This island fest commemorates the 1834 abolition of slavery in the British Empire. One of the 14 British over-seas territories, BVI celebrates with beachfront reggae, soca, and calypso concerts, plus donkey and horse racing. There’s also a freedom march and grand cultural parade through Road Town, the capital and main seaport; bvitourism.com.
While you’re here: Get out on the water with a guided day trip to uninhabited Norman Island, where the real-life version of Treasure Island played out.
Where to stay: To enjoy the festival to its fullest, stay at the upscale Sugar Mill Hotel on the main island of Tortola. Located on the secluded north shore, the resort is more old-school than über-hip, a throwback to the 1950s, when sublime relaxation (rather than adrenaline-pumping recreation) was the trump card of the best Caribbean hotels. Rates start at $240; sugarmillhotel.com.