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Let me tell you about St. John…

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Let me tell you about St. John…

While I didn’t get a traditional white Christmas this year, I recently returned from a 5 night trip to this small town island with white sand beaches, and I have nothing but good things to say about it. Coming from a small Oklahoma town myself, I appreciate the familiarity and friendliness that comes from living in such a place. Upon arrival, we were met by our host (Denise) at the ferry dock and guided to our rental car agency. On our short 2 block walk to the rental car agency, Denise spoke on a first name basis with 2-3 people walking down the street, as well as a couple of business owners. We knew immediately; we would like this place.


When visiting St. John, there is only one way to get there, by boat. You either travel by cruise ship, personal vessel or ferry. We flew into St. Thomas, taxied to the Red Hook ferry station (this is super easy as they have taxis running this route regularly) and ferried over on the Red Hook Ferry which runs every hour on the hour. You can purchase tickets either at the counter (cash only) or online for about $15/person with 1 bag. Masks are required on the ferry.


After a short 15 min ferry, you’ll arrive in Cruz Bay, St. John. This is the hub of the island, where the majority of restaurants, shops and rental options are located. It’s a quaint little town of about 4,500 locals and easy to get around by walking. Parking is limited, however, so be prepared to pay if you are in town. There are a few options for brunch, as well as, several lunch options easy to walk-in and get a table. However, for dinner, it’s best to have a reservation. Must try restaurants are 1864 The Restaurant and The Lime Inn. I cannot say enough good things about either.


If you are planning to do any exploring on the island, you have a couple of options. You can taxi to some of the more popular beaches that have food and rentals located on-site and plan to spend the day, or you can rent a vehicle (I highly recommend a Jeep due to steep, winding roads). We wanted the freedom to explore on our own terms, so we rented a 2 door Jeep. It was nice to be able to leave our snorkel gear, ice chest, beach chairs etc. in the back every night instead of having to haul it in and out from our room.


The Beaches


Honeymoon Beach is about a 10 min drive from Cruz Bay and is a great spot for a day trip. They have a beach bar and water sports hut for rentals. You have to shuttle to the beach as it’s off the main road quite a ways. The R/T shuttle is $10/person, but you can purchase an all-day pass for $49/person which gives you use of the paddle boards, kayaks, snorkel equipment, beach chairs, and more. Snorkeling was great off the beach; we saw several stingrays and crabs.


Trunk Bay is the most photographed beach in the world and can get quite busy/crowded by noon or later.  I highly recommend arriving early. This is another beach that offers snorkel gear for rent, has a beach bar and some other amenities. I loved the small island off shore that is easily accessible for snorkeling. We saw an eel and tons of fish.


Cinnamon Bay was my favorite beach. The water was calm, the snorkeling was fantastic and the views were incredible. There is a beach bar but it was under construction during our time on the island.


The last beach I’ll mention is Maho Bay. They have a beach bar, and water sports rentals just across the street from the beach, but the best part about Maho Bay is the sea turtles. This bay has a lot of sea grass, and the water is a little murkier than others which makes it prime feeding grounds for sea turtles; we saw 4-5 turtles. So fascinating!


Now, let’s talk about accommodations. As I said before, St. John is only about 20 square miles, and on top of that it’s 60% national park that cannot be developed for tourism. Thus, your options for staying on the island are limited. But while I was there, I was able to visit and tour a few locations offering budget and more luxurious options.


Hotel Cruz Bay

This boutique property is owned and operated by our hosts Dave and Denise. They bought the building that is now Hotel Cruz Bay and renovated it after getting married on the island and having trouble finding affordable options for their guests. This small hotel is about 2 blocks from the ferry dock and centrally located in Cruz Bay, easy for dining and shopping. There are a few different room categories including standard, standard with French balcony, standard with cathedral ceilings, and a penthouse suite. They are basic, clean rooms to call a home base for your adventures on the island. They also offer amenities such as grab and go breakfast and coffee and ice chests for guest use during the day.


The Suite on the Beach is the bottom half of a private residence (Dave and Denise’s home) that is rented out. The house is located in Peter Bay, and you get access to the private beach with lounge chairs. The 1 bedroom suite comes with a full kitchen, beach towels, ice chest, ice maker, and more. We had everything we needed, and the quiet, private accommodations couldn’t be matched.


The Hills St. John

This 11 building, 22 unit villa property was a surprise. High up in the hills overlooking Cruz Bay, this property offers 2, 3 and 4 bedroom villas in a gated community. Some offer private pools, but the property has a community pool, as well. There is a clubhouse with a grill and in-house chef that is open daily for food and drinks orders, a pool table, big screen and a community patio area for weddings, receptions, parties, etc. Each villa has a full kitchen, a grill on the patio/balcony, and ice chests, beach chairs, and beach towels are included for guest use. Once booked, guests have the opportunity to order ready to heat family style dinners prepared by the chef that will be waiting in their refrigerator on arrival.


The Westin St. John Resort Villas

While I wasn’t able to tour this property due to Covid restrictions, I feel that it’s worth mentioning. The Westin sits beachfront in Great Cruz Bay and offers family condos and villas with familiar amenities including a spa, resort style pool and fitness center. They have a private ferry (additional fees apply) that takes you directly to the resort, a car rental company on-site, and taxis are at the ready for transfers to and from popular beaches at a fixed rate. Since I didn’t get a tour of the property, here is a post with some detailed pictures and good information:


If you like to explore and sight see, St. John is the place to visit. There is so much to do and see, and I felt safe the entire trip wherever we ventured. I’d love to send you!

Get in touch with Rachel Moore


Rachel Moore

Let me tell you about St. John…

Clinton Travel Agent Near Me

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I love to travel and am excited to help you plan your next adventure, honeymoon, beach getaway or bucket list trip! I am an Independent Travel Consultant with travel experience in most major cities of the USA and Caribbean destinations. I currently specialize in booking trips in Mexico (Cancun, Puerto Vallarta, Los Cabos, etc.), Hawaii,  and the Caribbean (Jamaica, the Virgin Islands, Bahamas, etc.). But, I can help you with any destination on your list! I have worked with singles, couples, family travel and groups (think bachelor/bachelorette parties, family reunions, senior trips, weddings ...  Read More >>>

An expert destination wedding travel agent near me with five star luxury travel packages with a luxury travel company, Vincent Vacations.

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The Silver Award is for agents selling between $250-$499K in the past year. I was so honored to be in this group and thankful for my clients who trust me to help with their vacation plans.

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Rachel Moore has booked, arranged, and provided itinerary for us many times now! She’s incredibly helpful. We have booked, canceled, and dropped last minute trips on her and no matter the situation she’s been a dream to work with. She’s with Vincent Vacations and trust me it’s worth just looking into her assistance.


This particular trip was one of her posts she made in her travel group (go join it) to Hualtuco. We saw the post, messaged her, booked…boom.

*Fav thing we did hands down was a private charter from bay to bay. The resort (Secrets) was beautiful, private beach in its own cove, spa was amazing, drinks were good, food was meh. It wasn’t crowded at all and the service was fantastic.


Adult Getaway

Rachel took good care us and our vacation. Everything was handled perfectly and professionally.
-Nick Risley

Successful Senior Trip

Our group of 19 graduating seniors just returned from an 8-day senior trip to Daytona Beach, FL. The kids worked so hard for every penny earned for their trip, and we really wanted it to be perfect. With such a large group, naturally there were varied needs and expectations about what the 'perfect' vacation might look like. Rachel was such a careful listener! She did a fantastic job finding us a great package within our budget that made everyone happy, and she supported us along the way whenever we had any questions or concerns. Thank you, Rachel for going above and beyond for us! We appreciate you!
-Anne Lambeth

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Let me tell you about St. John…2/5
Let me tell you about St. John…

While I didn’t get a traditional white Christmas this year, I recently returned from a 5 night trip ...

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