St. John is the smallest of the US Virgin Islands at 20 square miles and has a population of almost 5,000 people. Bordeaux Mountain is St. John's highest peak at 1,277 feet. A twenty minute ferry ride from the east end of St. Thomas, St. John offers unparalleled natural beauty and stunning beaches. This enchanting tropical paradise offers a variety of outdoor activities that is sure to please everyone from hiking its extensive nature trails, camping, diving and snorkeling to sailing around the sheltered coves and beaches that dot the shoreline.
One of the main attractions of St. John is that 2/3 of the island is protected land. Laurence Rockefeller donated 5,000 acres to the Federal Government to establish the Virgin Islands National Park in 1956. Today the park acreage totals 12,500 including 5, 650 acres of submerged lands and waters, coral reefs, shorelines and marine life. A stop at the Visitor's Center is a must. You can pick up maps, brochures and guides to all the hiking trails on the island. The helpful staff can arrange a guided ranger led hike or snorkeling tour or provide information about solo hikes on any of the 22 nature trails within the Virgin Islands National Park.
If you are adventurous, take the Reef Bay Trail, a popular 2 mile hike through tropical foliage and historic sugar estate ruins. Petro glyphs and Indian rock carvings can be seen along the trail. This trail also rewards you with stunning ocean views and a protected beach greets you at trails end where you can plung into the sea for a refreshing and well deserved swim.
The main town is Cruz Bay where the ferry boat docks. There are many quaint shops, local crafts and restaurants at the seaside Wharfside Village next to the ferry terminal. Another shopping Mecca (not to be missed!) is Mongoose Junction located across from the National Park Visitors Center. The exquisite stonework and architecture at Mongoose Junction is modeled after the Old Danish architecture.
Explore colonial times through the exhibits at the Annaberg Sugar Plantation and take a stroll amidst the ruins of the old slave quarters and villages at this former Danish sugar plantation.
Or, take the underwater self guided snorkel trail a Trunk Bay, Swim some of the finest beaches in the US Virgin Islands at Cinnamon Bay, Hawksnest and Maho Bay - all located within the US Virgin Islands National Park.
Dine at one of the many open air cafes from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay. Head East to Coral Bay which was the first permanent settlement on St. John and is still one of the best natural harbors in the Caribbean. Laid back Coral Bay has shops, restaurants and bars and colorful people. While visiting Coral Bay, don't forget to stop by Skinny Legs for the best burger on the island!
For information about St. John Real Estate or more information about life on the smalllest US Virgin Island, please contact Marsha
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