Yes, I have had a few days lapse in posting. The short time we had between the Georgia trip and heading to St Croix was jammed with planned and unanticipated obligations. With that said, I will be doing three posts about St Criox – this one as a general discussion of the island, then one devoted to the diving and the other to beach bars and other dining options.
By way of background, my husband and I first visited St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands in Nov 1999 sort of by accident. We had a time share exchange and wanted to go back to St Martin, but no units were available. I asked about other islands and the agent I was talking to said that no, but St Croix was open and the resort in the book showed on-site scuba diving. Okay, that worked for us. To make what would be an otherwise very lengthy post shorter, we quickly fell in love with the island. And yes, when most people hear “USVI”, they think St Thomas because that’s where the vast number of cruise ships stop. St Croix is actually larger than St Thomas and if you must have a Hyatt, Marriott, etc., to stay in and can only shop somewhere like Saks, then you do need to go to St Thomas. If, on the other hand, you want a beautiful island with small hotels and resorts, great scuba diving and excellant restaurants without jammed crowds, then St Croix is probably your kind of place. There are three “anchor resorts”; the famous Bucanneer on East End where celebrities tend to stay, the Divi Resort and Casino (only current casino on the island), and Carambola on North Shore at Davis Bay, a beautiful place that keeps changing hands. There are lots of condo complexes as well and villas and houses for rent, so it depends on what you need. Some of the hotels are laid back to the point that they don’t have telephones. There are essentially two towns; Christiansted with the harbor and Fredericksted on the West Side where the cruise ships dock. North Shore has a few accommodations in addition to Carmbola, several restaurants, and plenty of outdoor activity.
The island has a history of multiple owners, to include a strong Danish heritage and even a short while with the Knights of Malta. That means you have a mix of architecture and the walking tour of Christiansted is quite pleasant as is the smaller fort and refurbished waterfront of Fredericksted. The botanical garden is nicely arranged and if you are in the market for art, you have as many mediums to choose from as you are likely to want. There is no shortage of jewelry either and you won’t lack for other types of souvenirs.
Watersports and beaches dominate, although there are hikes, aerial and vehicle tours, and beautiful topography of foliage-covered moutains that sweep to the sea. There are virtually no waterfalls though and the peaks are not as towering as you find on islands in the Pacific. Direct flights from New York, Miami, Atlanta don’t take long and if you route through San Juan, those hourly flights are about 30 minutes in length.
In reality, St Croix is intended for one thing – to relax. There is not what one would call a glittering night life unless you count the wonderful view of stars as you step outside. This is a place of nice beaches, water in multiple shades of blue, palm trees and flowering tropical plants, mongoose that dart about, humingbirds that flit among butterflies. If you want the scenes woven into short stories, pop over to my web site and read A Ghecko in an Umbrella or Running Yellow Lights.
Underwater is as lovely as topside and that will be the subject of my next post.