St. John is Still Sublime
I returned home from a fabulous 8-day trip to St. John, U.S.V.I. this past weekend, and I must say my body is still reeling in shock from the abrupt climate change! We went from sunshine, beaches, and bathing suits with highs in the low 80’s and lows in the low 70’s in St. John, to ice, sleet, and snow along with frigid temperatures back home in Kentucky! This was my sixth trip to St. John, but I have not been back there in over a decade. The island is still the incredibly beautiful place I remembered despite being hit hard by Hurricanes Irma and Maria in 2017. Restoration of the island is still ongoing, but honestly we hardly noticed and I’d say very little has changed overall.
We flew into St. Thomas of course and tried a new ferry ride over to St. John — the Crown Bay ferry. We all loved it, but to each his own: The Crown Bay (shorter cab ride from the airport, longer boat ride to St. John), or the standby Red Hook (longer cab ride, shorter boat ride). Once we arrived in St. John, it was time to wind down and relax! We hit all the old stomping ground bays and beaches we fell in love with so many years ago (e.g., Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay, Trunk Bay, Coral Bay, etc.) and a few new ones we hadn’t experienced before (e.g., Francis Bay and Salt Pond). The snorkeling was great, especially at Maho Bay and Salt Pond, where we encountered sea turtles, sting rays, squid, and a diverse array of tropical fish. It’s so easy to enjoy snorkeling in St. John … just grab your mask and fins and walk right in! The waters are generally warm and calm, and there are coral reefs in just about every bay on the island.
We stayed in a fantastic 4-bedroom, 5-bath house nestled near the apex of the mountain overlooking Cinnamon Bay. The view was absolutely stunning! (Check out the fantastic entry video into the al fresco foyer overlooking the pool and Cinnamon Bay below!) Each bedroom had its own private outdoor shower (yes, all four of them!). Our home on the island also offered a private pool, hot tub, and plenty of recreational equipment at our disposal (e.g., beach chairs, coolers, snorkeling fins, etc.). It had a well-equipped kitchen, which we enjoyed each morning and on the evenings we elected to dine in. On the evenings we opted to dine out, we enjoyed excellent appetizers (and meals too … but the appetizers were phenomenal) at several local restaurants, some of which we were quite familiar from prior visits to St. John (e.g., Morgan’s Mango, Lime Inn) and a few new ones as well (e.g., Extra Virgin). Great drinks were served at bars we knew and loved (like Woody’s), and we stumbled on a new place called the Windmill Bar on top of the island which offered live music and a fantastic sunset view of the north side of St. John!
As far as getting there and back with the new CDC guidelines and COVID travel restrictions in place, everything went smooth as silk. We felt very safe on the island, as several COVID safety measures were observed (e.g., masks mandatory indoors and in public areas, temperature checks, hand sanitizers, and extra cleaning routines at restaurants, 50% capacity for indoor seating, maximum of 6 per table, social distancing, etc.). We did have to present proof of a negative COVID-19 test prior to departure and gain clearance through a brief online form, but since St. John is a U.S. territory we avoided the new CDC restriction requiring international travelers to also present a second negative COVID-19 test within 3 days prior to returning to the U.S. It was definitely a doable trip and very much worth it!
Co-Owner, Travel Advisor