Soggy Dollar makes CNN list

The Soggy Dollar Bar makes CNN’s list of the Top 50 Beach Bars in the World.

Soggy Dollar comes in at a respectable #8.ย  Bomba’s Surfside Shack on Tortola is #19.

Your story for ours: The first trip to the Caribbean for us was 1999, to St.Maarten. Lots of fun. Fell in love with the water. Second trip, 2000, St. John. Same water. Fell in love with the island. That was 13 years ago.

What’s your story?

24 Replies to “Soggy Dollar makes CNN list”

  1. Bareboat vacation for a week sailing in BVI. On day 2, asked the captain to call ashore and change my flight, and book a hotel to stay longer. Went ‘back to reality’ but couldn’t get it out of mind. Sold my house out from under myself, moved to St John never having been there or knowing a soul. Made St John home and never looked back. To those who asked if I was afraid? NO, more afraid of never doing it and regretting it years later. If you think about it, go for it!!!

  2. If I remember correctly, it was 2002, I was asked to help friends move a 46′ catamaran to the BVI from NC. They were hired as Captain and Chef for that winter season. It was a non-stop motor sail for 2 weeks from Okracoke, NC to Soper’s Hole. I will never forget the feeling of making it to Soper’s and getting a shower and a few drinks later. I only had a few days before flying back to NC. Came back a year later for a visit and cruise around St John. I was hooked. Eventually sold everything, and moved. If I didn’t give up the cushy corporate position, sailboat, waterfront property, and all the conveniences the mainland offered, I would have regretted it for the rest of my life. I stayed a little over 2 years and loved it. Moved back to the states in late 2010. I miss island life everyday, but love it where we are now, also.

  3. My first Caribbean *influence* was “Songs in Calypso” by the Percentie Brothers (still one of my favorite albums), which I discovered at age 8 in my stepfather’s collection. Fast-forward 10 years: spring break in Nassau, where we got polluted on rum cokes on the beach (local kids would open the Coke bottles with their teeth!), body-surfed on Paradise Island, long before Atlantis (there was an over-the-hill hotel there, possibly a Holiday Inn, where we washed the sand out of our suits), and got sunburns approaching 3rd-degree. Second trip: the Bahamas again, this time as a mother’s helper, on Scotland Cay. We occupied one of only about 4 houses on the cay, and no one else was in residence, so we all ran around nekkid most of the time. Third trip was Aruba, for the 1999 solar eclipse.

    Meanwhile, one of my stepbrothers had lived on St. John for a couple of years and raved about it. A niece had spent a few years teaching on St. John (again, rave reviews), and finally I found out that a cousin had been making yearly trips to St. John. She was kind enough to transport me there and host me for two 10-day trips! While I wouldn’t mind seeing Jamaica before I kick the bucket, St. John is paradise.

    (And no, I never approved of opening Coke bottles with teeth, but we couldn’t stop them, and they were earning 25ยข per, which they probably needed.)

  4. 2002 Disney Cruise excursion: The minute we rode up the North Shore road to the Caneel and Trunk Bay overlooks we were amazed! We spent a few hours on Cinnamon Bay and we were hooked! First painkiller at Woody’s and then had to go back to the cruise ship ๐Ÿ™ We’ve spent at least a week on St. John every year since and wouldn’t think of going anywhere else!

  5. 1989 trip to Puerto Rico and a day trip via seaplane to St Thomas. Then a trip to St Croix later that same year, just before Hugo. Then another trip to St Thomas in 1991 and an excursion over to St John. That’s when we knew we had found our new home away from home.

  6. Honeymooned on St. Thomas in ’89 visited St’ John for a day then did a day sail snorkeling and sunning in and around St. John and BVIs a day or two later… absolutely loved it. First time I was on an island and the first time I saw the ocean… We saw the sunrise over St. John every morning, tried conch fritters, swordfish and coconut rum punch… met a girl from Philly who blamed the sun on her…um…larger than normal size(between you and me I think she was the same exact size when she got to the islands)… saw a cat eat a lizard…saw the stars at night as never before… still have some of my duty-free rum… Became interested in the Caribbean through Jimmy Buffet records my brother brought home after his time in the Navy…. the closest we’ve gotten since is Florida beaches…then became hooked to the Bongo Bongo construction blog which then led to OSJ… once I can afford it we’ll be back.

    As a card carrying member of the Soggy Dollar Painkiller club, I am so proud of their accomplishment…so sad I had nothing to do with it :o)

  7. Our first trip to STJ was via a cruise from STT. We found out from a group on cruisecritic how to catch the ferry very early and we had enough people from the ship to fill one of the taxi’s that we didn’t have to wait for others to slowly leave the ship and decide to go to STJ. Went to Cinnamon Bay and there were only the 15 of us that came over from the ship at the beach. We were HOOKED from that moment on. Since then we’ve spent a couple weeks there and I dream about STJ on a daily basis. Hoping to get back in the spring but I can’t convince people to go for a week instead of cruising. They think they would get bored, not possible!

  8. Great stories ….

    We were suppose to be headed to Europe for our Honeymoon but the actions of some very ill-willed people laid waste to those plans in September of 2001. On a whim our travel agent suggested we try a place called St. John in the USVI. We had no idea where it was and had to look at a map to find out … but we were comforted that it was a US territory. Off we went for two weeks with NO IDEA what was ahead of us. 10 years and three kids later … we have been back 6 times.

    The kids haven’t been yet … I guess that’s not completey true … two of them have been .. in utero LOVE CITY! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  9. Well Kevin…there goes that saying out the window….can no longer say, “What happens in St. John….stays in St. John..”

    Enjoying reading the stories…wish mine was as interesting…


  10. We wanted to go to Bora Bora but the cost was too much for us. I was trolling the travel boards and there was a post about where you like to go when you can’t afford Bora Bora. The overwhelming response was St John. I started researching it and our first trip was 2004. We loved it and decided we needed to take my sister in law and her husband. In 2007 we took them to St John and stayed at Bongo Bongo for Thanksgiving. We got them obsessed too. Now we all go together and have taken all the kids there. This Thanksgiving with be our 7th trip. 4th with all the kids. We keep saying we need to do an adults trip but the kids don’t understand the concept of us going to St John without them. I guess they are addicted too! My son’s favorite things are Maho Bay and Skinny Legs! Smart boy!!!

  11. Our love story with STJ began in 2001. My brother-in-law booked Second Wind & invited us down. We only had to pay airfare. The first time I saw the water was IT. We have fallen hopelessly in love with the place. Just came back from our 7th visit. Have made friends on the island & feel like it is home. We already can’t wait to get back.

  12. Got drunk one night at a charity event in Vail, Colorado. Bought two TV’s, a $500 savings bond, a Remington 12 gauge shotgun, a pink Harley Davis motorcycle and a trip to the Virgin Islands! Spent 3 nights on St. Thomas and four on John, bought land, built now three villas, wrote two books and the rest they say is history!

  13. 1997 – Tortola. Loved the water and climate.
    1998 – St John. Loved the water, climate, beaches, people, island, and laid-back lifestyle. Kept coming back – one, two, three times a year.
    2012 – bought our own (small) place.
    2013 – four trips this year.
    2015 – will retire in Paradise.

  14. Got married in October 1989 and honeymooned at Caneel Bay – have been visiting our “second home” ever since. Unfortunately, haven’t been on islands the past three years due to family illness. Villas at Westin for rent/sale week 29 & 30 if interested – listed with CBR (one of On-Stjohn sponsor!

  15. Forgot to mention, spent the day at White Bay at the Soggy Dollar Bar – not knowing that I was hanging out with Kenny Chesney and his guys at the bar playing “ring” with his crew. Then sat next to him at dinner at the Westin.

  16. Spent family vacations on the South Carolina beaches and discovered a connection with the water but never really went back. Later in life I got a call from Jimmy Buffett and promised myself I’d find an island. My partner and I came to St John in 2006 and chose it for the eco tourism over the mainstream tourism on St Thomas and St Croix. Made life long memories for a week and vowed to return. I watched Jaws once too many times but would sit on the beach and hike to Ram’s Head. We returned in 2011 and I learned to snuba and snorkel and discovered the wonderful sea in which my partner spent the entire week. Never made it to the Soggy Dollar. Waiting for it to break into the top 5.

  17. 1971- cinnamon bay campground, quite a different experience than now-went with parents and soon to be wife-age 20
    1989–maho bay campground – same group plus 3 kids
    1999– rented a house in fish Bay Area
    Back almost yearly since with family, friends or just my wife and I .
    It is our favorite spot to visit on earth– love the snorkeling, sailing, hiking, chillin on beach and the casual dining
    Two trips already this year.
    My retirement goal is to go long enough to get bored and i am wondering how long that will take. RickGus

  18. It started with a car accident that was the other guys fault. My mom used the insurance money to take my brother , grandmother and me to Cinammon Bay camping @ early 1960. Safari taxi fringe, July 4 parade and flamboyant trees – memories stuck in my brain. 8 years ago my husband and I returned with our son, who has been struggling with health issues his whole life. When I started to cry in the plane leaving stt we decided we would move there ASAP. 4 years ago we bought the Bertolino home and are happy, content. All because my mom got rear ended on Route 46 by Montclair….

  19. Our story sounds like #12 – Mike Mullen’s! Got drunk at a charity event and bought a week at a time share on St. Thomas. Did some day trips to St. John and loved the beaches.

    We bought a timeshare on St. Thomas and spend a day or two on St. John every year. We dream of a timeshare retirement with several weeks spent on St. John each year!

  20. First trip to Caribbean: St John, 1992. Moved there in 1993; stayed for 2 years. Go back now and then and bought land on St Croix.
    Back then, Salt Pond (our favorite beach) was usually deserted.I still have salt I harvested there.
    The island has changed alot. Some for the better; some for the worse. Seems so crowded now!

  21. Took the wife on vacation to STT in 1998, we are from Philadelphia. We took a day trip to STJ and have been coming back ever since. I’m too poor to move there but would in a heartbeat. Meet some nice people each time I go and people who see me so often recognize on sight. Have vacationed with my parents, children and grandchildren, sister as well as brother-in-law. Looking forward to the big dream.

  22. Just this Saturday came back from STJ. Went with our friends for each of our 25th wedding anniversaries. We had an incredible time!

    Last Tuesday chartered a boat to take us to BVI’s and one of our many stops was the Soggy Dollar Bar. The Painkillers were marvelous and if we had more time, I would have had a third… (and fourth…)

    Already looking at going back. Simply paradise…

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