At the end of last year, I set some goals for 2015. One of those goals was to travel to the Bahamas to visit the Atlantis resort. I still plan on doing that this Fall, but years ago, I was able to visit St. John, and I’m itching to get back there.
St. John is part of the US Virgin Islands, and isn’t exactly the easiest place to get to, but I have some friends that make sure they set aside time to go each year. There isn’t a commercial airport on the island, so you have fly into St. Thomas. From the St. Thomas airport, you have to grab your bags and hop on a taxi across the island for roughly 30-45 minutes. If you weren’t feeling so hot from the four hour flight, don’t worry, the taxi will make you feel much worse in a hurry. Not only to cars travel on the other side of the road in St. Thomas & St. John, but the islands are so hilly, and so many sharp turns, that even the seasoned riders tend to get car sick from time to time. After arriving at the Red Hook ferry, you have a roughly 30 minute boat ride over to St. John. All of that said, once that ferry docks in St. John, you quickly put that eight hour travel day behind you.
To give you some kind of idea, over 75% of the island of St. John is Virgin Islands National Park. There aren’t huge high rises, and frankly only one major hotel, the Westin. As a matter of fact, many of the people I know that visit St. John tend to go with several couples and rent a house. Because of the beautiful forests, it isn’t a big deal to see wild chickens, goats, as well as giant iguanas as you peruse the island.
While the wildlife is great, I don’t know another place on the earth that compares with the beaches of St. John. The incredibly clear blue water is not only something special to your eyes, but the place is known for its outstanding snorkeling. When I was there, we not only saw gorgeous fish, but plenty of sting rays as well as sea turtles.
While on the island it is highly recommended to take a tour on a boat of the British Virgin Islands as well. While it is a steep as well as strange fee (cash only), presently $45 a person to take a boat into the BVI, what you encounter is great. My personal favorite is a bar/restaurant that is in the middle of a cove that looks as if it is an old abandoned pirate ship, called the Willy T. Yes, the place tends to get a little crazy, but not sure you will ever see better water anywhere.
All in all, if you have a solid four or five days for vacation, and can take the long couple of travel days, St. John is a great destination for you. Just writing about it now, during this long and freezing winter, makes me want to get on a plane and head down there.