St. John Things to Do

  • Things to Do
    by vanderlust
  • Things to Do
    by vanderlust
  • Things to Do
    by vanderlust

St. John Things to Do

  • Hike the National Park

    I hike for enjoyment, to see wildlife and some spectacular views. The trails were rocky, slippery and not always easy to navigate with very steep portions and parts that were overgrown with 6 ft tall grasses, still, after you've had all the sun, beach and island culture you can stand, it is good to get away into the woods.Watch out for killer...

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  • East End / Haulover

    Food snorkeling can be found at Haulover. It is a narrow lowland strip where a small boat can be "hauled over" from Haulover Bay to the passage between St. John and the Brithsh Virgin islands.

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  • Francis Bay

    Fine snorkeling along the left side around the rocks. Excellent snorkeling around Whistling cay. Access to Whistling cay can be by kayaks rented from Maho Bay Campground. Parking right at beach.

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  • Leinster Bay/ Waterlemon key

    One of the most popular snorkeling locations on St. John. Walk to the point of Leinster Bay and snorkel around Waterlemon Key. Rays, sea turtles abundant sea life on display. Trail to Annaberg ruins.

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  • Denis Beach

    A small beach that is idyllic on calm days. Good snorkeling around Perkins Cay just offshore. Snorkeling around old dock piers for fish and remanants of large boat anchor. Land behind treeline is private land. Do not tresspass.

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  • Reef Bay

    Reef bay is a two mile stretch of sand that is visited by few. I access Reef Bay from the Parrot Beach trail from Reef Bay road. Parrot trail is a short trail down the hillside from the road to Parrot Beach. Mark the beach end of Parrot Beach trail with a stick or something to help you find it on your return. Bring a flashlight as the trail takes...

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  • North Shore Beaches

    My St. John Things to Do Tips are all about Beaches. I have arranged them in order of their distance from Cruz Bay. First are the North Shore Beaches. These beaches are for the most part in the National Park. The North Shore Beaches are Saloman, Honeymoon, Hawksnest, Gibney, Denis, Jumbie, Trunk, Cinnamon, Maho and Leinster. Saloman and Honeymoon...

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  • Go on an amazing hike

    Take the bus to the Cinnamon Trail and hike down to Cinnamon Bay. It is about an hour hike through kumkuats, switchbacks and rain forest. Wear comfortable shoes and get a lift back because the hike back up could take a while. A very cool thing to do!

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  • Jumbie Beach

    Jumbie is a small north shore beach. Only 4 or 5 parking spots along road. Few visitors. These pictures were taken when there was a 8-10 mph wind from the north. The surf is much calmer with southern wind. This beach is directly across the bay from Trunk beach.

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  • Saloman Beach

    Few visitors to this beach. Has a reputation of a clothing optional beach. Fines for nudity are minimum $100 and issued by the park service. If your wondering what your chances are of being caught and fined, the house on the point between Saloman and Honeymoon Beaches is occupied by the Park Director. (or so I am told)

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  • Great and Little Lameshur Bays

    Hiking snorkeling and ruins at these bays. Rocky beach. Great snorkeling and sealife. At Little Lameshur snorkel along left side of bay and rocky outcroppings in middle of bay near mooring. Porta-potti are the only facilites.

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  • Gibney/Oppenheimer/Iron Gate Beach

    Park at iron gate entrance. Limited parking for 2 vehicles at most. Possible to swim to Gibney from the far right end of Hawksnest beach. No facilities.

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  • Trunk Bay

    Trunk is the gem of St. John, or at least if you measure by visitors and photographs. The only beach on StJ with a lifeguard. Also has underwater trail, parking, showers, snack bar & restrooms. $4/person admission charge to visit. If you arrive before the snack bar and lifeguard stand are open (before 8am or after 4pm) admission is free and beach...

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  • Hawksnest Beach

    St. John offers a selection of some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean. Hawksnest is a favorite. Close to Cruz Bay, plenty of parking, showers, restrooms, great snorkeling.

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  • Cinnamon Bay Ruins

    This is an easy loop of a hike that leads past the ruins of a sugar plantation. Don't confuse this hike with the Cinnamon Bay Trail hike. This one is quite easy compared to that one. There are signs here identifying sections of the plantation.

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  • Francis Bay

    There is a trail here that is very easy, but it's not necessary to hike to get to the beach. We heard that Francis Bay was a great snorkeling spot, but we just thought it was mediocre. It is a lovely, calm beach.

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  • Honeymoon Beach and Salomon Beach

    The Lind Point Trail leads you to Honeymoon Beach and Salomon Beach. It's about 2 miles roundtrip to get to these beaches. The trail is relatively easy, but you do have a couple of steep hills to climb.Both beaches are very secluded, but I think they are gaining popularity because there was a bit of a crowd at both places. The snorkeling was okay...

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  • Lameshur Bay Trail

    You park at Lameshur Bay and begin an uphill climb to Reef Bay Trail. It's about a 5 mile roundtrip hike. There are overlooks and other trails along the way. We stopped and saw petroglyphs along this trail. It is one of the most popular hikes in the Virgin Islands, but we didn't see many people along the way. Make sure you take plenty of water and...

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  • Lameshur Bay and Little Lameshur

    These beaches were very pretty and had ruins right on the water. These are more secluded beaches, so we were surprised to find a bit of a crowd here. We only swam for a short while and then hiked the trail that begins here.

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  • Ram's Head

    This trail begins at Salt Pond Bay. It's about 2 miles roundtrip. There are some steep climbs, and watch out for the cactus plants that are everywhere. It was quite hot on the day we did this hike, but once we reached the top, there was a nice breeze to cool us off. The views from the top are worth it.

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  • Drunk Bay

    If you walk about .8 miles past Salt Pond Bay, you will reach Drunk Bay. This was an incredible beach to visit for a couple of reasons. First, the waves were crashing on the rocks like crazy. This was really the only time we saw big waves in the Virgin Islands. Secondly, because the waves throw so much rock and coral onto the beach, tourists or...

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  • Salt Pond Bay and Salt Pond

    It is a short walk to Salt Pond Bay and Salt Pond. The two couldn't be anymore different.Salt Pond Bay is a peaceful beach with gorgeous white sand. It is great for snorkeling, swimming, and relaxing.Just a short walk away, is Salt Pond, a red pond full of salt that smells like sulphur. There were several people there collecting salt. I can't...

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  • Bordeaux Mountain Overlook

    We drove past the Chateau Bordeaux many times without realizing that while it is a restaurant, it also provides a beautiful overlook. We stopped in the afternoon and had the entire place to ourselves.

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  • Vie's Beach

    We only made a quick stop here for a picture. I was told that Vie owns a stand right there at the beach and will come around and charge people a few dollars to swim.

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  • Johnny Horn Trail

    You can get to the Johnny Horn Trail by first hiking the Leinster Bay trail. After hiking and snorkeling, we were a bit tired, so we only went up to the ruins at the top of the trail and turned around.

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  • Waterlemon Cay

    To reach this beach/island, you have to hike the Leinster Bay Trail and continue past Leinster Bay. It's not far until you reach Waterlemon Bay. In the distance you can see Waterlemon Cay. It is great fun (and a bit scary) to swim out to this island and snorkel along the way.I am usually someone that sticks as close to possible to shore, so this...

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  • Leinster Bay

    To reach Leinster Bay, you have to walk the Leinster Bay Trail. It is an easy walk along the water. It is about .8 miles to reach Leinster Bay. It seems we just missed the sea turtles onshore. If you want to see them, arrive early in the morning. This beach was very secluded, as most people don't want to hike to get to a beach.

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  • Annaberg Planation

    The Annaberg Plantation is a huge estate on St. John. It was interesting to wander through these ruins (they are well preserved). It was established in 1718. There is no greathouse because the owner lived elsewhere. There is a cookhouse, jail, sugar factory, and windmill.

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  • Donkeys, Goats, and Iguanas

    Throughout the Virgin Islands, we saw donkeys, goats, and iguanas, but we seemed to see the most on St. John. You definitely need to watch out for them when you are driving. They also seem to pop up when you're hiking and you least expect it.

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  • Caneel Bay

    Caneel Bay is probably most recognized as home to the Caneel Bay Resort. If you are not staying at the resort, you are still allowed to visit Caneel Bay. You just have to check in with the security guard at the entrance. Caneel Bay was very pretty, but it was crawling with people and boats, so we didn't stay long.

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  • Hawksnest Bay

    Hawksnest is another beach on Route 20 that tends to be very crowded during the day. We honestly didn't do any swimming here because we thought the snorkeling/swimming would be better in a place that wasn't as crowded.

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  • Jumbie Beach

    We found a deserted beach that I think is Jumbie Bay. We were driving along and saw a set of stairs leading down to the beach. We stopped, got out, and walked down and found ourselves completely alone. It was so beautiful and peaceful.

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  • Trunk Bay

    This beach seemed to be packed during the day. We went after hours (around 5 pm), and there was still a bit of a crowd, but nothing like during the day. There is an admission fee to this beach ($4/adult).Trunk Bay is popular because of its underwater snorkeling trail. There are signs identifying coral and fish that you may see while underwater....

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  • Cinnamon Bay

    Cinnamon Bay is the longest beach on St. John. There are many facilities here: restrooms, restaurant, picnic table, and more. There is a lifeguard on duty during the day, so that makes this a very popular place for families.Again, the water wasn't as clear as I would have liked, but we still managed to capture some great things while we were...

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  • Maho Bay

    One of the first things we noticed about St. John was that the beaches were much more crowded. We still managed to find some quiet moments, but as a rule, there were more people on the beaches here. It may be because these beaches are considered to be some of the best in the Virgin Islands.Maho Bay was so calm and peaceful. The water was a bit...

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  • Cruz Bay

    You definitely need to take some time and wander around in Cruz Bay. The locals are very friendly, and there are numerous shops to explore. Mongoose Junction was one of my favorite places to visit. It was an all stone shopping/restaurant area, and it was so fun to see all of its nooks and crannies.

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  • Another beautiful beach

    The road continues past Hawksnest Bay.In heavy surf swimming can be dangerous here but the beach is beautiful.

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  • Caneel Resort/Bay

    To the north of Cruz Bay, is one beautiful beach after the other.This beach was beautiful and full of sunbathers. Around the rocks is a great place to snorkel.

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  • Look for a lizard

    We love lizards so one of the things we did was look for them scurrying about the island.We saw several on this "green" island.

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  • Safety from the storm

    At the east end of the island is a natural harbor named Hurricane Hole.It got this name because this is where they take the ships and yachts when a storm is coming for protection from the winds.

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  • Tour the ruins

    Take a tour given by the parks service and explore the ruins and trails of the Annaberg Sugar Plantation. It was a working plantation until a hurricane in 1914 destroyed it.

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  • Birding

    St. John is probably the best of the U.S. Virgin Islands for birding. Among other things, it is perhaps the best place in the Caribbean (and the world) to find Bridled Quail-Dove. The Reef Bay Trail is generally considered to be the best place to find these remarkably tame birds. I saw a half dozen of the birds, always singly or in pairs, on both...

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  • Hiking the Reef Bay Trail

    One of the more popular trails on St. John, the Reef Bay Trail begins 4.9 miles east of Cruz Bay on Centerline Road. The trail descends through a shady, moist forest and a dry forest. Along the way, you pass the ruins of four sugar estates and abandoned farming communities. The trail is 2.2 miles one-way and takes approximately two hours to hike....

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  • Hiking the Cinnamon Bay Trail

    Beginning 100 yards east of the entrance road into Cinnamon Bay Campground, the Cinnamon Bay Trail is a forested trail that follows an old Danish plantation road uphill to its junction with Centerline Road. The trail is just over a mile long and takes an hour or so one-way. Along the way, you are unlikely to encounter more than a couple other...

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  • Snorkeling at Trunk Bay

    Snorkeling at the Baths is highly overrated. Granted, the one time I visited the area was being pounded by big waves and a strong north swell. Still, even under ideal conditions, this isn’t an area which will produce world-class snorkeling (particularly given all the people who are likely to be in the water with you). You will see some fish, just...

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St. John Things to Do

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