Planning Your Time
It is safe to assume that no matter how much time you spend on St. John, it won’t be enough. There is a tired joke that most of the Continentals living there came down for vacation and never left. It’s hackneyed, but there is definitely a kernel of truth to the belief: St. John is just that enchanting.
It is also safe to assume that even if you squeeze in journeys to every one of St. John’s beaches, trails, and vistas, you will have only scratched the surface of what the island has to offer. Trails and bays are dynamic, weather conditions change, and your own ability to see details increases with time and experience. Even people who live here have not finished “doing” St. John.
Plenty of people make St. John into a day-trip; they arrive by ferry from St. Thomas or Tortola, take an island tour, and spend a few hours on one of its most accessible beaches. The frequency of ferries makes this easy, and there are few better ways to spend a day. If this is all you have time for, don’t miss it.
But if you have more time, use it. A week is just enough time to explore St. John’s best attractions and get fully in tune with its laid-back lifestyle.
The best beaches are along the island’s north shore. Nature lovers should find accommodations in one of the campgrounds in this part of the island. If you prefer to be near restaurants and nightlife, look for digs in Cruz Bay. If you want to get away from the crowds, head to Coral Bay, where you’ll find the greatest concentration of vacation villas. If you prefer all-inclusive accommodations, St. John has two standard-setting choices near Cruz Bay.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition