St. John, USVI
Your perfect vacation destination!
St. John is the gem of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Less than 20 square miles, it is rimmed with beaches, most of which are public domain. Inhabited by the Arawak Indians in the 7th and 8th centuries, a few petroglyphs are all that remain of their era. In 1492, although Columbus went ashore on many other local islands, he never set foot on St. John. In the late 1600s the Danes expanded their colonization to this, then uninhabited, island and by the early 1700s, St. John was an important source of sugar, molasses and rum production.
There were almost 100 plantations (Innstead is part of Estate Enighed) and much of the new architecture is modeled after the many brick, stone and coral ruins which can still be seen throughout the island. The sugar mills were worked by slaves who led a successful revolt in 1733 and were eventually emancipated. However, the halcyon days of sugar production ended in the early 1800s when the sugar beet was shown to be a less expensive source of sugar.
In 1917 the United States bought all three of the Virgin Islands from the Danish government for 25 million dollars. St. John was rescued from development when in the 1950s Lawrence Rockefeller bought up two thirds of the island and gave it to the U.S. Government to remain protected as a National Park. That generosity opened up land and beaches for public appreciation and established St John as a beautiful, laid-back, protected Caribbean get-away.
There are two towns on St. John - Cruz Bay on the West End, a bustling village where your ferry arrives from St Thomas, and Coral Bay on the East End with its large protected harbor, which draws “mariners” of all sorts to the many open air bars and cafes.
And so St. John remains a Caribbean paradise awaiting your arrival.
It is here that you can:
Hike old cart roads that lead to sugar plantation ruins, rich in the history of the Danish era
Snorkel along the world renowned Trunk Bay underwater trail ... or discover your own special spot
Scuba around the many small cays or join a tour to the best places with a guide.
Wind surf when the breezes are up ...
Melt into the soft sand on a palm-fringed beach where crystal aquamarine waters lap at your feet.
Shop duty-free where unique gifts present St John's cultural diversity
Eat In or sample the abundance of fine restaurants & open-air pubs
End each glorious day on your own spacious veranda watching the sun set behind a distant St Thomas.
As night falls the gentle calls of the tree frogs blend with the rustle of the trees...fitting music for the end of another memorable Caribbean day.