St. John Trip Report

Mar 17th, 2005, 07:06 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 7
St. John Trip Report

Returned from St. John last Friday, here's a quick trip report detailing the highlights & advice for those going to the island soon...

Stayed at the Westin (free from my points), and would recommend the place if you a)have kids and want to have a low-impact by-the-pool time, or b)are using the place as a bedroom, rent a jeep for the duration of your stay, and get out and explore the island.

My wife and I did the latter -- rented a jeep, and spent our time exploring alot of the north shore beaches as well as Coral Bay. The weather was excellent, nice and sunny, 85 degrees (a far cry from the cold and snow of new england), and the beaches fantastic...impressions:

Jumbie: a great secluded beach, good for relaxing, easy walk down the stairs from the road

Cinnamon: nice long beach, good for relaxing

Maho: one of our favorites, right off the road, better than Cinnamon in my opinion (more secluded)

Waterlemon: takes a bit of a hike (flat, around the bay, about 20mins or so) to get to the point where you're opposite the cay you want to snorkel real beach to speak of at the end here, but the idea is to snorkel...the snorkeling is ok but not fantastic (the back side of the cay is the best)

Didn't spend time at any of Caneel's beaches, the Westin beach, or beaches south of the Westin.

Coral Bay beaches...

Little Lameshur -- need a 4wd to get there, the first climb up the dirt road is the worst of it, after that it's just bumpy so don't be put off; this is a great, secluded beach, good snorkeling, highly recommend it.

Salt Pond Bay -- our favorite...secluded, get there early so you can get a spot with some shade (the sun gets very hot on the open sand)...the best snorkeling on the island that we did -- the right side (looking out) and the rocks in the middle of the bay are absolutely fantastic. Would recommend wearing a flotation belt if you're not a good swimmer or if the sea is at all choppy, as you have to cover quite a distance to get to the rocks, but it's well worth it.

FYI, if the north shore is rough, coral bay beaches will be nice and calm, as a rule.

-Little white truck in coral bay at the junction of two roads...right when you make a right to go into coral bay, forget the name, but the lady there makes great patties (pates).

-Miss lucy's, out a bit but before Salt Pond -- fantastic, highly recommend this place for its food and view.

-Skinny Legs, it gets real busy here, the burgers are good, as is the mahi mahi sandwich

One of our favorites, in Cruz Bay, go on Monday night when they have live jazz, the players are very good. Menu changes all the time, it's great food with a great atmosphere

-Joe's bbq
Real good chicken and ribs, low-key. worth the wait if there is one.

Get there early for lobster, they usually run out around 8pm it seems

Heard of a bunch more places that are supposed to be really good, but didn't go (10 tables), maybe next time.

Overall, St John is fantastic -- we've been to both Tortola and Virgin Gorda before, and we put this right up there. Would say that if you want to get away from the world and just be on your own, Virgin Gorda is the way to go; if you want to get away from it all and have more options for food and beaches, then St. John is the place to be. We'd go back in a heartbeat and probably will make it a regular visit (thanks to starwood points!)

Any q's let me know.

stanleybostitch is offline  
Mar 17th, 2005, 07:28 AM
Join Date: Mar 2004
Posts: 2,356
Thanks for the report! Glad you had a great time & got to see most of the island too.

Sorry your snorkling experience at Waterlemon wasn't that great. We have had great luck there, seen tons of marine life & if the starfish are there it's really cool.

Salt Pond is our other favorite for Snorkling. We typically stay in Concordia so we're close to there & Little Lamesur (although it's not the secret gem it used to be)...

tpatricco is offline  
Mar 19th, 2005, 09:06 AM
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 2,220
Thanks for your report, stanleybostitch. We know St John very well and are looking forward to trying Virgin Gorda this time (sailed in those waters several times, but that was decades ago). Do you know anything about villas on VG or did you do hotels? The snorkeling on St John is probably the best in the whole Caribbean, in our view. Where in Virgin Gorda is the best in your opinion? Are there as many places to snorkel as there are on St John. I hope, by the way, that you get a chance to snorkel off all 7 beaches at Caneel next time you go: very fine! (You don't need to be staying at the resort.)
poss is offline  
Mar 19th, 2005, 12:54 PM
Join Date: Sep 2003
Posts: 607

Tend to agree with your observations:

Thereís something about Jumbie. Itís a small, just the right size beach. Never crowded because of the limited parking.

Thought Maho was great beach for just chilliní. Do some snorkeling, lay under the sea grapes, and watch the pelicans feast.

Little Lameshur is probably my favorite.

Next trip, try Shipwreck Landing and Island Blues in Coral Bay.

RobertoB is offline  
Mar 21st, 2005, 04:36 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Apr 2004
Posts: 7

I highly recommend Mango Bay for Virgin Gorda; we stayed in one of the bungaloes on the beach -- living room, bedroom, small kitchen, steps from the beach, beautiful. The beach there is fantastic with great snorkeling from shore. It's a great place to get away from it all -- no TV, no internet, no cell phones.

I believe the company also rents villa's on the beach, you can check out their site.

Have fun!
stanleybostitch is offline  
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