Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Beautiful St. John, USVI

Last week my fiancé and I got back from visiting a friend who lives in St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix and St. Thomas are the other two USVI). We found a great deal on the flight thanks to Airfarewatchdog.com. It was so beautiful there, not to mention a toasty 80+ degrees. We flew into St. Thomas and took the $6 ferry from Red Hook over to St. John.

We stayed in Cruz Bay, the most populated area on the island. Frank Bay was the nearest beach, which was perfect for going to the beach early in the morning. Apparently it's expensive to stay on the island, so we were very lucky to have been able to stay with my friend. Thankfully she also has a Jeep navigate the very steep hills and switchbacks.
The beaches are absolutely gorgeous with clear turquoise water. My favorite beach is Solomon Bay beach (above). After hiking about 25 minutes in Haivianas to get to the beach, it was well worth it. The beach is sort of secluded since many people don't want to make the hike. There are two picturesque palm trees that have grown sideways on the beach.

We also went snorkeling. That's always fun until water starts getting in the mask! My friend told me after the fact that the last time she'd been snorkeling there, she saw a shark. I'm glad she withheld that tidbit. Hawksnest is another wonderful beach pick, and it's a favorite of locals.
Grocery store food is expensive there. See the nearly $10 strawberries above, and we also accidentally bought a $9 box of Kashi bars. Oh well, at least the restaurants are reasonably priced in comparison. We had a wonderful meal at Waterfront Bistro. Other favorites included Happy Fish sushi and La Plancha del Mar, both in the Marketplace.

Now for the bar scene. Woody's is a favorite haunt of Kenny Chesney, who has a house on the island. High Tide right on the water was another fave of ours. Skinny Legs on the Coral Bay side was a lot of fun. Two signature island drinks are the bushwacker and limin' coconut. There is also St. John Brewers that serves up three different beers.
Don't be surprised to see wild donkeys and goats running around the hilly island. Another interesting island fact is that most locals where hook bracelets that, depending on the way they're worn, show if the person is in a relationship or not. The story is based on an old legend about a fisherman's wife giving him a bracelet made out of a hook to symbolize their love before he went to sea.

Overall it was a wonderful trip, and I would definitely love to revisit St. John someday.

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