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looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

Kansas City
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326 posts
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looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

I am looking for a good place to vacate to with my husband. We like fun, but not too much craziness. We like all-inclusive, nice, calm beach, good pool and nice off site activities, along with on site and ocean activities. Been to Playacar and Cozmel in Mexico, and loved it, done the cruise thing, now we're looking for something new and different. Any ideas????

Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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1. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

Hey there. I can tell you that you won't really find an all inclusive on St. John. There are only 2 Resort hotels: the Westin and Caneel Bay. Other than that, there are very attractive condos named Gallows Point which are within walking distance of town for "fun but not too much craziness". St. John is big on villa rentals. There are several companies which rent them: Destination St. John, Viva St. John and Catered To are the ones which come to mind, but with over 400 rental villas, there are several other rental agencies. Wide range of prices, too.

St. John is 2/3 National Park. Many of its most beautiful and pristine beaches are within its boundaries. ie, no hotels on most of them. Caneel Bay is famous for its 7 beaches. The beach at the Westin is not as nice, but not terrible either. Don't know your budget.

Big plus for St. John is its proximity to the British Virgin Islands. On St. John, you can always find a secluded beach or you can stay busy all day long. You can even rent your own boat and visit any BVI island you desire except for Anegada which is too far away. Your choice.

Night life is not huge on St. John, as it is very laid back. You'll always be able to find live music, but that's about the extent of the excitement. So, I don't know if St. John is right for you or not. It might be a little too sleepy. I've been to Playa del Carmen in Mexico a couple of times and daytripped from there to Cozumel twice via the ferry. The downtown area of Cruz Bay St. John is very calm in comparison to Playa in that there are no vendors on every corner trying to get you to eat at their restaurant or buy their wares. Just to see how gorgeous it is, type in www.islandiavi.com which is a real estate site. Their opening page is gorgeous in my humble opinion.

St. John is my favorite place on earth. BUT, I'm into quiet and laid back now that I've hit 40. Hope this helps. I kept waiting for someone else to respond to your question. Don't know why no one has.... feel free to ask me anything or to clarify anything I've already written. CHEERS!

nowhere
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872 posts
9 reviews
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2. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

Tetheredincolorado - I was waiting as well.

Caneel Bay has no phone, TV's radios, etc and is considered a 5* resort by some. Food there is not that good IMHO, but can be a bit pretentious for a laid back place like St John. WONDERFUL beaches, 7 in all, on the property and great location. The Westin is much more lively by St John standards and has both rooms and condos (time share) available. The beach there is small and not very nice, no match for the ones at Caneel. On Virgin Gorda is probably the very nicest - and all-inclusive - resort in the area, Las Brias. Very small, very expensive and very private - which also means quiet. The All-inclusives in the BVI's, like Peter Island, are often criticized for being boring and not living up to their reputations for excellence. I doubt anyone has ever called Playacar boring.

I think perhaps you should look at Anguilla, it has too resorts, CuisinArt and Cap Jullaca that may suit, but they're pretty quiet too. You can take a 20 minute ferry ride to St Martin for the fun there.

Also, though this may sound odd, i was looking at going to Belize. There are several excellent all-inclusives there, two owned by Francis Ford Coppola, one in the mountains and one on the beaches. Far more quiet than Mexico, but with a lot more activities than the Virgins. check out Jaguar Reef or the Inn at Roberts Grove for the beach and Blancaneaux (sp?) Lodge for the mountains. They make a great split trip. Both were on my list, but we switched to Costa Rica at the last minute.

My best suggestions, though in all truth, I'd just as soon sit out watching the water with a good cold rum drink on St John as any of these, though Belieze takes a strong second.

Kansas City
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326 posts
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3. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

tetheredincolorado and earlybrass, have either of you been to Cabo? I've been looking at that destination, too. Looks kind on interesting.

Parker, Colorado
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for St. John
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4. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

Nope. I did some research on it once because a friend of mine loves it there. Couldn't get excited about it though. Not sure why, except it didn't seem to have the reef, diving, snorkeling thing happening. Seemed more geared towards fishing. At least that's the impression I've been left with. Mexico and Mexicans are fun though. We certainly loved Playa del Carmen. Sorry I can't help.

nowhere
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872 posts
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5. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

Been watching cabo for about 15 years as it was on my 'to do' list. Alas, as I was watching I saw Cabo go from a great get-away-from-it-all into LA south. I realize the 'other' Cabo is quieter, but still not my kind of place. Not my idea of a good time. One of the reasons it was so far down the list is, not many beaches are suitable for swimming. Undertow and riptides in many areas. Check before entering the water. Great deep sea fishing.

NC
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806 posts
75 reviews
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6. Re: looking for good beach, fun, but not too busy, ideas?

We've traveled many islands and been to some beautiful beaches - but we always keep coming back to St. John. One of the true few islands left!!! I don't know your price range - but we love just staying at the Westin. Its not all inclusive though. You can bop to some of the most beautiful beaches within minutes, 1/4 acre pool, nice grounds, love the villas, and town is a couple of minutes away! Also, a sail to the BVI's is fun! Good luck!