St. John, USVI
St. John is the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, only 9 miles
long and 5 miles wide. This lush island is one of the prettiest islands in
the Caribbean and it has gorgeous beaches right out of
central casting. Covering three-fifths of St. John is the mountainous
Virgin Islands National Park, which has beautiful hiking trails. Along the
way one can explore the ruins of the 18th c. Annaberg Plantation, which
once produced sugarcane, rum and molasses, while seeing many plant and bird species unique to
St. John. A third of the park is submerged below the sea and so a
wonderful and very fun snorkeling trail was created. Good snorkeling and
diving can also be found off many beaches particularly Leinster Bay on the
Adorable Cruz Bay, the capital, has some very nice shops and restaurants.
Nightlife is pretty quiet but there are a few amusing bars. Nearby is Caneel Bay Hotel where one can go for really yummy breakfast and lunch
buffets. It also has a perfect sunset view for drinks. Coral Bay on the
other side of the island is very quaint with a couple of good restaurants
and fewer tourists.
When not on one of the fantastic beaches like Hawksnest or Trunk Bay, a
fun day trip is chartering a boat with a captain to cruise around the
British Virgins stopping for a picnic on a deserted islet. There are also
several places on the island to rent ocean kayaking and windsurfing
equipment or schedule a fishing, snorkeling or diving excursion. Tennis
and riding are available too as are masseurs to come to one’s house.
Local currency is the US dollar. Fly to St. Thomas and take a water taxi
or the ferry (20 minutes) over to Cruz Bay.