No island in the Virgins has a better handle on the beach bar than Jost Van Dyke . Indeed, this island’s beach bars may seem like the stuff of fantasy, but they are as real as can be. Sand between your toes, a cool ocean breeze, the low hum of calypso, deadly sweet concoctions, and an abundance of good cheer—that is the Jost Van Dyke beach bar.
It is never too early to go pub crawling, and if you arrive at a bar that seems closed, don’t fret. Just help yourself. Many bars on Jost employ the honor bar system, and nothing embodies the generous spirit of the island better than this. (Don’t forget to leave your payment on the way out.) Invariably, the afternoon hours, from 3 p.m. until sunset, are the best time to visit a beach bar. That is when you are sure to find a few new friends at the bar and some fitting calypso music in the background.
You really must try a Painkiller while you are on Jost. This concoction of rum, pineapple juice, coconut, and nutmeg is the quintessential island cocktail and goes perfectly with Jost Van Dyke’s laid-back feel. For beer drinkers, the best news of the last few years is that Foxy has built a small microbrewery at his bar, so you can now get fresh, high-quality brews there.
You will need a boat to embark on this entire pub crawl, and it should go without saying that your skipper needs to sip on virgin coladas to stay safe. A good starting point is Foxy’s Taboo, the most straitlaced of the island’s beach bars. Taboo is actually a bit removed from the beach; it is built on a wooden platform overlooking Diamond Cay  and Little Jost Van Dyke .
Sail around to Little Harbour  and stop at Sidney’s Peace and Love (help yourself in the freezer if no one is around) and Harris’ Place, beach bars separated only by a narrow strip of sand—ideal for children. These places are generally quiet and uncrowded. Bring your own entertainment.
Great Harbour  has the greatest number of beach bars, and you can explore them on foot. Sail into the harbor, pick up a mooring, and dinghy in to the shore. Foxy’s Tamarind Bar on the eastern end of the harbor is the biggest and best-known of these. T-shirts left (or lost) by previous visitors adorn the walls, and you can study the business cards of attorneys, businesspeople, and other type-A personalities who succumbed to Foxy’s Painkillers and piña coladas. There is live entertainment on weekends, and Foxy sings calypso some afternoons. When you’re ready for a change of scenery, wander down the main drag at Great Harbour, and you will also find Ali Baba’s, Corsairs, and Rudy’s.
Save the best for last: Jost Van Dyke ’s quintessential beach bars are at White Bay . Start at Ivan’s Stress Free Bar, next to the White Bay Campground. Mix your own cocktail at the honor bar, enjoy it out on the beach, and then head down to the Soggy Dollar Bar, the supposed originator of the Painkiller.