Your beach waves called to say they miss you. Sure, you can fake ’em, but nothing beats the salty water, sand and sun to work wonders for your hair and your state of mind. If you’re drawn to the siren song of blue-green waters and stunningly beautiful uninhabited islands, then the British Virgin Islands (BVI) may be the Caribbean destination of your dreams. So rev up your island travel spirit with a frozen cocktail as you read through these eight things to do on your best-ever BVI vacation.
1. Explore The Baths. Nope, these aren’t your average bubble fix. The Baths are an endless array of pools and grottoes (that’s fancy geological speak for a cave-like structure) created by massive granite boulders. Travelers who take the trail from the Baths to Devil’s Bay can experience the Cathedral, where boulders lean on each other from above, creating small pools with stunning shafts of light peeking through. Nature, sometimes we dig you so hard. Trying to capture your wonder with our waterproof vacation camera doesn’t do you proper justice. Sigh.
2. Get your glamping on. The Anegada Beach Club Resort’s new beach tents offer beachfront wonder with an ocean view from the patio, bed and, yes, even from the shower. These spacious tents are a serious upgrade from traditional glamping. They’re equipped with a king canopy bed, a furnished deck with a hammock big enough for two and a hot shower to lather away the ocean’s salty goodness. Treat yourself to fresh, local lobster and conch fritters and crack open a beer as you toast to another day in paradise.
3. Get away from it all on Guana Island. Prepare to be left speechless and filled with joy (and a darn happy stomach). This private island encompasses 850 acres of untouched majestic, sprawling land and magnificent wildlife. Whatever your cup of vacation tea may be, Guana provides nearly endless ways to enjoy your personal paradise, with 12 miles of hiking trails, secluded beaches and an organic orchard with delicious tropical fruit. Upon departure, you’re given a hibiscus flower and told to toss it off the boat. According to tradition, if the flower floats back to the island, it’s a sign that one day your life will cross paths with Guana Island again. We can only hope.
4. Island hop on a chartered yacht. Gals, you read that right. Floating through life isn’t just for Kate Middleton and the royal gang anymore. With perfect sailing conditions and 60 islands in relatively close proximity, BVI is an idyllic destination for island hopping. Try the Moorings and Sunsail to book your unforgettable excursion and thank us later.
5. Tantalize your taste buds with an Anegada spiny lobster. Local spiny lobster? Yes ma’am. An epicurean delight unlike any you’ve ever experienced, this local delicacy will have you dreaming of its buttery, briny goodness for months. Planning a November getaway? Enjoy BVI’s culinary month with the annual two-day Anegada Lobster Festival, where you can sample a variety of lobster dishes from talented and passionate chefs sprinkled throughout the islands. Heading there in a different month? Fear not! You can get your fix of this spiny, salty seafood delight at plenty of BVI restaurants.
6. Soak up the matchless scenery from the Sunset Loop on Peter Island. Hiking aficionados will love the challenging and rewarding hike around Peter Island’s popular Sunset Loop. You’ll wanna pack those extra water bottles and trail mix packets for this three-mile trail — most of it is uphill! When you reach the summit, you’re rewarded with the glimmering beauty of the sea and surrounding islands from Adirondack chairs. Insider’s tip: Try to time your hike so you make it to the top between 5-6:30pm, when hikers can witness a BVI sunset at its finest.
7. Treat yourself to a Painkiller at Soggy Dollar. Tiki bars may imitate them left and right, but you’ll only ever know the true glory of the real deal by venturing to this insanely awesome island bar. Home of the famed and original Painkiller libation, the BVI’s staple rum cocktail, the Soggy Dollar Bar will leave you loving your afternoon of hammocking beachside in rum-soaked bliss, or exchanging playful banter with other Soggy Dollar imbibers over a second (ahem, third) round.
8. Recover from all your, erm, relaxing with ocean-side spa treatments. Soak in sweeping views of crashing waves from one of two outdoor thatched roof treatment rooms at the Peter Island Resort & Spa. The ayurvedic herbal bags may leave you feeling so rejuvenated, you’ll want to incorporate them into your regular home wellness routine. Not that you ever want to think about leaving this paradise.
Which of these activities would you beeline to first on a trip to the British Virgin Islands? Tweet us @BritandCo!
(Photos via British Virgin Island Tourism, Guana Island)