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Must See and do in St John

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Houston, Texas
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Must See and do in St John

First, sorry for the triple post in the usvi forum... Tryin to do this on my phone.

My soon to be wife and i will be going to Caneel Bay in May for 6 nights. I don't want a minute to minute itinerary for our vacation, but i would like a few things planned before we go.

As of now, the only thing we have planned is to take the bad kitty/calypso tour to the baths on vg, lunch at cooper island, snorkleing at Normand island and drinks at soggy dollar.

What are some must See beaches on or around st John, must visit shops or areas, and must eat/drink restaurants and bars?? Also any other excursions you recommend would be considered.

We plan on renting a jeep for a few days, so getting around the island won't be a problem.

Boston
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1. Re: Must See and do in St John

I'm not sure what you mean by "plan" but if you are talking about making reservations to go off-island then you might get enough (for your first trip) by doing the Bad Kitty tour if it includes everything you listed above. That makes for a long but fun day and ending it at Soggy Dollar is a great plan! You do have passports ready right?

Other than off-island excursions to the BVIs, then try not to plan anything on STJ. Its a smallish island with excellent beaches on the North and South sides. Its an island for chillin', not looking at your watch, not waiting for anyone to "hurry up" etc. I would suggest getting a map and then looking at all the posts to look at beaches. Basically there are a few extending from the Caneel Bay area (North Side) but the further out you drive towards the East End, the waters get rougher and there is little to no sand on the the beaches. Are you snorkling? Then again, check the hundreds of posts here for the most common snorkle beaches. There are many! Then there are Coral Bay beaches which are drier and usually calmer than the North Side beaches. Really, you could easily drive to every beach on St John in a day but I wouldn't recommend it.

Eating- Cruz Bay has some great spots, all walkable from the ferry pier and then there are a few great ones in Coral Bay. Again, read the hundreds of posts on these too. Depends on your budget and food prefernces. Depending on your age, some bars in Cruz Bay and Coral Bay will appeal to you and others might be for younger or older people. I know nothing about the hotel restaurants.

Shops- nice shops in Cruz Bay at Mongoose Junction. We only look at token trinkets but if you are into jewelry, there are some very good shops for that in Cruz Bay. Again depends on your taste. Just start walking and you will see pretty much everything.

Remember, you will want to come back so don't try to jam anything in because before you leave, you will be planning trip # 2 or 10!

Houston, Texas
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64 posts
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2. Re: Must See and do in St John

Thanks for the reply. By,'plan' i mean id like to have a few beaches and restaurants id like to for sure see, but not a plan so detailed that its a minute by minute itinerary.

I've looked at so many reviews on here about beaches and food in st John, its hard to decide. But ill attempt to narrow it down.

Are there any other islands around there that have a big attraction like the baths at vg?

Houston, Texas
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3. Re: Must See and do in St John

Also let me throw this out there. Are there any small islands (cays i guess they're called) within swimming distance to st John? Id like to swim to one for some daily exercise. I was a collegiate swimmer, swimming up to 10 miles a day so anything under a mile shouldn't be a problem so long as the water isn't too rough.

Hollis, New...
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4. Re: Must See and do in St John

To answer two of your questions: Go to Cinnamon Bay, the most beautiful place on the island (my opinion, obviously, not shared by everyone), and swim around Cinnamon Cay.

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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5. Re: Must See and do in St John

Waterlemon Cay is another one. Hike out to Leinster Bay then snorkel around Waterlemon. Also, Whistling Cay from Francis Bay. You (not me) could easily swim from one beach to another. Such as Trunk Bay to Jumbie (this would be a short swim for you). Francis to Maho to Cinnamon. From Caneel you could swim Hawksnest to Trunk.

I know they have a swimming contest every year (don't know what it's called or when it is) maybe Pia or StJohnJulie can jump in here... But they swim from one beach to another. Maybe Hawksnest to Francis (A LONG WAY)...... We almost always visit mid/end of April or early May and we see people training while we are relaxing on the beach.

If you haven't already, get a copy of Feet, Fins & Four Wheel Drive by Pam Gaffin. Very informative.

Although May is low season, you may want to go aheaad and reserve your jeep now instead of walking around Cruz Bay trying to find one available. www.stjohnusvi.com has a list of the rental places.

Have a great trip!

Middleburg, Virginia
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6. Re: Must See and do in St John

I just returned last week. My favorite day was spent on Maho Bay. We had run around the island in our fun Jeep all week looking to take in all of St. John, and we did, and it was a blast...but the day we just sat for hours on that beach was just perfection. I would not miss the Beach Bar at Happy Hour ($4 Painkillers) and a fun crowd.

Boston
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7. Re: Must See and do in St John

To answer your question about attractions like the Baths- none that I know of within easy distance from St. John. Many of us love to head over to Jost Van Dyke for a day trip to include a taxi ride then hike over to the Bubbling Pool which is on the opposite end of the island from White's Bay where the fantastic Soggy Dollar bar is. In the "center" of the tiny town is the original Foxy's and one of his relatives has a Foxy's Taboo about 3 miles (maybe) from town- then you hike from there over to this phenomenon rock formation of sorts that forces the ocean water through some rocks so it forms a kind of instant bubbly/jacuzzi kind of effect until the water pulls right back out again and it starts over. We loved it but hear that you need to be there during a high tide to get the effect so keep that in mind. After you enjoy the Pool, you hike back to Foxy's Taboo which as EXCELLENT food and drinks, then you take the taxi back. That would be my personal best recommendation besides the snorkling at Norman Island which you already know about.

Illinois
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8. Re: Must See and do in St John

Just back from St. John last week. Was with a group of 8 and we had great time. I highly recommend Pirate's Penny for day trip to BVI. We got private tour of the baths seeing much more than viewed in my prior trip there. Soggy dollar was fun and Captain Al and Jess were wonderful!

Also sunset sail and the Kekoa was wonderful!

All the beaches were wonderful. We too liked Cinnamon the best!

Princeton, New...
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9. Re: Must See and do in St John

There is an outcrop of rocks at Salt Pond Bay which may interest you. Probably about 400 yards from shore maybe 500 yards. Nice snorkeling out there and you may see a turtle in the grass on the way out. I used to go there with a long distance swimmer (5000 yard). She could do it without fins no problem. Me, not so much.

Rockwall, Texas
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10. Re: Must See and do in St John

My must do's: Go to Coral Bay and enjoy the die for view. Eat at Aqua Bistro and Rhumblines. Chill for a day at Maho. You can swim around the right side for some good snorkeling and on over to the next beach which I think is Cinnamon. Snorkel everyday!! My favorite is Waterlemon. It's a nice hike. If you are a good swimmer, don't hike to the point, just get in at the sandy beach and swim out and around Waterlemon Cay. We saw turtles, rays, squid, huge Nassau grouper, barracuda, a green eel came completely out of the rocks and darted to a new place, lots of pretty coral and tons of fish. Once I snorkeled there I was spoiled. The first time we went to SJ my favorite day was the sailboat, Calypso, over to Jost. This time we went to the Baths, etc. and it wasn't near as much fun. Maybe the group? There are so many gorgeous beaches to explore and snorkel, I don't think I'd ever get bored! I wanna go back!