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Virgin Gorda is a popular Caribbean destination for couples and adults, particular those with an interest in boat charters. But don’t overlook it for your next tropical vacation with kids! There are some great of things to do in Virgin Gorda for families.
Most travelers know Virgin Gorda, if at all, for the Baths, which steal the spotlight with their unique boulder formations and turquoise water. (And we’ve confirmed — they are totally worth the stop.)
But the baths are just the beginning. The island’s hiking trails and less crowded beaches are ideal spots for family adventures. Virgin Gorda also offers a handful of great restaurants that cater to different tastes, including those of younger palates. And the luxury family resorts on this island are out of this world.
Whether you’re into active days or just looking to lounge on the beach, Virgin Gorda has something for everyone.
Read on for the top 12 things to do in Virgin Gorda with kids.
Virgin Gorda Map
It’s always helpful to see a map of the island you’re about to explore, to get oriented and plan your exploration. This map of Virgin Gorda pins all of our recommended things to do in Virgin Gorda with kids, for easy reference.
The Best Things to Do in Virgin Gorda With Kids
1.Visit The Baths – But Be Strategic About It!
Some spots earn their “touristy” label for good reason, and the Virgin Gorda Baths are one of them. Giant boulders form a series of pools and grottoes, creating a natural labyrinth that is absolutely worth the visit, cruise ship crowds notwithstanding.
Located on the southern point of Virgin Gorda, you can reach the boulders with a 15 minute hike from the main road. The trail is fairly easy but there’s not much shade –it can feel very hot with kids in particular, so bring hats, parasols, sunscreen, and lots of water.
An even better option? Arrive at the Baths by boat as part of a half day boat charter. There is a dinghy mooring and you can swim into the beach, avoiding the hot hike and getting some time out on the water too. We were quite jealous on our own trip to the Baths that we hadn’t thought of this.
Once you get to the main area of the Baths, the fun begins. There are two beachfront areas that offer a completely unique snorkeling and swimming experience among the boulders–Devil’s Bay and Spring Bay. Each bay is part of its own national park – Devil’s Bay National Park and Spring Bay National Park – with the two of them surrounding the Baths.
You’ll start at Devil’s Bay. Definitely take a few extra minutes to get in and under the water here. The smooth boulders against the turquoise sea create an eerily peaceful feeling. When you snorkel, you can swim through passageways in the rocks and really feel like an underwater explorer.
Connecting the two beachfronts is the heart of the Baths – the series of Caves referred to as the The Boardwalk. Natural winding tunnels take you through shallow pools and over and around boulders.
Walking through the Caves is a blast for kids and adults alike, but the pathways can be a bit steep and narrow, and would be a real challenge with kids under 3. We highly recommend leaving littler kids at the resort with a trusted babysitter if that’s an option for you. Older kids with sure footing will absolutely delight in this adventure.
When you come out of the Caves, you’ll land at the second beach, Spring Bay, which also has a beach bar called Poor Man’s Bar and a couple of souvenir stands.
Now, let’s talk about timing, because when you visit the Baths matters. Cruise ships often bring a crowd, turning this serene spot into a bustling hub. My pro tip? Check the cruise ship schedules for Tortola and St. Thomas and aim to visit either on a day with few ships, or early in the morning (before 10) or late in the afternoon as the sun starts to set.
Not only will you dodge the masses, but you’ll also avoid the peak heat of the day. Your experience at the Baths will be way more enjoyable without the elbow-to-elbow crowds and scorching sun.
2. Check Out Valley Trunk Bay
If you want to add a bit more adventure to your trip to the Baths, don’t stop at Spring Bay. Take a secret short trail north from Spring Bay to reach Little Trunk Beach on Big Trunk Bay. (It can also be reached by boat). Lots of travelers report that there’s even better snorkeling here than at Devil’s Bay, and certainly fewer crowds!
3. Stay at a Luxury Virgin Gorda Resort
Virgin Gorda has a number of dreamy luxury resorts that not only welcome families, but offer a variety of amenities to make it easy on traveling parents, including kids’ clubs, family-friendly pools, and laid-back restaurants.
The Rosewood Little Dix Bay is an award-winning Virgin Gorda resort located on a secluded beach. The resort offers a variety of activities for kids, including a kids’ club. One of our favorite offerings at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, though, is the chance to be dropped off at a secluded beach of your choice on Virgin Gorda with a private picnic–something the whole family will remember.
Perhaps the best part about the Rosewood, for families traveling with young kids in particular, is how easy it is to get to: From the Tortola Beef Island Airport, you can walk 2 minutes across the parking lot to the private ferry dock, and in 20 minutes the Rosewood’s boat will be pulling you into the property for check-in.
If you want to venture further with older kids, though, you could also consider the Bitter End Yacht Club, a bit of a Virgin Gorda institution. Located on the North Sound, and accessible only by boat, it’s known as the place to learn to sail. Families who love all things water, boats, and relaxation away from it all are welcome.
Or, go even one step more removed, and book a private villa at Oil Nut Bay on the eastern trip of Virgin Gorda. This property caters to multi-generational families with luxury villas ranging from one to six bedrooms, scattered across 400 acres.
Fun fact: the Nut House kids’ club at Oil Nut Bay was designed based on the Lord of the Rings hobbit houses.
4. Rent a Jeep to Explore
You probably don’t need a car for your entire stay in Virgin Gorda, especially if you’re staying at a resort. But renting a jeep to poke around for a day or two at your own speed is both easy, and a fun adventure. Kids will love the unique car (and so will you, let’s be honest).
If you’re staying at the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, it’s easy to arrange a car rental through the concierge. Otherwise, we’ve heard good things about Mahogany Car Rentals, which has a few jeeps in its fleet.
Take the N Sound Road to loop around the north end of the island and take in all the best views, then head south through Spanish Town to the Baths for an afternoon swim.
Be sure to stop at Hog Heaven for BBQ and incredible views on your way across the island.
5. Sailing, Boating, Fishing, Oh My!
It’s no secret that the British Virgin Islands are a boat-lovers paradise. While out on the water, you’ll find that most visitors to the BVIs love to sail, fish, snorkel–or all of the above. Boating activities are the classic thing to do in Virgin Gorda.
Spend some time while in the islands teaching your kids one of these boat-based activities. There are many companies that offer sailing and deep sea fishing charters on Virgin Gorda. These tours are a great way to see the islands from a different perspective and to keep the kids engaged in your family vacation.
6. Hike to Gorda Peak
If you’re a hiking family, take the kids to Gorda Peak National Park. This 250+ acre protected forest is where you’ll find the island’s highest peak, Gorda Peak.
There are two ways to approach the hike to the top of Virgin Gorda Peak, depending on the age and stamina of those in your group. The first trailhead you’ll reach – if driving north from Spanish town into the park – will send you on an easy, winding 50 minute hike to the summit. Or, you can opt for a shorter, steeper 25-minute path at the second trailhead.
With kids, we recommend the first, as the trail is not only easier, but better maintained, and mostly shady.
7. Visit Savannah Bay Beach
Virgin Gorda has several beautiful beaches, but you won’t find tone of amenities, resorts, or beach chairs on their sandy shores. Instead, you’ll experience a different kind of seclusion as you relax and soak up the sun.
If you love a secluded beach, or are looking for free things to do in Virgin Gorda, make it a point to stop at Savannah Bay Beach. This long, remote, white stretch of sand will put you totally at ease.
8. Visit Leverick Bay Marina the North Sound
The North Sound is an area of water north of Virgin Gorda; that’s where you’ll find a few small islands, like Saba Rock, Moskito Island, and Prickly Pear. The body of water that is bordered by Virgin Gorda and these small islands is a protected anchorage. The beaches and restaurants on this body of water are some of the BVIs best.
Some places on the North Sound can be reached by car. Leverick Bay Marina and the Gun Creek Ferry Terminal, for example, are each only about a 20 minute drive from Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda’s main entry point.
Once you reach these hidden gems and gaze toward the horizon, you’ll spot secluded destinations across the North Sound, accessible only by boat. If the water is calling you, by all means, keep going. But a stop at Leverick Bay Marina will at least give you a feel for what Virgin Gorda’s north end is all about.
9. Dine or Stay at Saba Rock Resort
Saba Rock is a tiny one-acre island resort that yachters have been visiting for years. It’s a small resort on a rock, with just 5 guestrooms (two of which are adjoining so work for families) and two suites.
But you don’t have to be on a yacht or an overnight guest to enjoy lunch at Saba Rock Resort. A new Saba Express ferry brings 60 persons at a time from Beef Island in Tortola (out front of the Loose Mongoose restaurant) over to Saba Rock. There are also frequent ferries running from Gun Creek, about a 20 minute taxi ride from the Virgin Gorda airport.
The open-air restaurant serves Caribbean specialties, including conch fritters and Anegada lobster, but also casual fare like burgers and pizzas that the kids will love.
Active families can also rent a paddleboard or kayak for the day to explore the clear, calm waters surrounding Saba Rock resort. Saba Rock is known as a bit of a kiteboarding mecca, and watch some of the best kiteboarding in the Caribbean while you dine if certainly one of the most unique things to do in Virgin Gorda!
10. Take a Kiteboarding Lesson
The North Sound is known as one of the best kiteboarding destinations in the Caribbean, with shallow waters and a breeze that lasts all year long. If you watch the kite surfers during your lunch at Saba Rock, consider taking a lesson with kids 6 and up.
Up N’ Under Watersports offers kiteboarding, eFioing, and Wingfoiling from Saba Rock, and will also pick up guests at other locations from the North Sound.
11. Take a Boat Tour to Jost Van Dyke
If you’re in Virgin Gorda, don’t miss the chance to hop over to the small island of Jost Van Dyke for a day trip.
This small island is a tropical gem, famous for its White Bay Beach, home to Soggy Dollar Bar, where the iconic Painkiller cocktail was born. If you’re into country music, you might recognize Jost from Kenny Chesney’s songs, including “It’s that Time of Day.”
White Bay Beach isn’t just eye candy; it’s a full sensory experience. The sand is some of the softest in the Caribbean, and the local restaurants serve up surprisingly delicious island fare. And the overall vibe is really hard to beat.
Even if you’re not staying on Jost Van Dyke, it’s absolutely worth seeing as part of your adventure to Virgin Gorda.
12. Enjoy the Sunset at CocoMaya
CocoMaya is one of those laid-back waterfront restaurants that you just want to revisit time and again. Adults will love the interesting cocktails and elevated cuisine. Kids can entertain themselves with the oversized jenga and other tabletop games.
Everyone will love the swing seat at the bar and sunset.
CocoMaya is one of the best restaurants in Virgin Gorda, and spending an evening there is one of our favorite things to do in Virgin Gorda with kids.
13. Visit Copper Mines National Park
Copper Mines National Park in Virgin Gorda is another great detour if you’re looking for things to do in Virgin Gorda away from the usual beach scenes. It’s home to ruins of a 19th-century copper mine, offering both history buffs and nature lovers something to dig into. The area has well-marked trails, making it easy for a family walk.
The hike is manageable for little legs, and the mine ruins can spark some interesting conversations about history and geology. Pack some snacks, sunscreen, and maybe a bag for collecting rocks
When to Visit Virgin Gorda
The best time to visit Virgin Gorda is during the dry season, which runs from December to April. During this time, the weather is warm and sunny, with little rain. The island is also less crowded during the dry season.
Getting to Virgin Gorda
The easiest way to get to Virgin Gorda is by ferry from Tortola, which takes less than 30 minutes. There are also a few private charter companies that offer flights to the island.
Where to stay in Virgin Gorda
The best place to stay in Virgin Gorda with kids is the Rosewood Little Dix Bay, the iconic luxury resort on the island’s best beach. Alternatively, we also absolutely love nearby Guana Island for a unique getaway, with an easy daytrip to explore the best things to do in Virgin Gorda.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Virgin Gorda Baths has a small entry fee, approximately $3 per adult in 2023.
Yes! You can take Speedy’s Ferry from St. Thomas to Virgin Gorda. The direct ferry takes 90 minutes. Routes are limited, however, and during certain periods the ferry runs only on Saturdays. On other days, you may need to take a ferry from St. Thomas to Road Town, Tortola, a taxi to Trellis Bay, and then a ferry from Trellis Bay, Tortola to Virgin Gorda.
You could easily spend a whole week in Virgin Gorda at one of the luxury resorts like Rosewood Little Dix Bay. Or, make Virgin Gorda one stop on an island hopping tour, with a minimum recommended stay of 2 days.
Virgin Gorda is in the Caribbean Sea and is part of the BVIs. It is one of the eastern-most islands in the Virgin Islands, and sits east of Tortola, St. Thomas, and St. John.
Virgin Gorda is known for the Baths, the iconic natural boulder formation on the south end of the island. The Baths are a popular stop for cruise passengers who dock in Tortola, and for travelers embarking on boat charters through the British Virgin Islands.
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