If you are even heading back to the city from Magens Bay, you have to stop at Udder Delight. You'll know it by the huge banner off the side of the road which speaks of it being recommended by the Chicago Tribune. That's what brought us to it. We are from Chicago so if the hometown newspapers says its a good place to go, its worth a try.
They have by far the best milkshakes I have ever had. We loved this place so much, we made sure to come by one more time before we had to go to the airport for our flight home.
Do not miss it!
St. Croix is one of the most relaxing, friendly places to explore in the Virgin Islands, and not as crowded as the other islands. I learned much of the island history by visiting its churches while my husband was working and I always found someone willing to talk. Snorkling is fun off Buck Island, but when we were there, there was quite a current, so it wouldn't have been too good for weaker swimmers. We were lucky to be there during "Jump Up" a great cultural event. We had been warned about going as it is held at night in the city of Christiansted, but if you're at all street savvy, you'll be perfectly safe. Park and walk where it's well-lit and enjoy a great street party!
Perched on top of St. Thomas is the seat that the infamous pirate Sir Francis Drake sat in to overlook the incoming and outgoing vessels coming into the harbour at St. Thomas. This place is off of the beaten path, has a great view, if you are on the island just ask any good tour guide, they'll know where to take you. This dates back to the 1500's.
Cinnimon Bay campground on St. John, USVI is beautiful. The water is light blue and crystal clear. The weather is always warm and the mountains are an amazing shade of dark green. There are many hiking trails that pass through Dutch ruins on the island, and wild donkeys and iguana rome about freely.
Stairways in the city of Charlotte Amalie are easy to come by, but other than the oddly-famed 99 Steps, most of the city's picturesque escaliers aren't listed in guidebooks or pointed out on tours. They're discovered by the careful observer, peering down the alleys, wandering through the markets, trudging up the hillsides (of particular necessity). One will be rewarded, however, with exquisite urban scenery, guaranteed.
The Market Square, located on Main Street in Charlotte Amalie a bit down from the primary tourist district, is a fascinating bustle of local produce and African cultural flair. I felt the place had the sort of atmosphere one might experience in a West African port city with some European architectural influence. This seems to be the city centre for most locals and even a few paces from the tourist zone a more obvious mainlander may be an object of curiosity. When I strolled through, merchants were beginning to unload their wares and set up their stalls while a funeral took place just outside the church, in full public view.
Some parts of the city only a few steps away from the bustling, chaotic waterfront are really quite charming. This is a section of Back Street with homes dating to the 18th century, which has a singularly European charm. These areas seem to exist only in small pockets, however, and tend to be populated by less than savoury individuals. The (sometimes) lack of sidewalks is also a major issue for anyone looking to stroll about. Nevertheless, some of the charming streets are worth a bit of adventurous alley-diving.
If you know where to look you can find all sorts of fascinating examples of vernacular artistry. This specimen was hidden away in the palm fronds near the central square of Cruz Bay, the main town on St. John.
Secret Harbour is a hotel/condo complex on the south shore of St. Thomas - the attraction here is the hotel beach (open to the public). During our 1.5 days on St. Thomas, we went to Coki, Magens, and here - Coki is small and a bit commercial, Magens is attractive - but only above the water, Secret Harbour was a nice spot with good snorkeling right off the beach - and being on the south side, it's sheltered from the Atlantic swells (which were a big problem at Coki). From the best I can tell, Secret Harbour is also a bit of a secret considering it's assets.
If you're going to be on St John for more than a few days, stop at the Park Visitor Center and buy two books: Feet, Fins and Four Wheel Drive and St John Off the Beaten Track. Thus armed you can explore with clear and accurate guidance.
Some incredible mountain roads and overlooks. Get some take-out (I suggest Garlic Chicken from a restaurant in downtown Christiansted) and head up to the hills.
Excellent secluded beaches. Some require 4x4 SUV or hiking trail for access.
All the comforts of home. Here is the private swimming pool. The entire ranch overlooks the beautiful ocean. The Ranch reminds you of a ranch in Arizona or New Mexico unless you look at the ocean side. But, it is that rustic.
The Reef Bay Trail - I would suggest going on a ranger led hike and taking the boat afterwards at the bottom. It's really interesting to see the tropical forest, the petroglyphs, and some sugarmill ruins, but the hike back up the mountain isn't as much fun in the heat.
The whole island of Tortola, The BVIs, is off the beaten path. To the left, more vistas from our island drive. No matter where you stay, or what you do, you are only one in a smattering of people to ever make it here. Sit back and enjoy!
For more info: www.bviwelcome.com
Reluctant to make my first open water dive, a helping hand assisted me!
Three out of five of us took scuba lessons at home but certified in the warm, clear waters by St. John, BVI. A wise idea instead of freezing in the cloudy Pacific Ocean in Monterey or a quarry.
Magens Bay Road, , 00802, Caribbean
Good for: Couples
7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie, Caribbean
Good for: Business
The hotel rooms were old and the bathroom's were rusty, dirty, and downright disgusting. The food...more