Top (Unique) Things to See and Do in the BVI Post Corona Pandemic. A local’s guide to the British Virgin Islands.
Life has changed so drastically these past few months. With so much uncertainty about our futures and what life will be like in the upcoming months, I thought it would be appropriate to share something that’ll help us day dream about life after the corona virus is over. With almost everyone in quarantine or some sort of social distancing, this is the perfect time to read this blog! Please enjoy this list of things I made for both locals and visitors to try when in the BVI! Don’t forget to subscribe to my blog if you enjoyed this write up, I will be posting more.
1. Visit Conch Island, Anegada.
Conch Island is a collection of empty conch shells that have been tossed in one spot for hundreds of years. “These conch burial grounds support the fact that the indigenous Arawak people lived on Anegada thousands of years ago!” experts say. Some of the conch shells extracted from these middens or Conch Islands located around Anegada provided a radio carbon date of AD 1245 ± 80! Since then, local fishermen have discarded the conch shells helping to form conch island. Mind-blowing isn’t it? Book a tour with Kelly from Anegada Land and Sea Tours and tell him I sent you!
2. Explore the Baths on Virgin Gorda.
Undeniably the most noteworthy experience in the British Virgin Islands is the Baths National Park on Virgin Gorda. Your day will include climbing and wading through crevices created by massive granite boulders sporadically placed on a beach. Because it is a National Park, be prepared to pay an admission fee of US$3.00 for adults and US$2.00 for children 16 and under. Be sure to capture a memorable moment at the Cathedral room which is a natural pool in a small cave. Trust me, you will know you have arrived to the Cathedral room! Decades of constant praise deem this spot as a must see attraction while in the BVI.
3. Get your dollars soggy at White Bay, Jost Van Dyke.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m home is to hit up White Bay on Jost Van Dyke. This beach is home to some of the bluest waters I have ever seen, and also some of the best bars I have ever drunk at. Either charter a private boat or take the ferry over to the island of Jost Van Dyke for a day of relaxation, dancing and drinking with friends and family. For the ultimate White Bay experience, charter a boat from a company like Chillout Charters, Kewl Charters or Wess Marine Charters, hop off said boat into the water and wade your way into the beach. You appreciate the drinks more when you have to work for it.
4. Get a painkiller made by Leon from Soggy Dollar or make your own drink at Gertrude’s.
Following suit on the White Bay trend, be sure to hit up Leon from Soggy Dollar for one of the best painkillers you’ll probably ever have. After that, take a short walk down the beach until you see a green and orange building. Rumor has it that you can make your own drink here. Get food from Gertrude’s as well! You’re welcome.
5. Become friends with Horses.
I’ve always wanted to try horseback riding on a white sandy beach by the water but never got to try it until this year! The Francis Family Farm on Anegada allows you to get up close and personal with one of their many horses. As if that wasn’t enough, you get to take these beautiful creatures on walks along the beautiful coastlines of Anegada. Its a must try!
6. Stop by Crandall’s on Friday for Peas Soup or Fish in mayo sauce.
It’s only fair that you try the local food of a country you’re visiting. Just ask yourself, “what will Anthony Bourdain do?” Head to Crandall’s ESPECIALLY on a Friday to test out some of the BVI’s cultural dishes. Don’t knock it till you try it.
7. Get a smoothie from Shabazz.
You MUST get at least one Shabazz smoothie while you’re in the BVI. Located at the Crafts Alive Village on the Waterfront Drive of Road Town Tortola is a pink wooden hut that sells some of the best smoothies you’ll ever have. I usually get all the fruits available in one cup but if you’re not as adventurous as me, you definitely can customize it to your liking!
8. Take a pottery and/ or surf class at Josiah’s Bay.
Head down to the Pottery Garden located in Josiah’s Bay for a pottery class or two while you’re in the British Virgin Islands. This beautiful pottery studio surrounded by nature is locally owned by the talented Karl Burnett. Make a new vase for your home or just bring home some of the best souvenirs your family and friends will ever receive.
After you have wrapped up your pottery session at the Pottery Garden, find your way to the beach at Josiah’s Bay and try a surf class at the Surf School! They welcome all ages (to my knowledge) so everyone can try it out!
9. Take home a different kind of souvenir.
The British Virgin Islands is home to many talented creators. Capture a special moment during your vacation or purchase a print out of photos taken by local photographers to hang up in your home! If not, purchase something locally made like a swimsuit or home decor made by Trefle Swimwear or cane rum made by the Callwood’s Rum Distillery
Arundel Cane Rum from Callwood’s Rum Distillery. They also offer rum tastings and tours of the distillery. This distillery is known for being one of the longest running distilleries in the entire Caribbean! Kill two birds with one stone by learning a bit about BVI history and leaving with some strongly made rum!
10. Catch a sunset.
The British Virgin Islands is known for it’s breath-taking sunsets but if you want the best seat in the house for the viewing party, pick any part of any island that is facing west.
11. Follow my Virgin Gorda foodie blog to a “T”.
If the BVI Food Fete committee coined my VG foodie guide as a must follow, I think you guys should listen to the experts! Because it is a pretty extensive list, I’m not going to plug the names of the restaurants below, so in order to get the details on the locations click here.
12. Visit Willy T at least once.
Willy T is a must stop on your boat trip where you can find both locals and tourists hanging out. Anchored by Norman Island is a floating bar and restaurant famous for their painkillers (the drink) and wild vibes. Even though there’s a sign that says ” NO DIVING”, at your own risk, try jumping off the second level of the floating bar. It is a lot of fun once done right.
13. Have lobster for Breakfast, Lunch And Dinner on Anegada.
Anegada is known for its fresh lobster and all of the restaurants who cook them to perfection. Go on a wild goose chase to find the perfect lobster from the many restaurants that serve them and report back to me on your findings in the comments below. Rent a mini moke from L & H Rentals and drive around in style while you’re on the quest for the best lobster!
14. Attend the BVI Food Fete.
If you happen to be in the BVI during the month of November, be sure to be following BVI Food Fete on all of their social media platforms. During the whole month of November, every year, BVI Food Fete hosts a series of events that showcase local and international cuisine and entertainment. Each event is held at different locations throughout the BVI, bringing a unique and belly-fulling experience to each place. The month long celebration is closed out with a big festival known as Lobster Fest where everyone migrates to Anegada for the weekend to eat lobster.
15. Jetski or flyboard around the North Sound of Virgin Gorda or Cane Garden Bay of Tortola.
For the thrill seekers out there, try the thrill of jet skiing across some of the best waters you probably will have the opportunity to witness. There are two locations that provide this service. There is Blue Rush Water sports operating out of Leverick Bay on Virgin Gorda and Private Dancer Watersports operating out of Cane Garden Bay on Tortola. If jet skiing or fly boarding isn’t exactly your speed, Blue Rush Water sports provides paddle board and Hobie cat rentals while many local vendors on Cane Garden Bay provide other water sport alternatives.
16. Ride a dinghy from Island Time Adventures.
A new and cool way to explore the BVI is by renting a dingy from Island Time Adventures. I have not gotten the opportunity to experience this activity as yet but my friends swear by it! This guided tour based out of Scrub Island takes you to Monkey Point for snorkeling , Long Bay on Beef Island, and Han’s Creek. Island Time Adventures also provides Wrangler Jeep tours that takes you around the island of Tortola for a more personal connection with the island.
17. Try a night eco tour in a transparent kayak.
Book a night time tour with Yolo Adventures to experience the BVI in a new light, or lack there of (terrible pun, I know haha). This company exclusively rents out trendy transparent kayaks out of Scrub Island. The kayaks are outfitted with LED lights to light up the ocean floor below. This is definitely another unique way to experience BVI’s nature.
18. Find a deserted beach and have a picnic.
One of my favorite things to do when I’m in the BVI is to drive to Riteway Supermarket, pick up a few things and then head to an secluded beach for an intimate picnic with friends, family or just a significant other. Now, I’m not gonna tell you my secret beach locations so I will leave the exploring to you. Just grab a map, pick a beach, drive to it and set up shop!
19. Try Glamping.
If you’re unsure what glamping is, it is considered to be a luxurious take on regular camping. Apparently, its an attempt to make the outdoors a bit more manageable for those of us who aren’t fond of camping. If you’d like to experience this, book a stay at the Anegada Beach Club. Just steps away from one of the most pristine beaches you will ever see are 7 beach palapas scattered on the shoreline. These palapas are equipped with a king canopy bed, a furnished deck, beautifully crafted bathroom with hot shower, and an extra daybed for stowaways which is everything you need.
20. Try kiteboarding.
Since you’re already at the Anegada Beach Club, sign up for some kiteboarding classes with Tommy Gaunt Kiteboarding. Tommy offers lessons that range from beginner to advanced kiteboarder so there’s something for everyone no matter the level. Imagine sliding across clear blue waters on a Monday?
21. If you’re a local, participate in a “Staycaytion”!
Now, with the current pandemic situation, I know everyone’s trips for the rest of the year are CANCELLED. With no one coming into the BVI due to travel restrictions, I feel like this will be the perfect time for locals and residents to explore the British Virgin Islands once the all clear is given. If you’re interested in participating in the “Staycation” Program ran by the British Virgin Islands Tourist Board, stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates on deals ranging from hotel stays to tours located across the British Virgin Islands. Take it from the Queen of Staycations (me), you will enjoy yourself!
Thank you so much for reading this blog! I hope it helped pass the quarantine time! I hope everyone is doing their part to help stop the spreading of the virus. Stay safe out there and hold on! We shall get through this trying time.
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