It’s no surprise that the Caribbean is home to some of the most pristine beaches in the world. Striking white, black, and even pink sand outline the perimeter of the region’s idyllic islands. Adding a locally brewed beer to the scene only further enhances the intangible yet palpable magic of these beautiful destinations.
With that in mind, here are some of the top Caribbean beaches worth experiencing with a cold brew in hand.
Red Stripe — Doctor’s Cave Beach, Jamaica
The home of reggae music, jerk chicken, and Rastafarianism, Jamaica offers a quintessential Caribbean experience. Many beaches on the island are privately owned and connected to hotels, so navigating them can, at times, feel challenging. For the perfect blend of local energy, powdery white sand, and azure waters, check out Doctor’s Cave Beach in Montego Bay. This stretch can be accessed for a small fee (around $6 for adults) from a street-side entrance, or for free with a stay at nearby S Hotel. Be sure to grab some ice-cold Red Stripe, one of Jamaica’s premier beer brands, to sip while taking in the vistas.
Banks — Brownes Beach, Barbados
The easternmost island in the Caribbean touts some of the most stunning beaches, especially along its remarkable Platinum Coast, where the clear, warm waters gently lap onto the sand. Even in peak season, it’s not uncommon to carve out your own nook at a spot like Brownes Beach at Carlisle Bay. Here, the sand is white and the calm waters are perfect for floating in. Grab a local Banks beer and some fish fritters or cutters (local sandwich bites) to complete the idyllic beach experience.
Carib — Maracas Beach, Trinidad and Shandy Carib — Pigeon Point Beach, Tobago
The sister islands affectionately known as Trinidad and Tobago offer a double dose of beach and beer pairings. Trinidad, known for its long-running, well-attended Carnival event, is mostly green and mountainous. One of the few swimmable beaches on the island is Maracas Beach, where everyone tends to congregate to lime (a hangout session that could last a few hours or the whole day). Here, you can purchase a locally brewed Carib beer to go along with your fully dressed (with all the fixings) bake and shark, an unparalleled fish sandwich that you can purchase from many vendors along the beach, including popular shops like Richard’s or Natalie’s.
A quick ferry or flight will bring you to Tobago. Though it’s just a stone’s throw from Trinidad, and an official part of the country, there are subtle yet substantial nuances between the two islands. The cuisine (try curry crab and dumplings), architecture, cultural makeup of the people, and even local accent make Tobago an experience in and of itself. Grab a Shandy Carib — in either a sorrel (hibiscus), ginger, or lime flavor — and relax on the powdery white sand at Pigeon Point Beach before diving into the cerulean water.
Stag — BBC Beach, Grenada
Although Grand Anse Beach, one of the longest and most pristine on the island, is a popular choice, a short walk right over the hill and through the neighboring Morne Rouge area will bring you to BBC Beach. A local favorite, the crescent-shaped BBC boasts true Grenadian flair, with a handful of establishments, including a couple of beach bars and a roti shop — all of which offer locally brewed Stag beer. Grab a drink and sit under an almond tree as you listen to the sounds of Jab Jab, Grenada’s local stamp on soca music, and watch the sunset on the horizon next to the cascading cliffs in the distance.
Piton — Sugar Beach, St. Lucia
The Pitons, two volcanic plugs rising out of the Caribbean Sea on the southwestern corner of St. Lucia, are iconic, recognizable landmarks of the island. Though the island is home to many beautiful beaches, between the Pitons lies perhaps one of the most beautiful stretches in the world, Sugar Beach. The water here is calm and clear, and just off the shore are countless exotic fish, making this an ideal snorkeling destination. Downing an ice-cold Piton beer, the locally made lager named after the mountain, is the perfect way to end a day of fun in the sun.
Rondel Holder is a New York City-based content creator and traveler who has visited over 60 countries. He shares travel stories through his community of Black travelers on his platform, Soul Society 101, and curates Africa trips through his travel concierge, Global Royalty.