St. John Feature
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Camping in St. John
For those on a really tight budget, St. John has a handful of camping spots. The best of these is probably the basic Cinnamon Bay Campground in the national park, but others are more elaborate like the "eco-tents" at Condordia and Maho. They appeal to those who don't mind bringing their own beach towels from home or busing their own tables at dinner. If you want your piña colada delivered beachside by a smiling waiter, you'd be better off elsewhere.
Cinnamon Bay Campground (Rte. 20, Cinnamon Bay 340/776-6330 or 800/539-9998 www.cinnamonbay.com) sits in the heart of Virgin Islands National Park, a stellar location right at the beach. Tents, rustic cottages, and bare sites are nestled in the trees that stretch behind the shore, and you have easy access to hiking, water sports, and ranger-led evening programs. The amenities are basic, but include propane stoves, cooking equipment, and bed linens with the cottages ($126-$163) and tents ($92); reserve early if you'd like a cottage right behind the beach. Other cottages, tents, and bare sites sit a short walk away. Only the screened cottages have electric lights; those using the already erected tents depend on propane lanterns. With bare sites ($32), you must bring all your own equipment. Showers and flush toilets, as well as a restaurant and a small store, are a short walk away from the camping area. The area can be buggy, the showers are cold, and there can be some traffic noise, but the beachfront site is nice, and there are hiking trails and activities close by. Reservations for one of the 55 permanent tents, 40 cottages, or 31 tent sites are essential in winter and recommended at other times. The campground is closed in September and October.
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