St. John is the Caribbean’s true hidden gem! This charming island is widely recognized as one of the world’s most breathtaking luxury travel destinations. Though St. John is the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, at a mere nine miles wide, its turquoise waters, white sand beaches, and lush green hills draw millions of visitors annually. Much of this enchanting island is protected by the National Park Service; preserving the natural beauty of St. John’s forests, shorelines, and coral reefs.
This secluded oasis hosts no airport and must be accessed via inter-island ferry from St. Thomas or by private/chartered yacht. As such, the bustling harbor of Cruz Bay offers many travelers their first glimpse of the charming Caribbean paradise that is St. John. This vibrant town is the island’s entertainment epicenter, with abundant restaurants, nightlife, and shopping. If you’re looking for a more low-key experience, travel across the island to Coral Bay, where you can truly live on “island time”. Coral Bay is a quintessential island town, offering a slow pace and local wildlife encounters, while still providing excellent restaurant and shopping opportunities. St. John’s expansive National Park lands, covering nearly two-thirds of the island, provide travelers with a range of hiking trails leading to some of the most enchanting beaches in the Caribbean. St. John is a truly magical little island, with something to please even the most discerning vacationer!
St. John offers a plethora of opportunities to enjoy the natural splendors of the Caribbean by sea and by land. Some of St. John’s most alluring locations are part of the expansive Virgin Islands National Park, which covers nearly two-thirds of the island, and includes an impressive 5,650 acres of underwater habitat!
Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Maho Bay are some of the most famous destinations, offering seascapes to match even your wildest Caribbean beach fantasies! These magnificent coves are best experienced via yacht, sailboat, or kayak. Trunk Bay is home to the Virgin Island National Park Underwater Snorkeling Trail, and unsurprisingly, features some of the island’s best snorkeling! This impressive underwater trail has markers to lead snorkelers along hundreds of yards of coral reef surrounding Trunk Cay, most of which are located on the protected side and patrolled by a lifeguard for peace of mind. Watermelon Cay is also considered one of the island’s top snorkeling locations, offering glimpses of Sea Turtles in the westerly grass beds, Cushion Starfish, and the occasional dolphin encounter!
For land lovers, St. John boasts some breathtaking vistas that can be accessed via the island’s extensive hiking trails. Cruz Bay hosts several popular trailheads, including Caneel Hill Trail, offering what is arguably one of the best sunset views in the Caribbean; as well as Lind Point Trail, which connects to the beautiful and secluded Salomon Beach!
After a day of exploring, travelers can treat themselves to some mouth-watering local cuisine at one of St. John’s many exquisite restaurants. Lime Out is a popular dining destination for boaters, located on the SouthEast side of St. John in Coral Harbor. This floating restaurant features an eclectic taco menu, as well as an impressive array of refreshments, including hand-crafted cocktails, local beer, and a variety of non-alcoholic refreshments. For those seeking a sit-down meal, Extra Virgin Bistro is an upscale St. John favorite, offering a gourmet three-course tasting menu with locally grown and sourced products.
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