On last week’s trip on the Arabella, we stopped at two of the Caribbean’s most well-known bars, the Soggy Dollar and Foxy’s. Both are on Jost Van Dyke, arguably party central of the islands.
Stories of the Soggy Dollar Bar are legion among sailors, so I was looking forward to dropping anchor in White Bay. Although our weather wasn’t the greatest, the bay was packed with boats of all sizes.
We tendered into Ivan’s, itself a funky bar decorated with seashells, on the Bay’s east shore.
I was a little surprised with how empty this side of the Bay was – almost no one was at the bar (and the owners didn’t seem to mind).
It’s a short walk over a rocky ridge to the Soggy Dollar, through cacti-dotted terrain that screams true desert island. Although Jost Van Dyke is known as the barefoot island, you’ll want shoes for this part, as you do go up a hill.
You can’t miss the Soggy Dollar – just follow the people.
Our Friday afternoon stop hit peak time for daytrippers, and the bar was packed.
Lots of bikinis, lots of tattoos, lots of attitude. Honestly, the scene was a little frat party for us – while we like a good party, we don’t like having to wait in long lines for Painkillers (and I groove a more dive-y laid back vibe, such as the one offered at Willy T’s). It was a little bit of a letdown (I’ve since read that the bar is best at night, after the daytrippers leave).
Still, the Soggy Dollar was fun for people watching.
This guy isn’t passed out – just seasick! (or so his friends told us).
Mid-afternoon we headed back to the Arabella and sailed around Jost Van Dyke to Foxy’s, located in Great Harbour. The Arabella, which hosted our trip, had planned the itinerary so we would arrive for the famous Friday night barbecue.
We went to the gift shop and bought our obligatory T-shirts, then went over to the bar for a drink. Foxy’s takes rum drinks to a whole new level, with a whole menu of choices. I stuck with Painkillers.
It was an extremely hot and humid evening, and while Foxy’s has ceiling fans, apparently the management doesn’t turn them on. So the restaurant itself was somewhat stifling and the line for the barbecue buffet snaked through the entire restaurant.
We killed time by walking around the bar, checking out all of the license plates, scribblings, business cards, pennants and stickers that make up Foxy’s decor. We saw some of the same people eating here who were drinking at the Soggy Dollar during the day.
These two Jost van Dyke bars are obviously iconic stops on a sailors’ BVI bar crawl. I’m not sure why I didn’t like them more. Maybe it was the whole been-there, bought-the-T-shirt mentality. Or maybe I was feeling a bit cranky from the humidity, my sunburn, and my snorkeling skin rash (it was the last day and I was feeling a little oversocialized).
In any case, I loved the combination of snorkeling, sailing and restaurants that the BVI offers. I would love to go back to visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda and maybe have a drink or two at Pusser’s. I am not done with the Caribbean yet!
What are your favorite Caribbean beach bars? What islands are your favorites?