When you think about a Caribbean vacation, the mind turns to images of white sand beaches thronged with holiday-makers, fully-booked hotels and bustling guided tours. Of course, the partying and drinking from dusk 'til dawn comes with the package, too. When your week-long trip is over, you wonder why a vacation that was supposed to reenergize you ended up leaving you in need of another vacation. If you truly want to unwind, plan your next Caribbean getaway in the unspoiled paradise of St. John, and you'll see what a real vacation is all about. For here in the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, you'll truly get the chance to commune with nature as you swim with the turtles at Salt Pond Bay and hike the wild terrain on 22 preserved nature trails. This is ecotourism at its finest and the epitome of what a Caribbean vacation should be.
Sights to See
Cruz Bay is the main town of St. John and the central point from which you coordinate all your activities around the island. On land, you can simply take a tour via jeep or cab and spend the day lazing in the sun on one of the best beaches in the world, Trunk Bay. You can also take the time to stroll around the restored Annaberg Plantation and the Windberg Estate. Go hiking through lush tropical forests of the Virgin Islands National Park trails. Take the Bordeaux Mountain Trail if you want to reach the island's highest point or choose the very popular Reef Bay Trail for your dose of petroglyph rock carvings, a reflection pool and snorkeling. You can take the amazing underwater snorkeling trail along Trunk Bay or go on a hiking, kayaking and snorkeling tour of Caneel Bay.
Food and Drinks
Bars and restaurants are concentrated on Cruz Bay. There are also good eats on Coral Bay and Coral Harbor on the eastern part of the island. There are more than 30 restaurants catering to all budgets all over St. John.
Mongoose Junction at Cruz Bay is the premier shopping destination in St. John with its retail shops and art galleries set amidst a tropical garden setting. If you want designer jewelry, head to Verace at the Wharfside Village.
On the road to the Westin
Across from the Lemon Tree Mall