St John Travel Guide

St. John is sometimes referred to as the “Beverly Hills of the Caribbean.   It has become the place to travel in the U.S. Virgin Islands. It's not easy to get to because there is no airport on St. John.  But the capital of the Us. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, is only four miles away. So, St. John is easy to get to by ferry or by boat.  On the island you will find gorgeous, sun-baked beaches, a national park that covers almost two-thirds of the island, coral reefs, and friendly locals. On St. John, you can stay in an eco-friendly cabin, a campground, a beautiful resort or in villas and vacation rentals that range from quaint to super luxurious.  Cruz Bay is the main town on St. John., and this is where the ferry is that connects St. John to St. Thomas.  St. John offers nature lovers an array of activities. One of the most popular activities of course, is going to the beach.  St. John beaches are protected by the National Park Service.  St. John offers rest, relaxation and an adequate amount of sporting activities. Plan the activities you would like to do most and have a great vacation!  Visit the beautiful beaches of St. John here on our Lesser Antilles Beach Guide.  Let our St. John travel guide lead the way for you to plan your next beach destination!

St John Weather – When to Visit

It is warm year-round on St. John. The average max temp. is 84-89°F, with August being the hottest month and Dec-Jan the coldest. The average min temp is 73°F-80°F. The average water temperature is 82°F.  February to May are the driest months, October to January the wettest. It can however heavily rain any day of the year, but usually it is gone as fast as it came. Rain is actually a welcome relief from the heat.  September is the low season and many businesses are closed. Other than that, any time is good to visit. The climate is most agreeable in December through February, but these are also the most expensive months (however some good deals can be made in the 2nd half of February).  If you are a surfer or like waves, you are more likely to find them from November to April. But tropical storms can generate some random big swells as well.

St John Attractions

Annaberg Plantation, St John USVI, best St John Beaches, best beaches of the US Virgin Islands, things to do in St John, St John Attractions, St John Tours, best St John Hotels, best St John Restaurants, best St John bars & nightlifeAnnaberg Plantation

Built in the 1780s, the partially restored plantation at Leinster Bay was once an important sugar mill. Although there are no official visiting hours, the National Park Service has regular tours, and some well-informed taxi drivers will show you around. Occasionally you may see a living-history demonstration—someone making johnnycakes or weaving baskets. For information on tours and cultural events, contact the V.I. National Park Visitors Center.

Trunk Bay Beach, St John USVI, best St John Beaches, best beaches of the US Virgin Islands, things to do in St John, St John Attractions, St John Tours, best St John Hotels, best St John Restaurants, best St John bars & nightlifeTrunk Bay Beach

St. John's most photographed beach is also the preferred location for snorkelers because of its underwater trail.  Crowded or not, this stunning beach is one of the island's most beautiful. There are changing rooms with showers, bathrooms, a snack bar, picnic tables, a gift shop, phones, lockers, and snorkeling-equipment rentals. The parking lot often overflows, but you can park along the road as long as the tires are off the pavement.

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Virgin Islands National Park, St John USVI, best St John Beaches, best beaches of the US Virgin Islands, things to do in St John, St John Attractions, St John Tours, best St John Hotels, best St John Restaurants, best St John bars & nightlifeVirgin Islands National Park

If you're interested in bird-watching, snorkeling, camping, history, or just strolling in beautiful environs, then Virgin Islands National Park is the place for you. At Francis Bay there's a boardwalk through the mangroves where birds may be plentiful; Salt Pond Bay offers pleasant snorkeling; Cinnamon Bay has camping facilities; and the plantation history can be explored at Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.  There are more than 20 trails on the north and south shores, with guided hikes along the most popular routes. A full-day trip to Reef Bay is a must; it's an easy hike through lush and dry forest, past the ruins of an old plantation, and to a sugar factory adjacent to the beach.

Cinnamon Bay Beach, St John USVI, best St John Beaches, best beaches of the US Virgin Islands, things to do in St John, St John Attractions, St John Tours, best St John Hotels, best St John Restaurants, best St John bars & nightlifeCinnamon Bay Beach

Cinnamon Bay Beach ranks among the most beautiful and pristine beaches within the National Park. Towering palms rule majestically over a 1/2 mile of soft white sand beach. Snorkelers can explore the small cay located less than 100 yards off the shoreline. With plenty of “elbow room” and shallow water entry, Cinnamon Bay makes a great destination for families with kids. And the water sports concession will keep even the most active adults and teens busy kite boarding, paddle boarding, windsurfing, and snorkeling. Facilities include a snack shop, showers and restrooms, as well as a small souvenir shop.  Cinnamon Beach has it all, enough coconut palms and sea grape trees to offer plenty of shade; and long stretches of sandy pink beach to the left and right.

Reef Bay Trail, St John USVI, best St John Beaches, best beaches of the US Virgin Islands, things to do in St John, St John Attractions, St John Tours, best St John Hotels, best St John Restaurants, best St John bars & nightlifeReef Bay Trail

The secrets of St. John’s tropical forests, petroglyphs, freshwater pools and sugar mill ruins come alive on the three-mile Reef Bay Trail Hike.  You will also see a 40 ft waterfall, various plants and animals like deer, bats, land crabs, termite nests.  Look for the petroglyphs, mysterious carvings that surround a freshwater pool at the base of a 40 waterfall just off the trail. Archeologists believe them to be sacred symbols carved by Taino Indians over 1000 years ago.

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St John Tours & Activities

Day Cruise to the British Virgin Islands

Explore the British Virgin Islands during this full-day boat trip from St John or St Thomas. On this 9-hour excursion, enjoy a breakfast boat ride to Virgin Gorda's Baths. Explore the grottoes, arches and chain of tidal pools formed by eroded rocks along the beach, then head to Diamond Reef to snorkel among schools of tropical fish on the living coral reef. Visit a local restaurant, The Top of the Baths for lunch (own expense), then head to Jost Van Dyke to enjoy some time swimming, lounging or visiting some beachside bars. Breakfast, snorkeling equipment and unlimited open bar on the boat are included.  Read more about Day Cruise to British Virgin Islands

Private Boat Excursions around the US and British Virgin Islands

Escape the tourist crowds and explore the US and British Virgin Islands at your own pace on a private boat excursion from St. John or St. Thomas. Sunbathe on the boat’s deck, snorkel and swim in the refreshing waters, or island hop for an intimate sightseeing experience, benefiting from insight and tips provided by your captain on a fully customizable tour.  Read more about The British Virgin Islands Private Full-Day Boat Excursions

Caneel Bay Kayak, Hike, and Snorkel with Sea Turtles

Kayak, hike and snorkel in Caneel Bay, a UNESCO World Heritage-listed National Park. Choose from two tour lengths, and follow your adventure guide to trek down forest trails on Turtle Point, paddle a kayak in the bay's serene waters and snorkel through beds of sea grass inhabited by the local sea turtles. Along the way, enjoy informative commentary about the history, ecology and natural resources of this unique ecological zone. All equipment is included, and the longer tour includes lunch.  Read more about Caneel Bay Kayak, Hike, and Snorkel with Sea Turtles 

BVI – Island Hop & Beach Bar Tour

Thirsty Thursday is strictly for those who want to Island and Bar hop their way through the BVI.  No snorkeling or climbing around rocks. Just Island hopping, Beach Bar stopping FUN! We will be visiting Foxy’s and Corsairs on Jost Van Dyke, White Bay (home of the Soggy Dollar and Hendo’s Hideout), Copper Island Beach Club, The Willy-T off Peter Island, and if time permits, Pirates Bight on Norman Island.  Read more about BVI – Island Hop & Beach Bar Tour

BVI Snorkel, Baths on Virgin Gorda & Cooper Island Beach Club

Sail to three snorkel and beach hotspots in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) in a day without having to organize anything yourself on this cruise from St. Thomas. Snorkel at The Caves, Indians, or Aquarium on Norman Island; explore or snorkel at The Baths on Virgin Gorda, and refuel with lunch and drinks (own expense) at a beach club. An onboard open bar, snacks, and snorkel gear are included.  Read more about BVI Snorkel, Baths on Virgin Gorda & Cooper Island Beach Club

Best St John Restaurants

Mirador by Chef Benny  $11 – 30

Mirador by Chef Benny features an array of options from all over the world with a special touch of Caribbean flavor. Mirador is open for dinner Wednesday through Sunday.   Chef Benny believes in serving the best ingredients possible, which include Wagyu Beef, Korabuto Pork, Free Range Chicken along with locally caught Mahi, Wahoo and Lobster.  Telephone:  340-775-7200  Web:  Mirador by Chef Benny

Extra Virgin Bistro  $31 – 60

At Extra Virgin Bistro they are dedicated to locally grown and sourced products, so much so that they grow most of their own herbs on site. They buy most of their fish from local fishermen and you will often find their names printed on the menu next to the fish they brought in that day.  Telephone:  340-715-1864  Web:  Extra Virgin Bistro

The Longboard – Coastal Cantina  $11 – 30

The Longboard is a Caribbean-inspired Coastal Cantina, focusing on fresh, local ingredients, offering light and healthy fares and creative cocktails inspired from coastal regions around the globe. The bar menu offers a wide selection of house-crafted cocktails, beers, wines, and specialty drinks, including their world-famous Frozen Painkiller.  Daily Happy Hour is from 3 PM – 6 PM.  Telephone:  340-715-2210  Web:  The Longboard – Coastal Cantina

Morgan's Mango Restaurant  $11 – 30

At Morgan’s Mango, they try to reflect the life of the islands, a place of dazzling light and color, tropical breezes and starry nights, a relaxed and sensory experience.  Join them to share in the culinary history of an island world crowded with so many wonderful cultures that it takes your breath way.  Their food covers many Caribbean and South American cuisines—Creole, Bahamian, Cuban, Jamaican, Haitian, Puerto Rican, Argentinian and Mayan.  Telephone:  340-693-8141  Web:  Morgan's Mango Restaurant

Lime Inn  $11 – 30

Their menu consists of perennial classics such as our famous clam chowder and frozen key lime pie, and features fresh local fish and ingredients. Enjoy a taste of the Caribbean.  Telephone:  340-776-6425  Web:  Lime Inn

Best St John Bars & Nightlife

Umami Bar

Centrally located in Cruz Bay, Umami Bar is the place for sushi, fresh seafood, and eclectic cocktails. The vibe is casual and the food and drinks fresh. One special is the Guava Mama, this cocktail is almost too beautiful to drink. Vibrant pink and made with Milagro, Campari, St. Germaine, fresh guava juice, lime juice and jalapeno syrup, the rim is spiced with dramatic black smoky jalapeno ash. Stop in for Happy Hour from 3 – 6pm and enjoy 2 for 1 cocktails everyday.  Telephone:  340-244-2824  Web:  Umami Bar.

Dog House Pub

With plenty of TVs and a casual, inexpensive menu the Dog House Pub in St. John is the ideal place to watch the game, dance the night away, sing karaoke, and enjoy live music. This place is fun and features American cuisine, plus it has a large selection of craft beers sure to please everyone (over 50 different beers). Stop by for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or happy hour.  Telephone:  340-777-3361  Web:  Dog House Pub.

Drink

If you are looking to enjoy a fantastic cocktail with an ocean view, head to Drink, located on Cruz Bay in St. John. It’s one of the best spots on the island for sunsets, and the specialty of the house, the Bushwhackers, are not to be missed. Try the peanut butter, Nutella, or Thin Mint Bushwhackers. These delicious milkshake-like drinks are a treat after time in the sun. Drink is also known for their fabulous bar staff, mixologists that are ready to whip up whatever cocktail you desire.  Telephone:  407-758-6924  Web:  Drink.

The Beach Bar

As stated on their Facebook page “Toes in the sand & a drink in your hand!” The Beach Bar is a staple in St. John with outdoor games, live music, and world famous Bushwhackers and Painkillers. The Beach Bar is a great place for a night out in St. John, or a Sunday funday. The adults can drink beverages and play bag toss while the kids build sandcastles close by. You won’t want to miss out on the fun at the Beach Bar. Happy hour is 3-7pm daily.  Telephone:  340-777-4220  Web:  Beach Bar.

The Longboard Coastal Cantina

Offering small plates and strong drinks, order the house special Dark & Stormy.  The Longboard has an extensive menu offering gluten-free, vegan, and vegetarian options as well as home-made sodas and ginger beer, and fresh squeezed juices sure to please everyone. Happy hour is 3 – 6pm daily.  Telephone:  340-715-2210  Web:  The Longboard.

Best St. John Hotels

Gallows Point Resort


Nestled on a 5 acre peninsula in Cruz Bay. Our spacious 1 & 2 story units have fully equipped kitchens with dining area, King size bed, Satellite TV, Central A/C. in room wireless internet, full living room and private balconies all with ocean views. The resort offers full maid service, pool with hot tub, concierge service and a small gourmet grocery. Eat at our fine dining restaurant or take a 5 minute stroll to town.

Estate Lindholm


Historic small inn within the VI Nat'l Park, overlooking picturesque Cruz Bay harbor – walking distance to gorgeous white sandy beaches and the shopping and restaurants of town. Modern, comfortable rooms, with all amenities. Charming old-world ambiance with beautiful gardens. A rare property, with very personal attention.

The Westin St John Resort Villas


Stretched out along a cove of white sandy beaches at Great Cruz Bay is The Westin St. John Resort Villas. This 47-acre paradise provides distinctive amenities and intuitive services all framed by a picture-perfect backdrop of a lush tropical paradise. Enjoy our spacious one and two-bedroom villas or townhouses of up to 2,850 square feet that comfortably accommodates up to eight adults. Each villa features fully equipped kitchens, washers and dryers, generous living and dining room areas, private balconies with ocean views, and complimentary Wi-Fi.

Sea Shore Allure


This St John Island resort features eight boutique condominiums that overlook the stunning waters of St. John. Whether you spend your days lounging at our Blue Havana pool, or touring the island, Sea Shore Allure is an exclusive resort that lets you enjoy a quiet vacation that is still close to all of the best shopping and dining on St. John Island. Whether you start your morning with coffee on the private balcony overlooking the bay or unwind from a day of sightseeing by watching a movie on the state-of-the-art home theater system with a Blue ray player and iPod docking station, you'll live the good life at Sea Shore Allure. Complimentary wifi, beach chairs, and coolers

Coral Bay Eco Retreat


Located in Coral Bay, Coral bay eco retreat has accommodations with free WiFi and a garden with a terrace and garden views. Some units also have a kitchen equipped with a fridge, an oven, and a stove top. If you would like to discover the area, fishing is possible nearby.


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26 Comments

  1. shiva bhilala

    Good post. I Am planing To travel and your post provided me useful information.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Glad I could help!

      Reply
  2. Melinda

    Wow. Trunk Bay sounds like a gorgeous place to visit. I’ve never been snorkling, but an underwater snorkeling trail sounds like a great way to explore.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I agree Melinda! Believe it or not I have only snorkeled once in my life in Hawaii. It was a bad experience (my fault), but I can’t get past it LOL So I do everything else. Thanks for reading my St. John Travel Guide!

      Reply
  3. Cath

    Hi
    I love your homepage, my absolute life is the beach and I found many to which I have been. It’s well written and has tons of links. Definitely a link I would put on my page.

    If you are interested in connecting please let me know.

    Good luck
    Catherine

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am very interested in connecting and will do likewise 🙂  Thank you so much and I am glad you enjoyed.

      Reply
  4. Melinda

    I have always wanted to visit St. John, so finding this post was perfect timing. This is a great resource, and I have bookmarked it for when I start planning. I love that you included which restaurants to try as well as how pricey they are! I loved the pictures that you included as well! Great information!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thanks Melinda! I am glad you are enjoying reading all there is to see and do on the beautiful island of St John. It will take a little time for them to rebuild after the hurricanes that hit them, but I think by next year, they will be back to their usual beauty. Thanks for reading!

      Reply
  5. Ashley

    This is such an informative site. My wedding is coming up in 5 months and I still have no idea where we are going on our honeymoon. The beautiful beaches you talked about on your site were exciting and helped me narrow some beautiful destinations down. Thank you so much!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are very welcome.  Just a note, that I don’t think any of the islands in this area will be having visitors for a while until they can rebuild from the destruction of Irma, Jose, and Martha.  One island that is still good is Aruba.  They are outside of the hurricane belt and saw very little devastation.  You can learn more, and plan at this link:  Aruba Travel Guide.  Thanks for visiting my St John Travel Guide.

      Reply
  6. Shierly

    You’ve presented the coolest and some of the best places to travel. I am looking forward to finding myself one day at some of these places.I put quite a few on my list of places to visit including, bookmarking your site for me to come back when time to travel and adventures will begin… Thank you so much for all your time and effort! I love reading about great vacation getaways, and I have just spent entirely too much time on your site!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you found yourself wandering through my site 🙂 It is habit forming I hope, enough to get you to get planning and start visiting some of these wonderful places! Keep checking back for more amazing locations!

      Reply
  7. Mack

    Wow St. John looks like the place to be. Im still in the midst of planning a winter getaway. I think with these destruction caused by these hurricanes we are going to see alot of pressure on other travel destinations. Unfortunately price increases will follow.

    Do you now how bad the damage was in the St. John area was?

    Cheers

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I know that St. John was heavily damaged.  They lost homes, cars, roofs, and the landscape of the little island has been stripped bare.  They had the 150 mile an hour gusts slam into them when Irma showed up.  So, it will be a little while for them to rebuild.  I don’t know if we will see price increases.  You have to remember that these islands depend on tourism for their economy.  So right now, they are suffering huge economically.  I think we will see some great prices to get tourists back to these great islands in the Caribbean.  Thank you for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com.

      Reply
  8. Jerry Burns

    Hey, thanks for your post. I appreciate you takng the time and breaking it all down for us. This is great, as I have been looking at planning a trip to St. John.  Looks like I can plan for a bit with the hurricane damage.  All the information and the pictures help me just visualize being there now. I can’t wait to vacation there!   It looks great.  Again, thanks for all the information and investing all your time. It’s a great site.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      You are most welcome Jerry!  Yes, they were hit pretty hard by the hurricane.  This does give you extra time to plan and get ready for your trip.  I am sure you will enjoy.  Thanks for visiting the St John Travel Guide.

      Reply
  9. Aleksandar

    St. John seems like a wonderful place to visit! I would definitely enjoy the nightlife in this place. Looks like there is a lot of it. I have been searching for the perfect beach destination that had it all, and I do like to enjoy nightlife while I am on vacation. Thank you for your very detailed post on St. John. I think I have found my next vacation spot!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Yes, St. John is not lacking in night life for sure. They have a lot of it, and to enjoy beautiful beaches, scenery, the ocean, wonderful accommodations and the nightlife all on one island is amazing! Thank you for reading the St John Travel Guide!

      Reply
  10. Katherine

    I have always wanted to visit St. John’s.
    The idea of rest and relaxation on an island in the Carribean sounds magnificent. I have heard of Trunk Bay from others and I would definitely go there. Snorkeling is one of my favorite things to do. Cinnamon Bay sounds perfect to snorkel with the family. I think that one of the charters you mentioned would be fun for a day.
    What a beautiful place!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      I am glad you enjoyed reading the St. John Travel Guide 🙂  Yes, so many wonderful things to do on the island of St. John.  I hope I have you that push to start packing your suitcase and planning your trip to St. John!  Thanks for reading BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply
  11. Jessie

    This article makes me want to travel right now!!! I can’t believe how many things there are to do and see on this beautiful island. I think the best idea is the Lion in Da Sun option where you can island hop to even more places. Its such a shame the amount of destruction all of these islands including St. Johns have experienced with the recent hurricanes.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      It is definitely a shame to see such devastation for sure.  I truly believe that in no time, they will be back to their full beauty and ready to welcome visitors.  I agree that the Lion in Da Sun is a great way to see and do so much!  Glad you enjoyed reading and thanks for visiting the St. John Travel Guide!

      Reply
  12. Dini

    Nice post ! Great pics and loads of good information. Have to bookmark this page when it is time to travel ..Loved the article and so looking forward a vacation in St. John.

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Thank you and yes, great place and pretty much any time of year is going to be great to travel here. Thanks for visit my St. John Travel Guide!

      Reply
  13. kay

    Hi there,

    I really enjoyed reading this article, such useful information, it made me want go to St. John today. It has been on my bucket list for a while now. But, of course I am hoping to gaining a larger income in order to visit. Once I am ready I will come back to your site, which I have bookmarked, so that I can get busy making it happen!

    Reply
    1. Leahrae (Post author)

      Sounds like a good plan. Yes, now if I could also earn a larger income, oh all the places I would visit. There are so many great beach destinations around the world just waiting for me. St. John is amazing, and when you are ready, you will love it! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!

      Reply

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