ABOUT ST. JOHN USVI
St. John FactsThe island of St. John is the smallest of the three US Virgin Islands, and is only 9 miles long and 5 miles wide. Because seventy five percent of the island is a US National Park, you have the Islanders' guarantee for enjoying the unspoiled natural beauty unrivaled by its busier and more crowded neighboring islands.
Our mountainous region leads upwards to breathtaking views of the most photogenic vistas on the planet, many of which have been highlighted in magazines including National Geographic. St. John Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center offers an introduction to the park, which covers the land and 5,650 acres of submerged land around the island.
What to Wear on St. John
St. John USVI and St. John Inn are both very island casual places with beautiful climate. Weather in St. John consists of a beautiful 85 degrees, with breezy winds to make a picture perfect day at the beach.
Pack your bathing suit, shorts, t-shirts, flip flops, a hat or cap, and of course sunglasses. Extras may include a pair of long pants or a skirt, and an evening top if fine dining on the island will be one of your planned activities.
If you are planning to hike during the day, hiking or closed toe shoes are recommended, especially with the hilly terrain.
Things to do on St. John USVIListed below are a couple of our favorite places, and activities to incorporate into the St. John travel plan you prepare. We love to give our local perspective on anything about the island of St. John.
On the WaterMany Caribbean islands claim to provide a surplus for water sports enthusiasts. However, few have such optimum scuba diving and snorkeling as offered in the waters surrounding the island of St. John. If one water sport is king on St. John USVI, it is snorkeling. The diversity of sea life and corals found around the island are incredibly unique and beautiful. Fishing and off shore light tackle fishing can also be done in a half or full day around the USVI and cays. If you want to plan a sail charter or power boat, feel free to ask us to help you find what you are looking for! Full and half day guided snorkeling trips are available, and we can also guide you to the best beaches to snorkel on your own. The staff at the St. John Inn will be happy to help you make reservations with these types of trips to enjoy a relaxing day out on the Caribbean waters. You can also visit the British Virgin Islands, rent a dinghy to explore St. John yourself, or just enjoy relaxing on St. Johnís pristine beaches.
HikingSt. Johnís National Park provides over 20 miles of hiking trails! The Virgin Islands National Park Visitors Center offers many seminars, excursions, and tours around St. John USVI. With the pristine National Park and many beaches to explore, there are always new places to explore on St. John. Inquire at the Visitorís Center for their map and schedule of interpreted trail hikes. There is also an excellent map produced by National Geographic for sale in many stores around the island. Our favorite is the unofficial hiking map which is always available in our lobby at the St. John Inn. In addition, we highly recommend ďSt. John Off the Beaten TrackĒ by Gerald Singer, this book includes background information on St. John USVI as well as off trail adventures!
Lind Point Trail is located behind the National Park Visitors Center, which is an easy walk from the main ferry dock, and is 0.7 miles long. The Lind Point Trail will lead you to our favorite secluded Solomon and Honeymoon beaches, and along the way you will pass through land which at one time was cultivated to produce cotton.
Margaret Hill Overlook is across the North Shore Road from Caneel Bay, which climbs up 700ft in less than a mile! At the top you will come to one of our favorite outstanding views! You can continue on the trail to loop around and lead you to where you began.
Historical Points of Interest on St. John USVIReef Bay Trail is a five-hour guided hike that will bring you down to Reef Bay where you can see petroglyphs from the Arawak Indians; the first settlers on St. John. You will also experience the ruins of a sugar mill. The guided tour is available through the National Park which will transport you by boat back to Cruz Bay, or you have the option of exploring around and getting back on your own time.
You will find a restored sugar mill and slave housing complex at Annaberg. Archeologists have uncovered many artifacts dating back to slavery. The steep hills behind the factory are where the sugarcane was harvested, and the windmill that was used to crush the sugarcane is still intact! Parking and restrooms are available here.
Lastly, we recommend for you to visit Cathrineberg which is located off of Centerline Road. This mill ruin was built in 1718 just after Danish colonization, and many buildings you will see still remain but very fragile.
St. John Inn Favorites BeachesHawksnest is St. Johnís most popular beach for locals and the St. John vacation traveler. It is the first beach in the Park when coming from Cruz Bay up North Shore Road. With its crystal blue water, soft white sand, and excellent snorkeling, there is no wonder why Hawksnest Beach is a favorite experienced by all. Two gazebos are available for parties, barbecues or family events, and changing rooms and bathroom facilities are on site for convenience.
Leinster Bay is a preferred snorkeling spot among locals and guests alike, where you will find an ocean floor lined with star fish of all different colors and sizes! You can also swim out to the island called Waterlemon Cay and you will find the most colorful coral reefs on St. John.
Trunk Bay is renowned one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and it is spectacular! A $4.00 charger per person is required to enter, but Trunk Bay is equipped with showers, rest rooms, snack bars, and water sports rental equipment. This is the only beach with available lifeguards during the day. Most first-timers head for the famed underwater snorkeling trail at Trunk Bay, just a ten minute drive from the St. John Inn!
Cinnamon Bay is our number one recommended beach for water sports where you can enjoy windsurfing, kayaking, snorkeling, and surfing! An Archeological museum lies in a historic Danish building just a step away! This museum houses plantation day artifacts found right beneath the surface at Cinnamon. There is also a small store and restaurant, as well as showers and bathrooms.
These are only a few of the hundred of beaches on St. John USVI available to the St. John traveler. Therefore, there are many more to explore to keep your vacation more exciting each and every day!
Visit our local newspaper to catch up on local activities before your trip because there is always something going on in town from music festivals to local flea markets!
Cruz Bay, St. John, Virgin Islands
Diving in the Virgin Islands
Cinnamon Beach, St. John, USVI
Soloman Beach, St. John, USVI
Photos Courtesy of Michele Falzone
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