Sometimes you have all the time needed to take life at a most leisurely pace, and sometimes you have just enough time to snap the obligatory Kodak moments before the taxi departs. Such was the two-week, six-city tour of Europe a couple years prior, but that’s a story for another day.
Recently we had the opportunity to spend but a day on the beautiful island of St. John in the United States Virgin Islands. So what do you do to get the most out of a single day on the island? We suggest you follow our lead, and super-size your island stay!
The first obstacle we had to overcome is the abbreviated ferry schedule. The car barge ferry from Red Hook, St. Thomas stops it’s daily schedule at 6:30PM. Barely enough time to watch a proper sunset, much less enjoy any of the local bars, restaurants, and nightlife. However the passenger ferry continues it’s daily runs until 11:30 PM. So since we took the car ferry over, what is the proper solution? We parked our car at a nearby retail center, and spent the evening hoofing around Cruz Bay.We just picked up five hours, problem solved!
Now with a morning arrival and a hearty breakfast behind us, where do we start, and what do we see? This is one beautiful island, absolutely littered with stunning beaches. So we set off from Cruz Bay for a clockwise circumnavigation.
Heading out in a clockwise direction along North Shore Road, the first vista we encountered was of beautiful Caneel Bay. Nestled in a quite protected cove on the western edge, this beach was a white sand paradise!
Quite by accident, my “navigator” spied a sign that pointed out a trail heading towards Peace Hill. The petite parking lot was void of even a single car, so of course that was invitation enough. At the top is a retired sugar mill that offers a picturesque view of Trunk Bay.
Following a stop in and a refreshing drink at Trunk Bay, our next encounter was the stunning sands of Cinnamon Bay. Quieter than Trunk, this beach was a perfect stopover for lunch and a brief swim. Why does a simple fish sandwich and fries taste so darn good down here?
Ever the entrepreneur, a couple thoughts did occur to me: I would love to have the Jeep commission here, and I’d love to set up shop with SUP (Stand Up Paddle-board) rentals to unsuspecting tourists! Gotta get that Business Plan written!
Completing our tour along the northern end as we began a southern trek, our last stop was at Water Lemon Cay. We first stopped in and took a brief walking tour of Annaberg Plantation. The historian of period Caribbean beginnings that I am, it was a treat to trace the steps of the early slaves in this historic mill. You then walk along a long, but beautiful shaded trail along the shore, leading eventually to the crystal clear waters of Water Lemon Beach. Several families were all splashing and playing in the shallow waters. Like us, each were equally oblivious of anyone around them.
We concluded our tour with views of Coral Harbour…
…and the perfectly quiet and secluded Little Lameshur Bay. As we rounded the corner of the last stretch of path leading to Lameshur, we passed a tour “Bus” heading out and leaving the beach completely and perfectly empty. With a vigorous wave and a hearty “Thank You”, we settled in and enjoyed this beautiful beach all to ourselves. Did I mention secluded? We prefer to think that we are the lone inhabitants, and no photos here, you’ll have to find that one all on your own!
Heading back to Cruz Bay, we spent the evening watching the sunset and praying the moments would last. We then took to walking the streets and taking in a little shopping, and in general just relaxing and enjoying the nightlife. We stopped in for a bit and took in some of the live music at one of the local watering holes.
That, in a nutshell, is our quick “Island in a Day” tour. In the final analysis, we decided it really didn’t do this particular island justice. So, we’re busy planning a return soon to expand our look at this beautiful island. It can’t come soon enough!
Live the Life,