St. John and Why You Have to Get There

As I sit 1,200 feet above sea level atop Peter’s Peak, I probably have the best view in the world. This view inspired some of Kenny Chesney’s best songs and is the destination of Jimmy Buffett’s dreams. That place is St. John, US Virgin Islands. If you feel like you’ve been to Destin one time too many and need a new beach escape, just one visit to this island and you’ll be making an annual trip, or perhaps buying a one way ticket! There is a lot to love about this little island. You can feel sand as soft as flour at Trunk Bay, one of the top ten beaches in the world, or you can snorkel through lively coral reefs along the shore at Francis Bay. The colonial Danish ruins scattered around the island remind you that past isn’t too far away. I keep expecting a 17th century pirate ship with Captain Jack Sparrow aboard to sail around the tip of the island.

No need for a passport or currency exchange here! Since the island is a US territory, you get the conveniences of home and a true Caribbean getaway at the same time. The smallest of the three USVIs, St. John doesn’t have its own airport, so a short ferry ride from St. Thomas is required. However, Delta offers direct flights from Atlanta to St. Thomas so reaching the island really isn’t the problem; it’s the leaving that’s the problem! About 70% of the island belongs to the National Park Service, and much of the island is truly untouched and left as nature intended it. Trunk Bay was a gift from the Rockefeller Family to the NPS nearly fifty years ago. When you get to the island, just turn your cell phone off (or at least your roaming data) and throw on your swim suit. It’s time to hit the beach!

St. John

What to pack: Not much. Seriously, this isn’t the place where you want to break out your fanciest heels and outfits. The island is notoriously low maintenance which is why people come here. A few J.Crew swim suits, a maxi dress, 50 SPF, a straw hat, and a book or two are all you will need. The island has lots of hiking trails so you might want to bring Chacos or tennis shoes for the rocky terrain. Definitely bring a pair of polarized sunglasses – they reveal the ocean’s true turquoise color better than regular sunglasses.

Where to go: The locals know that you don’t go to Trunk Bay when the cruise ships pull in, so hop in an Island Jeep and head over to Little Lameshur Bay on the south shore to hang out at a remote beach. To score a premier spot with shade on any beach, it’s best to arrive early. The sun rises at about 5:30 am, so that bright Caribbean sun will be waking you up early anyways! When you get tired of the beach, stop by the old Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins for a real #tbt.

Where to eat: Food on the island is expensive, but the rum is cheap so drink up! When you’re ready to eat, check out Rhumb Lines in town for delicious Thai-Caribbean fare and seafood. Don’t miss the concession stand at Trunk Bay. Not only are the burgers and chicken tenders awesome, but the lady who runs the concession stand makes a killer rum punch!

Where to stay: There are just two resorts on island, Caneel Bay Resort and The Westin. Angelina and Brad stay at Caneel when they visit St. John, so keep your eyes peeled for a celeb sighting. Renting a catamaran or sail boat lets you explore all of the island’s nooks.

The spectacular views, turquoise water, and innate serenity of St. John leave you with indelible memories. As your ferry pulls out of Cruz Bay to take you home, the only thing you’ll be thinking about is how soon you can return.

St. John view


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  • Reply August 5, 2013


    I’m sold. This looks like the perfect anniversary vacation, but I’d hate to leave the girls out of witnessing the paradise you describe. Thank you for sharing.

  • Reply August 6, 2013


    St.John USVI, has been on my bucket list! After reading your blog, I have moved this trip to the brim of the bucket.

  • Reply August 6, 2013


    Thanks Kristen!

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