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St. John Travel Guide: 170 reviews and 543 photos

Laid back and low key St. John is the jewel of the USVI. 2/3 of the island and its surrounding waters are part of the Virgin Islands National Park and the rest of the island consists of Cruz Bay or "Love City" as it is affectionately known. Magical St. John boasts a stunning assortment of marine life including leatherback and green turtles, starfish, barracudas, stoplight fish, spotted eagle rays, nurse sharks, and more. You won't find high rise hotels or sprawling commercial developments and there are no cruise ship docks like on St. Thomas. The island is accessible on any budget with bare campsites available for less than $30 a night to rooms at the luxurious Westin. Nightlife on the island is hit or miss, but crowds often flock to Woody's, a local watering hole in town. This is the perfect place to sink your feet in the sand and relax, but don't miss out on snorkeling Watermelon Cay, visiting the Annaberg Sugar Mill Ruins, hiking one of the many trails, or exploring one of the amazing beaches after you've snapped the mandatory tourist shots at infamous Trunk Bay.

General Info

19 square miles
Eastern Caribbean, 1,100 miles SE of Miami
African, Puerto Rican, American, French, Danish, Scots, & Portuguese
77-85 Farenheit
40-50 in/yr
Time Zone:
Atlantic Standard Time


Since Columbus arrived on St. John during his second voyage to the New World in 1493 the island has been controlled by Spain, France, England, Holland, Denmark, and the U.S.

In 1717, the Danish West India Company sent settlers to Coral Bay. By 1733 there were 208 whites and 1,087 slaves there, but in November of that year the slaves revolted and killed all the white people at Fort Berg and took control of the island. In May 1734 the Danes retook the island, but the island had been devastated.

The island was soon drawn into the Napoleonic Wars on the French side and was even taken over by the British on nearby Tortola. By the time the Danes regained control sugar beets were dominating the sugar market. This condition in addition to the 1848 abolition of slavery decimated St. John's sugar industry.

In 1917, due to concerns about unfriendly bases in the Caribbean, the U.S. purchased St John and the rest of the U.S.V.Is from Denmark for $25 million.

Much of the islands beauty has been preserved thanks to American financier Laurence Rockefeller, who donated much of the land to establish the Virgin Islands National Park.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Stunning Beaches & Great Nature Scene
  • Cons:Expensive (Characteristic of the Caribbean)
  • Last visit to St. John: Dec 2005
  • Intro Updated Feb 4, 2006
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Reviews (11)

Comments (6)

  • glabah's Profile Photo
    Nov 25, 2009 at 12:38 PM

    Wonderful looking place with the photos you have taken.

  • hunterV's Profile Photo
    Mar 19, 2008 at 2:17 PM

    Hello, Paige! Thanks for your introduction of that PaRaDiSe!

  • Mar 17, 2007 at 12:14 AM

    As the self-professed king of gluttony, I found your Caribbean Bouillabaisse picture to be absolutely delightful. Your local customs tip is one of the best tips I have read thus far on VT.

  • traveldave's Profile Photo
    Jan 29, 2006 at 10:32 AM

    I'm impressed--you know your island birds, especially the Bananaquit. Looks like you had a great time in paradise. See you. Dave.

  • Upstate1NY's Profile Photo
    Dec 29, 2005 at 1:25 PM

    Just "checking" to see if you enjoyed Maho Bay "Camp Ground"! Ya' Gotta post some shots! Lee Ya' Know, it almost sounds / looks like you REALLY liked this place!! (Do I get a "finders fee"??)

  • Freebeacher's Profile Photo
    Dec 24, 2005 at 12:44 AM

    I see you made it to one of my old hangout islands. Are you still living there? Nice pics and good intro. to the island vibe.


“~T~ake R~isks A~d~V~entures and most of all E~njoy L~ife---TRAVEL”

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