Jimmy Buffett, American's party pirate-in-chief and unofficial ambassador to all things tropical, has lived in, traveled in, and written many songs about the Caribbean.
Both in interviews and song lyrics, he's been open about sharing some of his favorite Caribbean spots with fans; Buffett songs include stories of sunny days and foggy nights spent on islands like Jamaica (where police in Negril once shot at Buffett's plane, thinking it was being used to smuggle drugs), Cuba ("Havana Daydreamin'"), St. Barths, St. Martin ("For five wild years in L'Orient, the party never stopped..."), Barbados ("Thought I might sail down to Bridgetown, spend some time in the Barbados sun"), Martinique ("Well now, if I ever live to be an old man, I'm gonna sail down to Martinique, I'm gonna buy me a sweat-stained Bogart suit, and an African parakeet."), Tortola, Antigua, and even Haiti.
So if you're a Parrothead, or just want a taste of the carefree life celebrated by Buffett in his music, here's a guide to walking in some of Jimmy's sandy footsteps.
Jimmy Buffet Resorts
- Strawberry Hill, Jamaica: Located far from the touristy coastline, this Blue Mountains resort features a dozen Georgian-style cottages and a luxury spa, on a mountaintop perch overlooking Kingston.
- Goldeneye, Jamaica: Buffett is an author as well as a songwriter, so no surprise that he has some affinity for Goldeneye, the one-time Jamaica home for 007 author Ian Fleming.
- The Caves, Jamaica: Another Island Outpost property, The Caves is a legendary Jamaica hideout with cliffside villas, subterranean snorkeling, and a restaurant (and even a hot tub) built into natural caves.
- Eden Rock, St. Barts: Jimmy wrote some of his songs while staying at this Relais & Chateaux property, which literally perches on a rock on St. Jean Beach.
- Admiral's Inn, Antigua: Located at the historic Nelson's Dockyard, the hotel and restaurant are built in and around a 1785 former storehouse and harbor office.
- Anegada Reef Hotel, B.V.I.: A small, family-run resort located on a beautiful and largely deserted sandy island in the British Virgin Islands.
- Margaritaville, Jamaica: No visit to Jamaica would be complete for a true Parrothead without a pilgrimage to one of Buffett's own Margaritaville restaurants and bars, located in Montego Bay, Ocho Rios, and Negril. There's even a Margaritaville in the Sangster International Airport terminal if you need one last taste of the islands before heading home.
- Margaritaville, Grand Cayman: This new, multi-level entertainment complex overlooking the Georgetown harbor has a swim-up bar, water slide, and pool as well as a nightclub and restaurant.
- Margaritaville, Turks & Caicos: Grab a "boat drink" and then dip your toe in the 500,000-gallon pool at the new Margaritaville at the cruise-ship terminal on Grand Turk.
- Turtle Cove Inn, Turks & Caicos: The swimming pool at this budget hotel is a popular apres-dive hangout in Provo.
- Frangipani, Bequia: The restaurant at the Frangipani hotel on the tiny island of Bequia in the Grenadines is renowned for its West Indian cuisine.
- Staniel Cay Yacht Club, Bahamas: A yachting resort in the Exumas that Buffett calls one of the 10 great places in the world to get a waterside drink.
- Le Ti, St. Barts: Famous party spot for the rich, famous, and others hiding out in St. Barths.
- Le Select, St. Barts: 500 This is it, folks: the Caribbean restaurant that inspired the song "Cheeseburger in Paradise." ... "There's a party down at Le Selecte, music, rum and cheers. Faces in the shadows, God, I haven't seen for years..."
- Maya’s, St. Barts: Buffett, a frequent visitor to St. Barts, calls Maya's his favorite restaurant in the Caribbean.
- Kaye's, Rum Cay, Bahamas: A waterfront bar and grill on the remote island of Rum Cay, known for its deserted beaches and wreck diving.
- The Compleat Angler, Bimini: A favorite of both Buffett and Ernest Hemingway, the Compleat Angler sadly burned down in January 2006.
Beaches and Other Sites
- Bob Marley Museum, Jamaica: This Kingston museum tells the story of the life and music of a man who inspired musicians like Buffett as well as generations of Jamaicans.
- Long Island, Bahamas: Some of Buffett's favorite beaches are found on the island's west side.
- Barbuda: Another of the singer's favorite beach spots.
- Cane Gardens Bay, Tortola. British Virgin Islands: Popularized in Buffett's song "Manana," this town is famed as the home of the Callwood's Rum Distillery.