Take advantage of the island’s breathtaking views

Guests of St. John vacation villas will want to tour the island in order to take advantage of the island’s breathtaking views and to appreciate the island’s history. There are many ways to tour the island, so read on.

No trip to St. John would be complete without a hike through the National Park (340-776-6201, http://www.nps.gov/viis/). The visitor center in Cruz Bay will be able to provide a map and information on the various trails within the park. You can take a leisurely stroll on your own, or be met by a knowledgeable guide who can show you around.

There are also National Park tours by bus or jeep, and you’ll find the drivers take a special pride in the beauty of St. John. Miss Lucy Smith, whose wagon can be identified by cow horns entwined with flowers on the hood, is a well-known personality who is so popular that you’ll need to make a reservation with her. As you tour the island, you’ll catch glimpses of the 18th-century sugar plantations. Annaberg Plantation is part of the National Park, and thus can be toured. A trail leads through factory ruins, slave quarters, windmill and other remains. Placards and signs along the trails describe how sugar was produced and discuss plantation life and the history behind sugar plantations on St. John and in particular Annaberg. Interpretative programs are also available at Annaberg. Witness bread-baking on a coal pot, basket weaving and subsistence gardening demonstrations. Activities begin at 10:00 am and end at 2:00 pm on: Tuesdays and Wednesdays for basket weaving, Wednesdays thru Fridays for bread baking and Tuesdays thru Fridays for gardening.

St. John’s convenient location also enables guests to easily visit the neighboring islands of St. Thomas, Tortola and Virgin Gorda as well as the many smaller islands in the USVI and BVI chains. For those wishing to venture off island, we recommend that you take the ferry to quiet Virgin Gorda and visit the Baths. We visited for an entire day and both adults and children alike were left speechless at the rock formations and whirlpools. It was simply an amazing day of relaxing family fun in the sun.

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