May 27, 2014
This is Part 2 in a series sharing the best of the family-friendly U.S. Virgin Islands.
The U.S. Virgin Islands, known for their sandy white beaches and turquoise waters, make for a relaxing and fun-filled family vacation destination. Get ready for plenty of island adventures, including swimming with sea turtles,flying on a sea plane and feeding stingrays – but save time for building sandcastles on the beach. Easy to reach from most major U.S. cities, the U.S.V.I. are officially a U.S. territory – so you won’t even need a passport. Here are 6 unforgettable family experiences on the island of St. Croix. (Check out St. Thomas family must-do’s here).
1. Take a day trip to St. John by ferry.
Catch a ferry to the island at the Red Hook Port in St. Thomas for a day trip to the nearby island of St. John. While you can rent a car upon arrival in St. John, you can also opt for a guided tour of the island. Prepare yourselves for splendid vistas along the route.
2. Dip your toes into the most beautiful beach in the world.
St. John is home to one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Trunk Bay Beach. Now part of the Virgin Islands National Park, Trunk Bay also features an underwater snorkel trail: Plaques along the trail describe the various species of fish, and provide information about the coral reefs.
3. Explore the Annaberg Plantation.
Once a bustling sugar mill, the Annaberg Plantation once produced molasses and rum for export. Today it is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. Regular ranger-led tours of the plantation are available; there is a fee for adults. Call 340-776-6201 ext. 238 or visit the park’s website for further information.
4. Hike to Leinster Bay.
From the Annaberg Plantation ruins, take the short 20 minute hike (.8 miles) to Leinster Bay. Bring your snorkeling gear as it’s a top-notch snorkeling spot, or just admire the view and dive in for a refreshing après-hike swim.
5. Eat one of the best lobster rolls in existence.
The Tourist Trap on St. John is the place for the best lobster rolls ever. Located roadside on Route 107, heading south from Coral Bay, ask your tour guide to make a pit stop at this eclectic, gourmet roadside shack.
6. Enjoy a picnic at Salt Pond Bay.
Salt Pond Bay is known for its calm waters and sea turtles, making it a popular beach for families. You’ll find picnic tables at the beach, as well as a small parking area. To get there from Cruz Bay, take Center Line Road towards Coral Bay; turn right just before Coral Bay onto road 107. The beach parking area is approximately 2.5 miles ahead on the left.