We noticed that you're using an unsupported browser. The TripAdvisor website may not display properly.We support the following browsers:
Windows: Internet Explorer, Mozilla Firefox, Google Chrome. Mac: Safari.

Off The Beaten Path

Level Contributor
162 posts
28 reviews
Save Topic
Off The Beaten Path

Two families with kids coming in March.

Are there any really unusual hikes, beaches, restaurants, adventures that say only a local would go/do?

Destination Expert
for St. John
Level Contributor
6,002 posts
25 reviews
Save Reply
1. Re: Off The Beaten Path

You can pick up the book of the same name and it will give you all the hikes on the island. Another great book is Feet, Fins, and 4WD.

Because the island is 2/3rds National Park, there are not really any hikes, etc. that only the locals know. There are so many great ones, that are all public thanks to the Park.

The island is small, so there is not much out there that only locals do.

Level Contributor
37 posts
55 reviews
Save Reply
2. Re: Off The Beaten Path

Get the book feet fins and four wheel drive

Level Contributor
647 posts
13 reviews
Save Reply
3. Re: Off The Beaten Path

What are the children's ages?

The author of St John Feet, Fins & Four-Wheel Drive, Pam Gaffin, offers adventure tours that may interest you. I have not gone out with her, but this forum gives her high marks. Her website is


I am also interested in The Wayward Sailor snorkel tour boat. TA gives very high marks for Captain Phil. He has a wonderful reputation with children, teaching how to snorkel, all about marine life etc.


4. Re: Off The Beaten Path

-:- Message from TripAdvisor staff -:-

This post was determined to be inappropriate by the TripAdvisor community and has been removed.

To review the TripAdvisor Forums Posting Guidelines, please follow this link: http://www.tripadvisor.com/pages/forums_posting_guidelines.html

Our staff may also remove posts that do not follow our posting guidelines, and we reserve the right to remove any post for any reason. Thanks for being a part of the TripAdvisor travel community!

Removed on: 13 June 2014, 20:36
Edited: 13 June 2014, 20:36
Level Contributor
3,994 posts
42 reviews
Save Reply
5. Re: Off The Beaten Path

If this is your first trip, keep in mind that the island is pretty small so it would almost be hard to find places that you are comfortable with that are not already a mix of locals and tourists. There just aren't THAT many places to pick and choice from. I think the whole island has that off the beaten path feel. Don't worry, I don't think you risk being surrounded by obnoxious tourists with black shoes, white socks, huge hats and giant cameras saying stupid things. Its pretty relaxed and if you are respectful, we all pretty quickly become just folk on STJ.

Sarasota, Florida
Level Contributor
1,554 posts
267 reviews
Save Reply
6. Re: Off The Beaten Path

Tektite trail to the Cabrite Spur ( seestjohn.com) great views and maybe 2 miles. Go to Little Lamshur Beach afterwards. Rams Head- spectacular views throughout the entire hike and then swim and snorkel Salt Pond Bay. Brown Bay Trail, while not that pretty, is off the beaten track, and takes you to Brown Bay pretty deserted. Vies Snack Shop east end, for West Indian Food, then hang at her beach with good swimming. To me the best beaches are not unusual but are still not crowded like Maho and Francis, and while popular, Trunk Bay has great snorkeling and very pretty. Very unusual place for lunch is P and P, up a hill near Coconut Coast Studio near Gallows Point. She makes West Indian Food and is strictly a local's place with rotis and conch. I prefer the better known restaurants/bars: Beach Bar, Zozo's, Morgans Mango, La Tapa, Woody's, Uncle Joes B-Bcue,and in Coral Bay Shipwreck and Skinny's.

Long Valley, New...
Level Contributor
1,246 posts
28 reviews
Save Reply
7. Re: Off The Beaten Path

We "found" P&P on our last visit in December. Very close to where we were staying (Gallows Point). Had asked several people (locals) where it was and most were not sure. Go past Gallows Point to Frank Bay, past Coconut Studios, and then up the hill on the left (you will see a sign about no trespassing, no worries). Very casual, local, only tried the chicken roti's which were very good. Menu is whatever she is cooking up that day. Overlooks the bay where the car barges dock. Enjoy!

Madison, Wisconsin
Level Contributor
28 posts
33 reviews
Save Reply
8. Re: Off The Beaten Path

Just got back last week.

I second the Brown Beach recommendation. It's a not a long hike - short enough to schlepp in your snorkel gear, but too far to haul a cooler. You'll probably share the beach with just a few others. The snorkeling there was excellent. Saw a nurse shark. There's also good ruins to explore. Also, many STJ bats have boat moorings, so often you are staring out at the ocean with large sail boats in your view, but I don't believe there are any of these at Brown Bay. We stayed for two weeks and hit quite a few different beaches and Brown ended up to be my favorite day. It's also worth a very short hike to snorkel the cobblestone beach that is past Salt Pond beach on the trail to Ram's Head. That is likely to be fairly deserted and good snorkeling. Kiddle (sp?) is also worth checking out. Another cobblestone beach - but you will need to follow the directions closely in Off the Beaten Path or Fin & 4WD book to find it. That was deserted when we were there and the snorkeling was very good. Then, at Little Lameshur, don't neglect to check out the ruins. I can't believe how many people go there and never bother to walk over to see them. There's much more than you can see from the beach. But always be careful around old ruins for cisterns and wells!

Level Contributor
245 posts
1 review
Save Reply
9. Re: Off The Beaten Path

Cases by the Sea across from Island Blues in Coral Bay appears to be mostly locals. Not Expat types, but West Indies locals. Not my kind of place and prob not fit for kids, but it certainly is a locals joint as requested.

Wilmington DE
Level Contributor
15 posts
32 reviews
Save Reply
10. Re: Off The Beaten Path

Salt pond is perfect - have to hit up miss Lucy's or skinny legs when you are over that way. You can do the rams head hike there as well. We enjoyed woodys as well - great happy hour specials!

Still have questions?
Post your own question so other travellers can help.
Ask a question