If you’re sailing the British Virgin Islands, I’m willing to bet you’re making a stop on Jost Van Dyke. You should be at least…it’s BEAUTIFUL! It’s a tiny little island and most day visitors are really just on a mission to get to the Soggy Dollar, but if you’re on a boat, or even staying on St. John or Tortola, plan to add on a stay on the island for a couple of days. There are plenty of things to do on Jost Van Dyke that make it much more than just a day trip.
Things to Do on Jost Van Dyke
Have a PainKiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar: This is the most famous bar on Jost Van Dyke (probably in the Caribbean) and the #1 stop on pretty much everybody’s itinerary. The bar got its name from sailors who dropped anchor, swam ashore, and paid for their drinks with soggy dollars. Yachties and tourists alike keep the tradition alive today by jumping off their boats and swimming up for one of the Soggy Dollar’s famous PainKillers. White Bay, which is one of the most beautiful beaches in the BVIs, is packed with boats bringing people to the Soggy Dollar everyday (many tour boats make the Soggy Dollar a stop on their route from St. John and Tortola). Soggy Dollar is a well oiled machine with great (and quick) bartenders, plenty of beach chairs, and or course, a gift shop. They usually serve a limited breakfast and lunch with appetizers from 4:30 to 6 and dinner by reservation only. Soggy Dollar is THE place to be on Jost Van Dyke when the sun’s up.
Karaoke at Foxy’s: Located in Great Harbor, Foxy’ is a Jost Van Dyke tradition with its namesake being a larger than life personality famous for being a legendary host and patriarch to most of the island. If Soggy Dollar is the place to be when the sun’s up, Foxy’s is the place to be when the sun goes down.
Make reservations for dinner and the bar will be hopping. You’ll hear some of your favorite Kenny Chesney songs before the dance party starts and then it’s everybody on the floor! Karaoke is more of an audience participation kind of affair as everybody ends up dancing and singing together. Trust me-you’ll want to join in.
Hike to the Bubbly Pool: One of the only hikes on Jost Van Dyke will lead you to the Bubbly Pool, a natural phenomenon that will feel like your very own spa if you time your visit right. I didn’t time my visit right (I think it was low tide) so the Bubble Pool was more like a tiny puddle but it was still pretty neat! Water rushes in from the ocean through the rocks and fills the pool up with bubbles. To start your hike, park behind Foxy’s Taboo and follow the shore around (to the east) until you pick up a trail through the trees. It’s fairly well cleared and marked (there’s also signs to avoid poisonous trees) and it’ll turn rocky right before you reach the pools. Just use caution and don’t get too close to the rocks. After your hike, have some pizza or appetizers at Foxy’s Taboo or there’s also a little bakery right there. If you’re coming by boat, you can use the dinghy dock at Foxy’s Taboo.
Top of the Island: There’s a great overlook above White Bay that can be reached via a VERY steep road. It’s just a little dirt road heading back up the island from the small road in White Bay (behind Soggy Dollar). Ask around for directions if you can’t find it but if you have a car, it’s definitely worth the drive up.
Places to See by Boat
The next three spots can only be reached by boat. If you’re not on a boat, you can rent a dinghy, which will be more than capable of getting you to all of the spots. We rented ours from Dave (he’s the chef at Foxy’s and all of the locals seem to know he rents out a couple of dinghies so it’s easy enough to procure his number) and picked it up at the dock in Great Harbor in front of Corsair’s. You’ll also see flyers and rack cards all over the island for rentals.
Sandy Cay: If you’re looking for a picturesque beach with few crowds, check out Sandy Cay just off of Jost Van Dyke. It has a beautiful beach and some nature trails and it’s a great spot for photos as well as to lay out and enjoy the sunshine for a couple of hours.
Sandy Spit: Even smaller than Sandy Cay, Sandy Spit is just what it sounds like, a sandy spit in the middle of the ocean. A pristine white beach (with perfect little pockets for beach combing) is home to one lone palm tree and the opportunity to feel like a true castaway.
Little Jost Van Dyke: Just a stone’s throw from Jost Van Dyke is Little Jost Van Dyke and really the only thing here is the Beeline beach bar. It’s a great stop if you’re on a boat for the day. Have a cold drink with your feet in the sand while you play a bar game or two.
Jost Van Dyke’s Beach Bar Scene
Well you already know about the Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s, but there is a whole slew of iconic and picturesque beach bars on Jost Van Dyke. In fact, I would be willing to bet that Jost has more beach bars per capita than anywhere else in the Caribbean. In the world!
Ivan’s Stress Free Bar: Located at the far end of White Bay (you’ll have to take a little trail along the rocks to get there if you’re coming from the Soggy Dollar), Ivan’s is the only bar on this section of the beach so it’s usually pretty quiet and they have plenty of sunbeds. Come for the Thursday night BBQ and the karaoke and dancing afterwards.
One love Bar and Grill: This little hideaway is located at the opposite end of White Bay than the Soggy Dollar and therefore it usually has a much quieter and more laid back atmosphere. It’s a classic beach bar but in addition to great drinks, owner Ceddy Callwood (Foxy’s son) serves up some truly delicious grub (people go nuts over his lobster quesadillas). So get your drinks at the Soggy Dollar if you must, but go chow down at One Love.
Gertrude’s: For another option on White Bay, head to Gertrude’s (right next to the Soggy Dollar). You’ll get a very local experience here. Gertrude turned 100 this year and she’ll flat out tell you how it is. You make your own drinks here and pay by the cup so that’s always fun. They also serve lunch.
Hendo’s Hideaway: The last spot on White Bay is a newer one. Hendo’s Hideaway has a slightly more upscale feel than other spots on White Bay (and by that I mean it has a wooden floor).
Corsair’s: Located on Great Bay, Corsair’s is one of the best beach bars on the island to get proper food for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. They’re famous for their Pirate Sandwich, which is a fried egg, peanut butter, and red onion on toast with a shot of rum, but they have plenty of other less “eccentric” options as well. I particularly like Corsair’s for breakfast.
Foxy’s Taboo: Foxy’s definitely has it down when it comes to beach bars but just for kicks, they opened up Foxy’s Taboo which is a quieter full fledged restaurant with a Mediterranean inspired menu. You’ll need reservations for dinner but I love to stop here for a late afternoon snack (the baked brie, hummus, and Mediterranean chips and salsa are all winners).
Beeline: Just across the bay from Foxy’s Taboo on Little Jost Van Dyke is the Beeline. It can only be reached by boat, which adds to the fun. It’s also cash only. This is a fun stop after a trip to Sandy Cay or Sandy Spit. There’s a small dock for dinghies.
More posts about this area:
P.S. If you want to follow along on my travel adventures in real time, you can follow me on Instagram (@caitylincoln). My post captions are full of travel tips and I have a ton of story highlights and videos with great info. And share my account with your travel loving friends! Your support really helps me keep this blog running!