One of the things I love the most about St Croix are the wide-open spaces. St Croix is the perfect getaway for the eco-tourist, water-lover or history buff. It’s also great for anyone who just wants to relax and unwind without crowds and commercial trappings. With green rolling hills, there’s plenty of hiking, exploring and of course, the beaches! There are so many things to do on St Croix, you’ll want to come back again and again.
For the water lover
You’ll find an array of offshore activities from snorkeling at Buck Island’s underwater National Monument to world-class scuba diving at the Cane Bay Wall and the Frederiksted Pier. The island is the edge of the continental shelf popping out of the water, so the depth drops quickly offshore. This creates great for wall diving on the North Shore, and also means deep sea fishing is just two miles offshore! You’ll find local fishermen selling their daily catch roadside, as well as finding it on daily specials menus at our vast array of restaurants.
Salt River Bay offers kayaking trips during the day that highlight the history, culture, and ecology of the mangrove-lined bay. At night, explore the other-worldly bioluminescence in one of only a dozen or so Bio-bays found on Earth!
You’ll definitely want to take the time to explore the beaches that surround our gorgeous island. All beaches in the United States Virgin Islands are open to the public. For this reason, resorts and hotels welcome you to visit for the day. Some ask for a small fee to use beach chairs, but you’ll find it’s worth it!
If you want to find peace and quiet – there are plenty of off-the-beaten-path options as well. Check out some of our St Croix beach recommendations.
For the history lover
Since Columbus sailed the ocean blue, seven different flags have flown over our shores. This created a melange of cultures that can be explored through architecture, food, and people. Neighborhoods throughout the island are named after the 150 Sugar Plantations that spread across the island during the mid-1700s.
Exploring the island reveals the ruins of the plantations with the remains of Sugar Mills dotting the landscape. Take a tour at the Cruzan Rum Factory where the Nelthropp family has been crafting our island rum since 1760.
In both Christiansted and Frederiksted, you can explore the forts that once protected the towns. Christiansted is the heart of the island with the seaplane port, shopping, restaurants and the Christiansted boardwalk where many snorkel and dive charters depart.
The colonial downtown is on the National Historic Landmark Register and features distinctive pastel buildings with arching, shaded sidewalks. You’ll find masonry comprised of yellow bricks that once were the ballast in ships coming from Denmark and coral hewn from the local shore. Take a walking tour of Christiansted and learn about Alexander Hamilton’s family history and how St Croix helped to establish his future as one of the founders of the United States.
Frederiksted aka “Freedom City” was the site of the non-violent slave revolt in 1835 that led to the emancipation of the enslaved on St Croix and eventually throughout the Caribbean.
This charming, growing cruise ship port has a Victorian-era feel as the town burned thirty years later in a labor revolt. It was later rebuilt with the distinctive gingerbread detailing of the day.
On cruise ship days you’ll find the palm-lined waterfront alive with local food and craft vendors, as well as street performers. Frederiksted offers a growing array of local shops, restaurants and beach bars – the best spot for watching the Caribbean sunset. if you’re an animal lover, enjoy the West end by horseback and experience the thrill of swimming on your horse. You’ll learn quickly why they say “West is Best”.
For the nature lover
St Croix is a hidden gem of hiking paths and rolling green hills. Take a hike on the North shore down to the Annaly Bay Tide Pools. Or explore out East, a moderate 15-minute hike takes you from Point Udall to pristine Isaac Bay.
Sandy Point is open to the public on weekends from September to May, the rest of the time it’s protected nesting habitat of the Leatherback Sea turtle.
The big island was once known as the “bread basket” of the Caribbean and recently has enjoyed an agricultural renaissance. You’ll find farm stands throughout the island with organic, local, seasonal vegetables, fruits, honey, jams, and sauces. The summer fruit season is a delicious time to be here.
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