Saint John is the gem of the United States Virgin Islands, with far less mass tourism and a national park which comprises most of its surface.
At 50 km2 the smallest of the three main US Virgin Islands, Saint John is located about 4 miles east of Saint Thomas, the location of the territory's capital, Charlotte Amalie. It is also 4 miles southwest of Tortola, part of the British Virgin Islands. Its largest settlement is Cruz Bay with a population of 2,700. Since 1956, approximately 60% of the island is protected as Virgin Islands National Park, administered by the United States National Park Service. Saint John is 50.8 km² in area with a population of about 5,000 us).
The Virgin Islands National Park is a well maintained park with kilometres of beautiful shorelines, pristine reefs, hiking trails and tropical birdlife. Over 30 species of birds have been recorde within the park's boundaries, including some species like the bananaquit, hummingbirds and smooth-billed ani. This is also an example of an area that was logged during the 18th century but has regained the tropical nature it used to have including a mix of introduced species and native plants.
Calypso musicians, colorful mocko jumbies, and a lively parade are the main ways St John celebrates both the United States Independence Day and the last day of its month-long Carnival celebrations on the Fourth of July. This day also features the crowning of Ms St John and the carnival king as well as a fireworks display rivaling many in mainland United States cities.
The United States Virgin Islands have a very pleasant and tropical climate with generally warm and humid weather. The seabreeze makes things relatively mild though and water is never far away. Temperatures generally average around 30 °C during the day yearround and 23 °C at night. December to May is the dry season, where July to October is the rainy season, but this generally means some showers at the end of the day instead of days of rain on end. Hurricanes are possible though from August to October.
St. John has more than 35 places to dine, ranging from chic and expensive restaurants to funky beachside food stands. After dark the island comes alive with hotel and villa guests seeking out one of the island's cozy and romantic restaurants.
The best cheeseburger in this paradise can be found at Skinny Legs in Coral Bay. Great food, excellent harborside venue, and an excellent place for a cold beer after a busy day of snorkeling. An absolute must even if only visiting the island for a day (or even part of a day).
|Botanical Villas Campground||17-1 Estate Peters Bay||Campsite||-|
|Hillcrest Guest House||157 Enighed Cruz Bay||Guesthouse||-|
|Maho Tent Cottages||PO Box 310, Cruz Bay Saint John||Campsite||-|
|St John Hostel||Cruz Bay PO Box 79, US Virgin Islands||Guesthouse||-|
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