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Last updated: 08:44 AM ET, Thu January 12 2017

Five Great Things to Do in Tortola

Hotel & Resort Elite Island Resorts Kristina Rundquist December 21, 2016

Five Great Things to Do in Tortola

PHOTO: Tortola has a plethora of things to do. (Courtesy Flickr/Denise)

The island of Tortola offers a little something for everyone. Brilliant sand beaches and crystal clear waters are a given, but beyond that the island is ripe with opportunities to explore nature, try your hand at deep-sea fishing or maybe the local pastime of snuba-ing, a combination of snorkeling and scuba diving.

For guests of the Elite Island Resorts Long Bay Beach Club endless days filled with relaxation and adventure await. On days when they choose to explore the island beyond the resort’s white powder sand beach, guests can book a fishing charter or even swim with the dolphins. And for adventures slightly further afield, the island has much even more to explore.

Cane Garden Bay. One of the island’s most famous beaches, visitors will find clear turquoise waters and plenty of watersports to keep them busy when they’ve had enough lolling poolside. Rent a kayak or a boat and snorkel around the western edge of the beach. Be warned, however, that it can get very busy when cruise ships pull into port so it’s best to plan accordingly.

British Virgin island Regatta and Sailing Event. Sailors and landlubbers alike won’t want to miss what is arguably the best –and certainly the largest—regatta in the Caribbean. Each spring more than 100 yachts gather from all over the world for a week of racing and fun. The first three days include coastal racing and parties, culminating with three days of competitive racing in and around Sir Francis Drake Channel. Food, drinks and entertainment at the Regatta Village round out the event.

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1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum. Built by the McCleverty slaves, this estate produced sugar until the 1940s, and also served as a cotton gin and press in the early 1900s. Today it houses a museum that introduces visitors to island life through the ages. Historical artefacts from daily life are on display, including coal irons, a native folk medicine cabinet and bedding stuffed with banana leaves. Depending on when you go, various local artists will be exhibiting their work.

Callwood's Rum Distillery. A short walk from Cane Garden Bay sits the oldest continuously operating pot distilleries in the Caribbean. For more than 200 years, the Callwood Distillery has been producing rum using much the same methods as they have when they first started. The rum is made from pure cane sugar as opposed to molasses, which gives it its distinctive look and taste. Take a tour of the distillery and enjoy a taste. It’s only sold locally so be sure to stock up.

J.R. O'Neal Botanic Gardens. Located in the capital of Road Town, this 4-acre botanical garden features an orchid house and small rainforest, as well as a lily pond, cactus garden and palm grove. Among the highlights is the flamboyant tree which features brilliant red flowers. Although run by local volunteers, the botanical garden was created by the B.V.I. National Parks Trust.