Apart from hitting the beaches you could. . .
• Visit Road Town, the capital of the BVI, which bustles with mooing, grazing herds of tourists when cruise ships are in harbour but the rest of time the town maintains the Caribbean’s easy going character, despite it being the hub of local government and finance. Road Town is short of impressive buildings but there are a couple of historic structures such as Old Governor’s House (and museum) and VI Folk Museum.
Behind Waterfront Drive, near the Ferry Dock and the tourist information office is Main Street, Tortola’s prime shopping area, with some colourful West Indian buildings. This is a great place to find decent souvenirs such as jewellery, artworks and crafts from local artists, or Caribbean delicacies such as rums and hot spicy sauce.
The town’s star attraction is probably the three acres of tranquil J. R. O’Neal Botanic Gardens, filled with both indigenous and exotic plants, including a fern house and orchid pavilion.
• Saga Mountain National Park and Ridge Road is a tropical forest mountain park with its highest point at 1716 feet. Vegetation includes luxuriant ferns, elephant ears as well as white cedar and Honduran mahogany. It offers twelve pleasant hiking trails including Mahogany Forest Trail and Rainforest Trail, through the forest with loops forming circular routes, picnic areas and a car park.
• Trellis Bay, Beef Island. The adjacent island to Tortola, connected by a bridge, is Beef Island, where the international airport is located. A few minutes from the airport is popular Trellis Bay known for its beachfront craft shops, art galleries, cafe and restaurants, as well as family-friendly full moon parties (really? no drugs? ) if you are lucky to be there on the day.
• Callwood Rum Distillery. This tiny rustic 18th century factory near Cane Garden Bay features the original structure of a sugar cane distillery and still operates and produces rum as in the old days. For a small fee visitors can tour the site with a guide, sample and purchase rum (including my favourite, 80% proof ‘Pantie Remover’).
• Soper’s Hole Marina, West End is a lovely marina and shopping plaza on Frenchman’s Cay, connected by the bridge to Tortola’s West End where the dock for the ferries to/from US virgin Islands is located. It is primary for sailors (with a plenty of mooring spots) but not a bad place to visit for a drink and meal or shopping, though some of boutiques are rather exorbitant.
• Nanny Cay, a small community comprises a hotel and townhouses, with a marina, a swimming pool, bar and restaurants as well as shops. It also has a lovely protected, crescent shaped, sandy beach.