Rum Journal: In Anguilla, Finding a Perfect Caribbean Beach Bar

By: Caribbean Journal Staff - April 18, 2015

Above: Garvey’s Sunshine Shack in Anguilla (All photos by CJ)

By Alexander Britell

What makes a perfect beach bar?

Is it the history? Is it the signature cocktail? The music? The sand?

It’s usually a combination of all of these things. Until you find one that really answers the question.

This one begins with a miraculous beach: Rendezvous Bay, home to Anguilla’s impossibly white sand.


It’s called Garvey’s Sunshine Shack, and at first it seems unassuming. It’s tiny, just about the size of a small trailer. It sits just off the water,

It’s got a quiver of yellow sun chairs, a few tall bar tables, a few classic tables.


There’s nothing spectacular here (other than the beach), just reliably solid. The rum punch is excellent; the music is always the right kind of reggae; the food is quite good, in fact, barbecue chicken with precise charring.

As with any much-loved beach bar, there are hand-written notes on the walls, usually addressed to Garvey, who has helmed this bar for four years.


Garvey makes this place, with his effervescent personality and faithfulness to hospitality.

“Live Up. Love Up. Live On.” It’s the unofficial motto of the place.

And while everything is solid, it takes a moment to realize just why the Sunshine Shack is such a sanctuary.


And after a rum punch, after an hour bobbing in the sea, the most important ingredient to the perfect beach bar becomes clear.

It’s simple: it’s the way it makes you feel: like the beach is your own, that nothing else matters. At Garvey’s, there’s a feeling of absolute calm, of overwhelming serenity. No crowds, no hyperbole. Just what works.


And there’s the feeling that the moment will never end.

And if it does, you can always come back tomorrow.

— CJ

Popular Posts jamaica new hotel montego bay

Looking for a Budget-Friendly Montego Bay Vacation? There's a New Hotel for That  

It’s home to one of the most famous streets in the Caribbean, named after one of Jamaica’s global music icons: Jimmy Cliff Boulevard.  While the heavily-trafficked street has seen its share of ups and downs in recent decades, that’s been […]

At These 13 Resorts, You Can Take the Perfect Adventure-Filled Vacation in Belize

belize blancaneaux

Belize, a Caribbean travel destination full of natural wonders that also happens to have some of the coolest adventure resorts on the planet, from top-flight jungle hotels to luxurious river lodges and just about everything in between, whether you’re seeking […]

Why Ambergris Caye, Belize is the Caribbean Capital of Overwater Bars

belize san pedro ambergris caye

You can hear the ballad from Palapa halfway across Ambergris Caye; for a moment you swear the voice belongs to Dolly Parton herself.  Palapa is the town’s most prominent stage, hosting a revolving door of talented artists for intimate concerts […]

Related Posts carnival cruise line

Carnival is Making Its New Grand Bahama Cruise Port Bigger 

In what is expected to be a massive boost for Grand Bahama, Carnival Cruise Line is in the process of building a brand-new cruise destination on the island called Celebrtaion Key, which is slated to open in 2025. Now, Carnival […]

Island Routes Is Expanding to St Vincent and the Grenadines 

la soufriere volcano

Caribbean attraction company Island Routes is adding another destination in the Caribbean: St Vincent and the Grenadines.  The company’s expansion comes ahead of sister brand Sandals Resorts International’s imminent debut of the new Sandals St Vincent resort, slated for this […]

The Bahamas Is the Caribbean’s Hottest Spring Destination 

pink sand beach

The Bahamas is the most popular destination in the Caribbean for spring travel, according to a new report from travel insurance company Squaremouth.  The Bahamas was the only Caribbean destination to make the top 10 among the most popular destinations […]


Sign up for Caribbean Journal's free newsletter for a daily dose of beaches, hotels, rum and the best Caribbean travel information on the net.

No. Thank You