Paradise Found: St. John, USVI
Paradise is closer than you think no need to escape to Bali or plan an elaborate trip to Fiji – real paradise is in the U. S. Virgin Islands!
Have you ever seen water so perfectly clear and blue?
St. Thomas is where most tourist stay in the Virgin Islands, it’s larger and has more lodging choices including a Marriott and a Ritz Carlton, and several other large resorts. However once travelers venture to St. John, the beauty of the islands is truly apparent. From the start, St. John feels less commercial, and much more like an island. To get to St. John visitors must take the ferry or rent a boat. Once on the island travelers can rent a car (a jeep most likely) or bring your rental car from St. Thomas. At the port in St. John visitors are greeted by a center with historical and current information, and also an array of shops and small restaurants.
Our group decided on a St. John island tour in a safari style vehicle, perfect to enjoy the weather and get great pictures. Our guide kept us laughing, and was very passionate about the island’s history and culture. The St. John island tour was great way to learn about St. John while seeing the highlights of the island.
Our guide was a wealth of knowledge - and had plenty of jokes too!
St. John has dozens of idyllic beaches with gorgeous turquoise water. The island’s beaches are all lovely, but Trunk Bay may be the most famous. Trunk Bay in St. John has fantastic snorkeling, in fact, a marked snorkeling trail under its crystal clear water where visitors can see coral, turtles, fish and rays. Thanks to the Rockefeller family who donated the beach to the people of St. John, it is now open to the public as a National Park. Trunk Bay has great facilities – snack bar, covered tables and even showers. Even in the peak of tourist season this beach remains seemingly a hidden gem. A hiking trail of the National Park also starts at Trunk Bay – a perfect place to catch a few rays and then enjoy the views of the island.
Enjoying the view on Trunk Beach
St. John’s National Park is arguably the best place to hike in the Virgin Islands. The park has 22 nature-filled trails, some of which include Danish Plantation ruins and mysterious carvings. From the trails you can really ‘earn’ the spectacular views of the Islands.
A glimpse of the turquoise water in St. John
Historical ruins on St. John are a great way to explore more than just the beach on the Islands. Annaberg sugar plantation is a perfect way to learn about St. John and get a glimpse of the past. Like the rest of the Island, the plantation has great views but also gives insight in the slave trade during the period of European expansion.
Ruins at Annaberg Sugar Plantation in St. John
I wasn’t the first to be awed by St. John’s natural beauty, after all Castaway was filmed there, Renee Zellweger married a country star, and the Rockefeller’s owned most of the Island. However, St. John remains a spectacular Island to relax in peace and enjoy a true Island getaway.