Cruz Bay, St. John

By Tee1

Most people know Cruz Bay, St. John as the entrance to a protected wonderland in America’s Paradise, the United States Virgin Islands. That is what the license plates say anyway, America’s Paradise.

St. John is close to three quarters (75%) national park thanks to the beneficence of Laurance Rockefeller. On a sailing cruise through the Virgin Islands in the 50’s, Rockefeller fell in love with the island and promptly purchased over 5000 acres of tropical forest. In addition to the environmentally friendly Rockresort, Caneel Bay, these lands were donated to the National Park Service.

Where is Cruz Bay, St. John? 18°20′N 64°44′W

Getting to Cruz Bay, St. John

Cruz Bay, St. John is facing due west which allows for spectacular sunsets over St. Thomas a few miles distant. Unless you have a private boat, nearly all visitors arrive to St. John via one of the ferries. Ferries leave on the hour from Red Hook, St. Thomas.  The fare is reasonable, only a few bucks, and the 20 minute ride is quite pleasant nearly all of the time. I think there is something like 350 days of sunshine a year. Sit up on top of the ferry for the best views between these two tropical islands. If the sun is too much, sit inside.

We’re all here, cause we’re not all there

Simply put, St. John is an unspoiled paradise in the Virgin Islands. There are a handful of very high end beach resorts on this small island, some more modest digs, and also a camp ground at Maho Bay. Nothing is cheap here, but you get what you pay for. For the most part, that goes for food and drink also. However, one little hole in the wall bar, has a happy hour every day in Cruz Bay that combines elements of Mardis Gras, the Super Bowl and your high school graduation. Woody’s turns into a street fair daily with dollar beers from 3 to 6. This is not meant to be a promo for the place, but it kicks ass. More than a couple people congregate there and on the street in front of Woody’s. The food (Shark Bites) is also surprisingly good.

Love City at Night

Cruz Bay, St. John has a number of exquisite dining options. It should come as no surprise, as it has a very well healed clientele. Among, the long time residents of St. John are a few celebrities and successful people. Don’t stare. The town itself is small both geographically and in population. That said, it is still the social, political, and economic hub for St. John with its 2706 people. Cruz Bay is about 7 miles from Coral Bay on the other end of the island.

There are some high end boutiques and stores. Mongoose Junction I believe. It is a very cute and quaint beach spot to kick back and party. That is what goes on here. There are a number of bars and all of them are fun.

I lived in the St. Thomas for two episodes earlier in my life totaling about five years. I am unable to say why I never moved over to STJ. By far, it is the best choice in the USVI island group. It is slightly more expensive than St. Trauma, yet offers a better, more chill life. Your beach vacation in both, should be great. A bit more care needs to be exercised in STT at night.

You can arrange dive trips and other activities from Cruz Bay. Its also how you pop over to the British Virgin Islands. Private charters, day sails, and a lot more options for fun on the water.