Get details on where to stay in St. John USVI and pros and cons of different spots on the island, plus an amazing villa that I found on VRBO.
I’ve been a bit MIA but I just haven’t really felt like being on a computer since I’ve been home from vacation! Don’t you worry, I’ve been keeping busy with really important stuff like binge watching season 2 of Orange is the New Black. 🙂 I was pretty productive over the weekend though: yesterday I mowed the grass at 8 AM (luckily all my neighbors are early risers), trimmed the hedges, cleaned the driveway and sideway with the blower, cleaned both bathrooms, and vacuumed and mopped, including UNDER THE OVEN AND COUCH–PLEASE BE PROUD. 🙂 And tonight, Maizey and I are holed up in the house, being all cozy, while it thunders and pours outside. Well, I’m being cozy. Maizey is hiding underneath the kitchen table. Poor thing!
Alright, here are finally some pictures from my trip to St. John! I got a number of questions about my trip, so I’ll share the pictures in a series covering the most common questions in each. This will help answer questions and prevent picture overload for those of you that just want to see pictures! Today’s topic: how to get to St. John and where to stay in St. John. 🙂
To get to St. John, you fly into St. Thomas and that is the worst part. 🙂 But really, it’s not too bad getting over to St. John. Rent your car at the STT airport and take the car barge over; it’s cheaper that way than taking a taxi to the human ferry and renting a car on St. John. Be sure to book with Budget since they allow you to take the car off the St. Thomas island. Get right off the plane and go directly to the car rental since that line can get long quickly. Send your travel buddy to fetch a beer for you while you wait since there are zero container laws in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Rent a jeep.
Seriously, just do. The roads are very very very steep and if you explore at all, the roads are rough. Our tires squealed every day driving; I’ve never been on roads like this. Sometimes it was so steep I couldn’t see the road over the dashboard. Lucky for me, John handled the driving.
Be sure to drive on the left hand side of the road!!! 🙂 This was kinda weird at first, but we adapted after a few days. I never even drove while we were there, but when I came home and I accidentally turned into the wrong lane one day. ha!
Put on your happy face once you make it to the Red Hook Ferry, about 30 minutes from the airport (just follow route 30 and the starfish signs leading you east), and you’re on your way to St. John. Be sure to have cash. The car barge only takes cash. And book round trip if you want – it’ll save you $10. And get a beer for the ride over if you want. 🙂
When we got to St. John, an employee from the villa rental company met us at the ferry dock and took us to our place. I found the house through VRBO and I almost always prefer to use VRBO or AirBNB for booking accommodations when traveling. I like to have access to a kitchen since eating out can be expensive and, depending on the city, it can difficult to find food that I can/want to eat. For St. John, I found a great house for a very affordable price–traveling in the off-season helped a ton with the price. I could go on for days about why renting a house/condo trumps a hotel but I’m sure most of you are familiar with VRBO so I won’t go into it. (But, if you want more details, let me know!)
This is where we stayed – the Christy Ann Villa.
The house was near Rendezvous Point and overlooked Fish Bay.
It had very high ceilings…
and amazing views out every window. The kitchen was fully stocked with plates, pots, pans, tupperware, everything you could need, which was great.
It also had a huge deck with a hot tub.
We started and finished every day relaxing on the deck.
I was so sad to leave.
There is only one resort on the island, the Westin. We went there one day to use their gym and seriously, everyone staying there looked really grumpy. I looked at it when planning the trip, but the rooms looked tiny and crazy overpriced. And there is so much to see the island and better beaches than Westin’s private beach that I don’t think it’s really worth staying at the resort. And the island is so small that you aren’t really getting an extra convenient location by staying at the Westin. You can get more for your money in a privately owned house.
When you’re looking at areas to stay in, look for these: Chocolate Hole, Rendezvous Point, Fish Bay, Hart Bay…basically anything along the southwest side of the island. These are where most of the privately owned houses are. I wouldn’t stay in Great Cruz Bay — crowded and probably loud. And I wouldn’t stay in Coral Bay (the other side of the island, although just 30 minutes away) unless you really wanted to be remote.
The best beaches are on the northwest side of the island between Cruz Bay and Maho Bay, but there aren’t many houses to stay in on the northwest side…it’s undeveloped over by the beaches which keeps it pristine and beautiful. Don’t let the map deceive you; we stayed near Fish Bay and we were at Hawksnest Bay in about 10 minutes. It’s really a tiny island…I think I read it’s only 9×4 miles!
Next up: what to do in St. John, the best beaches, and where to eat!
Have you been to the Caribbean? This was my first time! If you’ve been, where?