We adore St. John...looking for something new!

Old Apr 8th, 2016, 02:59 PM
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We adore St. John...looking for something new!

So we have only been home from our Spring Break for 2 weeks and I'm already thinking about where to go next year! My family and I just got from our 4th trip to St. John and we love everything about it. For next year we thought we'd try something new, but honestly I'm a little afraid we'll be disappointed! We want a beautiful beach that isn't overly crowded. We love snorkeling right off the beach. Not interested in a place that's overdeveloped and too commercialized but a little beachy town to explore with shops, restaurants, or beach bars would be great. We love spending each night having dinner and walking through Cruz Bay. We also want an island where we feel safe to be out and about. On St. John we rent a jeep and a villa and we head out everyday to find new spots. I'm hoping to find an island where we can get a 2 bedroom villa on the beach for between $3-4000 for a week (it'll be high season, spring break). We're a family of 4 with 2 kids, ages 9 and 12. Any suggestions for where our next Carribean escape should be would be so appreciated!
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Old Apr 9th, 2016, 03:57 AM
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Virgin Gorda will tick all your boxes - it's very similar in size & topography to St. John. Look at Guavaberry Spring Bay villas , villas at Mahoe Bay or villas near Leverick Bay.

You might enjoy Nevis or St. Kitts if you can do without the snorkeling (there's very little on either island). You can, however, find plenty of beachfront and/or beach access multi-bedroom condos you can rent in your budget range. On Nevis look at the Condos at Nelson's Spring, Hamilton Condos or Seaside at Cliffdwellers. On St. Kitts look at any of the condo complexes in the Frigate Bay area or rental villas near Turtle Beach.

Look also at Anguilla, 35 spectacular white sand beaches and over 80 restaurants. Some decent, but limited, walk-in snorkeling. Check out Shoal Bay Villas.
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Old Apr 11th, 2016, 10:16 AM
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I think Virgin Gorda sounds like the perfect suggestion. Some people describe VG as St John 30 years ago. As nice as the beaches are in Anguilla. I would not recommend it at all for a snorkeling destination. Anguilla is known for stunning beaches and amazing restaurants...(not) snorkeling.
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Old Apr 20th, 2016, 06:01 PM
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I so sgree with the suggestion of VG. Take a look at Mango Bay "Resort", which seems more like a very intimate condo community to me. While not luxurious, it is a fabulous location and the units would certainly give you what you want in the way of space, great service, and a wonderful and safe beachfront area for your kids. There are kayaks, floats, and plenty of beach lounges, etc. with a beautiful and reef protected area to snorkel (we saw turtles, schools of blue tang, etc).
There is no restaurant, bar, etc. and you need a car/jeep but it is a short and easy drive from many places in Spanish Town.
Happy travels!!
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Old May 5th, 2016, 06:42 AM
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We loved Virgin Gorda on our recent sailing trip... we were in Spanish Town for 2 nights and moored at the Bitter End yatch club for 2 nights as well... the baths are beautiful, there is great snorkeling - I think your family would love it!
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Old May 13th, 2016, 07:17 AM
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We are also big fans of St John but have been looking at other options due to Zika (so not considering US or British VI at all really). What I have found that sounds interesting, and different, are some of the outer islands in the Bahamas. Specifically looking at Green Turtle Cay in the Abacos. No cars, you rent a golf cart. Lots of houses right on the beach. Island is only 3 miles long but there is a dive shop that schedules trips and you can snorkel right off some of the beaches. We are also a family of four (two teens - 13 & 15).
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Old May 16th, 2016, 11:50 AM
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I too love St. John but also love Anguilla and the Exumas, for different reasons.
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Old May 16th, 2016, 01:21 PM
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Kristen1206, you forgot T&C!!!!


Personally, if you adore a place (I adore many) branch out completely different, as if you do something similar you'll always compare

Anguilla is a tough one for villas, so you could try a condo such as Turtle's Nest

Love Exumas! For me might be slightly chilly though in March. (or could be gorgeous, Virginia is now chilly in May!)
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Old May 21st, 2016, 01:09 PM
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I have been to Virgin Gorda (three times), Grand Cayman (countless times), Turks and Caicos twice, Bahamas (twice), Anguilla (once), St Lucia (twice), Barbados (once), St Vincent and Grenadines (once).

For snorkeling and based on the fact that you really like St John, I would suggest Virgin Gorda. There are plenty of places to snorkel and dine and some nice hikes as well. Take the ferry from Leverick Bay and you have even more snorkel options with the resorts over there.
There are nice villas there you can rent or you can try Little Dix Bay. I used crowdpleaserstravel.com for help with this.

Grand Cayman has my heart but for variety I enjoy all the others as well. Turks and Caicos has a great walking beach and snorkeling but water will be colder. Turks and Caicos is lovely, the people are lovely. St Lucia is beautiful, snorkeling only so so unless you go to Anse Chastanet or Sugar Beach reef.

Anguilla-beautiful beaches, lovely restaurants, great music scene.

For snorkeling right off the beach, Grand Cayman and Virgin Gorda get my vote. If you go to Virgin Gorda, take one of the charters (like Aristocat) to Norman Island or Jost Van Dyke.

Hope this helps.
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Old May 21st, 2016, 01:16 PM
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I love love love Norman Island and Jost Van Dyke...wearing my soggy dollar t-shirt this morning
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