We're back from a super-fun and relaxing trip to St. John (first time) with our two toddlers. Everyone on TripAdvisor was so helpful, as were people we met there. So I want to share some tips and things we learned. Who knows, maybe some of this will be useful to people who aren't traveling with children, as well. In random order:
1) If you are traveling from afar or with strollers, multiple small kids etc., it's really helpful to be met by a taxi at the airport in STT and taken to the ferry. We used Warren Gordon on both ends of our trip and he was very accommodating. Highly recommended. warrengtaxi (at) yahoo.com (340) 998-1077 or (340)474-0090
2) If you'd rather not take your own car seats, Christy's of St. John, concierge services, will rent them to you. The ones we got were clean and in excellent condition, and they were waiting for us at the rental car co. when we got there. We also rented guard rails for the kids' bed. We highly recommend Christy's.
3) Some great hiking trails that the little ones can handle, that are also enjoyable for the adults:
- Peace Hill. Short but uphill. Great views of Hawsknest Bay, and the ruin of an old windmill to climb around in and explore.
- Leinster Bay Trail. Leads to Waterlemon Beach and from there you can swim out to Waterlemon Cay -- great snorkeling.
- the Francis Bay walking trail leading to Francis Beach which is ideal for small children. Lots of hermit crabs and termite nests to see along the way, and views out over Mary's Creek.
We took picnics in our backpacks on most days and would hike and then have lunch on the beach. Fun, fun : ) Our favorite beach was Hawksnest, but they are really all so beautiful.
4) A great child-friendly restaurant in Cruz Bay is Fish Trap. I mean REALLY child-friendly. They have a wagon full of toys the little ones can play with. Plus the food and drinks were great. Fun place all around.
5) Do visit the Visitors' Center in Cruz Bay. I haven't seen that recommended on here very much but we found it so informative and interesting. Even if you're just on St. John for the snorkeling/beaches/etc., it will still make your trip that little bit more interesting to learn something about the history and the flora and fauna. There are good, clear exhibits around the walls of the center. Plus clean restrooms and a really nice playground for the kids outside.
6) If you are looking into chartering a boat and visiting some of the other islands, Connections in Coral Bay can help with advice and booking. They are next to Skinny Legs. There is a Connections in Cruz Bay as well. We had a lot of fun visiting Jost and briefly, Tortola.
7) Randomly, some other restaurants that we enjoyed: Tourist Trap (super casual, fun for lunch), Skinny Legs (also super casual and friendly. Try the mango painkillers..). Island Blues in Coral Bay (So nice to sit right by the water. Really enjoyed the food too. Delish conch fritters, great drinks..) Aqua Bistro for my birthday dinner -- a little more formal than the other places, but still fairly casual. Not necessarily super child-friendly but fine. The food was great.. Nice place for a special dinner.). We didn't make it to Miss Lucy's but hope to next time……