U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS  |  St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Guide
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St. John Orientation

St. John, US Virgin Islands Orientation

St. John’s most-visited points of interest lie along the North Shore from Cruz Bay to the Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins, all within the boundaries of the National Park. The South Shore is just as beautiful, although drier and less developed. When you get off the ferry, drop into one of the souvenir shops alongside the dock and pick up the St. John Map, a delightful tongue-in-cheek rendition of St. John drawn by Linda Smith-Palmer, whose shop is located in Mongoose Junction. The St. John map is free.

To orient yourself quickly, there are some key locations you should know.

Cruz Bay

Cruz Bay is the capital of St. John and the hub of the island. All commercial activity takes place within its dozen streets. Restaurants, guest houses, craft shops, a bank, a convenience market and the only two gas stations on the island are here as well.

National Park Cruz Bay Visitor Center

The information center and dock are located between Cruz Bay and Mongoose Junction. Stop by to pick up information about programs. There is also a gift shop and bookstore. A ranger is on duty 8 am-4:30 pm daily. Mongoose Junction A five-minute walk from the ferry dock, Mongoose Junction is an interesting shopping center. Lots of craft shops, a good dive shop and restaurants.

Caneel Bay Resort

Caneel Bay was the first resort built by Laurence Rockefeller. In 1955 he purchased the old Caneel Bay Plantation, a resort that had fallen into disrepair. The present- day resort, with seven beaches, three restaurants and magnificently manicured grounds, is one of the finest in the Caribbean and is the core of St. John’s social scene.

Trunk Bay

On an island with memorable beaches, Trunk Bay is the loveliest. Part of the National Park, it has a marked underwater snorkel trail which you can easily follow. This is a must.

Cinnamon Bay

The National Park Service maintains a campsite on this bay which has a lovely beach. There is a commissary and restaurant.

Maho Bay

This unusual community of permanent tent campers is an ecologically sound environment. Although it is within the grounds of the National Park, it is privately run.

Annaberg Sugar Mill

A visit to this restored sugar mill explains a lot about the economy of the island in colonial times. Apamphlet gives details about the site.

Coral Bay

On the island’s drier eastern end, Coral Bay was the island’s original settlement. Only eight miles from Cruz Bay (along Route 10), the trip takes 25 minutes due to the mountain range. Once a laid-back sleepy town, Coral Bay is experiencing a “boomlet.” There are new dining spots, new shops and even some nightlife. All of them remain very casual.

Bordeaux Mountain

Bordeaux Mountain is the highest peak on St. John. It rises to 1,277 feet where there is an overlook. The spectacular view includes Cruz Bay, the British Virgin Islands and a beautiful blue sea.

Last updated November 19, 2010
Posted in   U.S. Virgin Islands  |  St. John
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