Tortola Things to Do

Old Apr 17th, 2008, 12:16 PM
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Tortola Things to Do

My husband and I are leaving May 2 for 4 wonderful nights on Tortola. We are staying at Long Bay Resort and want to make the most of our trip. We plan on taking a day sail to The Baths and perhaps to St. John (where we've been before and LOVED!) I'm looking for some suggestions on: 1. Restaurants on Tortola 2. Beaches on Tortola 3. Any other must-sees on Tortola.

We are looking for laid-back atmosphere. Some nightlife but mainly soaking up some sun, over a cocktail, a little snorkeling and general R&R.

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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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We stayed a week at Long Bay a number of years ago... and things may have changed... but here goes.

Smugglers Cove is a very nice beach not far from Long Bay. The road was terrible going in from the main road, but that probably serves to keep down the number of people using it.

Sage Mountain Park is way up high in the hills and has an interesting hiking trail. Skyworld is a nearby hill-top restaurant with an incredible 360-degree view of all the islands.

Bomba's Shack in a crazy open-air reggae-playing beach-bar that's a lot of fun. On the night of a full moon, they have a notorious party where tea made from psychedelic mushrooms -- legal on the island -- is sold and (apparently) widely consumed.

Road Town has some good little non-tourist restaurants serving Caribbean food. Check out Roti Palace. (Rotis are West Indian crepes with various tasty stew-like fillings... chicken, seafood, goat, etc.)

We took the ferry-boat from Road Town to Virgin Gorda and rented a car at the dock. That way we could check out The Baths at our leisure, go to the best accessible-but-deserted beaches, and drop in on Little Dix Hotel for a delicious (but expensive) lunch.

We did a half-day snorkeling trip on a small sailing catamaran out of Road Town, across the channel to Norman Island. Skippers or representatives of the various charter sailboats come around Long Bay in the evening and circulate around the bar drumming up business. The hotel also has brochures. Pick a smaller boat that won't have a mob of people. (Ours had just us and another couple.)

We thought about taking a ferry to Anegada -- with arguably the best beaches and snorkeling (and grilled lobster) in the Virgins -- but ended up not.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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We enjoyed our evening meals at the Sugar Mill hotel, just up the road from you at Long Bay. The menu is fairly limited and it rotates every night, so call ahead or stop by to see what's being offered before deciding to make a reservation.

Brandywine is another fine dining place, but it's on the other side of the island--an expensive taxi ride or a risky post-prandial drive if you've indulged in alcohol.

For good local food, we loved Palm's Delight, which is between Apple Bay and Cane Garden Bay on the north shore. Coco Plums, right down the road from Long Bay, is also quite good. For wonderful sunset views, consider Bananakeet for dinner.

I second the rec for Smuggler's Cove. It's a lovely place. But if you'd like to be *really* secluded, consider making the drive out to Long Bay East on Beef Island. It's close to a mile long stretch of white sand with no facilities but a few seagrapes for shade. we were the only folks there on the day we visited. There's also some decent snorkeling on the far left side as you're facing the water.
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Along with ejcrowe's and baltotraveler's recs I'll add snorkeling at Brewers Bay. It's over the hill from Cane Garden Bay and we loved the snorkeling there. There's a small beach bar and a campsite--not much else. Very quiet and peaceful. Great cheeseburgers and pina coladas!!

Also, we enjoyed Sebastians which is very close to Long Bay. They have music on some nights during the week and it's very low key.

Have fun. We loved Tortola!

Peace, Greenie

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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 06:31 PM
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yes, I agree with greenie. Brewer's Bay was a treat for the lack of crowds, the snorkeling, and for the plain but congenial beach bar. The only thing I didn't like about it was the drive to & from there, as I would've sworn the road was only one lane wide and I was terrified of encountering an oncoming car!
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Old Apr 17th, 2008, 07:20 PM
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Instead of a day trip to St. John, I'd recommend a day trip to Jost van Dyke - it's so different from Tortola and Virgin Gorda and just beautiful. And it will take a lot less time, especially since you don't have to clear in and out of customs, since it's part of the BVIs.

Restaurants: Brandywine is wonderful. Pizza at the Jolly Roger. Sunset cocktails at Bananakeet. Coco Plums (since they have their old menu back).

Try to hear Quito play at Quito's in Cane Garden Bay.

Sage Mountain is indeed a nice hike.

Smuggler's Cove is beautiful and close to Long Bay. Brewer's is also nice and good for snorkeling. Long Bay East on Beef Island is also a gorgeous and usually empty beach, but you'd need a car.

But 4 days (while it will feel like 8) won't be long enough! Make sure you make time for some seriou limin'. I'll be 13 days behind you!
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Old Apr 18th, 2008, 04:01 PM
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heheh...that road sure is steep, ejcrowe. We came around one corner and there was a cow standing smack dab in the middle! You could smell the brakes just burnin!

I loved it though. Would go back anytime!!

Peace, Greenie
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