Dream escape: St. Croix
Sandy white beaches, dazzling blue waters and lush rain forests are what you’ll find on this heavenly oasis
Nestled in the sparkling Caribbean Sea, 100 miles off the coast of Puerto Rico, is beautiful St. Croix, the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Visitors to this 28-mile-long paradise will find a mix of Danish, Latin and African cultures that make it one of the most unique destinations in the world. And with its breathtaking landscapes, historical architecture and small-town charm, St. Croix offers the perfect balance of fun and relaxation all in one place.
Begin your day by basking in the sun on Rainbow Beach, a favorite spot on the island for locals and tourists alike. “You can lounge on the sand, hunt for pieces of sea glass and shells, order refreshing drinks from Rhythms Restaurant or rent a paddleboard from the surf shop right on the sand,” says a reviewer from Texas. “It was so relaxing and lovely, it’s one of the best beaches I’ve ever visited.”
To catch a glimpse of Caribbean marine life, head to Cane Bay for a memorable snorkeling experience. Says jonathan b on TripAdvisor.com, “We saw turtles, schools of fish, an eel, octopus and sand rays!”
After toweling off, step back in time with a visit to the 18th-century Fort Christiansvaern ($3 per person). “The self-guided tour is a great way to learn a bit about the history of St. Croix while viewing early Colonial Era artifacts,” says ADS80 on TripAdvisor.com. “Make sure you look out over the water from the top of the fort; the view is really something else!”
End your day by strolling the streets and marina of Christiansted, St. Croix’s largest city. There, you can shop for locally made crafts and souvenirs, enjoy favorite Crucian dishes like conch chowder and head to the dock to catch the vibrant sunset.
Thursday Art Walk
Explore the culture of St. Croix by visiting the streets of downtown Christiansted for the evening art walk. Held on a select Thursday each month from 5 pm to 8 pm, this free event encourages you to explore galleries and studios to see what the community has to offer. You’ll find everything from paintings and sculptures to jewelry and fabric arts.
Great day trip:
Take a trip with Caribbean Sea Adventures ($90 per adult) to the uninhabited Buck Island, a national monument. Once there, take a guided tour of an underwater trail, relax on Turtle Beach and hike through the forests to the top of the island.
See 1,500 plant species at the St. George Villa Botanical Garden
Sip a cocktail made with local rum
Snorkel the waters near Isaac Bay Beach to see more than 400 species of vibrant fish Look for bright birds around Salt Lake Bay eco preserve
Spy beautiful pink plumeria flowers that bloom in the island’s lush rain forest