Coral Bay vs. Cruz Bay

Old Oct 26th, 2007, 08:54 AM
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Coral Bay vs. Cruz Bay

First timers to STJ. Considering villa rentals and were settled on one above Cruz Bay, but now am concerned about daily driving up and down Jacob's Ladder. Would Coral Bay area be better suited to folks who mainly want to snorkel, hike and hang out without lots of "scary" driving, or is it going to be a trade off with Coral Bay being somewhat remote?
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 02:52 PM
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Tellurian,

Coral Bay has amenities so you aren't as remote as you think. The beaches on that side; salt pond, Lamishur - are great for snorkeling and not as crowded as the North shore. Plus...hanging out at Skinny Legs every night wouldn't be so bad! : )

There are a lot of options for rentals in other areas - yes you'd have to drive up Jacob's ladder but its not so bad after you get used to it. Try Chocolate Hole or Fish or Rendevous Bay. These area are more remote but a little closer to Cruz Bay than Coral Bay and have great views. Unless you are staying at Caneel you have to drive to the beach regardless (the Westin's beach is man-made and not worth mentioning).

Best of luck!
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 03:40 PM
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We've been to St. John only once and stayed near Francis Bay on the north shore. It is a very quiet area with only a few rentals. We liked being a short drive to all the great beaches in the area. It was about 15 minutes to Cruz Bay and around 20 to Coral Bay.
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Old Oct 26th, 2007, 06:26 PM
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Tellurian-which side of Cruz Bay is that villa on? You might or might not need to drive on Jacob's Ladder, depending on where it is and where you're going. But Jacob's ladder isn't really such a big deal anyway. It's just a steep hill with a straight, well-paved road.

I'm wondering if, by Jacob's Ladder, you may be referring to the place locals often call the "switchbacks," on North Shore Road just east of Trunk Bay. Now, the switchbacks could certainly be a bit scary for a driver who isn't used to mountain driving. There are ways to avoid them if you want to.

The experiences close to Cruz Bay and close to Coral Bay would be pretty different, and one or the other environment may appeal to you more. Or one villa or the other may be much more to your liking. I'd say that keeping the driving mellow would, in general, be far easier to do if you're closer to Cruz Bay.



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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 03:36 AM
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Much appreciate these responses--informative and encouraging.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 05:23 AM
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http://www.on-stjohn.com/

Check out this link and scroll down to October 19th. This website has a new feature called the "Jeep Cam" which I love. You can see the drive from Cruz Bay up Jacob's Ladder and past The Westin. At the top of the page is the beginning of the north shore road drive. Fun stuff!

Some of the villa driveways on STJ might be more challenging than Jacob's Ladder .
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 05:27 AM
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Brilliant, brenandg! That video allays my worries. Thanks.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 02:45 PM
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Glad you liked it. Where are you staying? If you want to see the "Cruz Bay Cruise", check the archives for August 24th.
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Old Oct 27th, 2007, 05:15 PM
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I've wondered about the roads in St. John as well -- so thanks for the video link brenandg -- very helpful!
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 08:51 AM
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Thanks again to everyone, especially brenandg for the Jeep Cam stuff -- seeing is believing. We're going to stay at a villa above Cruz Bay - Perelandra. Hopefully it will provide the best of both worlds for our foursome.
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Old Oct 30th, 2007, 10:23 AM
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It's not necessarily the roads - just listen for and use the horn on switchbacks. But do ask about the driveway to the villa - some of them are quite challenging.
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Old Nov 27th, 2007, 07:55 AM
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I don't think there's really anywhere to stay on STJ where you aren't going to have some driving challenges getting around. It's very hilly and the roads are very twisty regardless which route you take, but it's worth it.

I like Coral Bay but getting from there to the beaches is still going to be scary. It's not really remote at all and now that you've decided on Perelandra make sure you still get out there. (I haven't found a villa out there that has views that compare to what my villa on Maria Bluff had though.)
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