St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

When I Went: April 15-20, 2013

Was That the Best Time of Year to Go? This was my second time to go to St. John during April. It is beautiful year-round in St. John, so any time is a perfect time to visit. One thing I love about April is that it isn’t incredibly busy. You won’t be fighting crowds.

Why I Went There: For our honeymoon, to celebrate our new union!

Who Went With Me? My husband

We Stayed Here: Caneel Bay, a Rosewood Resort

You Won’t Want to Miss: I would highly recommend doing a chartered boat tour of the nearby islands; however, you could spend weeks exploring St. John alone. The Virgin Gorda Baths should be on everyone’s bucket list. An easy hike down through the batholiths, which are absolutely stunning and a phenomenonal must-see, will take you to the most beautiful beach you have ever seen, Devil’s Bay. Trunk Bay is also always a must. There is an underwater guided snorkeling trail about 50 feet off the beach. Grab a burger or chicken sandwich at the small restaurant on the beach and stay awhile. This beach is gorgeous. Jost Van Dyke is beautiful and a ton of fun. Lounge back in the hammocks, play the games, or enjoy the lively crowd at the bar. Soggy Dollar Bar should not be missed. The Caneel Bay resort has several different bays on the property that you could visit in one day, and they are beautiful: Scott’s Bay, Caneel Bay, Turtle Bay, Honeymoon Bay, Hawksnest, Little Caneel and Paradise. Not to mention, Caneel Bay has the best BBCs on the island. Be sure to order this tasty beverage. And don’t miss all of the amazing snorkeling around the islands.

Eat Here: On St. John, I’d highly recommend going to the Lime Inn restaurant. Great ambiance and great food. The owner is incredibly friendly. It is more of an upscale steak/seafood restaurant. While we were eating there one night, the local fisherman was bringing in huge fish he had just caught, lugging them over his shoulder. Pretty neat to see.  I’d also recommend the Barefoot Cowboy Lounge. A good ol’ Texas boy owns this restaurant. One can expect a casual, laidback atmosphere, to-die-for brisket sliders, country music, and a fun view of Cruz Bay. There is also a quaint breakfast place located right off Cruz Bay. Take your first right when you land in Cruz Bay. The breakfast place is more of a shack but serves great traditional breakfasts. Willie T‘s is a boat restaurant we went to on our chartered boat tour. We went for lunch, so we missed the seedy crowd that sometimes is rumored to frequent this boat. Great place to grab lunch (bar food), a local beer, and jump off the boat. Morgan’s Mango was a decent restaurant. We enjoyed the laidback atmosphere and treehouse feel of the place.

Play Here: Soggy Dollar Bar on Jost Van Dyke is a great location to have fun. I’ve been there on both of my trips to the U.S. Virgin Islands. Fellow patrons of this bar will say that it immediately becomes one of your favorite places. Fun atmosphere, outdoor bar, plenty of tables, hammocks, games, etc. Cruz Bay is a neat area with tons of restaurants and shops. My husband wishes we would have gotten to explore this area more. There is a lot you could get into down there. Or you can just get down at Caneel Bay’s hotel bar. We met a random group of people who were at the resort for a wedding. They encouraged us to crash the wedding on our last night. We did and definitely did not regret it.

If I Went Again: I’d stay longer. Honestly, there is so much to do and see. Don’t eat at Asolare. Very unimpressed. And note that most of the restaurants shut down around 10 p.m. We found this to be somewhat inconvenient, especially after the long naps we took after the active days.

How Did You Get There From Dallas? A short flight out of DFW Airport will get you to Miami, and then you must take a flight from Miami to St. Thomas. When you land on St. Thomas, a quick ferry ride will get you to St. John. A great plus about staying at Caneel Bay is that the resort has its own ferry waiting to take you directly to there. Free drinks the whole way there!

Other Tips For Fellow Travelers: I’d recommend this trip to everyone. Seeing these islands has been one of the highlights of my travel experiences.

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