Plan Your Winter Getaway to St. John
Posted on 28 November 2018
If you've been thinking of taking a trip to St. John, now is the time! The U.S. Virgin Islands' peak season is from December to March with temperatures ranging from the mid-70s to high 80s. In the evening, you'll feel the delightful breeze of the Caribbean - that residents refer to as "Christmas Winds".
St. John has the reputation of being the most friendly, beautiful, and tranquil island in the Caribbean. It may be less than 20 square miles in area, but it has a lot to offer guests and tourists! So, as you plan your seasonal resort vacations and cruises, you'll definitely want to put St. John on the list.
Why You Should Visit St. John
St. John has some of the most gorgeous beaches in the world - like the much beloved Trunk Bay. This beach is famous for its more than 650 feet of underwater nature trails, picturesque shores, and crystal sands. As a visitor, you have access to an array of nearby accommodations, including upscale resorts, B&B's, and intimate eco-tents. Beyond the magic of Trunk Bay, you'll discover plenty of attractions, entertainment, activities, and of course, places to dine.
WHERE TO STAY IN ST. JOHN
Because St. John was devastated by hurricanes Irma and Maria last September, the island just recently started accepting tourism again. Many of the upscale resorts, unfortunately, won't be able to open back up until 2019, so the best way to visit is to stay in a B&B or visit by cruise.
- Rent a House with VRBO or Airbnb. There are tons of options for just one person or the entire famly!
- Gibney's Beach Villas are back open and excited to accept some new guests! The one bedroom ocean front villa is probably the cutest property you could find.
- The Westin St. John is currently scheduled to reopen in January 2019.
- Caneel Bay Resort does not currently have a schedule of when they will reopen at this time.
ST. JOHN POINTS OF INTEREST
Besides its beautiful shores and underwater nature trails, Trunk Bay is a fabulous place to snorkel. The waters are gorgeous and calm, and you will see plenty of coral and colorful fish along the way.
Virgin Islands National Park
The lush, Virgin Islands National Park was donated by the Rockefeller family in 1956 and makes up two-thirds of the island. This park encompasses miles of white-sand beaches, forest, coral reefs, and historic sugar plantation ruins.
Speaking of ruins, you definitely don't want to forget to check out St. John's colonial history of molasses and sugar production from the 18th and 19th centuries. You should also consider exploring the remains of the village, dungeon, and slave quarters.
Honeymoon Beach is a tropical paradise. Picture aquamarine waters and white sands surrounded by coconut palms. You can also rent kayaks, standup paddle boards, and snorkeling equipment!
Cruz Bay is the main town on the island with more picturesque views. This is also the place to shop for souvenirs and try some great restaurants. It's an extremely fun area! You can take the ferry to travel between the islands, too.
Hawksnest Beach is another beach with striking shorelines. It's a narrow beach about two miles from Cruz Bay. Many visitors go to get their sun in the morning and enjoy the beach's shade later in the day. This is also the place to catch some waves if you're a surfer.
It can not be stressed enough that St. John has some of the best snorkeling, hiking, and swimming in the Caribbean. St. John's crescent-shaped bays, white-sand beaches, trails, ruins, and mountain roads will get you outside and energized.
Cruz Bay is the best place in St. John to browse for souvenirs. There are several relaxed-atmosphere, small stores that offer a unique array of items and styles - something for everyone! You can also venture to Coral Bay. It's said to be the "country" to Cruz Bay's "town". You'll find more interesting shopping. delis, bars, restaurants, watersports, and more! You may even see some donkeys and goats while you're strolling along.
WHERE TO DINE ON ST. JOHN
There are a lot of delicious foods and restaurants to try in St. John, but let's take a look at these five hot spots.
You'll want to try this Caribbean-inspired coastal cantina. The atmosphere embraces St. John's coastal, relaxed setting, and features foods with fresh, local ingredients. Most of the cuisine options are healthy and light - which many visitors appreciate. You can also try some unique, creative, cocktails - inspired from coastal regions around the world. The Longboard has a happy hour from 3 until 6 p.m. daily!
With a motto like, "You're here, now relax," I don't think you can go wrong. Cruz Bay Landing features a relaxing outside bar, a 22' shuffleboard table, and an interior coffee bar featuring locally roasted coffee from Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters. It's located just steps off the ferry dock in beautiful Cruz Bay.
High Tide Bar and Seafood Grill is just steps away from the ferry dock, and features the "best sea view on St. John". The restaurant has a relaxed, open-air atmosphere, and features a friendly, down-to-earth, staff. High Tide has a variety of ice cold drinks and live music. It's an ideal place to watch the sunset, too!
The Lime Inn features a classic, fresh, Caribbean menu with a twist. The atmosphere is lively and fun, and happy hour is Monday through Saturday from 11:30 a.m. until 5:30 p.m. What more could you ask for?!
Next up, you just need to figure out what goodies to bring on this trip. Check out our next post if you are unsure what to pack for this winter getaway!
Related Post: What to Pack for St. John and the U.S. Virgin Islands
By: Melissa Ferguson
Photo Credit: Rose Martin Photography