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 Islands Information

Place: St. John

St. John Secrets
By Caitlin Moore

If you’re lucky enough to be familiar with the U.S. Virgin Islands, you know that they’re made up of three charming isles; St. John, St. Croix, and St. Thomas. All make for divine vacation experiences, but there’s something about St. John that sets it apart from the traditional Caribbean destinations. Maybe it’s the fact that most of the island consists of National Park land, or perhaps it’s the stunning beaches, Trunk Bay in particular. It sounds simple but it’s the truth; St. John is a fabulous place to visit.

It’s the smallest of the Virgin Islands, but as you wander the untamed habitat of St. John’s lush and dynamic forests you’ll hardly feel claustrophobic. To really get to know this precious and increasingly rare feature, follow a Park Ranger through a crisscross of paths as she regales you with all the information you care to know about the flora and fauna that captivates your senses. If you’d prefer to stay off your feet, Jeep and safari tours are also available, so listen to the history of the isle while saving energy for the activities you’ll engage in later that day.

Admittedly, those activities may consist only of lounging on the beach or floating in the salty sea, not that there’s anything wrong with that. Yes, St John has the kind of shoreline that makes you want to change your identity and take up the coveted title of “beach bum,” so you might have to fight the urge to call home and tell them you’re just not coming back. You’ll discover that it’s possible to spend hours at a time in one delectable spot, so prepare to settle in and chill out.

If you manage to pick yourself up off the beach towel for a while, you’ll discover that there’s actually a lot to do here in St. John. None of it is very demanding, so don’t worry about interrupting your well-deserved mood of utter relaxation and “all’s right with the world”-ness. Snorkeling, diving, lunch cruises, and souvenir shopping will call out to you, so head to the friendly town of Cruz Bay to get in on the action, and while you’re there you just might discover why it has been nicknamed “Love City.”

It shouldn’t take much convincing to get your traveling companions to agree to head to St. John. Just tell them to imagine their ideal vacation, making sure to include blue skies and bluer waters, and they’ll be sure to pack their bags when you tell them to. The swaying coconut palms, the fragrant breezes, and the most laid-back atmosphere you’ll ever have the privilege to set foot in all make this place the pinnacle of vacation lands, so don’t let another season go by before you’ve experienced this paradise for yourselves.

St. John is accessible by ferry from St. Thomas, which means that you’ll truly feel like you’re getting away from the rest of the spinning world as you hop from a peaceful island to one that’s even more so. And with a beach named Honeymoon, it’s glaringly obvious that this would be the perfect place to whisk your lover off for a romantic week or weekend. After gazing into each other’s eyes while soaking in the most picturesque scenery imaginable, you’ll rediscover all the things that have been obscured by the relentless march of everyday life.

Come here for the wildlife (did we mention the wild donkeys and mongoose?) or the quiet life, either way you’ll be privy to the Caribbean cream of the crop. Be warned, it’s very likely that upon your return you’ll downplay the time you had in order to keep St. John your little secret. You always thought you were a nice, giving person, so the realization that you are in fact selfish may be an unpleasant surprise. Comfort yourself by returning to the sparsely populated forests and deliciously uncrowded beaches of St. John. We won’t tell anyone.

The nature of this vacation makes it an easy choice to stay in a vacation rental. Tourists tromping through hotel lobbies and resorts that look alarmingly similar to everywhere else you’ve ever stayed just don’t fit into the paradigm that is St. John. Since you’ll find yourself treasuring every moment of this trip, so go all out and reserve a villa or seaside condo that will house you in privacy while giving you access to all the good stuff.

Whatever you seek, you shall have; be it a king-sized bed, an outdoor hot tub, a dining table under the stars, or an ironing board. Your common needs as well as your silliest whims will all be satisfied if you take the time to pick out a rental property, so put in a little effort now to be rewarded with a load of contentment later.

Go online to peruse the enticing listings, and be careful; so many of the St. John Vacation Rentals will look appealing that you’ll have trouble deciding on just one.

Visit as you make plans to reserve a vacation rental for your next trip.