Visit the white sand beaches and hidden reefs of St. John

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The beautiful Caribbean island offers a winter paradise getaway.


The bustling waters of Cruz Bay, the island’s main hub. / Photo by Sean Pavone Photo/Getty Images

Even if it is the smallest from the U.S. Virgin Islands, the unspoilt beauty per square acre you’ll find in St. John may well surpass any other destination in the Caribbean. This pristine, eco-friendly gem offers white-sand beaches, incredibly clear waters and lush vegetation Virgin Islands National Park, which covers about two-thirds of the island. Hike along the Peace Hill Trail for spectacular views of Trunk Bay, regularly voted one of the best beaches in the world; No visit to Saint-Jean is complete without a dip in its warm, turquoise waters. Do you have a history buff on your team? Go take a walk in Reef Bay Trail for a glimpse of the ruins of a Danish sugarcane plantation, as well as ancient petroglyphs. The rock carvings were a mystery for decades, but archaeologists now believe they were made by the Taíno people over 1,000 years ago.

Of course, there is as much to see under the waters of Saint-Jean as above. World-class snorkeling and diving opportunities abound. Cruz Bay Watersports offers five hours, Limestone catamaran and snorkeling tour that takes guests to the island’s most breathtaking hidden reefs and visits a floating taco bar for lunch.

After a busy day on the water, reward yourself with sumptuous seafood at 18° 64° Restaurant. The new establishment features an attractive raw bar and innovative craft cocktails like the mezcal-infused “Smokeshow.” Or, for one of the best sunset dining experiences in the area, head to Windmill bar at Neptune’s Lookout, which hosts a pork roast every Sunday.

Not ready to surrender yet? For fun after dark, the Westin St. John Resort Villas offer a Night Kayaking/Glow to visit. The award-winning tour features glass-bottom kayaks for optimal aquatic exploration and is ideal for families. If you are looking for more local dishes, try St. John Brewers Tap Room, a laid-back craft brewery owned by college buddies who left their day jobs on the mainland to live in paradise. Sounds good to us.

Comfortable accommodation at Gallows Point Resort. / Photo by Steve Simonsen, courtesy of Gallows Point Resort

GETTING THERE

Delta offers a four-hour, nonstop flight from Boston to Cyril E. King International Airport in St. Thomas, passport-free. From there, take a short cab ride to the Red Hook ferry, which takes you to St. John’s in 20 minutes for just over $16 round trip.

STAY THERE

Ideally located on a 2 hectare peninsula within walking distance of the shops and restaurants of Cruz Bay, Gallows Point Resort features access to a beautiful private beach and spacious ocean view suites.



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