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St. John first-timer: need food and beach and other recs

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hi, everybody--

My husband and I have committed to a 4 night vacation in October with our 14 year old granddaughter. We've bought our tickets into STT but are still waffling on our accommodations.

We're looking for beaches that offer plenty of natural or manmade shade. All of the condos we're looking at provide chairs and a cooler, but not umbrellas and shade is a must. If you can indicate which ones have shaded mornings or afternoons, that'd be great.

My grand daughter would like to try snorkeling but she's never done it before. Which places would you recommend for a novice? (For instance, I don't know yet if she'll be comfortable snorkeling in deep water or not)

Restaurants -- We'll want a fine dining restaurant one night but probably will try to be mostly casual the other nights. Local seafood offers would be great for my husband and me but our granddaughter is a pretty picky eater and will probably stick mostly with pub-style food throughout our stay.

Daytrips -- We'd like to take a daytrip that highlights snorkeling. Granddaughter probably won't get passport in time, so we'll need to stick within the USVI. We'd prefer more time spent at destinations beaching/snorkeling rather than sailing to them.

Rental car companies -- any suggestions? I'm not particular here.

Anything else? what's the name of that St. John book folks here used to recommend? Fins, Four Wheel Drive & Something...


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