Driving on St. John

Dec 13th, 2004, 08:16 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 358
Driving on St. John

My husband & I are considering a 10 day vacation in St. John mid-June -- my only concern is the driving -- I understand it is on the left -- with many hills and sharp turns, etc. How crazy is it? We're thinking about renting a villa (Perelandra - just above Cruz Bay) and want to spend our days exploring all the great snorkeling sites. But -- since it is a "vacation" I don't want to feel overly stressed about the driving conditions, finding parking, etc. I'm also considering staying at Estate Lindholm and just walking to town and taking cabs -- but I think we'd be happier in a villa and would like the freedom of having a car. Possibly responses to this message will put my mind at ease. Feedback on the villa would also be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

cm318 is offline  
Dec 13th, 2004, 08:43 AM
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Having a car at your disposal is a great way to see the island. Driving on the left in general and driving on St. John in particular is not all that difficult but a lot depends on you. If you are a good driver where you now live it shouldn't be a problem. You'll get use to driving on the left fairly quickly (the biggest adjustment remembering to look first to your right instead of left when pulling out of a driveway or cross street into traffic) and while the roads are hilly and twisty if you are attentive and don't drive too fast they can actually be fun to drive. If, however, you are a tentative driver "back home" or you don't enjoy driving in your everyday life then chances are you'll be intimadated while driving on St. John (or any other Caribbean island for that matter). You should understand that the locals who are more familiar with the roads may drive faster then you do but that's all right. Just go along at your own speed and you will be fine.
Dec 13th, 2004, 09:35 PM
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 932
Rent the car, nothing is difficult driving even up the hills. Parking is not a problem at all!!! Trust me, take the freedom of the car.
Traveler863 is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 09:34 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,355
cm318 - you really need a car on STJ. Exploring the island is difficult without your own transportation.

Staying in Estate Lindholm & walking to Coral Bay isn't that short a walk...half mile at least, and there are no taxis there. STJ is a very quiet island. The only place you can count on getting a taxi is in Cruz Bay which is at least a 30-35 minute drive from the Coral Bay area.

Most of the main roads are paved, and although winding & steep sometimes they are almost all easily navigable. Just need to be concious of driving on the correct side of the road for the first couple days & avoiding goats, it gets easier after a day or two.

Definitely rent a 4WD on STJ though.

STJ is one of our favorites! Have a great time! Trish

tpatricco is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 12:09 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607

Everyone has given you good advise on driving on St. John. Check USVI On-Line ( http://www.virgin-islands-on-line.co...ws/index.shtml ) for reviews on Perelandra. There are three in 2004 and one in 2003 on this villa.
RobertoB is offline  
Dec 14th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 358
Thanks for all the great input about driving -- we're really looking forward to our first trip to St. John -- and, yes -- we will rent a car. Based on the reviews for Perelandra (usvi on-line) - it sounds ideal for us. I'll probably spend another few days checking all possible options -- and book something before the 1st of the year. I already see that Perelandra is booked in early June so we'll have to wait till after June 13 if we want that one. If any one has other villa recommendations I'd love to hear from you. We're looking for a location convenient to north shore beaches -- and we need the security of knowing that there is air conditioning available in the bedrooms. We're making a looooong trip to St. John (from Arizona - overnighting in Miami) -- so I want to make sure we check in to a great little villa/cottage when we arrive. Thanks again!
cm318 is offline  
Dec 16th, 2004, 07:36 AM
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 2
I agree with everyone else, you should have a car on STJ. Parking in Cruz Bay can be stressful, but check with the car rental agency, most of them let you use their parking lot and you can walk from there. There are so many beaches, you will want a car to explore tham all.
rhaus is offline  
Dec 16th, 2004, 01:38 PM
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 37
We stayed in Estate Lindholm and rented a car when we were there November 2002. I highly recommend Estate Lindholm - the folks who run it are very nice and helpful - and also recommend having a car. Driving is really not a big deal, just take it easy and pull over when you can to let others pass. I don't think it will be too crazy in June as that is past high season. When we were there in November all the locals were saying how "crowded" it was, and to us it seemed almost deserted. We never had a serious problem getting a parking spot in Cruz Bay. Also, if you want to go to Coral Bay on the other side of the island you'll need a car. I think Estate Lindholm is a nice compromise between a villa and a hotel - the inn is small and private, with nice rooms with a gorgeous view, rooms had microwave, mini-fridge, and I think there was a grill on site if you wanted to try cooking your own dinner one night. But you also have the expertise and assistance of the lovely family who owns the inn, which is nice if its your first time on the island. We loved it there.
sberk is offline  

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