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The North Beach Coast of Tortola is noted for its lush greenery, picturesque reefs and island personality. Many of the islands' finest resorts, restaurants and villas are on these beautiful northern beaches of Tortola's West End.

Page Contents
Apple Bay
Apple Bay Area
Bomba's Beach Shack
Carrot Bay
Long Bay Beach
Long Bay Beach Resort
Mrs. Scatliffe's
North Coast Villas
Sebastian's On the Beach Seaside Grill
Smuggler's Cove Beach
Sugar Mill Hotel
Sugar Mill Restaurant
Surfing
 

Beautiful Villas

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Tortola has many fine villas for rent from the luxurious to the affordable.  See Villas on Tortola's North Beach Coast for more information. The Captain's House villa is shown here.

 

 

 

Beaches. Named and defined by their respective beaches, the areas of the North Coast are quite distinct places. The spectacular Long Bay Beach, pictured above, home of its namesake Resort, is the most famous North Coast beach, but the secluded Smuggler's Cove is exceptional as well as a pristine white sand beach. And the Apple Bay area has varied beaches including the beach at Little Apple Bay (with Sebastian's) and its European ambiance, the next door Cappoon's Bay beach of surfing and Bomba's party fame, Apple Bay with the Sugar Mill Hotel and nearby Great Carrot Bay, the seawall village, known for its local dining.

Dining.  This shore is also a center of varied and excellent restaurants. From the haute cuisine, which today incorporates international elements, of the Sugar Mill Restaurant to local food at a group of roadside stalls called the "Fish Fry" at Little Apple Bay, it's all here on the North Beach Coast.
 
You will find local West Indian food at Palm's Delight and Mrs. Scatliffe's restaurant and open air locations with LongBayBeachCafeIcon.jpg (6201 bytes)spectacular seaside views at the Banankeet Cafe (formerly Tom's Steak & Chop House and Just Limin'), the Seaside Grille at Sebastian's on the Beach, and the elegant Garden Restaurant at Long Bay Beach Resort. Be sure to make at least one dining trip here.

Apple Bay Area

Casa Caribe Villa

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The Apple Bay Area Villas on the North Beach Coast are varied and excellent. The Casa Caribe has affordable "floor" villas for couples right on the beach.

BombasBeachShack2(JereLull).jpg (4702 bytes)A series of intriguing spots and seaside villages, the Apple Bay area has great beach coast ambiance with good surfing and the best beach party in the Caribbean at Bomba's! This superb dining area includes the famous Sugar Mill Restaurant, considered the best in the Caribbean by many. This area includes Little Apple Bay, Cappoons Bay, Apple Bay, Little Carrot Bay and Great Carrot Bay extends from Windy Hill, just before Cane Garden Bay to Long Bay Point, just before Long Bay beach..
CarrotBaySeawallIcon.jpg (7664 bytes) aClearGIF15h-15w.gif (829 bytes) Great Carrot Bay.
Once
a robust fishing village, Great Carrot Bay is a center of local island life, glimpsed from the picturesque drive along its seawall coastal road hugging the water in some places. Here is some of the best local food in the islands.

Touring
Coming down
from Windy Hill, the terminus of Ridge Road and Cane Garden Bay Road, is a magnificent vista of the North Beach Coast.

At this improbable switchback is a structure hanging onto the ridge bluff, reached by a cut-back driveway into the Bananakeet Cafe bar and restaurant (formerly Tom's Steak & Chop House and Just Limin' before that). Needless to say, it's easier to enter driving up the ridge, if you are indeed driving on the left. A good turn to sound your horn.

At the bottom of this marvelous descent to Great Carrot Bay at its bay level beginning is Mrs. Scatliffe's restaurant down an inland lane.

"Church-Carrot Bay"

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You'll pass this church-- depicted here by artist David Thrasher.

The North Shore Shell Museum Restaurant is down a little road in about the middle of Great Carrot Bay.

Dining.
Bananakeet Cafe. Offering undoubtedly one of the most spectacular views in a land known for these, Bananakeet Cafe JustLiminVistaSlice.jpg (5133 bytes)features top rated dinners including Coconut Rum Shrimp and Herb Encrusted Rack of Lamb. And don't forget the sunset cocktails! This setting, overlooking the North Beach Coast from its elegant open deck, suggests one question-- where's Fred Astaire? Take a dip in the Heritage Villas pool seen in the foreground.
Mrs. Scatliffe's. At nearby Great Carrot Bay, the unique, family-style Mrs. Scatliffe's Restaurant (495-4556) uses vegetables from her own garden and often has "fungi" style entertainment. Mrs. Scatliffe worked as a chef at resorts such as Caneel Bay before opening her own place.

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Mrs. Scatliffe's

Four nightly selections of full four course dinners includes favorites such as chicken and coconut, fresh fish (all kinds including yellowtail snapper and triggerfish) boiled with onion sauce (ladled on going to the table), curried goat boiled in a shell and served with hot butter and lime.

Breadfruit soup (cooked with thyme, celery, sweet peppers, onion and milk, and salt and white pepper to taste) is often the first course, served with her own baked bread. Other possibilities are fish chowder or conch fritters.

A fresh green salad is the second course, made with lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, sweet peppers and radish from Mrs. Scatliffe's own garden and seasoned with her salad dressing.

Chicken and coconut or some other entree is the third course. The chicken is boiled with carrot, celery and onion before some of the resulting broth is thickened with flour and coconut milk (grated coconut "meat" soaked in water or milk and squeezed through cheesecloth).

Mrs. Scatliffe

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Chicken & Coconut is served in a coconut shell by candlelight on an open air terrace.

Soursop sorbet (soursop juice blended with milk, vanilla essence and orange or pineapple), or other low-fat, low cholesterol local desert, such as rum or lime pie or banana flambe, served with tea and coffee, is the fourth course.

Palm's Delight snack bar and restaurant is still further on, right on the seawall.

Coconut Point

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Offering a nice honeymoon suite, Coconut Point Vacation Apartments (495-4892 email) also has a spacious six-person hideaway with privacy.

Continue on this road past Little Carrot Bay.

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Palm's Delight. With an open air dining room right on the seawall overlooking the water, Palm's Delight (495-4863), open for lunch and dinner, has great local food well spoken of, such as "honey-stung" chicken (honey is put on after its fried and served in a ginger wine sauce), local fish, and sauteed shrimp with green peppers, onions and West Indian herbs and spices.. Iona, the owner, used to cook at the Long Bay Beach Resort.

North Shore Shell Museum Restaurant.
In owner Egbert Donovan's home, the North Shore Shell Museum Restaurant (495-4714) has fresh, Tortolan style West Indian food. Tortolan style differs from West Indian in respects such as adding milk and sugar to "peas," i.e. beans. Egbert has some international style dishes such as rack of lamb, steak and scallops. Check out his casual display of seashells, driftwood, fish traps and wooden boats.

Garden Restaurant. Specializing in vegetarian food (chicken and fish by reservation), the Garden Restaurant (495-4931), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, serves fried califlower with plantain, stewed gluten and textured vegetarian protein dishes such meat lasagne and shepard's pie. Everything is made from scratch. Outside is a nice open deck overlooking the bay.

. Apple Bay.
Dining.

Touring
Further down
the North Beach Coast past Carrot Bay coming from Ridge Road and/or Cane Garden Bay is the coastal road at Apple Bay running past the Sugar Mill Restaurant.
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Looking back, the Islands restaurant is on the water to the left and the hotel on the inland side (see Sugar Mill map).

Stop here for a visit to Jinx Morgan's art gallery at the Sugar Mill hotel.

Sugar Mill Restaurant. An acclaimed, not-to-be-missed, dining experience, the Sugar Mill Restaurant (284/495-4355), open for dinner only, offers a truly Caribbean cuisine, ranging from Peanut Pumpkin Soup as an appetizer, to entrees such as the vegetarian Black Bean Pancakes with Vegetable Salsa, to Almond Crusted Lamb Loin with Spinach, Goat Cheese and Roasted Peppers, as local fruits, roots, and a wide range of ingredients and techniques from around the world are combined to produce the best in a distinctive new international "classical" cuisine.

Breakfast is served on the Gazebo Terrace with dishes such as Rum French Toast and Mushroom Eggs with Green Onion Bearnaise Sauce.The alfresco Gazebo Terrace bar is a great place for sunset cocktails.

Islands. Right on the seaside, the Islands restaurant features dishes from around the Caribbean, such as basic jerked baby back ribs, Stamp and Go, flying fish sandwiches and Cheeseburgers in Paradise.

Restored Stone Sugar Mill

Dine by candlelight in a romantic and historic 360 year old former rum distillery with beautiful stonework. 

Some years ago, Bon Appetit food and wine writers, Jinx and Jefferson Morgan bought a small resort, the Sugar Mill Hotel  (see info and rates) which now houses the Sugar Mill Restaurant--considered by many to be the finest in the Caribbean.
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  Bomba's Shack.
Just past its most upscale restaurant is the Caribbean's most famous shack--showing again its great contrasts.

Yes, we do like to loosen up on this luxurious shore--Bomba's Surfside Shack (literally!) is at nearly Apple Bay with his famous full moon parties which spill out over the beach. BombasBeachShackCutout2(JereLull).jpg (5561 bytes)Time for a little moonlight madness, I'd say--especially if you drink Bomba's punch around midnight. Party "crusaders" do like to let it all hang out on occasion--raging against the inevitable!  Bomba's is generally packed on Wednesdays and Sundays with live entertainment featured (photo above-BVI Pirate, photo on right: Jere Lull).

Continuing the coastal road leads past Bomba's at Cappoon's Bay to Sebastian's at Little Apple Bay next door (read down for Tortola Tour). Surfing at Cappoon's Bay.
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Incomparable scenery defines surfing at Cappoon's Bay by Bomba's Shack early in the morning with Jost Van Dyke among the outlying islands in the background. In the winter, the swells from North Atlantic storms bring in waves over 10' high.
. Little Apple Bay.
Dining.

Touring
Sebastian's
is at a crossroads on this coast, being at the Zion Hill Road intersection.



 

 

Sebastian's

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Sebastian's on the Beach

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Dance under the stars!  Enjoy live entertainment on the weekends with fungi music by the Spark Plugs and other bands.

For dinner at Sebastian's On The Beach (284/495-4212), consider the daily soups such as fish chowder or red bean, fresh fish or lobster prepared in your choice of a variety of styles and daily specials like London broil (see the dinner menu here with many low-fat and vegetarian dishes). Lunch favorites include rotis, conch salad, grilled pork tenderloin sandwich with pineapple barbecue sauce. Try Sebastian's rum coffee with whipped cream and nutmeg.

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Its dining terrace overhanging the ocean, Sebastian's has the feel of an authentic beach place. Watch the pelicans dive for their food!

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Dining Terrace

A great
breakfast spot!

Try the banana pancakes, large omelets, and bread baskets--all with a fruit cup.

Within a quick walk of Sebastian's is a veritable food bazaar, with Bomba's and Ceta's up the beach, Nan's Gallery on the corner, and bars and/or restaurants including The Apple restaurant, Romeo's, and the Fish Fry stands a little ways up Zion Hill Road.

Going straight takes you on down the coast to Long Bay, the next ridge presenting a spectacular view of Long Bay Beach. This is Long Bay Road, the paved section being a spur, continuing on only via an unpaved road to Smuggler's Cove beach and on to Soper's Hole by a back road.

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Local Food Bazaar at Little Apple Bay. At the crossroads at Little Apple Bay, a fascinating assemblage of food shops, roadside stalls, beach bars and restaurants resemble a local food bazaar.

FishFryGiantFig.jpg (8350 bytes)An enormous fig tree, with its characteristic intricate sculptural truck, announces your entry deep into the Caribbean food diaspora, especially its African roots. Here on Mt. Zion Road, a group of roadside stalls called the "Fish Fry" serve up excellent fish, cooked with practiced hands in age-old cooking styles and seasonings.

The glistening plenty of multihued fish, the smiles and jokes at the ready for those initiated into island ways, the casual ambiance and sometimes unkempt appearances of Caribbean life--all this creates an island-style invitation that says, "come mon, stop and put a smile on your face," while you savor the sights and sounds here.

Coco Plums (The Apple under prior owners, 495-4672) features friendly folks serving good local cuisine in a West Indian style house (photo: Where To Stay). Known for its Rasta Pasta, spaghetti carbonara and other pasta, Voodoo Chicken, stuffed chicken and freshly caught fish. Try the home made deserts. Come by for happy hour with delicious coconut chips and conch fritters.

Ceta's beach bar has drinks and sofas as well as whole fish and other local food.

Shops.

Nan's Gallery. Located right at the intersection of Zion Hill Road, Nan's Gallery (495-4887) has prints of her own watercolors, Calabash bowls, birdhouses, planters and Christmas tree ornaments as well as masks of Moko Jumbee.

Moko Jumbee masks are made from Calabash, a tree gourd, and hand-painted in Indonesian, African, Native American and West Indian motifs.

Moko Jumbees

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Happy, fun-loving West Indian spirits

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Sebastian's, in the building across the street from the beach, has refreshments and a variety of vacation-related items. A great place to stop and walk around!

. Lodging.
Found here
in the Apple Bay area are fine accommodations relecting the exquisite and varied taste of this beach coast, including Sebastian's on the Beach and the Sugar Mill Hotel. See Resorts and Inns on Tortola's North Beach Coast for more information.

Long Bay

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This mile-long, white sand beach, bordered by coconut palm and seagrape trees against foaming breakers over emerald reefs, captures the eye as one of the world's most photogenic beaches, its vista closed by a picturesque green mound at Belmont Point. Open to the public, Long Bay Beach is the home of the famous Long Bay Beach Resort.

Touring
Coming into Long Bay
over the ridge from Apple Bay, you'll see Long Bay's famous vista.
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Looking back from Long Bay beach reveals the undulating ridges of the North Coast as well as the ridge you've come over.

Turn right into the parking lot at the resort's '1748' beach cafe. Stop for a bite and you can take a dip in their beach-side pool. Or rent beach items at the Sporting Pelican next door. Be sure to visit the Elegant Pelican and Pelicantessen further up on the resort's hillside.

Note when swimming that the Long Bay surf can be rocky underfoot in sections. And too strong for some during winter storms offshore--though the long breaking surf has its own dramatic beauty!

Further down the beach where the road through the resort heads up into the hills toward Smuggler's Cove is Nathan's Snackette, a great spot to stop for authentic West Indian food right on the beach.

Driving or Hiking Tour
A
great drive or hike is the trip to Smuggler's Cove, going up into the hillsides for a great view of the Belmont mound and the salt pond, then dipping down to Smuggler's Cove beach on the other side, always bearing to the right.

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Shops.
Elegant Pelican
(495-4252), up off the beach, specializes in gifts made in the Caribbean (50% of items). Its art gallery has a wide variety of prints and original watercolors emphasizing local art as well as bathing suits, sarongs and other resortwear, and a great selection of paperback books.

TourIcon-Shops.gif (4455 bytes)Sporting Pelican, located on the beach at the resort, has beautiful tropical print clothing and handles beach rentals, snorkeling equipments, boogie boards and floats.

Pelicatessen is the place to go for snacks, cold sodas, beer and wine as well as Cuban cigars.

Dining.
'1748'. An informal restaurant in the ruins of an old sugar mill, its deck right on the beach, '1748' (495-4252), open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, has island favoritest. Try a Long Bay Cooler or a Papaya Daiquiri.

 

Nathan's Snackette. Local West Indian food known to be good because it's cooked by owner Myra, who cooks for Mrs. Scatliffe's. Nathan's Snackette features coconut and banana breads as well as local drinks like limeade from Myra's own lime tree, passion fruit and Maubi (Maubi bark orange peel, ginger and anise). Other favorites include local fish fried or grilled in foil, burgers, roti, barbecue chicken and Myra's delicious fish chowder. aClearGIF15h-15w.gif (829 bytes)

Nathan's Snackette

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Once under the shade canopy of a large seagrape tree, this site lost its "roof" in the hurricane.

The Garden. Elegant but intimate candlelight dining, The Garden (284/495-4252) at the resort, open select days for dinner only with a varied menu and wine list, offers fine italian cuisine such as appetizers like Caesar salad with passion fruit croutons. Entrees include broiled fresh local swordfish in pecan-lime butter and vegetarian pasta pomodora with basil. Rum cheesecake is one of the desert specialties.

Activities.
Resort
activities such as tennis, golf and fitness training are available to non-guests for a fee. The expanse of pitch and putt golf greenery back of the shore is a good place to spot cattle egrets. In addition, the usual beach activities are available.

Snorkeling out to Alfie Rock (prominently awash with breakers) is rewarded with beautiful sights of coral and fish as well as the deep blue sea on the other side. Experienced snorkelers may want to snorkel around the point to Smuggler's Cove.

. Lodging.

Murray House

A villa with great design, the Murray House has steps leading down into the pool which then overhangs the coast at Long Bay.

LongBayBeachResortPoolIcon.jpg (7811 bytes)Long Bay Beach Resort. Found here at Long Bay is perhaps the finest resort on Tortola, the Long Bay Beach Resort. See Resorts and Inns on Tortola's North Beach Coast for more information.

Long Bay Villas.
Beautiful
Sunset House, whose balcony overlooking Long Bay is pictured here, is a luxurious five bedroom villa which comes with its own staff. See Long Bay Villas on the North Beach Coast.

Smuggler's Cove

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Smuggler's Cove
is somewhat of an adventure to get to! In bad weather, use a jeep or four wheel drive vehicle. From Long Bay, go through the resort past the beach and then around a large salt pond in the distance at the base of Belmont mound, generally bearing right.

This one-way Tour comes into the North Beach Coast at Great Carrot Bay.

To continue on to Soper's Hole via the Back Road (click here), take the first right out of the beach's sandy "parking lot," then soon you will go up and around Dawson ridge generally bearing right. The usual route is to go out Long Bay Road and turn right on Zion Hill Rd. at Sebastian's.
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A beautiful, well-protected beach, Smuggler's Cove has seclusion, snorkeling out on its reef and a small beach bar with an "honor" cigar box to pay for cold sodas and beer, snacks, postcards, and beach chair rentals.

Honor Bar

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This bar was used in the film version of Hemingway's Old Man and The Sea. Inside you will find a rusted Lincoln Continental that was used to ride Queen Elizabeth around on her tour in 1977 and other memorabilia and collections of beach artifacts.
A living relic, this beach bar is, as the elements inexorably take their toll, a poignant symbol for the letting go of the things of this life, an authentic scene that Hemingway would have appreciated.

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Belmont Point

The famous Belmont mound (actually triangular-shaped) with its ethereal, almost mystical quality, is believed to have been worshipped as a "zemi" by Arawaks, prehistoric Amerindians. Zemis were deities that lived in trees, rocks and hills as well as three-cornered religious wood, stone or bone idols or relics themselves. Artifacts including two small zemis (and a cassava or yucca griddle) recently found nearby are on display at the Virgin Island Folk Museum in Road Town. See Archeologists Uncover Pre-historic Village on Tortola.
The core of an ancient volcano remaining after the erosion of the less resistant surrounding plain, Belmont's spectacularly pointed peak is called a piton, attesting to the once molten state of its hotter and then harder formative rock.

 

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