Top 20 Beach Bars in the Caribbean Slideshow
September 8, 2015
Here are our favorite sandy spots to kick back with a cold one
Top 20 Beach Bars in the Caribbean
Sandy Island in Anguilla
Why Go: Shell-studded sand, leaning palm trees, and low-slung hammocks are the draws on this islet five minutes’ boat ride from Sandy Ground. The giant Anguillian crayfish and JoJo’s potent rum punch are pretty compelling, too.
Hot Tip: Want Sandy to yourself? Pony up around $4000 (depending on the season) and the island will be your personal oyster.
Scilly Cay in Anguilla
Why Go: Eudoxie “Gorgeous” Wallace rules the roost at this shell-strewn islet where the specialty is the punch made with Mount Gay Eclipse rum and amaretto. At just $5 a cup it’s the bestseller – and Scilly sells as many as 600 a day.
Hot Tip: Split the $75 crayfish platter with a friend. Both your budget and your appetite will be appeased, and you’ll still have room for rum punch.
The Soggy Dollar in Jost Van Dyke, British Virgin Islands
Why Go: This legendary bar on the sands of Jost Van Dyke’s White Bay is where the oft-imitated Painkiller rum cocktail was invented decades ago. And you can’t say you’ve been to the BVI until you’ve tasted it.
Hot Tip: Attempt to win Soggy’s famous “ring game” by hooking a metal ring suspended from a string over a nailpost. Just be sure to try it BEFORE your third Painkiller.
Sunset Bar & Grill in St. Maarten
Why Go: Hands down this is St. Maarten’s most popular beach bar, but not because of the beach (which is great) or the bar (ditto). Separated from the runway by a chain-link fence and narrow road, it’s the aircraft that land what seems like inches above patrons’ heads that are the real draw.
Hot Tip: For the biggest thrill, time your visit to coincide with the arrival of KLM flight 785, a 747 from Amsterdam, which currently arrives at 10:55 a.m. (It will be 5 o’clock somewhere!) on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays.
Sunshine’s Bar and Grill in Nevis
Why Go: A five-minute amble down the sand from the posh Four Seasons Nevis resort this rustic watering hole on Pinney's Beach is famous for two things: the rum-laced Killer Bee and its irrepressible owner, the eponymous Sunshine.
Hot Tip: On Nevis for the holidays? Sunshine’s is already taking reservations for their all-inclusive New Year’s Eve dinner and party, a snip at $100 per person.
Wreck Bar & Grill in Grand Cayman
Hot Tip: Ordering an alcohol-free Mudslide is a rookie mistake. As the much-photographed sign says: “How much is a virgin Mudslide? Cups of ice are free.”
Yellow Beach in St. Martin
Why Go: On Pinel Island, a petite spit five minutes’ boat ride from the French-side village of Cul-De-Sac, there’s nothing to distract from the task at hand: getting your drink on.
Hot Tip: Bacardi got you feeling bold? Take the 10-minute hike to the island’s far (northern) side, where the shore’s more rugged but swimwear is optional.
Nipper’s in the Bahamas
Why Go: On Great Guana Cayin the Abacos archipelago, Nipper’s is a party-hearty Bahamian institution that’s a must on Sundays, when crowds flock for the pig roast and the bar’s signature (and seriously strong) specialty, Nipper Juice.
Hot Tip: Hit up the gift shop fora logo cap or T-shirt to show everyone that you really know how to party.
La Plage in St. Barts
Que Fresco! in Tulum, Mexico
Why Go: Tulum is the quintessential boho beach town, and this spot at Zamas hotel is perfectly in sync with a relaxed flip-flop-friendly vibe and a clutch of colorful tables and chairs set up in the shade of thatch-roof palapas on the sand.
Hot Tip: Order a chelada, ice-cold beer with lime, served in a salt-rimmed glass.
Reggae Beach Bar & Grill in St. Kitts
Why Go: On the southeast peninsula, day-tripping cruise ship passengers, stop-over visitors and locals converge for reasonably priced drinks, classic bar food, and the warm waters of Cockleshell Bay. If a loud and buzzy bar is your kinda thing, this is your kinda place.
Hot Tip: We can’t resist the bar’s popular T-shirts, which feature Reggae’s “running rastaman” logo. Neither should you.
Foxy’s Tamarind Bar in the British Virgin Islands
Why Go Spry septuagenarian Foxy Callwood’s Great Harbour, Jost Van Dyke establishment has been rocking for almost half a century, and is most famous for its Old Year’s Night (New Year’s Eve) shindig, when thousands descend on the sandy dance floor. But whenever you go, belly up to the bar and order one of Foxy’s draught microbrews or, our favorite, a rum-, banana-, and mango-laced Friggin’ In de Riggin.’
Hot Tip Snap a selfie with “Epoxy Foxy,” a life-size resin effigy of the owner created so guests can take a picture with him even when he isn’t there.
Goatie’s Bar in St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Why Go: You might not be able to pony up $1,100 for a night at Petit St. Vincent, a posh private-island resort in the Grenadines chain, but you can certainly pretend as you sip a Hairoun beer at the open-to-all beach bar.
Hot Tip: Don’t spend all your cash on burgers and bubbly; save some for the resort’s chic boutique, the best in The Grenadines.
Karakter in St. Maarten
Why Go: On the Dutch side of the two-nation island, this school bus-turned-beach bar is wedged between the white-sand beach and the airport runway. Chill out on a sofa with a cramping cold Amstel Bright and forget you ever have to leave.
Hot Tip: Long layover or delayed flight? Since it’s just a five-minute cab ride from Princess Juliana International Airport, Karaketer can be your unofficial departure lounge.
Basil’s Bar in Mustique, St. Vincent and the Grenadines
Why Go: An institution on Mustique, Basil Charles’ over-water bar is known for two things: 1. celeb patrons including Mick Jagger and David and Victoria Beckham (who seek sanctuary in the private island’s plush villas) and 2. a casual, unpretentious atmosphere that makes the famous and not-so-famous feel equally at home.
Hot Tip: The venerable drinkery turns 40 in 2016. Expectan appropriately rollicking celebration.
Bomba’s Shack, Tortola, British Virgin Islands
Why Go: If a full moon finds you in the BVI you better be found at this ramshackle Tortola tavern festooned with kitschy hand-painted signs and women’s underwear. That’s because the full moon celebration here is a Virgin Islands must. (Check here for moon phases.) But, truth be told, Bomba’s is a good idea any day of the month.
Hot Tip: Pass on the “mushroom” tea. You’re in the Caribbean; a rum drink is de rigueur
Chat ‘N’ Chill in Stocking Cay, Bahama
Why Go: Hop a water taxi to this beach bar and restaurant five minutes from George Town, Great Exuma, where you can quaff frosty Kaliks (beer) and made-to-order conch salad and then paddle with wild stingrays in the shallows just offshore.
Hot Tip: Sunday’s popular pig roast – complete with a live band and dancing on the sand – is worth your airline ticket change fee
Da Conch Shack in Providenciales, Turks and Caicos
Why Go: No visit to Provo is complete without a stop at this Blue Hills bar for a cup (or three) of Jan’s Infamous Rum Punch, served to your perch on a seaside bench shaded by coconut palms.
Hot Tip: They serve conch six ways here but aficionados order the traditional ceviche-style conch salad, made to order from meaty mollusks kept in an ocean pen steps from the kitchen.
Elvis’ Beach Bar in Anguilla
Why Go: Anguilla’s reigning “king” presides over this Sandy Ground beachfront tavern, converted from a class C racing sailboat, The Main Event. It’s a local fixture and favorite haunt of visiting celebs, from Li’l Wayne to Paris Hilton and Victoria’s Secret models.
Hot Tip: Thursday night is party night on Anguilla. Start at the barn-like Pumphouse for live music, then hit up Elvis’ for rum punch or Carib beer. Or both.