St. Croix

My sisters, Kim and Tracy, and I took a week-long trip to St. Croix in the US Virgin Islands.  It was a great sister bonding trip and we really loved the island.

We stayed at Cottages by the Sea in the “Carnival” cottage, which had a patio that looked out onto the sea.  We enjoyed many sunsets and painkillers (cocktails) from that patio.  It was idyllic!

While it was difficult to leave our little piece of paradise, we took lots of fun trips.  The first evening we drove to Christiansted to see the holiday boat parade and the second evening we took at nighttime kayak trip to see the bio luminescence in Salt River Bay.  No photos of the actual kayak experience (because wet and dark), but the area was nice and the peddle kayaks were terrific.

One day we simply walked south from our cottage along miles of secluded beach seeing barely a soul.

Captain Dee took us out on the Zulu for a sail and snorkel trip.  We sailed out to Buck Island Reef National Monument and then snorkeled around Green Cay.

Afterward we drove along the northeast coast to Point Udall the easternmost point of the United States, where there is a Millennium Monument.  We came back via Cramer Park beach.

We took a food tour in Christiansted and got versed by a local about island history, culture, and yes food.

Another day we took off to explore.  We intended to visit a great tide pool area, but the trail was long and steep and time was limited, so it became just a hike. Then we took the rental car to explore “Scenic Drive” — it was not meant for rental cars!

Our next adventure was an ATV tour that took us on some of the same terrain, but in a more appropriate vehicle.  We also went up to an old sugar mill.  There was an add-on option to have a jet ski experience, so Tracy and I went out and were delighted to find a pod of dolphins that played in our wake.  There followed a rainbow and rain.

The next day we visited St. George Village Botanical Garden, went to distilleries, and explored Ham’s Bay, where there were tide pools, a rainbow, and rain!

On our last day, determined to squeeze all the fun we could out of the island, we went to the Sandy Point Wildlife Preserve, at the westernmost point of the island.  In addition to birding, the main activity there is ensuring the leatherback sea turtles can nest undisturbed.

Then we went to the Chicken Shack, an Island favorite, for the Coquito Festival.  The Coquito is a holiday beverage that looks like eggnog, but is made of rum, condensed milk, coconut, and ingredients known only to the contenders for the first place award.

St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands and has two large towns, Christiansted and Frederiksted.  It has a long history of native peoples and, since Columbus landed there in 1493, has been ruled by the Spanish, Dutch, English, French, and most significantly the Danish (for nearly 200 years).  The US bought the three US Virgin Islands in 1916.

Christiansted is noted for its marina and Danish architecture.  It has a yellow fort.

Frederiksted is a sleepy town, known for its beaches and cruise ship pier (though St. Croix gets fewer than 50 ships a year, whereas St. Thomas gets several every day).  It has an orange fort.

St. Croix had a lot of damage during hurricanes Irma and Maria.  They’ve got everything in place to support tourists, but unfortunately are just beginning to deal with a lot of the other damage.

So visit St. Croix.  It’ll be good for you and for them!

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