Landmarks on Tortola

Photo Credit: © Roland O'Daniel CC BY

There are more museums, ruins, historic buildings, and other landmarks on Tortola than any other island in the British Virgin Islands.  If learning about local culture is an important part of a vacation for you, start in Road Town.  As the island chain's capital and busiest city, you'll find many of the main points of interest to be centered within walking distance of one another here. 


Assuming you like to expand your knowledge of unfamiliar places and cultures, you might want to visit a museum while on vacation on Tortola. To learn more information regarding each museum, click on the name.

A landmark that often intrigues visitors is VI Maritime Museum. It can be found at H. Lavity Stoutt Community College and situated in eastern Tortola. The VI Maritime Museum strives to preserve the history of sailing in the British Virgin Islands. Exhibits include boat frames, tools used in the traditional building methods of boat building, artifacts from the 1867 ship wreck the RMS Rhone, two fully built traditional wooden seine boats that almost half a century old, and more.

Another popular destination is Old Government House Museum. It is situated in Road Town, in central Tortola. Explore the beautiful grounds and building that make up the Old Government House Museum and enjoy pictures of royal visits and occasions that took place here.

1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum: Current operating hours at the museum are from 9:00 a.m to 3:00 p.m., though sometimes these hours are extended to 4:00 p.m.

The following table lists some key facts concerning some museums worth checking out on the island.

Museums On Tortola
Name Phone Location
1780 Lower Estate Sugar Works Museum (284) 494-9206 0.3 mi. North-Northwest of Downtown Road Town
Eugene O'Neal Museum -- Downtown Road Town
Folk Museum (284) 494-3701 ext. 5005 Downtown Road Town
North Shore Shell Museum (284) 495-4714 1.5 mi. South West of Central Cane Garden Bay
Old Government House Museum (284) 494-4091 0.5 mi. South of Downtown Road Town
VI Maritime Museum (284) 852-7169 1.2 mi. South West of Central Parham Town

Historical Sites

Callwood Historic Distillery

Like learning some of the history of places you visit? If that's the case, you should consider visiting a few of these historical attractions during your time on Tortola.

Callwood Historic Distillery is a historical site Guests are welcome to tour the property and watch as rum is being made using the original boiler and the stored in historic storage casks. The Old Guard House remains intact and opened as an art gallery of local artists and gift shop where you can purchase the rum.

If you are looking to do more sight-seeing, visit Fort Recovery. It is Recovery, in southwestern Tortola. Tourists are welcome to visit the fort, but are asked to do so with caution. Because the government has yet to excavate the land, there could be unknown hazards.

St. Phillip's Church: St. Phillip's Church is an important structure with regards to black history in the British Virgin Islands, and even around the world. Almost entirely in ruins now, this structure was built by freed black slaves in the early to mid 19th century, and stands as the first Black Church in the Americas.

Be sure to look through the chart below for a listing of historic sites on Tortola.

Historic Sites On Tortola
Name Phone Location
Belmont Archaeological Site -- 2.8 mi. South West of Central Cane Garden Bay
Britannic Hall -- Downtown Road Town
Callwood Historic Distillery (284) 495-9383 Cane Garden Bay, Western part of Tortola
Fort Charlotte Ruins -- 0.5 mi. South-Southwest of Downtown Road Town
Fort Recovery (284) 495-4467 3.7 mi. Northeast of Central Coral Bay
Her Majesty's Prison -- Downtown Road Town
John Lettsom House -- 0.2 mi. West of Central Cane Garden Bay
Josiah's Bay Plantation -- 1.3 mi. West of Central Parham Town
Sir Oliva Georges Plaza -- Downtown Road Town
St. Michael Church Ruins -- 1.3 mi. South West of Central Cane Garden Bay
St. Phillip's Church -- 1.5 mi. East of Downtown Road Town
Sunday Morning Well -- 0.4 mi. West-Northwest of Downtown Road Town
The Dungeon -- 2.8 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town
Thornton Plantation -- 2.2 mi. South West of Central downtown Road Town
Vigilant Sloop (284) 495-4168 2.9 mi. North-Northeast of Central Coral Bay

Miscellaneous Landmarks

Visitors may discover some other intriguing sites on Tortola.

Miscellaneous Landmarks On Tortola
Name Type Location Island
Historic Main Street Walk Scenic Trail Downtown Road Town Tortola

Needless to say, Tortola has other attractions. To read our detailed guide to other attractions, click here.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.