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St. Croix Travel Guide

  • Photo: Norm Diver / Shutterstock
  • Photo: (c) Rnonstx |

Plan Your St. Croix Vacation

History is a big draw in St. Croix: planes are filled with Danish visitors who come mainly to explore the island's colonial history. Of course, like the rest of us, they also make sure to spend some time sunning at the island's powdery beaches, getting pampered at the hotels, and dining at interesting restaurants.

Until 1917 Denmark owned St. Croix and her sister Virgin Islands,

a fact reflected in street names in the main towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted as well as the surnames of many island residents. In the 18th and 19th centuries, some of those early Danish settlers, as well as other Europeans, owned plantations, all of them worked by African slaves and white indentured servants lured to St. Croix to pay off their debt to society. Some of the plantation ruins—such as the Christiansted National Historic Site, Whim Plantation, the ruins at St. George Village Botanical Garden, and those at Estate Mount Washington and Judith's Fancy—are open for easy exploration. Others are on private land, but a drive around the island reveals the ruins of 100 plantations here and there on St. Croix's 84 square miles (218 square km). Their windmills, greathouses, and factories are all that's left of the 224 plantations that once grew sugarcane, tobacco, and other crops at the island's height.

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Top Reasons To Go

  1. Sailing to Buck Island Take a boat to Buck Island Reef National Monument, a national treasure. The beach at the western end of the island is a great spot to relax after a snorkeling adventure or a hike up the hill to take in the stunning view.
  2. Diving the Wall Every dive boat in St. Croix makes a trip to the Wall, one of the Caribbean's best diving experiences, but it's also accessible from the shore. Diving off Cane Bay Beach is especially popular.
  3. Exploring Ft. Christiansvaern History buffs flock to Christiansted National Historic Site. Head to the upper ramparts of Ft. Christiansvaern to ponder how life was for early settlers.
  4. Experiencing plantation life Whim Plantation showcases St. Croix's agrarian past. The planter and his family lived a comfortable life in the greathouse, but the slaves, and later, the poorly paid workers, had a much less posh existence.
  5. Strolling around Christiansted You can easily while away the better part of a day in Christiansted, St. Croix's main town, shopping for one-of-a-kind artworks, handcrafted jewelry, and simple souvenirs.



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