This visitor put up is written by Theresa McKinney, a USVI fanatic and journey blogger:
Are you headed to St. John USVI, aka some of the magical locations on earth? This slice of paradise is the second smallest island within the US Virgin Islands, with 60 p.c of it being lined by Virgin Islands National Park. The nationwide park’s safety means this island stays the untouched paradise that guests treasure.
A visit to St. John will ship excellent white-sand seashores, distinctive hikes previous colonial ruins, and unforgettable surroundings in a pristine setting. Because the island solely has one chain lodge, the Westin, most individuals keep in small villas or cottages that dot this mountainous island. Due to their elevation, many of those leases provide unbelievable views of the turquoise Caribbean Sea.
The under one-week itinerary will present you the perfect of St. John. From lovely seashores to the perfect eating places, you might be assured to have a dreamy getaway.
The Excellent 7-Day St. John USVI Itinerary:
Day 1: Arrive at St. John USVI
The primary day of your journey will largely encompass journey, because it takes a full day to achieve St. John from most locations. As there isn’t any airport on the island, you need to first fly into St. Thomas’s Cyril E. King Airport (STT).
Seize a taxi proper exterior the airport with the intention to cross the island to the Crimson Hook ferry dock, the place you should purchase tickets for the 20-minute journey to St. John. Tickets price $8.15, plus an extra $4 for baggage; the ferry departs as soon as per hour (see the schedule here).
The ferry will drop you off in Cruz Bay on St. John. Relying on once you arrive, the next step might be grabbing meals or choosing up your rental automobile.
Word: A rental automobile just isn’t required on St. John, particularly when staying in Cruz Bay, however it’s a lot tougher to discover with out one. Reserve your rental automobile ideally six months prematurely, or as quickly as doable. Many villas require a Jeep for entry, so double-check when you’ll want one; they get booked up shortly. St John Car Rental and Mr. Piper’s Jeeps are two of the perfect firms.
For an off-the-cuff first meal, I like to recommend heading straight to Excessive Tide in Cruz Bay. This bar and grille is positioned waterside, proper subsequent to the ferry dock. It’s frequent to see folks at Excessive Tide with their baggage, as that is typically their first or final cease of the journey.
Subsequent, drive to your lodging. Most definitely you’ll be headed to a trip rental in both Cruz Bay or Coral Bay (on the east aspect of the island). If that is your first time on St. John, chances are you’ll wish to keep nearer to Cruz Bay, because it’s a much bigger city with extra outlets and eating places.
Tip: Reserve your rental automobile ideally six months prematurely, or as quickly as doable. Many villas require a Jeep for entry, so double examine when you want one; they get booked up shortly. St John Car Rental and Mr. Piper’s Jeeps are two of the perfect firms to make use of.
Day 2: Sea Turtles at Maho Bay
Begin your journey at Maho Bay Seaside, which has a few of St. John’s prettiest water and many facilities. That is the final seaside alongside North Shore Street from Cruz Bay, so there may be loads of coastal surroundings to get pleasure from through the 17-minute drive.
Earlier than arriving on the seaside, you’ll see the Maho Bay Overlook. Pull off the highway and make a fast picture cease earlier than persevering with onto the seaside. Right here, you possibly can absorb the great thing about the multihued turquoise water surrounding the boats anchored under.
Subsequent, head right down to Maho Bay Seaside, the place there may be each a small parking zone and road parking. As soon as you compromise in, benefit from the light water whereas looking for the various sea turtles that frequent this seaside. Snorkeling and stand-up paddleboarding tools will be rented at Reef2Peak, which is a brief stroll throughout the road.
In the event you get hungry or wish to peruse some outlets, try the beachy stalls at Maho Crossroads proper subsequent to Reef2Peak.
Tip: As a basic rule for all North Shore seashores, purpose to reach earlier than 10 am. They have a tendency to get very crowded, and parking is proscribed. Plus, all the perfect shade spots get swooped up shortly.
Later, after resting up out of your seaside day, seize dinner again in Cruz Bay at The Longboard. Its menu options mouthwatering poke bowls and ceviche.
Day 3: America Hill Ruins and Cinnamon Bay
Begin your morning with a hike to the America Hill property home ruins. A mixture of the Cinnamon Bay and America Hill trails, this uphill hike is roughly three-quarters of a mile in size and requires some exertion. However the distinctive pink ruins on the high and examine out to the British Virgin Islands make it completely price it.
After your hike, a swim on the seaside most likely received’t sound half dangerous. Thankfully, Cinnamon Bay Seaside is simply a simple stroll throughout the highway from the trailhead. This seaside is without doubt one of the longest alongside the North Shore, and you may admire the mansions of Peter Bay perched up on a hill to the west.
Deal with your self after your hike to lunch at Skinny Legs, which is fifteen minutes away in Coral Bay. This can be a well-liked hang-out for locals and guests alike who search a no-frills seaside bar with good sandwiches, burgers, and drinks. In the event you nonetheless have room, seize a bit of the tremendous tart key lime pie for dessert — it’s the perfect on the island!
Afterwards, take a break at your lodging earlier than heading to the Cruz Bay overlook to look at the sundown over St. Thomas. The solar sometimes units simply in supper time, so subsequent, head over to Rum Hut to dine proper on the water. You possibly can additionally merely select to look at the sundown right here as an alternative, whereas snacking on calamari and sliders.
Day 4: Snorkeling & Floating Taco Bar
At this time is the day to get out on the blue-green Caribbean Sea by becoming a member of a full-day boat tour. There are numerous constitution firms that do each non-public and group excursions.
If you wish to go to the well-known floating taco bar, Lime Out, I extremely suggest a tour with Bad Kitty. It makes a pair snorkel stops in crystal-clear, distant waters earlier than taking you to Lime Out for lunch. The day ends with a cease at one among St. John’s excellent seashores.
A cease at Lime Out is completely price it for its high-quality meals, among the tastiest being the quick rib and contemporary tuna tacos. Plus, all its containers are both reusable or biodegradable, and it runs completely on photo voltaic power — a win for the setting!
Within the night, take a 25-minute drive to Coral Bay for dinner at Aqua Bistro. This open-air restaurant typically has stay music and is broadly believed to have the perfect conch fritters on the island.
Day 5: Hike to a Seaside
Take a look at one other of St. John’s finest mountain climbing trails immediately. Your selection will depend upon the time you wish to dedicate and your means.
Choice 1: Reef Bay Path
The Reef Bay Path is without doubt one of the most well-known and properly liked on St. John USVI. It’s an out-and-back hike that totals about 5 miles. It’s finest to put aside a number of hours to finish it and benefit from the many sights alongside the way in which. It’s a bit simpler in the beginning as you descend right into a valley, however the climb again up is tougher on the return leg.
Alongside this hike, you’ll go Danish plantation ruins (the US purchased the island from Denmark in 1917) in numerous levels of intactness. There may be additionally the choice to veer off onto the quarter- mile Petroglyph Path to see historical rock carvings.
The path ends in beautiful Reef Bay, which is a small, distant seaside with a wonderful view out to sea.
Choice 2: Salt Pond & Ram Head
The second choice is to hike a reasonably flat three-quarter-mile path to Salt Pond Seaside. That is one among St. John’s most underrated beaches, and it has among the stillest, clearest water on the island. From right here, you possibly can:
- Benefit from the seaside for some time
- Do one other quarter-mile hike to Drunk Bay, a windy, rock seaside the place you’ll see among the roughest waters on St. John.
- Proceed on to the Ram Head Path. This two-mile out-and-back path is dry, rocky, and dotted with small cacti. The surroundings is jaw-dropping, with sapphire blue water contrasting brilliantly in opposition to the sunshine rocks. On the finish level of the path earlier than turning again, you’ll discover panoramic sea views, with the silhouette of St. Croix within the distance.
Later within the day, head again into Cruz Bay for joyful hour at The Beach Bar for $4 painkillers. Keep till sundown to be rewarded with wonderful views proper out of your seat. The Seaside Bar has a full menu, so you possibly can dine right here or head someplace rather less informal with much more atmosphere for dinner, like Morgan’s Mango.
Day 6: Peace Hill Windmill & Secluded Seashores
Begin your sixth day on the island with a small morning hike as much as the Peace Hill Windmill. It’s a little bit of a climb, however solely 100 meters lengthy and doable for many ability ranges. On the high, you’ll discover the break of an outdated windmill, in addition to lovely 180-degree views of the encircling seashores.
If you’ve completed taking within the surroundings, select from one among these two quiet but attractive North Shore beaches which are close to one another:
- Oppenheimer: To nab one of many three parking spots within the driveway, you need to arrive by 8:30am on the newest. In the event you achieve getting a spot, you’ll be rewarded with a spacious, shady seaside with no crowds.
- Jumbie Bay: Park within the small lot throughout the road from the seaside. Then comply with the quarter-mile path right down to the water. Jumbie additionally doesn’t get crowded, and it options turquoise water that pops in opposition to the encircling black volcanic rock.
Within the night, deal with your self to one of many nicest eating institutions on St. John USVI. There may be ZoZo’s, which is uniquely located on the Caneel Bay Resort alongside North Shore Street. Extra Virgin Bistro is one other stylish choice proper in downtown Cruz Bay.
Day 7: Final Day on St. John USVI
In your final day, be certain to hit the entire scenic overlooks alongside North Shore Street when you haven’t already. The Trunk Bay Overlook, about 11 minutes down the highway from Cruz Bay, is probably the most well-known view on St. John, so that you undoubtedly don’t wish to miss it.
Subsequent, proceed on to Trunk Bay, the place you possibly can park both within the adjoining paved lot or alongside the highway. Arrive by 10 am, otherwise you may not discover a parking spot at this tremendous well-liked seaside.
Dealing with the water at Trunk Bay, there may be extra solar to the correct and extra shade to the left. You may spend the day having fun with arguably among the finest surroundings on St. John, snorkeling the coral reefs on the underwater path round Trunk Cay, and grabbing small bites on the snack shack.
Later within the day, head to the outlets in Cruz Bay’s Mongoose Junction earlier than dinner. This can be a great spot to seize any last-minute souvenirs.
Lastly, it’s time on your final dinner out in St. John. Head to one among your favourite spots from earlier within the week, or try the Lime Inn in Cruz Bay. This can be a sister restaurant to Lime Out, with nearly the identical drink menu. Though it has an off-the-cuff vibe, the Lime Inn makes for a festive night out, with entrees that includes Caribbean lobster and contemporary tuna.
Departing St. John USVI
The subsequent morning, you’ll make your return journey on the ferry to St. Thomas, with maybe one final breakfast at Excessive Tide or The Landing earlier than you permit. From the ferry dock in Crimson Hook, will probably be very straightforward to shortly seize a taxi again to the Cyril E. King Airport.
Your adventures have come to an finish — for now. St. John makes an enduring impression on everybody who visits, and also you’ll undoubtedly be plotting your journey again earlier than you even fly dwelling.
You are actually set to spend the proper seven days in St. John USVI. Put together to be surprised by among the most lovely seashores on the planet on this protected tropical wonderland. Simply bear in mind to carry some reef-safe sunscreen, and also you’re good to go!
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In regards to the writer: Theresa is the creator of Fueled By Wanderlust. Though she didn’t begin touring till her mid-twenties because of some pesky scholar mortgage debt, with cautious budgeting, she was capable of pay that off and begin planning journeys. Since then, she has traveled increasingly annually to varied locations within the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean. You may comply with together with Theresa’s adventures on Instagram.