St. John Activities Guide

Things to do in St. John, USVI – Insider's Guide

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Top 10 Things to do in St. John, USVI

Wondering what to do while on St. John? Our page currently has 99 activity suggestions for St. John. Wondering where to start? Here is our ultimate top 10 list.

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Watch Sea Turtles on St. John

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There are 3 different kinds of Sea Turtles on St. John or the Virgin Islands in general: Leatherback, Green Turtle and Hawksbill. Head over to the National Park’s website for more sea turtle photos.

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Stingrays on St. John

Another interesting creature you might see swimming or snorkeling on St. John is a Stingray. Close to shore you are most likely to see the Caribbean Whiptail Stingray as in the photos, but if you venture further out or snorkel from a boat, you might also see a beautiful spotted eagle ray.

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Catherinenberg Ruins, St. John, USVI

The Catherinenberg ruins are ruins of a 18th-century sugar and rum factory. The consist of a circular horse mill and a very well preserved wind mill. They were part of the Hammer Plantation and are one of the oldest plantations on St. John

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Are corals animals, plants or rocks?

With their hardened surfaces, corals are sometimes mistaken as being rocks. And, because they are attached, “taking root” to the seafloor, they are often mistaken for plants. However, unlike rocks, corals are alive. And unlike plants, corals do not make their own food. Corals are in fact animals.

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Frank Bay, St. John, USVI

Frank Bay St. John is a lesser known beach that is only a few steps from town. It is a great beach if you have to kill some time before flying out or if you don’t have a car. It only has a few parking spaces so it is never crowded.

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Turks Head Cactus

The Turks Head Cactus is a small rounded Cactus with a big read head. It can be found at St. John’s East End where  the climate is much hotter and drier vs. the Cruz Bay area.

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Ram’s Head Trail

Another must do while on St. John is the Ram’s Head Trail. It is a beautiful hike which starts at the very remote East End of St. John at Salt Pond Beach. There is always a nice breeze so it is also good on hot summer days.

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Cinnamon Beach, St. John, USVI

It is a beautiful, long, white, sandy beach with plenty of space where you will always find some privacy, especially if you walk to the very far left end. It’s a beach for action: You can swim, snorkel, surf (when there is a decent Northern Swell), windsurf, sail, kayak, paddleboard and observe the site of a recent architectorial dig. There also is a loop trail through the ruins.

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Hermit Crabs on St. John

Another interesting creature you will most likely see on St. John is a Herbit crab. These crawly little creatures live in shells that they haul around on their backs. They are also known as “soldier crabs” or “purple pinchers”.

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Jumbie Bay Beach

Jumbie Bay Beach is a great beach during the busy season. It only has 5 parking spots so it never gets crowded. It basically gives you the beauty of Trunk Bay (which you can see in full if you swim or paddle out) without the crowds.

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Maho Bay Beach – St. John, USVI

Maho Bay Beach is another great St. John beach. The water is usually calm and it is nicely protected from the wind. It is usually the calmest spot on the North Shore and  a great spot for beginner snorkeling and paddleboarding and families with kids. When you stay close to shore, inside the bay, you will be safe even if the wind is howling.

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Trunk Bay Beach, St. John, USVI

Trunk Bay is St. Johns most famous and most photographed beach. It regularly makes it into the world’s top beach rankings. It also is one of the busiest beaches on St. John especially during the high season (winter months). And it is the only beach that actually charges an admission fee, unless you get there before 8:30AM or close to sunset (4 PM).

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Johnny Horn Trail, St. John, USVI

Even after a few years on St. John I am still amazed by the beauty of the nature and the trails. Today’s story is about the Johnny Horn Trail, just half an hour outside Cruz Bay you can find yourself in total wilderness and enjoy tranquil, stunning views.

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Frangipani Caterpillar

We got this photo from Rock Hoppin’ yesterday and thought that make a nice addition to our Animals&Critters of St. John section. It is a Frangipani Caterpillar that will eventually turn into a giant moth, a common moth in the American tropics and subtropics in lowland habitats.

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Go Fishing with World Class Anglers

St. John’s oldest charter fishing business has a new boat and a new website! If you are an experienced angler or you’ve never fished before, come share the fun and excitement of sport fishing on their 35′ Carolina Classic named “World Class“.

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Caneel Hill Trail

This is not an easy trail. It is a steep and steady incline, gaining gaining 719 feet of elevation in less than one mile. But the breathtaking view you will have from the top (pictured above) will totally be worth it.

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Visit Pizza Pi, the USVI Pizza Boat

Update: Pizza Pi has reopened for the season and now is open daily!

Here is a great activity for the whole family. Visit Pizza Pi, a food boat that is moored in Christmas Cove.

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Santa Anna’s Gold in a Pirate Sea

Looking for a great book to read on St. John? Something written by a local author?

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Watch the sunset on St. John

Sunsets on St. John are amazing. One of our favourite places to watch the sunset on St. John is on North Shore Road. Drive past Mongoose Junction, up the hill and you will see a small parking bay to the left. You will see a great sunset from there.

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Go Snorkeling on St. John

Snorkeling the waters of St. John, USVI is  one of the most rewarding and fun things to do on St. John, it’s cheap and easily accessible for anyone, the water is warm and usually calm. You can see Angel Fish, Parrot Fish, Seargent Majors, Yellow Tail Snapper, Puffer Fish to name a few and of course Sea Turtles.

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Go Freediving!

A simple definition of freediving is: “at least and inch underwater on a breath of air”.

Freediving is about exploring the underwater world holding your breath until resurfacing rather than using a breathing apparatus such as scuba gear. You will get a feeling of true ease and relaxation under water, many people describe the feeling you get while free diving as soft, smooth, quiet, serene & peaceful. 

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Recreational Fishing on St. John

General recreational fishing permits are presently not required for recreational fishers in Virgin Islands. This includes persons who engage in fishing for the sole purpose of providing food for themselves or their families and those who catch and release fish.

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St. John Island Information

Some useful information about St. John. While it is a US territory and you do not need a passport travelling there from the mainland, a few things are different. Here are the basics, for more general Island and Travel Information head over to www.stjohn-info.com

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Go for a nightpaddle on St. John

You have been on St. John for a while and checked all the basics of your bucket list, like Peace HillCaneel Hill Trail, Annaberg Sugar Plantation, Reef Bay Hike….. and are looking for a new adventure?

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Iguana Watching

Iguanas are everywhere on St. John, you just sometimes have to stare at the same space for a while until you actually see them! The species found on St. John is called “Green Iguana” but that does not mean they are actually green (they are after birth but then change into various colors).

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Make Jumbies at Drunk Bay

The Trail that leads to Drunk Bay on St. John begins at the very end of Salt Pond Beach and heads inland towards the salt pond. It is a relatively easy walk with  no hills and takes about 20-30minutes. The trail then continues North on to the rocky, windswept Drunk Bay beach.

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Meet the Donkeys on St. John

The donkeys on St. John were imported in the 16th century to work on the sugar plantations. The slaves were freed and the plantations went out of business then another few centuries later the first cars showed up on St. John and the donkey were let go free. And they still roam around on St. John.

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Day Trip to Jost van Dyke

One of the most popular destinations for day trips is Jost van Dyke. Named for an early Dutch settler and former pirate, rugged scenery and colorful folklore make up Jost Van Dyke.  With fewer than 300 inhabitants, it measures just four miles by three.It retains the island culture that much of the Caribbean has lost. Jost Van Dyke is a little island with a big reputation.

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Peace Hill, St. John

The Peace Hill hike on St. John  is a very easy one, but nonetheless very rewarding. It begins at a Parking off Northshore Road, about half a mile after Hawksnest.

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St. John Festival Parade 2015 Photos

This years St. John Festival ended on Saturday with a totally amazing parade and then later of course, the fireworks. Check out the photos below!

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The Wave – Susan Casey

Another great book for any boater, surfer or water lover:

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Picnic at Salt Pond Beach (East End)

This beach feels different and also attracts a different crowd, since it is a very long drive from Cruz Bay and a relatively long walk down from the parking (about 15 minutes). Salt Pond is a beautiful bay with amazingly clear water. Bring a picnic and sit on the tables in the shade, enjoying the view.

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Reef Bay Trail Hike

The secrets of St. John’s tropical forests, petroglyphs, freshwater pools and sugar mill ruins come alive on the three-mile Reef Bay Trail Hike.  You will also see a 40ft waterfall, various plants and animals like deer, bats, land crabs, termite nests.

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Build a Mosquito Trap

Ok, St. John is paradise. The only true nuisance are the mosquitos. They are not only a nuisance, they can actually infect you with bad diseases like Dengue and Chikungunya Fever. Both viruses are transmitted by Aedes species mosquitoes, which have black and white stripes markings. The National Park Service has actually just issued a warning about Chikungunya outbreak in the Caribbean.  In Makonde (African language), chikungunya means “that which  bends”, referring to stooped appearance of patients in severe pain.

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Love City Country Music Festival 2015

Saturday was the last day of Love City Country Music Festival 2015 at totally amazing event pulled of on this tiny, beautiful island with only 4000 inhabitants.

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Mangrove Snorkel at Hurricane Hole

You have been to most of the famous snorkeling spots and are looking for something different? How about a Mangrove Snorkel?

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Visit Easter Rock

Easter Rock is a giant, majestic boulder right next to St. John’s North Shore Road (after Hawksnest and before Peace Hill). When driving East, it will be on the left hand side.

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Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins

In 1717 the Danes started huge plantations growing mainly sugar cane for rum. Slaves were forced to work on the plantations, gruelling hours sometimes from 4.00 AM to 10.00 PM. Life was very rough for them and in 1733 the slaves organized a revolt which ultimately led to the abolishment of slavery.

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Paddleboarding on St. John

The Virgin Islands are a stand up paddler’s paradise offering everything from calm bays for beginners to crossings and crazy downwinders for experienced paddlers and if you are lucky you might find some really good uncrowded waves, too!

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Visit Hawksnest Beach – St. John, USVI

One the best beaches on St. John is Hawksnest. It is not too long of a drive from Cruz Bay (little under 2 miles from Mongoose Junction), parking is close to the beach and the palm trees and watercolor is just amazing.

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Bird Watching – Francis Bay Trail

At Francis Bay there is a short loop trail with 2 entrances which is great for bird watching. You will also see deer and land crabs.

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Visit Francis Bay, St. John Beaches

Francis Bay on St. John has just been ranked as “12 clear water beaches you need to see to believe” by Tripadvisor. Well, almost any beach on St. John could qualify for that, but Francis really is a great beach.

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Is St. John Sargassum Edible?

Lots of seagrass has been washed onto St. John’s shores overnight, so question that naturally pops up on this island where food is notoriously expensive, is it edible?

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Desiring Paradise… a true story of succumbing to the dream

Many people toy with the idea of packing up their lives and moving to a remote island in the tropics. This book relates the hilarious tale of two middle-class New Englanders who succumbed to that dream.

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New Gym in town: Rock Fitness

With the gym at the Westin undergoing major renovation and having moved to one of the meeting rooms we are excited to hear there is a new gym in town, at the Lumberyard complex.

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Spend a weekend on Anegada, BVI

Have you been to Jost van Dyke, Norman, Willy T. and Virgin Gorda already? Looking for something new/different? How about Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. It is about a 50 mile ride and the ocean can be rough, so it is a bit of a stretch, but it is ideal for a weekend trip.

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Milk Food Coloring And Dish Soap Experiment

Here is a fun little experiment to do with your kids, when back home at the villa or on a rainy day. All you need is food coloring, milk, dish soap and a cotton swab (if you have, you can do it without to)

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Coral Bay Marina Proposal

The discussion on this is beyond the scope of this website, but if the proposed 145 slip marina came to life in Coral Bay it would change the face of the island forever so we feel this is relevant to share.

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Labor Day Trip to St. Croix

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For those of you looking for something to do for Labor Day Travel to the Agrifest St. Croix onboard the M/V Caribe Cay with Transportation Services of St. John, Inc.

More information here

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