Shake it at the Shiggidy Shack on St. Kitts, Iggies Beach Bar on St. Thomas, MooMba Beach Bar on Aruba and more
No island experience is complete without at least one night of we-be-jamming. And the best nights happen when you find just the right mix of atmosphere, energy, potent cocktails and bands so lively that you can’t sit down. We traveled, listened in and danced all night to find the best Caribbean joints delivering colorful atmosphere, good crowds and, of course, live music that keeps you in the party spirit until the wee hours. Read on to rock on.
Dune Preserve on Anguilla
Ladies, watch out: Bankie Banx is the famous founder of this open-air reggae joint on Anguilla, but it’s his son, Omari, who’s the main act now—and his looks are every bit as luscious as his voice. The wooden boat-like venue at Rendezvous Bay is cozy. Every seat is a good seat for watching the acts and the impromptu dancing happening in the aisles and in front of the stage. During the day, the beachside bar crowd is mostly tourists— many straight off cruise ships—but at night, it’s a mix of locals and visitors of all ages.
MooMba Beach Bar on Aruba
Dance with your feet in the sand at Aruba’s Palm Beach hot spot. The lineup of local acts playing Friday and Sunday nights constantly changes, but it’s within a category the bartenders jokingly call tropical rock. The scene here starts early, typically around 7 p.m., so you’ll find a more family friendly crowd. But that doesn’t mean the party is tame. Two bars—one big one under the restaurant’s large thatched roof and one out in the sand— make sure you always have a cold one to keep you in the mood to shake it.
Fort Christian Brew Pub on St. Croix
This dockside, open-air venue sees the biggest crowds on St. Patrick’s Day when they bring in five bands to keep the crowd boogieing all day. During high season, they offer live music four nights a week, including Friday and Saturday. Their regular acts include the one-man band of Kurt Schindler, whose music is a blend of calypso and reggae, and DJ Cypha, who spins his own mix of reggae and rap. Expect high energy from the crowd that’s mostly twenty-somethings off duty from the tourism industry. Earlier in the night, you’ll see a wider range of folks who come in for the five beers crafted on site.
Iggies Beach Bar on St. Thomas
Every night of the year, this restaurant, part of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort, serves up live music right at the water’s edge. Wednesday is carnival night with steel-pan calypso music and moko jumbies—masked dancers on stilts traditionally believed to ward away spirits. Sunday sees the all-you-can-eat barbecue buffet, and any night is a good night to try the VooDoo Juice. Iggies is popular with visiting families thanks to the quick delivery of conch fritters, sliders and other island-y pub grub. Find the twenty-something set at the joint’s sand volleyball courts.
Mr. X’s Shiggidy Shack, St. Kitts
Frigate Bay on St. Kitts is the place to be Friday night. Pretty much everyone looking to party—the expat community, locals and college kids—flocks to this beachside joint with live music. You’ll hear what’s known as soca music: a mix of calypso, soul and funk. Also, on Thursday, the beachside joint hosts bonfires, and Saturday, it’s karaoke night.