British Virgin Islands
The shack first appeared in the 1970s, assembled from driftwood, corrugated iron and other flotsam and jetsam. Bomba himself still hangs out with visitors, and his shack, on Tortola’s West End, still looks like “a crazy fort someone built on the beach,” says Julie Johnson of Enumclaw, WA. The décor is dominated by a steady stream of guest-donated underthings, and the full-moon parties are legendary. During the day, watch the surfers in Cappoons Bay while you nurse a rum punch.
Cappoons Bay, West End, Tortola; 284-495-4148; no website
Da Conch Shack
Turks & Caicos
The sound track at this shack on Blue Hills Beach is pop tunes set to a reggae beat with a backup of hammers hitting conch shells. The snail-like creatures are harvested just offshore and served here as salad, fritters, chowder and curry. Locals might try to talk you into eating a “conch worm,” which they swear is a fertility-booster (it’s actually the noodle-like spine; don’t believe it when they say it’s something else). The best way to get it down is with a Conch Knocker, a rum drink with a “secret ingredient.” Blue Hills Rd., Providenciales; daconchshack.com