St. John US Virgin Islands, Visitor Information

by Ray Roman | Last updated on January 30, 2024

St. John, the smallest of the three US Virgin Islands, is a breathtaking paradise that offers visitors an abundance of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and exciting activities.

Whether you’re looking for a romantic getaway, an adventure-filled vacation, or a relaxing escape, St. John has something for everyone.

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St. John US Virgin Islands

This article provides essential visitor information to help you plan your trip to St. John and make the most of your time on the island.

Key Takeaways

  • St. John is a small but beautiful island that offers visitors an abundance of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and exciting activities.
  • Getting to St. John is relatively easy, with several airlines offering direct flights to the nearby St. Thomas airport, followed by a short ferry ride to the island.
  • St. John has a variety of accommodations to suit your needs, from luxurious resorts to cozy villas and cottages.

Getting to St. John is relatively easy, with several airlines offering direct flights to the nearby St. Thomas airport. From there, you can take a short ferry ride to St. John, where you’ll be greeted with stunning views of the island’s turquoise waters and lush green hillsides.

Once you arrive, you’ll find a variety of accommodations to suit your needs, from luxurious resorts to cozy villas and cottages.

Getting to St. John

St. John is a beautiful island in the US Virgin Islands that is only accessible by boat. Here are two ways to get to St. John:

Air Travel

The Cyril E. King Airport (STT) in St. Thomas is the closest airport to St. John. You can take a direct flight to St. Thomas from many major US cities, including Miami, New York, and Atlanta.

Once you arrive at the airport, you can take a taxi to the Red Hook Ferry Terminal, which is about a 30-minute drive away. From there, you can take a ferry to St. John. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes and costs around $7-$8 per person.

Ferry Services

Another way to get to St. John is by ferry. There are several ferry services that operate between St. Thomas and St. John. The most popular ferry service is the passenger ferry that runs from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. The ferry runs every hour from 6:00 am to midnight and costs around $7-$8 per person. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes.

If you’re planning on bringing a car to St. John, you can take the car ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. The car ferry runs every hour from 6:30 am to 10:00 pm and costs around $50-$55 per vehicle. The ferry ride takes about 20-30 minutes.

It’s important to note that there is no airport on St. John, so taking a ferry is the only way to get to the island. However, this adds to the charm of St. John, as it is a secluded and peaceful destination that is perfect for a relaxing vacation.

Accommodations

When planning a trip to St. John, one of the most important things to consider is where you will stay. Fortunately, there are plenty of options available to suit every budget and preference. Here are some of the most popular accommodation options on the island:

Hotels and Resorts

St. John has a variety of hotels and resorts to choose from, ranging from luxurious to more affordable options. The Westin, located on Cruz Bay, is the largest and most famous hotel on the island, offering panoramic ocean views and a range of amenities.

Other popular options include the Caneel Bay Resort, the Gallows Point Resort, and the Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel.

Vacation Rentals

If you’re looking for a more private and personalized experience, vacation rentals are a great option. St. John has a wide range of vacation rentals available, including villas, apartments, and cottages.

Many of these rentals offer stunning views of the island’s beaches and landscapes. Websites such as Airbnb and VRBO offer a variety of options to choose from.

Camping Sites

For those on a tight budget or looking for a more adventurous experience, camping is a great option. There are several campsites on St. John, including the Cinnamon Bay Campground and the Maho Bay Camps.

These campsites offer a unique experience, allowing visitors to be closer to nature and enjoy the island’s stunning scenery.

Regardless of your preference, St. John offers a variety of accommodation options to suit every budget and taste. Whether you’re looking for a luxurious resort or a more rustic camping experience, there is something for everyone on this beautiful island.

Attractions and Activities

Beaches

St. John is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the world. The island boasts over 30 beaches, each with its unique charm and features. Some of the most popular beaches include Trunk Bay, Maho Bay, and Cinnamon Bay.

Trunk Bay is famous for its underwater snorkeling trail, while Maho Bay is a great location to spot sea turtles. Cinnamon Bay offers one of the finest white sand beaches in St. John, USVI.

Hiking Trails

St. John has over 20 hiking trails to explore, ranging from easy to challenging. The trails offer breathtaking views of the island’s unique terrain and landscapes.

One of the most popular trails is the Reef Bay Trail, which is a little over five miles out and back. This trail takes you through the lush tropical forest, past ancient petroglyphs, and ends at the beautiful Reef Bay Beach.

Historical Sites

St. John has a rich history, and there are many historical sites to explore on the island. One of the most popular sites is the Annaberg Sugar Plantation, which was once a thriving sugar plantation in the 1700s.

The ruins of the plantation offer a glimpse into the island’s past and the harsh realities of the plantation system. Another popular site is the Cinnamon Bay Archeology Museum, which showcases the island’s pre-Columbian history.

Water Sports

St. John is a paradise for water sports enthusiasts. The island offers a wide range of activities, including snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

The crystal-clear waters surrounding the island are home to a diverse range of marine life, including sea turtles, colorful fish, and vibrant coral reefs. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try your hand at windsurfing or kiteboarding.

Overall, St. John offers a wide range of attractions and activities for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re looking to relax on the beach, explore the island’s natural beauty, or learn about its rich history, St. John has something for everyone.

Dining and Cuisine

When it comes to dining in St. John, you have a wide variety of options to choose from. Whether you’re looking for local eateries, fine dining, or street food, you’ll find something to suit your taste.

Local Eateries

St. John is home to many local eateries that serve delicious Caribbean-inspired cuisine. You can try out the famous roti at The King – Mr. Hill or enjoy some fresh seafood at The Fish Trap. If you’re looking for something casual, head to Skinny Legs for a burger or to Cruz Bay Landing for some wings.

Fine Dining

For a more upscale dining experience, you can visit one of the island’s fine dining restaurants. Zozo’s at the Sugar Mill is a popular choice, offering Italian cuisine with a Caribbean twist.

Another option is The Terrace, which serves French-inspired dishes made with locally sourced ingredients. Keep in mind that many fine dining restaurants require reservations, so be sure to plan ahead.

Street Food

If you’re on the go and looking for a quick bite, you can grab some street food from one of the island’s food trucks. Lime Out Taco Boat is a popular choice, offering delicious tacos and cocktails on a floating food truck.

You can also try out the Johnny Cakes from Love City Lunch Truck or the smoothies from Our Market Smoothies.

Overall, St. John has a diverse dining scene that caters to all tastes and budgets. Whether you’re looking for a casual meal or a fine dining experience, you’re sure to find something that satisfies your cravings.

Travel Tips and Essentials

Weather and Climate

St. John has a tropical climate with warm temperatures year-round. The average temperature ranges from 77°F to 85°F (25°C to 29°C). The rainy season is from September to November, and the dry season is from December to May.

The best time to visit St. John is from mid-December to mid-April when the weather is pleasant and the crowds are thinner.

Health and Safety

St. John is a safe destination, but it is always important to take precautions. Make sure to wear sunscreen and insect repellent, as mosquitos can be present.

It is also recommended to drink bottled water or filtered water. In case of emergencies, the island has a hospital and several clinics. The emergency number is 911.

Currency and Payment

The official currency of St. John is the US dollar, and most businesses accept credit cards. ATMs are available in Cruz Bay, but it is recommended to bring cash for small transactions and tips.

Connectivity and Communication

St. John has good mobile phone coverage, and most hotels and restaurants offer free Wi-Fi. If you need to make international calls, it is recommended to purchase a local SIM card or use a calling app.

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need a passport to visit St. John?

US citizens do not need a passport to travel to St. John. A valid government-issued photo ID, such as a driver’s license, is sufficient for entry.

What is the time zone in St. John?

St. John is in the same time zone as the east coast of the US during the summer months (April-October).

Is St. John like other Caribbean islands?

St. John is quite unique due to the Virgin Islands National Park, which covers almost two-thirds of the island.