by Jennifer Gilligan,
St. Croix, one of the première destinations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, attracts people from all parts of the world for its beautiful beaches and rich history. If you’ve booked a vacation to this island, check out these eight hotspots during your visit to make the most out of your vacation.
Relax at the Beach
OK, so you’ve stepped off the Jet Blue plane and into the sunshine of St. Croix, checked into your hotel, and now you’re looking for something to do. Considering you’ve probably had a long flight, you’ll probably want to relax and there’s no better place to do that then the beach. Being that it’s an island, you’ll find a beach that’s close enough to get to in minutes no matter where you’re staying.
Some of St. Croix’s beaches feature long stretches of white sand, while others are patches shaded by towering coconut trees and low sea-grape trees. Whether you want to swim or snorkel, there’s a beach just for you. Additionally, if you’re feeling a bit more adventurous, St. Croix is the only Caribbean Island where a diver can drop more than 13,000 feet and check out the largest living reef of any island in the region.
Some of the most popular beaches in St. Croix include The Buccaneer, The Shoy, Southgate, Cramer’s Park, and Cane Bay.
Work on Your Swing
Perhaps you want to get in a round or two of golfing during your trip. Well, St. Croix offers visitors three spectacular golf courses overlooking the Caribbean Sea. Whether it’s The Reef Golf Course, the Buccaneer Golf Club, or the Carambola Golf Club, you’re sure to have a great time while perfecting that golf swing.
Visit Historical Sites
St. Croix is filled with historical sites to see and visit; after all, Christopher Columbus landed in Salt River in 1493. It’s flown seven different flags since, but the first settlers of the island were the Igneri, Taino, and Carib Indians (centuries before Columbus arrived). There are many guided tours that teach you about the island’s historic sites, but if you want to venture on your own make sure you check these out:
- St. George Village Botanical Gardens. This garden conserves the native plant species of St. Croix and the threatened species of other Caribbean Islands. You can walk through the garden to better understand the island’s botanical heritage and the horticultural potential for modern gardening in the Virgin Islands.
- Cruzan Rum Distillery. What would a vacation be without having a drink? Cruzan Rum uses the purest ingredients in producing this best-selling rum on the island. For a small fee, guests can tour the distillery and observe how the 300-year-old rum is made. After the tour, you can have complimentary drinks while browsing the Pavilion Gift Shop.
- St. Croix Heritage Trail. This self-guided driving tour exposes you to the island’s natural areas and historic sites. The trail links many of St. Croix’s major attractions and bird watching locales.
- Whim Plantation Museum. Found along the St. Croix Heritage Trail, this estate dates back to the 1700s and offers visitors a glimpse into the time when sugar and rum rules the Caribbean. You can tour the furnished house, explore the sugar factory ruins, or visit the museum store with a selection of West Indian crafts, furniture, souvenirs, and prints.
- Lawaetz Family Museum. This museum is an 18th-century estate with accompanying ruins and a rambling garden. Converted from a sugar plantation to a dairy ranch in the late 1890s, it houses unusual and characteristic antique furnishings and heirlooms that provides a unique perspective of Danish West Indian life in the early 1900s.
Hike at a National Park
The U.S. National Park System and the U.S. Department of Fish and Wildlife oversee several parks on the island, making sure they’re protected and preserved. These parks are a main attraction for the island and interest many nature lovers who visit the island throughout the year. Some of the parks great for hiking and exploring include the Fort Frederik, Salt River, Point Udall, Sandy Point, and the Buck Island Reef National Monument.
Go Horseback Riding
Nothing ends a trip to the island the right way like horseback riding on the beach during a beautiful sunset. The island offers various services for riders of all levels. Just make sure you have your camera with you so you can take pictures during the exhilarating ride.
St. Croix is a beautiful island in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Do you plan on visiting it? What are some sites you’d like to check out?