The smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John is a captivating destination that features natural beauty, historic sites and idyllic beaches with exciting water sports as well as shopping, Caribbean cuisine and a laid-back nightlife.
Virgin Islands National Park
With two-thirds of the island set aside as a protected nature reserve, St. John has lush forests, pristine parkland and crescent bays with powdery, white sand. Hiking trails to the top of moss-covered peaks like Bordeaux Mountain provide wonderful views of the surrounding countryside and the shimmering Caribbean water. Visitors can also observe native flora and fauna up-close in their natural habitat. In addition to its ancient Taino petroglyph sites, the Virgin Islands National Park is a prime bird-watching area.
The natural beauty of the island provides a spectacular backdrop for cultural attractions like Fort Berg, the ruins of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation and an archaeological museum that displays Taino artifacts.
Fort Berg was the citadel from which soldiers crushed the 1733 slave revolt, and Coral Bay is home to the historic 1782 Emmaus Moravian Church that is still in use by a Lutheran congregation, which was organized in 1720.
Cruz Bay is the setting for the remains of the estate house, horse mill and cooking oven that once served the Annaberg Plantation. The Ivan Jadan Museum chronicles the life of the celebrated Russian tenor and human rights activist. Dating from 1718, The Catherineberg ruins include sugar mills, stone warehouses and a rum distillery. The Museum of Cinnamon Bay details the pre-Columbian Taino culture.
The tranquil, sheltered ambiance of the island carries over to the beaches, such as Cinnamon Bay, Trunk Bay and Honeymoon Beach, which are rated as some of the best in the world. Snorkeling and diving provide a glimpse into the colorful undersea menagerie located offshore in sites like Eagle Shoals, Tektite and Carvel Rock. The warm waters are a haven for a variety of adrenaline-pumping water sports, such as kite surfing, kayaking and deep-sea fishing.
Shopping, Dining and Entertainment
Visitors can also enjoy strolling along tree-lined streets that boast live music venues, quaint eateries, one-of-a-kind boutiques and art galleries. These shops, restaurants and bars offer a selection of interesting tropical handicrafts, local Caribbean delicacies and island rhythms.
The annual St. John Festival is a popular cultural celebration featuring food, music and fireworks as well as costumed revelers and street performers.
This is a guest post contributed by CimmaronStJohn, a provider of Vacation Villas and Condo Rentals on St. John.