St. John Things to Do

  • Bob in the ruins
    Bob in the ruins
    by grandmaR
  • A big aloe
    A big aloe
    by grandmaR
  • Looking out from the parking area
    Looking out from the parking area
    by grandmaR

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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  • 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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  • 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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  • Trunk Bay

    The accolades for Trunk Bay are never-ending. The National Geographic Society has labeled it the world’s most beautiful beach. Conde Nast Traveler and several other publications have consistently voted it as one of the best beaches in the world. Unfortunately, a strong north swell made for poor swimming and snorkeling conditions on the day I...

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  • Jumbia Beach

    A lovely little beach that is easily missed since there is a small sign on the road. The water can be choppy when the wind is hard.

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  • Maho Bay

    This great bay is close to the road so access is easy, however roadside parking is limited. Boaters often frequent Maho on weekends. The bay is calm and sheltered.

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  • Cinnamon Bay

    Another gorgeous beach in St. John that we came to by boat. At about 1 mile, is the National Park's longest beach.

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  • Trunk Bay

    This is the famous trunk bay that you see in almost all the pictures of the Caribbean. We arrived by boat, but you can also drive here. Renowned for it's underwater snorkeling trail, Trunk Bay is definitely worth a visit.

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  • Cinnamon Bay and Cruz Bay

    Over half of St. John's 21 sq. miles is cared for by the park service and is open for exploration with fabulous trails and scenic views. I took a trip to the other side of the island to Cinnamon Bay. The beach was fantastic and there was not a soul in sight. Okay, there was ONE other couple on the beach and they left. I told them it was my beach...

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  • "Trunk bay"!

    So I started my venture at the cruise ship port in St. Thomas. A taxi was needed to get to Red Hook (town). This cost 6 dollars but included a guided speech with a speaker that cut in and out. I was able to almost make out some of the tour. Next it was time to board the ferry. This cost 4 dollars and was somewhat enjoyable. Next another taxi was...

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  • Maho Bay

    Stunning Maho Bay has some of the calmest waters on St. John. This is a great beach for families with small children since the water is shallow a long way out and extremely clear.Also this is a great beach to try and spy and swim with turtles as they nest around here. There are no facilities at this beach, just nature at its best, so come prepared...

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  • Hike Leinster Bay Trail/Snorkel...

    I highly recommend snorkeling Watermelon Cay which is touted as the best snorkeling on the island. First however you must hike along Leinster Bay Trail, unless you have rented a boat to get to the Cay. You can park your car or get a ride to the parking lot for the Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins and the clearly marked trailhead starts right off the road...

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  • Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins

    Annaberg is one of the 25 sugar factories which used to be active on St. John. In addition to sugar, molasses and rum were also produced here. The factory was driven by slave labor until July 1848 when freedom was declared for Danish West Indies Slaves. The name Annaberg means "Anna's Hill" which refers to the infant daughter of William Gottschalk,...

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  • Go Snorkling at Trunk Bay

    Trunk Bay is part of the National Park Service. Some of the best snorkling I've ever done is here in St. John. You have incredible views of thousands of fish. The coral is alive and beautiful. Gear and lockers are available for rent. Make sure to pack an underwater camera.Check out my link for a detailed synopsis of Trunk Bay.

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  • ROAD TRIP

    Rent a car and spend the day driving around the island...it is only a few miles big. The roads are really curvey and hilly. Driving is on the left side ...but the car has the steering wheel on the left too!Exciting! :)Bring your snorkel gear...there are a lot of places to stop on the side of the road..And there is a cool smoothy shack at a...

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St. John Things to Do

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