By: Kristin Bourne
Sandy Ground is one of my favorite Anguilla beaches.
Calm and surrounded by the beautiful north and south hills (aka the villages of North Hill and South Hill). Historical. Eclectic, beautiful, friendly, and unique. There is so much to love about this beach.
Let's explore Sandy Ground...
Sandy Ground from the Back Street overlook in South Hill
The term "Sandy Ground" refers to the stretch of land between the salt pond and the sea (photo above). Sandy Ground sits on the waters of Road Bay.
Road Bay is a working port and harbor, home to many boats and businesses. It is the nightlife capital of Anguilla, and the busiest beach in terms of density of restaurants. It is also the busiest bay on the island for boat traffic.
Lots and lots of boats...
The container ships come and go to the south end of the bay. Local boats and charters come and go from the wharf closer to the middle of the bay. The fishermen and their smaller boats stick to the north end of the bay.
Looking north on Sandy Ground...
These boats coming and going, bobbing out in the sea on their moorings is a beautiful sight. Not to mention the clear-blue, calm waters and hillsides framing the spacious sky!
Beautiful blue waters...
On that note, Sandy Ground is an easy beach. The water is almost always calm, more like a "baby pool" and the beach isn't as sloped as some can be.
Calm seas peppered with fishing boats...
Some days Sandy Ground can be quiet and still. Other days, you can find music pumping, a boat race, or even tents set up with BBQ for an event.
Sandy Ground is also the location for most of Anguilla's Carnival, where thousands of people and hundreds of boats congregate.
Whether quiet and calm or hopping with a party, if you are looking to spend a day on Sandy Ground beach, you will not be sorry. Everyday on this Anguilla beach is a treat.
Let's start our walking tour at the far north end of the beach at...
Welcome to one of Anguilla's best beach bars, Elvis' Beach Bar .
Elvis' iconic boat bar sits right on the sand. There is a deck area with additional seating, ceiling fans galore, and cover from the sun or rain.
Above that is a nice roof deck area that provides a pretty perch for taking in the Sandy Ground view.
Elvis Beach Bar on a quiet afternoon
Elvis opens up late morning (close to noon) and is an excellent happy hour spot.
They serve rum punches and all sorts of beers and cocktails. Their notorious Mamawanna rum always draws some attention if someone decides to sample it!
Tip: Get yourself to Elvis' prior to sunset, order a plate of their mouthwatering nachos and watch the sun go down with the sand between your toes, breeze in your hair, and cold drink in your hand! Ahhh...
The fun usually doesn't stop when happy hour ends. Who wants to leave Elvis'? Elvis himself is as sweet as he can be! Elvis' is a great late night / night-out hang out for both locals and tourists, even Paris Hilton! Elvis keeps the picture of he and Paris up at the bar.
Let's move on down the beach...
If you walk toward the sea from Elvis' and go left, this is where everything else on Sandy Ground is.
Criss Conch Shack is located on the beach between Elvis' and Lit Lounge.
If you're looking for freshly caught seefood bites, look no further than Criss Conch Shack. Crispy conch fritters, fish burgers and tasty lobster bites makes this one of the most important stops on a Sandy Ground night out.
Charming Criss Conch Shack
With open, outdoor seating and an outdoor pool table, the Conch Shack is the place for a light, breezy get together.
Next up, the always lively...
A night out at Sandy Ground's strip wouldn't be complete without a visit to Lit Lounge.
Delectable drinks and live DJs will have you buzzing around in a funfilled night of drinks and dancing on their spacious wooden deck above the sand.
Lit Lounge is always bursting with energy...
For eats? Don't miss their Ethnik Cuisine food van serving up Asian-Caribbean inspired dishes. Think: Sushi rolls, pad thai, bao buns, fried rice and spring rolls.
Lit Lounge offers great service, great food and terrific cocktails.
Centrally located beach restaurant, Johnno's...
Johnno's sits right on the beach next to Lit Lounge. It is a central Sandy Ground restaurant and bar. They serve standard lunch fare of burgers, ribs, fish, and plenty of cocktails and beers.
On the other side of Johnno's is a parking lot. It's an easy spot to park and access the beach. There is also a public restroom just past the parking lot.
Walking on down the beach...
The next business you will approach is the SandBar Anguilla Restaurant. It is one of my faves in Anguilla.
SandBar is a small, beautiful restaurant right on the sands of Sandy Ground
They serve delicious tapas plates for dinner.
Just writing this page, I start craving SandBar fries! Granted the menu goes well beyond fries, but SandBar does have some special fries. Another thing that SandBar is known for ... their creative and well-made cocktails at happy hour!
Outstanding tapas at SandBar
Next door, try some authentic Italian cuisine at...
Dolce Vita opened up in February of 2011 and has been gaining loyal diners since. Their freshly made pastas and their italian seafood entrees have become must-haves on any trip to Anguilla.
High ceilings, and a wooden, cabin like interior open up to a large, airy patio that sits, eye-level to Sandy Ground bay. Dinners here are romantic and intimate. Co-owned by Head Somelier and Head Chef, Abbi and Chris are lovely hosts.
Fine dining and stunning sunsets at Dolce Vita...
Special Tip: Friday nights are always filled with good times and lots of laughter at Dolce Vita's Friday Karaoke.
Abbi, along with the beloved and talented Darvin Mussington from the Mussington Brothers, lead the crowd with soulful croonings and a fun night everyone can get in on.
Sandy Ground Sunset Seen From Dolce Vita
Further down the beach and you reach...
Ever been to a real "boathouse"?
Valdez is the best kept secret this side of the island
Built out of a ship's hull, Valdez is cool, inventive and always filled with lively locals on the weekends. It's a go-to spot for drinks, table-top bar games and spirited games of pool.
Valdez also serves great bites to eat, from crispy, deep fried shark bits to piping hot, mini and cheesy calzones.
Valdez is THE spot!
With its disco-like lighting, this "modern speak-easy" proves one thing with its cool, cozy atmosphere... Valdez is a real hidden treasure on Sandy Ground.
Continuing down the beach...
A staple of the Sandy Ground dining scene...
Under the previous owners, Graham and Jill, Barrel Stay grew to great popularity as a top five-star restaurant with a most romantic setting, right on the water.
Today, new owners, Annette and Desmond are breathing new life into the beautiful restaurant.
More on Barrel Stay.
Finally we reach the last establishment on the southern end of Sandy Ground...
Roy's to date serves up my favorite fish n' chips on the island. I find his to be consistently just right.
Roy's Famous Fish & Chips
Having only been here for lunch, the view is incredible. The blue glow from the sea at Sandy Ground seen from the shade sitting in Roy's is quite a reminder of how good life is, as you sit there and eat a hearty lunch.
Roy's also has the beloved Anguilla web cam. It refreshes every 60 seconds and offers a nice shot of Sandy Ground during the daylight hours. I often had his webcam pulled up as I would sit in my cold office. It was nice to gaze at while on a conference call :-)
That concludes the walk! More aspects I love about Sandy Ground?...
My favorite Anguilla sunset. The silhouettes of the boats slightly rocking in the water with the sun going down can't be beat!!
Most often the scene of a boat race start and finish - the historical Anguilla sporting event is kept alive on the same ground (and sea) as it was years and years ago.
Children playing and jumping off the wharf always makes me smile. What a special place!
The energy around Carnival time and the beach loaded down with people is incomparable.
Combine all of that with the aromas from the restaurants and grills that line Sandy Ground... this is Anguilla to me. Sandy Ground encompasses so many things that make Anguilla
Sunset at Sandy Ground from the roof deck at Elvis' Beach Bar
Experience More Anguilla Beaches Walks...