life-ring when you go so you can swim back with ease.
Swim Up to Rum Paradise
Rum lovers rejoice! This bar is home to the original Painkiller—a sweet rum cocktail that attracts visitors from around the world. Rent a charter boat to White Bay, where the bar is located, and see what it’s all about. There is no dock and White Bay is a protected area, so unless your charter boat has a dinghy to beach the island, boats can only anchor about six to ten feet from shore (depending on the drift). Prepare to jump out of the boat like out of a James Bond movie and swim to shore. The bar actually got its name from patrons who decided to bring cash and whose dollar bills got soaked during the swim. If you can’t swim, don’t worry. These days, charter boats contain certified lifeguards who will help you into a life-ring and tow you to the island.
The Original Painkiller
The Soggy Dollar’s famous signature drink, the Painkiller, originated here in 1970 and locals swear it cures all pains. Be sure to order two or three rounds at once, as you won’t get enough of this cocktail and it can get very busy during the day. You can enjoy your drink in one of the many beach hammocks, on the soft white sand, in the crystal-clear, warm water, or by the bar while eating lunch. The Soggy Dollar is laid-back and friendly to everyone.
The New Soggy Dollar Rum
Things to Do at the Soggy Dollar Bar
Soggy Dollar’s beach parties include live music and the infamous Soggy Dollar Ring Game, which, according to folklore, was first played by the pirate Blackbeard. The island’s old-time, laid-back Caribbean charm is contagious and you’ll find many places to explore and relax. There’s a nearby pizza bar, a souvenir shop and even a lounge to rent. Nature lovers may also want to check out Bubbly Pool, a naturally foaming pool on the north-east end of the island. The water surrounding Jost Van Dyke is always warm and clear and the sands incredibly soft—perfect for going barefoot and swimming.
Getting to Soggy Dollar Bar
Charters from Tortola, St. John and St. Thomas offer half-day or full-day trips to Jost Van Dyke, and Tortola also offers a ferry service. Bring your passports, as you may cross as many as three different international boundaries depending on where you’re coming from. Also, bring a camera—the views are extraordinary. Consider staying at Jost Van Dyke’s privately owned White Bay Villas & Seaside Cottages, accessible by boat, or at one of neighboring Tortola’s beautiful beach resorts.