Tortola What is known for

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BEACHES

Tortola has a bevy of beautiful beaches, but for some coral reef snorkeling in a lush, somewhat out-of-the-way setting, get thee to Brewer's Bay. The beach itself isn't as spectacular as nearby Cane Garden Bay, but you'll appreciate the shade, and the setting is pure West Indian.

SAILING

Tortola may be the sailing center of the Virgin Islands, but many bareboaters simply hoist the anchor and set sail to windward to Virgin Gorda, before swinging back westward through the islands for the return to Road Town. Just make sure you leave some time for a stop on Tortola's North Shore at Cane Garden Bay. It's probably the nicest stretch of sand in the BVI, and you can enjoy a last round of Painkillers (the favorite local concoction combines rum, pineapple and orange juices, and cream of coconut) at the beach bars. As evening falls, listen to the music wafting offshore from Quito's Gazebo, and then decide if you really want to sail off with the morning tide.

NIGHTLIFE

Bomba's Shack at Cappoon's Bay, presided over by the redoubtable Bomba himself, has live entertainment a couple of nights a week but it is famous throughout the West Indies for its wild, sometimes notorious full moon parties. The rum punches are plentiful, but most well-meaning locals will advise you against sampling Bomba's mushroom tea, unless you're totally committed to pushing the party envelope.