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Trip Report Trip Report - St. John (w/kids)

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Hi. We got back from a quick spring break trip to St. John. I've only been to a few Caribbean places (Bahamas, Bermuda, Cancun - and I know that these aren't technically Caribbean), and St. John is by far the most beautiful! It is hilly, green with the most amazing beaches!

We stayed at the Westin. The Westin has by far the worst beach on the island (at least of the ones we saw) but my kids loved it b/c anchored out in the water are two water trampolines! They just thought these were the greatest, most fun things.

We rented a jeep and the first full day we checked out the north shore beaches - Trunk Bay, Hawksnest and Cinnamon. We got to Trunk Bay early and got to enjoy it, and the snorkel trail, before the cruise crowds came. (I wanted to know which days before we left were actually cruise ships days - I discovered they all are! Some day only 2 cruise ships are in the area (St. Thomas), other days had 7 ships!)

Cruz Bay was something else - hilly, narrow streets, with few right angles, and many one-way streets. Oh, and add that they drive on the left hand side of the road - it was quite like an amusement park ride at times!

We ate dinner in CB 3 nights - Duffy's Love Shack, Morgan's Mango and the Banana Deck. All three were fun and good with the boys.

The second day we got our National Park passports stamped and took a hike to Salomon Beach and Honeymoon Beach, two more beautiful beaches. The water is so pretty - and a great temp.

The third day we took a boat trip to the BVI on Stormy Petrol. I don't usually recommend stuff like this, but this 2 person crew took very good care of us and gave us interesting info about the area. This excursion was well worth it. Our first stop was at the Baths, and the ride there was beautiful - along the north shore of St. John, past Tortola and other islands. The Baths was cool - sort of like a tropical version of the Narrows in Zion NP in Utah. The boys loved scrambling around the boulders. Our next stop was at Cooper Island beach for lunch (they phoned in our order ahead so we didn't spend a ton of time here). Then we snorkeled at a stop on Peter Island. The highlight here was that we saw a sea turtle! (The other snorkeling highlight my sons and husband experienced - they saw a stingray in Trunk Bay).

I wanted to hike the Reef Bay Trail and see the petroglyphs, but my sons aren't really fond of hiking, and all the guided hikes scheduled by the National Park Service were already booked for the week (we checked the first day). We were on a waiting list, but we decided we'd rather spend the day at the beach than hiking in the heat. So we went back early to Trunk Bay and had the beach practically to ourselves at 9:30am. We have great pictures here - this is definitely the most beautiful beach I've ever seen! It got hot, so we left (there was little shade except for the area near the start of the snorkel trail and all the cruise ship hordes were down there), so we decided to go check out Caneel Beach. We stopped,and it was pretty, but not amazingly so, so we just headed back to the Westin b/c the boys wanted to use the water trampoline.

The only negative thing about St. John is that it is expensive. I learned that if you are a Starwood Member you get a discounted rate, even if you don't frequently stay at Starwood hotels. So this is one way to make it a bit more reasonable. (We also flew for free with my husband's FF miles. I'd really hate to see the cost of the trip with air far added in!) But it is so nice - I just printed out our pictures and they look great!!

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