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Things to do in St John

Things to do in  St John

Welcome to St John

Petite St. John isn’t exactly easy to get to—it has no airport nor cruise-ship terminal—but it more than makes up for its inaccessibility with lush and unspoiled scenery. The smallest and least-visited of the three main US Virgin Islands, St. John’s postcard-perfect white-sand beaches, verdant jungles, and vibrant coral reefs are largely protected as Virgin Islands National Park. Visitors can soak up the idyllic Caribbean surroundings (or follow an underwater snorkeling trail) on Trunk Beach, kayak on Cinnamon Bay, and hike the Reef Bay Trail to spot ancient petroglyphs.

Top 15 things to do in St John

#1
Honeymoon Beach

Honeymoon Beach

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Honeymoon Beach is both convenient and out-of-the-way, a good choice for those who want to avoid the crowds at spots like Trunk Bay, but still appreciate a few on-site amenities. The beach is accessible by trails and serves as an area for watersports enthusiasts. Travelers can grab a kayak for a paddle up the coast before diving in to snorkel alongside the tropical fish that school around the rocks.More
#2
Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay

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Trunk Bay’s talc-soft sands, turquoise waters, and lush green backdrop make it one of the most photographed and most famous beaches on St. John Island. Just offshore of this earthly paradise, a marked-out underwater trail serves as a popular snorkeling spot, with information about coral formations and sea life. It’s a great activity for beginner snorkelers, kids, and older adults.More
#3
Maho Bay

Maho Bay

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Maho Bay, perched on St John’s northern shore, is named after the Maho tree, which you can identify by its heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers. The coconut palm-lined stretch of sand allures with its calm, shallow waters and a coral reef just offshore popular for snorkeling.More
#4
Waterlemon Cay

Waterlemon Cay

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The tiny island of Waterlemon Cay on St John is a favorite among snorkelers. The sandy beach of Leinster Bay serves as the starting point for a 10-minute swim to Waterlemon Cay; it's less than a mile to the island and worth every breaststroke. The cay is home to a wealth of coral and marine life, which is what ranks it so high with travelers. Sadly, the island has seen a recent reduction in coral and reef fishes, attributed to high rates of erosion and run off from local construction.During the swim, keep watch in the sea grass for the first glimpses of marine life in the area. It’s not uncommon to see turtles, stingrays, sea cucumbers and giant starfish 20 feet below.The south- and east-facing sides of Waterlemon Cay are bordered by the region’s shallow fringe reef, whereas the west and north sides are deeper. The reef is the best spot to look for the main abundance of colorful fish and other marine life; look for large parrotfish and schools of bright blue tangs. Some snorkelers swear they can hear the crunch of parrotfish “teeth” as they grind their beaks on rocks and dead coral at the surface. Turns out parrotfish digest coral and algae that are ultimately excreted as fine coral sand, helping build the beaches we love so much.Snorkelers will find a lot of colorful coral, sea fans, sea plumes and other colorful fish on the deeper side of the reef. Keep your eye out for eels in deep holes and you may even luck out and see an octopus or two.More
#5
Coral Bay St. John

Coral Bay St. John

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St. John's Coral Bay prides itself on being the raffish alternative to the island’s main point of arrival, Cruz Bay. Its few dozen houses are haphazardly sprinkled on the green slopes above Coral Harbor, a scenic, protected cove. The town’s charm lies in its friendly, laid-back bars and restaurants where—unlike some Caribbean locations—tourists won’t necessarily outnumber the locals.More
#6
Whistling Cay

Whistling Cay

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One of the smaller snorkel spots in St John, Whistling Cay is a deep-water snorkeling area, with depths of 40 feet or more. The clear waters allow visitors to see down into the deep to view large coral formations; they can either snorkel the surface and admire the coral from afar or free-dive down to explore them up close.More
#7
Salt Pond Bay

Salt Pond Bay

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Perched on the scenic southeast coast of St John, Salt Pond Bay shimmers with crystal clear waters fronted by a rocky, white-sand beach. The beach offers an escape from the crowds of Cruz Bay, with calm waters for swimming, tide pools filled with marine creatures, and a coral reef in the middle of the bay for snorkeling.More
#8
Annaberg Sugar Plantation

Annaberg Sugar Plantation

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Back in its heyday, the Annaberg Sugar Plantation was one of 25 facilities on the island producing sugar, along with molasses and rum. All that remains today are ruins, but they are an important reminder of St John’s past, and visitors can walk a trail that leads through important structures such as slave quarters, windmills, and factory remains.More
#9
Hawksnest Bay

Hawksnest Bay

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One of the most beautiful and convenient beaches on St. John, Hawksnest Bay is a favorite for families with children and visitors coming from the ferry docks at Cruz Bay. Swaying palm trees and sea grapes line the narrow beach, which has restrooms, grills, and a shaded picnic area.More
#10
Henley Cay

Henley Cay

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Off the shores of the stunning island of St. John, Henley Cay is a short boat ride but seems worlds away. Comprised of 11 isles, its crystal clear turquoise waters make it a draw for water activities such as snorkeling and kayaking. Much of the reef is located in shallow water (from 3 to 15 feet,) so visibility is often best just off the shore. Though it has a history dating back to the 18th century, it’s uninhabited today.Its bay and cove are protected and receive fewer visitors than other snorkel spots on the island. Colorful corals, sea fans, and tropical fish are easily seen, and many consider the snorkeling at Henley Cay to be world-class. Angelfish, parrotfish, surgeonfish, and wrasse are a few of the common fish species spotted often. Tours of the cay typically leave from Caneel Bay and combine kayaking and snorkeling the reefs.More
#11
Virgin Islands National Park

Virgin Islands National Park

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The majority of St. John is covered by the Virgin Islands National Park, a stretch of preserved wilderness that offers protection and preservation for fish, corals, marine life, and tropical and migrating birds. The park also protects the island’s reef, with public access at the mangrove bay of Hurricane Hole, east of Coral Bay. Snorkeling is a popular activity all along the coastline.More
#12
Caneel Bay

Caneel Bay

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Caneel Bay is one of the first beaches you come to as you drive up North Shore Road out of St. John’s main port, Cruz Bay. Much of the coastline here is monopolized by an extensive resort, which suffered severe damage during recent hurricanes and remains closed. Caneel Bay is located within the Virgin Islands National Park and is still accessible via eco-tours.More
#13
Reef Bay Trail

Reef Bay Trail

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A walk along Reef Bay Trail uncovers the history and culture of St. John. The 2.2-mile (3.5-km) trail descends through shady forest and through several sugarcane estates before finishing at the Reef Bay sugar mill near Genti Bay. Keep an eye out for Taino petroglyphs carved into the basalt rock along the way.More
#14
Leinster Bay

Leinster Bay

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Sun, soft sand, and warm, shallow waters characterize Leinster Bay—a favorite among beach lovers seeking solitude. It’s also one of the best snorkeling and scuba diving spots on St John thanks to the colorful coral reef of Waterlemon Cay, where it’s possible to spot sea turtles, stingrays, starfish, and schools of blue tang and parrotfish.More
#15
Mongoose Junction

Mongoose Junction

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If you are after shopping on St John, Mongoose Junction is the place to go. Considered to be the island's premier shopping and dining destination, Mongoose Junction is home to a number of stores selling local Caribbean products such as furniture and textiles. Check out Bamboula, which offers primitive art, clothing, beads, baskets and old-style Caribbean furniture, or Best of Both Worlds, which sells locally made artwork, including sculptures, glass, pottery and designer jewelry.Other standouts include St. John Brewers, Island Fancy and Island Cork, each selling a variety of goods from apparel and toys to locally made beer and crafts. Island Cork is the spot for oenophiles looking to bring a few bottles of wine back to the hotel or cruise ship.When it comes to eating at Mongoose Junction, visitors may have trouble choosing where to stop. Beef aficionados will want to head to the Tap Room, the island’s microbrewery and bar, home to St John Brewers. Even non-beer drinkers can try some interesting concoctions here, such as homemade root beer and ginger beer. Virgin Fire is a great stop for local, but more contemporary, cuisine, as they source many products, including their Coral Bay honey and St Thomas peppers in their sauces, from the surrounding area.More

Top activities in St John

Circle the Island of St. John | Lunch stop at Lime Out (Taco Boat)
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St. John Champagne Sunset Sail with Open Bar & Hors D'oeuvres - Westin
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St. John PiZZA Pi Snorkel Sail with Beach Stop, Lunch & Open Bar - Westin
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Full Day Boat Charter

Full Day Boat Charter

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164
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$995.00
per group
Group Sunset Sail St. John

Group Sunset Sail St. John

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$358.12
Private Boat Excursions around the US Virgin Islands
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Midnight Sun Charters - 37ft OBSIDIAN

Midnight Sun Charters - 37ft OBSIDIAN

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$2,000.00
per group
Sonic Charters- Full Day Boat Charter - 32' Intrepid Powerboat
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Private Day Sail

Private Day Sail

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$1,600.00
per group
Luxury Private Day Charter
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Luxury Private Day Charter

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12
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$3,850.00
per group
Midnight Sun Charters - 43ft ONYX

Midnight Sun Charters - 43ft ONYX

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19
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$3,150.69
per group
Learn to Sail - Sailing Lessons All Inclusive

Learn to Sail - Sailing Lessons All Inclusive

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3
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$1,600.00
per group
Private Boat Charter to the US and British Virgin Islands
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Frequently Asked Questions
The answers provided below are based on answers previously given by the tour provider to customers’ questions.
Q:
What are the top things to do in St John?
Q:
What are the top activities in St John?