This factory distills the famous Virgin Islands rum, which some consider the finest in the world. Guided tours (including a mixed drink) depart from the visitor's' pavilion; call for reservations and information. There's also a gift shop.
This is the island's best-preserved sugar plantation and a highlight along the St. Croix Heritage Trail. It flourished from 1780 to 1820 when St. Croix was the second largest producer of sugar in the West Indies. The on-site private residence is closed to the public, but you can go on a self-guided tour of the 13 acres at any time of the day you wish (there is no admission charge, although donations are appreciated). You'll see what is the best antiques store on St. Croix.
This restored Great House is unique among those of the many sugar plantations whose ruins dot the island of St. Croix. It's composed of only three rooms. With 3-foot-thick walls made of stone, coral, and molasses, the house resembles a luxurious European château. A division of Baker Furniture Company used the Whim Plantation's collection of models for one of its most successful reproductions, the "Whim Museum--West Indies Collection." A showroom in the museum sells these reproductions, plus others from the Caribbean, including pineapple-motif four-poster beds, cane-bottomed planters' chairs with built-in leg rests, and Caribbean adaptations of Empire-era chairs with cane-bottomed seats.
Also on the museum's premises is a woodworking shop (which features tools and exhibits on techniques from the 18th century), the estate's original kitchen (where you can get a fresh-made johnnycake for $1), a museum store, and a servant's quarters. The ruins of the plantation's sugar-processing plant, complete with a restored windmill, also remain.
This is a 16-acre Eden of tropical trees, shrubs, vines, and flowers. The garden is a feast for the eye and the camera, from the entrance drive bordered by royal palms and bougainvillea to the towering kapok and tamarind trees. It was built around the ruins of a 19th-century sugarcane workers' village. There are rest rooms and a gift shop. Self-guided walking-tour maps are available at the entrance to the garden's great hall.
The St. George Botanical Gardens are included in the Sweeney Safari tour. The botanical collections, including over 1500 native and exotic species and varieties, are established in and around the restored buildings and stabilized ruins of a 19th century Danish sugar cane plantation.
Pictures are of some of the plants except for the last one which is a bridge near Estate St. George, St. Croix. The bridge has three round holes in it - the picture is of one of the holes. It isn't a reflection.
Areas of the garden include
Cactus and Succulents
Dry Growing Palmetum
Otherwise, Admissions for self-guided tour
Children (under 12) $1.00
Hours Daily 9 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Smugglers and pirates necessitated the construction of Fort Frederik in 1752. The city was destroyed by fire in 1758, and rebuilt in the Victorian style of the era. The Fort has been restored in brick red and white, to the way it looked in 1840.
I visited this building because it had a sign on it saying that it was a part of the Historic Sites and was listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks. Inside was a man who said he was a volunteer, and that the building was originally the Dane's Lutheran Church of Lord God and Saboath -built between 1750 and 1753. It was St Croix's first house of worship. The Georgian steeple (where the Steeple Building name came from) was added in the early 1800s. The building has been modified several times and has had various uses, first as a military bakery in 1831, and then as a hospital and school.
The National Park Service Museum which is inside has exhibits of the life in historic St Croix. There is a model of a working sugar plantation, Taíno artifacts and agricultural exhibits.
A chronology of the history of Africans in the Virgin Islands is also featured, as well as the history of the diverse architectural styles used on St Croix throughout the centuries.
I didn't realize that this building was anything special until I got home because I didn't go over and look at the signs on it.
This is actually where merchants went to pay their taxes after they had goods weighed at the scale house. This building is a mix of European and island style. The graceful 16-step staircase was a typical Danish feature, but the green hurricane shutters are a Caribbean addition to protect the building from hurricane damage.
The Customs House dates back to 1734 when it was a single-story bookkeepers’ residence. The second story was added, along with other renovations, in 1830. Somewhere I read that this is now a library
St. Croix offers a variety of exciting and beautiful dives. There are wreck dives, wall dives, shallow dives, and a pier dive. The marine life is abundant, rays, turtles, eels, parrot fish and much more. The corals are colorful and you feel like you are gliding through an underwater garden in some areas. There are many dive shops that are PADI rated. We recommend Dive Experience in Christiansted and Anchor Dive in Salt River.
This is a must see for visitors. Take one of the day tours from Christiansted, like Big Beard or Mile Mark. They offer full and half day sails to Buck Island. The beach there is spectacular, and there is an underwater snorkel trail that is marked with the names of the various marine life. From the water the views of St. Croix are outstanding and will give you a greater appreciation for the size and beauty of the island.
I did not realize that there was a National Park site in Christiansted. Had I known, I would have brought my Golden Passport (which allows senior citizens free admission to National Parks) nor did I bring the National Park passport to get stamps for the sites I have visited.
This park consists of seven acres on the Christiansted waterfront. Most of the buildings included in the Historic Site are painted yellow. There are five historic structures which are tasked with interpreting the Danish economy and way of life in existence there from 1733 to 1917:
1) Fort Christiansvaern (1738), (admission without the Golden Passport is $3 for adults)
2) The Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse (1749),
3) Danish Custom House (1844) which is now a library
4) Scale House (1856) which houses the Visitor's Center and bookstore and something that they call
5) The Steeple Building (1753) which was a Lutheran Church originally.
We did not visit Fort Chistiansvaern - we only took photos.
According to information on the Historic Site, the fort was constructed between 1738 and 1749 from yellow Danish brick - it is the oldest structure in the group of five that constitute the Historic Site. It was called Fort Christiansvaern meaning Christian's Defences. This is the best preserved of the five Danish forts in the West Indies, and includes cannoned ramparts surrounding a central courtyard, prison cells, dungeons, a kitchen and soldiers quarters furnished in period décor. There is also a small military museum .
The fort was built to protect the colony from the onslaught of pirates, hurricanes and slave revolts, but the cannons have never been fired in armed conflict. Danish soldiers were stationed here until 1878. After 1878 the fort served as an island courthouse and prison.
I will write up the Steeple Building (which is free with the Fort admission) and the Scale House separately.
When I saw that there was a National Park Service Visitor's Center, I went over to look. I didn't buy any books, but I did look at the exhibits (photo 3).
Like the other buildings at the site, this one was built from yellow-masonry. The two-story hipped-roof Old Danish Scale House was built in 1856 as a Danish weighing station for sugar exports, as well as imports that arrived in St Croix. Today in addition to being the Visitor's Center, the scales and the weigh-master's office can be seen. The building is listed on the National Registry of Historic Landmarks.
We went horseback riding with Equus and loved it. We rode along the beach and into the water, and Steve even showed us a rodeo trick. We had a group of riders from beginners to practically pro, and Steve took great care to fit us with a horse that was compatible.
If you're certified, take a dive trip with Dive Experience (downtown Christiansted). We loved our dive guides, and everyone at the shop was ultra helpful. We did 4 dives while we were there, and we saw moray eels, baracuda, huge stingray, and a sea turtle. It was certainly an adventure we'll remember.
Monday night crab races at the Brew Pub are interesting. Kids and adults pick and name a crab ($2/each) to see who wins in one of eight legs. Sadly, we never placed. They have the races at other places on Wednesdays and Fridays, but heard that Mondays are the best.