The Beautiful Beaches of Tortola

When you think of Tortola, the largest island of the British Virgin Island chain, do you think of the place you meet to embark on your BVI sailing adventure? Do you think of bustling Road Town or the picturesque Soper’s Hole? Do you think of a stop on the ferry on the way to another island? Perhaps Full Moon Parties?

For whatever reason, Tortola is known for many things, but not always it’s beaches – which really is surprising. Tortola has some stunning beaches. The best beaches are found on Tortola’s North and West sides and range from wide swaths of soft, light colored sand to beaches with some of the best surfing in the area. Because many face north, some can really rock ‘n roll when there’s a north swell, but on calm days they can be downright tranquil.

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Although Brewer’s Bay and Josiah’s Bay are both beautiful Northside beaches that should probably be on a “best of Tortola” list, we’ve seen them only by boat (We won’t talk about that time we rented a Jeep while staying on island and the adventure we had trying to get there. Have we mentioned that parts of Tortola are hilly and VERY steep?). Anyway, for the purposes of this post, we’ll cover just the Tortola beaches we’ve actually gotten to stick our toes in – so far.

Long Bay – West

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Long-Bay-Beach copyright Rum Therapy
Long Bay is a “long” stretch of powdery, light colored sand on the west end of Tortola. Long Bay Beach Club occupies a portion of the lovely beach, but the several times we visited, we were one of the few walking along and enjoying the scenery. Good photo ops include the overlook of Long Bay from the road at Lower Bay Point and the western end of the beach with Belmont Point in the background. If Winston is bartending at his Nature Boy Beach Bar,  located on the beaches western end, be sure to stop in for a cold beer and some conversation.
Read more about Long Bay here.

Long Bay – East

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Long-Bay-East-copyright Rum Therapy
Not technically on Tortola, Long Bay East is on Beef Island, a small island separated from Tortola by the short Queen Elizabeth Bridge – close enough we thought, to be included on this list. Apparently it’s a favorite with locals on the weekends and why wouldn’t it be? With its white sand and calm water, it’d be a great place to enjoy that Tortola sunshine.

Apple Bay

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Not far from Long Bay heading north, you’ll find Apple Bay, sometimes called Capoons Bay.

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Apple Bay has a great view of Jost Van Dyke, is one of the premier surfing spots in the BVI and is home of the one and only Bomba Shack, where you can sit and sip a Rum Punch while checking out the scenery.

Smuggler’s Cove

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Smuggler’s Cove is on the westernmost tip of Tortola.

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With beautiful palms, a view of Jost Van Dyke and an arc of soft light sand, Smuggler’s Cove is one not to miss. It’s a little tricky to get to, but that seems to keep the crowd’s at bay. Read more about Smuggler’s Cove here.

Cane Garden Bay

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A boater’s favorite, one could easily while away a few days in Cane Garden Bay just leisurely walking the beach, splashing in the calm water and enjoying food, drink and live music at several excellent beach bars. If that weren’t enough, there is also a rum distillery to tour within walking distance and a recycled glass studio to enjoy. Read more about Cane Garden Bay here.

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And to top it off, Cane Garden Bay has some of the best sunsets in the BVI.

If you haven’t had the chance to enjoy some of Tortola’s beautiful beaches, make sure to check a few out next time you’re in the area!


Find all of these great beaches on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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What to See and Do in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

I hear it gets better, that’s what they say
As soon as we sail on to Cane Garden Bay ~ Jimmy Buffett

Cane Garden Bay is a gorgeous sheltered bay on the north side of Tortola fringed by a long and beautiful light sand beach. It’s a popular anchorage for boaters and if you’re lucky enough to visit, either by boat or while staying on-island, there are plenty of things to see and do.

We’ve had the pleasure of visiting Cane Garden Bay on multiple occasions and just can’t get enough. Cane Garden Bay is Tortola at it’s best – friendly people, great live music, delicious food, a beautiful beach and a totally laid back vibe. Here’s just a few things you should be sure to enjoy while visiting Cane Garden Bay – besides just walking the beautiful beach, floating in the calm water and enjoying a stellar BVI sunset! If you’re looking for fancy resorts and high dollar accommodations and restaurants, don’t bother visiting Cane Garden Bay. What you will find here is a place to chill, relax and enjoy real island time.

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Sailing in to beautiful Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

We visited Cane Garden Bay most recently on our BVI Sail and had a day to explore. We’ll start from where we entered – the dinghy dock next to Ole Works Inn and Quito’s.

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Dinghy Dock on Cane Garden Bay

We dinghied into Cane Garden Bay from our boat anchored a short way into the bay. Once we got to the end of the dock we took a right and walked past Quito’s Gazebo.

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A look down Cane Garden Bay from the end of the dinghy dock

Quito Rymer is one of the British Virgin Islands most famous internationally known musicians, who plays solo several nights a week and with his group “The Edge” on Friday nights. Find out more about Quito Rymer and the Edge

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Quito’s Gazebo

Next stop after Quito’s – Paradise Bar & Grill, or Big Banana. When we talked to friends who are frequent visitors to Cane Garden Bay, they talked of enjoying breakfasts at Big Banana. Speaking from experience, the Big Banana house drink is delicious – rum, Bailey’s, coconut cream and banana – a Big Banana BBC?

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Paradise Club

Right past the Paradise Club, is Rhymer’s – Beach hotel and beach bar. When we visited Cane Garden Bay in 2006, we enjoyed lunch at Rhymers – even with the chickens and their young un’s walking right under our feet! Rhymer’s also offers several modest rooms to rent just steps from the beautiful beach.

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Rhymer’s Beach Hotel and Restaurant

After Rhymer’s, you’ll come across Elm Beach Bar & Suites, offering rooms, a restaurant, beach bar and a shop offering colorful island apparel.

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Elm Beach Bar & Suites

Moving down the beach you’ll stumble on Tony’s Welcome Bar. All info we could find said this was “Stanley’s” Welcome Bar, but the sign says Tony’s(??). Regardless – this was the busiest bar on the beach while we were there and looked like a great place to chill and enjoy a beverage or two.

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Tony’s Welcome Bar

Last stop for us on the beach was Myett’s. Myett’s offers accommodations and spa, a fun beach bar, and a scenic restaurant.

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Myett’s on Cane Garden Bay

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Myett’s Rum Punch

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Myett’s Dining Area

We walked behind Myett’s to get to Green VI, a glass studio manufacturing handmade treasures from recycled glass.

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Green VI Glass Studio

Definitely worth a stop to check out the beautiful recycled glass ornaments, glasses and treasures that you can purchase and bring home.

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Glass Treasures for sale at Green VI Glass Studio

We took a right at Green VI Glass Studio and headed down the street to the Callwood Rum Distillery.

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Rum Tasting at the Callwood Rum Distillery

If  you have a chance to visit  Callwood’s Rum Distillery, you should. Callwood’s has been producing quality rum since at least the 1800’s. Spend the money to take the distillery tour (only $2 per person). It’s not a very long or extensive tour but it gives you some insight into the operations, island history, and an opportunity to ask questions and take pictures without paying a picture fee. Take home a bottle of the panty remover…

All rummed up, we headed back to the beach to catch the spectacular sunset.

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Sunset in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

One of the best we’ve enjoyed in the BVI.

 What do you like to do when visiting Cane Garden Bay?


Find Cane Garden Bay on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

The Last Resort, Bellamy Cay, BVI

The Last Resort, a great little restaurant and bar on Bellamy Cay, a small island in Trellis Bay, Beef Island, has been serving up great entertainment along with tasty drinks and food since the ’70’s.

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The Last Resort has quite an interesting past. Tony Snell was a British Flight Lieutenant who, in 1943 was shot down in his Spitfire and escaped a German firing squad. After the war, he worked as an actor, songwriter and musician. In 1969, Tony and his wife Jackie moved to the British Virgin Islands where they eventually opened the original “Last Resort” on Little Jost. After just one year, The Last Resort on Little Jost burned to the ground. Tony and Jackie decided to move The Last Resort to Bellamy Cay, which, in itself, had quite a history – of pirates! While living in a houseboat in Trellis Bay, they constructed a new restaurant on Bellamy Cay.

When The Last Resort opened, Tony was in his element providing all of the entertainment with piano, guitar, harmonica and original songs. Jackie, took the roll of main cook.  There are stories – some of which are a bit unbelievable, but good stories nonetheless, of the many animals the Snell family kept on the little island, including parrots, a singing dog and wine and rum drinking donkeys! After a number of years, Tony and Jackie passed the reins to their children, Jessica and Jeremy.

copyright Rum TherapyThe Last Resort in 2006 with a donkey named Chocolate

In past visits to The Last Resort we’ve had a blast.

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Recently we enjoyed a great dinner with friends on the deck and then partook in some raucous entertainment with Al Broderick, aka, the Singing Chef, who successfully plied the audience with free shots to encourage participation. It worked.

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Customers singing for shots at The Last Resort

We finished off the evening with a pretty intense Foosball competition.

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Thankful we once again had a designated dinghy driver, we made our way back to our boat moored in Trellis Bay still singing  and laughing after a great night of fun.

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Apparently, The Last Resort has recently changed hands to a young couple by the name of Emily & Dylan  Burill. They are hoping to make the resort a bit more family friendly and have changed the menu and decor a bit. We’ve not been there under the new ownership yet, but the recent Last Resort reviews seem to be positive!  Have you been to the Last Resort and met Emily and Dylan?


Get to The Last Resort by dinghy if staying on a boat in Trellis Bay, or call for the ferry from Trellis Bay Dock opposite D’ Best Cup Cafe. Find The Last Resort on our Tortola Map


To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2014
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Captain Mulligan’s, Tortola

Need a place to relax, unwind, enjoy a few beverages and watch sports on a 30 ft. screen while in Tortola? That’s right, a huge 30 ft. outdoor screen – as well as multiple flat screens in the bar!

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We were recently asked by one of our readers if we knew of a good place to watch the upcoming Super Bowl around Nanny Cay in Tortola. Having stopped a few times at Captain Mulligan’s in the past, we thought it might just fit the bill.

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To find Captain Mulligan’s, turn into Nanny Cay and look to the left. It’s located on a nice grassy area with a view of Sea Cow Bay from the back.

The bar/restaurant is open air and there is a lot of additional seating in the yard around the bar.

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Additionally, there is a new miniature golf course on which to challenge your friends during half time.

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We like the laid back vibe, friendly people, open air and decent prices.

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And although one of us REALLY likes the idea of watching sports on the huge outdoor screen (see above), the other one likes the idea that there is also a great local arts and pottery shop called Bamboushay within walking distance :)

If you are going to stop by on Super Bowl Sunday this year, Randy and Allison of Team Mulligans say that the specials for the day are $2 Coors Lite all day, $2 hotdogs during the game and the tail gate starts at 2pm. With a projector screen and 6 flat screen tv’s, wherever you are you cant miss the action!

Find Captain Mulligan’s on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

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Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands

I don’t know what it is about small, uninhabited tropical islands that gets us all excited. Maybe we watched a few too many episodes of Gilligan’s Island, or maybe it’s just the allure of complete, peace, quiet and solitude…

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Whatever it is, our first visit in 2010 to Sandy Spit in the British Virgin Islands ranked right up there with visits to other favorite uninhabited tropical island such as Mopion and Petit Tabac in the Grenadines and Sandy Island, Carriacou. We had Sandy Spit all to ourselves for a few wonderful hours and spent the time wandering around, lounging in the sun, enjoying a wee bit of rum punch and enjoying the sound of the gentle waves lapping the shore.

View of Jost Van Dyke from Sandy Spit
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It can take all of 10 minutes to walk around Sandy Spit – if you walk slowly! From Sandy Spit, it’s just a short distance to Green Cay, and on calm days this area can be a great place to snorkel. There are some great diving areas around Green Cay as well.

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Green Cay as seen from Sandy Spit

Sandy Spit is rumored to have gotten it’s name because it’s just “spitting distance” from Jost Van Dyke. It’s also quite close to it’s slightly larger sister island, Sandy Cay and many people try to spend time at both while in the area.

View from Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
Sandy Spit, British Virgin Islands
The island is sand all the way around with just a bit of foliage in the middle. To the east you can see Tortola, and to the west you can see Little Jost Van Dyke and Jost Van Dyke.

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Tortola on the east

The first time we visited Sandy Spit, we arrived via a cat during a week-long sail in the BVI. The second time, we rented a dinghy in Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke. Just a word of advice – if taking a dinghy over, be sure to check weather conditions before embarking on the journey. When there is a strong north swell, it can be difficult – if not dangerous to beach your dinghy on Sandy Spit. We know this now…

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On calm days, the snorkeling is excellent and the surf is calm and great for swimming, floating and pure relaxation.

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Jost Van Dyke in the distance

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Ahhh…Sandy Spit. A Gilligan-esque slice of paradise!

Have you spent time on Sandy Spit?

 

Find Sandy Spit on our Jost Van Dyke Map


To see more posts on the British Virgin Islands and other islands, check out our
Island Blog Directory


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013

Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Top Rum Therapy Island Posts of 2013

Continuing the 2013 Rum Therapy re-cap, here are our top viewed Island Posts of the year!
Ready for a little tropication and haven’t had a chance to read them yet? Check ’em out!

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1. Rum Therapy In Kauai

2. Bomba Surfside Shack

3. Sandy Point, St. Croix

4. Sunset Bar & Grill, St. Maarten

5. Cruzan Rum Factory Tour

6. Rum Therapy on Tortola

7. White Bay, Jost Van Dyke

8. Sarafina’s Bakery, St. Martin

9. Glass Bottom Kayaking in a Bioluminescent Bay

10. Rum Therapy On Virgin Gorda

11. Le Galion Beach, St. Martin

12. Rum Therapy Sailing in the BVI – Part 1


For more Island Posts, be sure to check out our

Blog Directory by Island

Long Bay, Tortola

Have you had a chance to explore the mile long stretch of picturesque beach called Long Bay on Tortola’s west end?

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Of all of the beaches we’ve visited on Tortola, we’d have to say that the west end Long Bay is one of the most scenic – and Tortola has it’s share of scenic beaches! The soft, white sand combined with the vibrant blue water and views of Jost Van Dyke make Long Bay one of the prettiest around.

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Looking for a lot of amenities? Not here. Although the recently renovated Long Bay Beach Club sits close to one end of the beach, you’ll likely enjoy the beach with only a few other lucky folks.

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Need a cold beer or a rum punch? Walk down to Nature Boy Beach Bar at the far end of Long Bay and talk to Winston. He’ll serve you a great drink and tell you about how he built his bar and the history of the area.

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Nature Boy Beach Bar

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The best swimming on the each is on the far end of the beach – away from the resort because it is less rocky. Be careful entering the water anywhere on the beach though as the current can be very strong depending on the weather.

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We love Long Bay for the solitude and love to walk it and take in the a gorgeous scenery and beautiful soft sand.

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Find Long Bay on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory


Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013

Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Callwood Rum Distillery, Tortola

Want to experience a slice of Tortola history dating back as much as possibly 400 years?

Then be  sure to visit the Callwood Rum Distillery on your next visit to Tortola.  Although no one knows exactly how long rum has been produced on the original Arundel Estate, the Callwood family took over the distillery in the late 18th century and has been producing rum for over 200 years in what is claimed to be the longest continuously operated pot distillery in the Caribbean.

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Just a short walk from beautiful Cane Garden Bay, you feel as if you’re walking into a very old and deserted compound, but it’s actually an operating rum distillery and museum.

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Rum is produced here from approximately March through August and during this time you can take a short tour of the distillery for a minimal amount.

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If you visit at another time, you can still get a sense of the history by touring the grounds and purchasing rum at the museum/shop. Instead of paying a $2 fee to take pictures inside the museum, you can purchase a bottle of rum and take all the pictures you want. We felt the rum purchase was well worth it and wish we would have purchased more to bring home.

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Callwood produces a gold rum called the Arundel Cane Rum “Original”, a 10 year old Gold Rum, the Arundel White Rum, the Callwood Spiced Rum and  a blend called the “Panty Dropper”. Hmmm.

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Arundel Cane Rum is made from pure cane juice, instead of molasses, giving it it’s distinctive flavor, and the hand affixed labels give it as unique and antique a look as the distillery itself. Pick up a bottle or two to bring home. Although it is now available in a few shops in the VI, it’s well worth the visit, a tour and to take a huge step back in time...

Visit the Callwood Rum Distillery website and Facebook Page for more information.

Find the Callwood Rum Distillery on our Tortola Map

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

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Palm Trees in Paradise

Nothing is quite as calming as a pictures of a palm tree next to beautiful blue water, and over the years we’ve amassed a nice collection of these types of pics. So…we thought we’d put some of our favorites together to share with you. Actually, we can’t verify that they are all palm trees – sorry- we’re far from palm experts, but they’re definitely palm looking plants that give us the same tropical feel! Since we couldn’t narrow it down any more than this, this is a sort of Tropical Palm Pictorial Journal. Pull up a glass of rum and enjoy a little tropication!

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No wonder it’s called “Palm” Island…(The Grenadines)

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Gorgeous palms on Saltwhistle Bay Beach, Mayreau.

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Shoal Bay, Anguilla. This one gets extra points for the hammock :)

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Palm Tree Tire Swing in Cane Garden Bay, Tortola

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O.K, these are palm fronds on a palapa (and a small palm to the right), but we’re gonna count it anyway because it’s just super fun to look at and remember. Extra points for the rum punch at Guys Driftwood Boat Bar in St. Maarten.

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Hard to believe there could be palm trees on a manmade conch shell island off of Union Island in the Grenadines, but as you can see, there certainly are palms on Happy Island!

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Lovely palms and boats at Smathers Beach, Key West.

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Gorgeous palm sunset on Kauai

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Cool leaning palm at Bolongo Bay, St. Thomas

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Amazing palms and scenery of Tobago Cays, The Grenadines

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The palms burned (cinematically – thank goodness) on Petit Tabac in the film Pirates of the Caribbean: Curse of the Black Pearl

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The perfect twin palms of Maho Bay, St. John

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A palm tree shadow at the gorgeous Magens Bay Beach, St. Thomas

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View of the palms at Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda from the crystal clear blue water

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A palm and a beautiful beach, what more do you need on Prickly Pear Cays, Anguilla?

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A palm and a view at Smuggler’s Cove, Tortola

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And I guess it wouldn’t hurt to end up with a palm (or two) and a Painkiller (or two) on White Bay, Jost Van Dyke in front of the Soggy Dollar Bar…would it?


To see more posts on these and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

Copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC

Nature Boy Beach Bar, Tortola

We stumbled by Nature Boy Beach Bar by accident a few years ago while walking Long Bay Beach in Tortola.Unfortunately the bar was closed at the time and so on our recent visit to Tortola we decided to stop by once again.

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The bar itself is small and has been assembled with materials found on the beach and land, but it’s located on stunning Long Bay Beach, just about where the road takes a left for Smuggler’s Cove.

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Secluded and quiet, Nature Boy Beach Bar is a great place to relax, take in the scenery and enjoy a cold beverage.

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Chat with Winston, aka Nature Boy
, about Long Bay and the surrounding areas history. He eagerly shares his story about how he has built his own place in the sun – the bar and his home behind it.

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If you’re in the area, or headed past it on the way to Smuggler’s Cove, be sure to stop in to say hi to Winston, enjoy a cold beer or Rum Punch and checkout the amazing scenery. As Winston says, it’s “Natures Little Secret”

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Find Nature Boy Beach Bar on our Tortola Map here: TORTOLA MAP

To see more posts on Tortola and other islands, check out our Island Blog Directory

 

copyright©Rum Therapy Beaches, Bars & More, Tropical Travel Guide, 2013
Pictures and other content may not be re-used without written consent from Rum Therapy, LLC