Woohoo! I am so excited to share my first travel blog! My family and I went on vacation in St. John the first week of August, and I had a great time so I want to share with you guys! Part II will be on the way soon with some tips on traveling to St. John, so stay tuned!
First, some things about St. John:
picture from stjohn-virginislands.com
St. John is one of three of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the smallest. The others are St. Thomas and St. Croix. St. John does not have an airport so you have to fly into St. Thomas and take a ferry over to St. John. It is truly a paradise, and a little over half of the land is part of a national park! When I think of national parks, I think of woodsy and hiking. While there is that in St. John, this national park is mostly made of sandy beaches and the bluest water you have ever seen. As you can see in the picture above, there is pretty much one area of St. John that is commercialized, Cruz Bay. This is the area where all of the stores and restaurants are. There are no chain stores or restaurants, which is nice because it is so fun to go to locally owned places and buy something unique. The island is also very mountainous/hilly. You need a Jeep or some kind of car with 4-Wheel drive to be able to make it up the steep roads.
It rained the first full day we spent on the island :( boo. We mostly just lounged around the house in the morning and took our time getting ready to go out. We went down to Mongoose Junction, a shopping center that is full of boutiques, restaurants, bars, and ice cream places! This shopping center has everything in it from home decoration stores to the typical souvenir shops. St. John Scoops is also in Mongoose Junction and they have delicious ice cream. Some of the flavors are even modeled after the island's signature drinks like Painkiller.
After browsing and window shopping, we left to explore the island and map out what specific beaches we wanted to go to.
Our first stop was Hawksnest Beach! I tried to take pictures so you could tell what the beach area looked like!
Second, was Cinnamon Bay! This is one of the most well-known beaches on the island and is a campground. It has a little convenience store, restaurant, tents, and rooms on the grounds. Kenny Chesney mentions Cinnamon Bay in his song Old Blue Chair, which makes it worth visiting to me haha!
All along the island are little lookout points on the side of the road, like this, for you to stop and take pictures at! We traveled all the way to the other side of the island, Coral Bay. This is also a commercialized area, but not as much as Cruz Bay. To me, it was dirty and kind of like a shanty-town. But there are some good restaurants (click to see!) over there.
First we stopped by Chibney/Oppenheimer beach to see this cool picture spot (and take pics). This is a very small beach right beside Hawksnest and easy to miss! There were only like two parking spots for it
Then, we went to Waterlemon Cay. Yes, Waterlemon, not Watermelon. This is supposed to be the best snorkeling you can get to from the island, and I would have to say I agree!
This is the only picture I have from Waterlemon Cay (except for all the underwater ones). It was hard to take a picture of the beach, because there wasn't a beach at all. This really threw us off. There is only a rocky area before the water, and it is very rocky/pebble-y. Waterlemon is also a 20 minute walk from the parking lot. The path is not paved, but it is still easy!
picture from stjohn-beachguide.com
This is the view from above. You can swim to that little island in the middle for a break, and you will see more coral the closer you get to that island.
I cannot even begin to describe the coral we saw. It was so dense and colorful, and really like what you see on Finding Nemo. The fish were also so amazing. I had never seen fish in all these different colors!
The picture above is actually from a website with tons of beautiful St. John villa rentals! It allows you to deal with the owners directly, so no going through third parties and their extra fees! Click here to check it out!
We left Waterlemon and headed to Trunk Bay. This is the most famous beach on the island, and you have probably seen it on a few desktop backgrounds haha!
This is a picture of Trunk Bay from one of the lookouts. There is absolutely no editing on this picture and I just think that is insane. Look how blue the water is!
picture taken from tripadvisor.com
At Trunk Bay, we carried beach chairs and worked on our suntans. The water is also very calm so it's easy to swim around and snorkel. Trunk Bay has good snorkeling and even a little underwater snorkel path you can follow. The birds here were crazy! They were not afraid to take a cracker out of your hand or nibble at your toes. If you know me, you know that this was a problem because I am terrified of birds!
Wow, I only got through two days haha, but I promise I'll get through Days 3-5 in the next post! Keep checking back and subscribe!