Our Guide To St. John, A Tranquil Island In The Caribbean

If you enjoy nature, solitude and mesmerizing views, you will love every minute of your vacation on St. John. Ask anyone who has been there, Cruz Bay on St. John is one of the most coveted places to visit in the Caribbean. Charming Cruz Bay town and port are premier attractions in the entire region.

On St. John you will discover friendly people, stunning natural scenery, spectacular beaches, a variety of fine dining choices, water sports and other tropical adventures. With lots to do, day and night, your trip with family and friends to Cruz Bay will be one you won’t soon forget.

HISTORY OF THE US VIRGIN ISLANDS

Christopher Columbus visited these islands in 1493. He named the beautiful islands The Virgins after the legendary beauty of St. Ursula.

In the early 1600s, no less than six countries took an interest in claiming the islands. The list included Holland, France, England, Spain, Denmark, and the Knights of Malta. Throughout history, European settlers displaced native populations of the US Virgin Islands (St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John) and established their colonies.

What is now US Virgin Islands used to be Danish colonies. Don’t be surprised that you drive on the left side of the road. It is a legacy from the time when the U.S. Virgin Islands were Danish colonies and the rules of the road never changed.

TWO-THIRDS OF ST. JOHN IS OCCUPIED BY A NATIONAL PARK

In 1956, Laurence Rockefeller gave the National Park Service a generous gift of land on St. John.

The Virgin Islands National Park protects more than 14,000 acres of land and 5,500 acres of adjacent ocean. The park’s quiet coves and white sand beaches touch the lush green hills. Today, beautiful forests, shorelines, and underwater lands constitute the park.

As hotels, restaurants, and shops began popping up on the beachfront and in towns, the population rose. Immigrants from neighboring islands flocked to the USVI to work. Today the population of the USVI comprises people from all over the Caribbean.

THE HISTORY OF ST. JOHN

Archaeological evidence suggests that people lived in St. John as early as 770 BC. However, there were no lasting settlements until the early 1700s. Danish planters came to Estate Carolina in Coral Bay. Their goal was to cover the island with sugar cane and cotton plantations.

The predominantly agrarian economy endured for two hundred years. Survival for many meant coping with the growth and decline of the plantations. They endured labor shortages, hurricanes, and droughts. Today, more than 4,000 residents live on the 20 square miles that make up St. John.

HOW YOU CAN ENJOY ST. JOHN 

Boat tours, charters, and day cruises are waiting for you. Hit the beaches and enjoy the sun and surf. Make time for snorkeling, swimming, windsurfing, kayaking, and diving during your trip.

After a busy day on the water, explore Cruz Bay and experience the great shopping and dining that offers everything from quick bites to gourmet cuisine that is sure to delight even the most demanding palette.

GETTING TO ST. JOHN

To get to St. John from the U.S. mainland you fly into the island of St. Thomas and then take a ferry or a water taxi to St. John. St. Thomas has direct flights from major U.S. cities such as New York, Boston, Chicago, Philadelphia, Atlanta, and Miami. You can take a ferry from St. Thomas or rent a car in the St. Thomas airport and take a car barge over. You can see ferry schedules here.

San Juan, Puerto Rico is also a common connecting point. From San Juan, a 30-minute connector flight will take you to St. Thomas.

BEACHES OF CRUZ BAY 

When we went to St. John to find a perfect home for the Equity Platinum Fund, we were amazed by the beauty of its beaches with their warm, calm azure waters of the Caribbean and brilliant white sand. Whether you prefer the crowds or like having most of the beach to yourself, you will find a beach that suits you.

Great Cruz Beach is an excellent spot for the entire family. Palm trees, beach chairs, and umbrellas dot the sand. The bay itself will likely be accented by beautiful yachts and sailboats. If you are looking for a spot to escape, discover Frank Bay Beach. It offers the quintessential Caribbean beach experience on an intimate scale.

Cruz Bay St. John

MAKE SURE TO VISIT HONEYMOON BEACH 

Honeymoon Beach beckons with palm-fringed views and no crowds. Nestled at Caneel Bay, Honeymoon Beach has a colorful coral reef. The white sand and blue water are perfect for seaweed-free snorkeling. Stand in the gin-clear water and gaze down to see grains of sand or a passing green sea turtle.

The waters of Honeymoon Beach are warm and calm. Caneel Bay is the perfect place for making memories with family and friends.

Honeymoon beach St. John

FOOD IS AN ESSENTIAL ELEMENT OF YOUR ISLAND EXPERIENCE

The island is a great destination for foodies seeking everything from farm-to-table fare to private chefs. Enjoy fresh local seafood prepared by some of the best chefs in the Caribbean. You’ll find everything from casual local spots to high-end dining establishments. So, whether it’s a quick bite at a roadside cafe or dinner overlooking the ocean at sunset, your meals will be memorable.

Make sure to sample the local cuisine while you are on the island. Generations of settlers shaped what is known as “Caribbean cuisine,” a style of cooking that has Creole, European, Latin American, African, and Asian elements.

Dining choices in and around Cruz Bay are diverse. Choose from local cuisine, Italian, American, Caribbean, Seafood, and Mediterranean fare. Our concierge will make recommendations and reserve the restaurants you most desire.

Here are the restaurants we recommend:

Extra Virgin Bistro

This Mediterranean restaurant is a top choice in the area. Extra Virgin Bistro serves dishes made from local ingredients. They grow most of their herbs on site. Fish comes in with the daily local catch. The menu features the fisherman’s name right on the menu! The menu features salads, soups, seafood, steaks, shellfish, chops, handmade pasta, and cocktails. EVB is the place! The menu changes nightly.

The Terrace Restaurant

The Terrace treats diners to a breathtaking sunset every night. Enjoy waterfront views from its rustic, stone building in the heart of Cruz Bay, St. John. Plan a visit to this French-influenced, chef-driven restaurant. Look over an eclectic wine list. Enjoy fresh seafood, meats, and premium ingredients. All desserts, stocks, soups, and loaves of bread start with fresh ingredients.

Take your entire family to the Terrace Restaurant for a sunset happy hour featuring fresh oysters at 4:30 PM in the bar.

North Shore Deli 

This is a great place to pick up a sandwich, wrap, or salad to enjoy on the beach. If you like coconut, definitely try the chocolate coconut bar dessert.

North Shore Deli offers the best in grab-n-go eats for the beach or to take back for later. The curry chicken salad and buffalo chicken dip get rave reviews. Fresh sandwiches, hot coffee, smoothies, and beer are ready to go. Everything you want all in one place!

Ocean 362 

The creative menu combines modern elements infused with local flavors. Ocean 362 offers delicious Caribbean inspired cuisine, stunning sunset views, and meticulous service. You’ll enjoy innovative menu options made with local ingredients. The chef sources the freshest produce, meats, and fish from local farms and fishermen.

Featured menu items include Tomato Cucumber Gazpacho, Oysters Rockefeller, and Seared Duck Breast. Feel free to ask your server for suggestions. Leave room for the Dark Chocolate Orange Fudge and Warm Doughnut Bread Pudding for dessert.

YOU WILL ENJOY ST. JOHN….

The island has a laid back and casual vibe. No fancy attire needed. Perfect if you, your family and friends want to relax on a powdery white sand beach and enjoy being in a national park. There are more than a dozen beaches to visit as well as plenty of hiking, boating, snorkeling, and eco-tours. Be as busy as you want to be.

…AND YOUR EQUITY PLATINUM FUND RESIDENCE!

Every year we ask our investors our next homes should be and St. John comes up as one of the most desired destinations. Consequently, we are buying a home in Cruz Bay for $2.5 million, which is lower than neighborhood comps of around $3 million.

This spectacular house was designed by a renowned architect Michael Milne and was featured in the New York Times. The dramatic 3,300 sq. ft., 4-bedroom home has sweeping views of the Caribbean Sea and is located just minutes away from the St. Cruz Bay and its beaches, restaurants, galleries, and ferry landing.

The house has direct water access and is within easy reach of St. John’s white sandy beaches. We are buying the house fully furnished, so it can start accepting investors as soon as we close.

The home has attractive cap rates and sits on 1.07 acres of land, so it can easily accommodate expansion. If we add two additional bedrooms, cap rates should approach 9%-10%.

See the villa for yourself and start making reservations now!