best of St John

Dec 13th, 2004, 02:55 AM
  #1  
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 25
best of St John

We are leaving Sunday for a week on St John (we will be there Christmas). I have done some homework on what to do and see but now would like some specific suggestions. (We are an active group staying in a villa with a 4 wheel drive vehicle.) Here are the areas we are interested in (not necessarily in this order):
Best beaches (for beauty, sunning)
Best beaches for snorkeling
Other snorkeling musts
Best boat charter company for snorkeling and/or visit to other islands
Other must do trips - ie kayaking, mountain biking, hiking
Best restaurants
Thanks for the help.
C
cmccullough is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 04:03 AM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607
There are two excellent books on St. John beaches and snorkeling. ‘St. John Off the Beaten Track’ by Gerald Singer or ‘ St. John Feet, Fins, & Four-Wheel Drive’ by Pam Gaffin. Both make finding beaches and snorkeling so much easier. Carib Mart (www.caribmart.com/usbritviris.html ) is an excellent source for these books. It's possible that you could get them by the time that you depart otherwise you should be able to locate at least one of them in Cruz Bay.

Since we stayed in Coral Bay, I'm partial to Island Blues ( try the blackened shrimp appetizer ) and Shipwreck Landing.
RobertoB is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 01:59 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 3
IM SO JEALOUS! My wife and I stayed in St. John last June and I miss it so much! First of all, I will say that since we were there in June, perhaps conditions will be different as far as beach crowding etc, but I will tell you what I know. Regarding beaches, I didnt think there was a single bad beach on the island, although our personal favorite was Cinnamon Bay. It was long enough that you could stretch out away from other people, and they offered the snorkeling equipment right there on the beach. We saw some neat fish but nothing TOO exotic which was fine for us. The view was awesome, you could see some smaller islands, or tortolas out in the bay. I heard that Trunk Bay was a very good spot for snorkeling but never went there. that is where (I think) they have the underground snorkel trail. We also snorkeled in Francis Bay where we were told that there were sea turtles and (small) sharks. We did not go out as far as the area that they were seen in because we were too chicken. As far as hiking, my wife and I really enjoyed the trail to Rams Head Bluff over by Salt Pond. You get to experience a lot on that hike, a walk along the beach (which has some very unique features we saw nowhere else on the island), a hike up the hillside, and the destination is a bluff overlooking miles of ocean, very beautiful and serene. The bluff actually has a very interesting legend behind it. Speaking of history, a great way to discover a little about the history of the island is to go to the Mini golf park, each hole has an interesting history lesson, sounds cheesy but it was pretty cool. Plus they have a bar and some good live music there. As far as restaurants, we both liked Skinny Legs, and Moe, the owner made a point to stop and visit with us. The food is very non-fancy, but we liked it. Duffys Love Shack was a little more touristy, but a lot of fun and worth the money. Island Blues had some good live music and is beautiful at night cause you are so close to the water. The only restaurant we werent particularly impressed with was Morgans Mango, we thought 80 bucks for two people (that includes no alcohol) should have bought us better meals. Enjoy!
kdave21 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 04:01 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,355
If you like laid back lifestyle & beautiful beaches, you'll love STJ.

My favorite snorkle spots are Salt Pond Bay & Leinster Bay / Waterlemon Cay.

Little Lamesur Bay is my favorite for beach & sunning.

Cinnamon Bay & Little Cinnamon as well as Hawks Nest are also nice beaches on the North shore. Trunk Bay is the most touristy and also has the most accomodations (bathrooms, changing facilities etc.) They do have the underwater snorkle trail there. This is where all the cruise ship folks come to snorkle on their day trips off the ship. There's a pretty view of Trunk Bay from the North Shore road, perfect photo spot.

We too prefer the Coral Bay area, and Island Blues & Skinny Legs are not to be missed. In town, try Zozo's at Gallows Point for a nice, more fancy dinner. We also liked Rhum Lines with swings instead of bar stools at the bar. They have great tapas & dinner too with great outdoor courtyard setting.

If it's your first trip to STJ there's plenty to see without leaving the island. There are several great charters you can do to the BVI's though if you're interested. We haven't done those yet, but if you do a search here, you should find threads with the details for that.

Have a great time! I'm jealous...can't wait to go back too!
tpatricco is offline  
Dec 15th, 2004, 05:58 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Posts: 213
I agree that Waterlemon Cay was the best snorkeling spot, although it was good at Cinnamon Bay also. We never hit the beach at Trunk - always too crowded for my tastes. We rented a boat for the day (we are boaters) and headed to the BVI's. We snorkeled The Indians, off Peter Island, and visited the Willie T off Norman Island. We rented through a company at the Westin. We took a day trip through Cruz Bay Watersports, also at the Westin, on their big boat "Blast" to Jost Van Dyke, stopping for lunch at Foxy's and then on to White Bay for snorkeling and drinking and sunning at the Soggy Dollar Bar. Was a GREAT day - highly recommended. We also dove with Cruz Bay Watersports. St John is so beautiful, I can still close my eyes and transport myself there.
Mellyz is offline  
Dec 15th, 2004, 06:34 AM
  #6  
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Join Date: Sep 2004
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Thanks for the great advice. Much of what has been said confirms what I had heard/read already. I am now more excited than ever to go. I will take good notes while there and post a trip report upon return.
cmccullough is offline  

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