Are you planning a trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands? Read my tips for planning a trip to the island, including choosing the best accommodations, dining and activities and download a free quick tips guide to planning a trip to St. John!
Imagine yourself swimming in a live coral reef, relaxing on one of the top rated beaches in the entire world, dining al fresco while enjoying fresh Caribbean fare or watching the sun set at your own private villa. It sounds like paradise, right?
St. John, U.S Virgin Islands is a tropical paradise located a short flight from most U.S. cities. With three visits to the island and many more to come, I’m excited to share my favorite tips for planning a trip to St. John. In fact, I’ve already published an entire series on my previous trips including Unique Experiences in St. John, Where to Eat in St. John, and the Best Free Activities in St. John. Today, I’m sharing the first in a series of additional guides that I am posting over the next month. Stay tuned for details on Traveling to St. John with Kids and more. Also, make sure to scroll to the bottom to download a FREE guide to Quick Tips for Planning a Trip to St. John!
The island of St. John is the type of place that you don’t want to tell anyone else about because you want to keep it all to yourself. With three trips to the island, we visited with a 10 month old, brought our parents along and explored the island all by ourselves. I’m not alone in my love for the island. People have told me that the island was even better then they expected, is better than Hawaii and that they already booked a return trip before even leaving the island.
Things I love about St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands:
- St. John is great for singles, couples or the entire family.
- The island is laid back and casual. No fancy attire needed.
- You can plan a full itinerary or none at all.
- With over one dozen beaches, hiking, boating, snorkeling and eco tours, you will never get bored.
- The island is great for foodies. With everything from farm-to-table fare to private chefs.
- You can visit multiple times and experience a different trip every single time.
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands is located only a short boat ride from the island of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands and an easy plane ride from St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. Bring your passport to island hop between the U.S. and British Virgin Islands. By visiting St. John, you have access to a variety of options in the Caribbean. Our family has enjoyed everything from golfing and shopping on St. Thomas to a private chartered yacht boat for cruising around the British Virgin Islands.
With everything from campgrounds and studio apartments to luxury resorts and exclusive villas, there are options for all budgets, family sizes and interests. We prefer to book a private home or villa because it offers privacy and we can enjoy the time with our entire familt. It is also the best value for the money. For all three of our trips to the island, we booked with Destination St John and highly recommend their accommodations. We also really love Caneel Bay Resort for couples and families.
Explore the Beaches
My favorite thing about the island of St. John is the beaches. You can explore the underwater snorkel trail at the award winning Trunk Bay beach or swim within feet of turtles at Maho Bay. With plenty of options to choose from, you can visit a new beach every single day of your tip. All of the beaches (except Trunk Bay) are free too. Explore my guide featuring the Best Free Activities in St. John for more fun and free options!
Pack your snorkel and fins and explore the underwater world. St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands is my favorite place to snorkel because you can walk right in to the water from any of the beaches and snorkel unique coral reefs. No matter where you snorkel around the island, you will see something different everywhere you go. I’ve seen queen angel fish, turtles, spiny lobster, conch, squid, octopus and more unique sea creatures by snorkeling around the island.
Thanks to the Virgin Islands National Park, the hiking trails are plentiful. No matter where you stay on the island, you will be within close walking or driving distance to hiking trails. There are options for everyone, from easy short casual hikes to longer day hikes. St. John Feet, Fins and Four Wheel Drive is my go-to guide for the best hiking and snorkeling trails.
Island Hopping & Boating
St. John is located in the Caribbean sea surrounded by the British Virgin Islands and other U.S. Virgin Islands. Many of the islands are a short boat ride away. I highly recommend planning a day on the water to explore even more snorkeling, hiking and dining spots. We love to charter a boat for the day and plan our own itinerary visiting various snorkel spots and beaches.
The entire island is dedicated to outdoor adventures. In addition to boating, St. John offers kayaking, snorkeling and paddleboarding excursions. You can rent a kayak or paddleboard for the week and explore the island on your own or join a group with a guide to explore the best that the island has to offer.
St. John is an island fit for foodies. With everything from farm-to-table fare to fresh and casual Caribbean cuisine, your will find plenty of options to please your palate. You can even hire a private chef to prepare dinner at your own villa. While dining reservations are not typically needed for smaller parties in the slow season, I highly recommend making reservations in the high season. Read my guide to Where to Eat in St. John for recommendations on a few few of my favorite restaurants.
Tips for Planning a Trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands:
- Read or post questions on the Trip Advisor forum for St. John.
- Read my guides for visiting the island.
- Book your accommodations as early as possible.
- Reserve a jeep rental as soon as your accommodations are booked.
- Making dining reservations for one-half hour before the sunset to enjoy beautiful views.
- Best of all, relax and have fun. You’re on island time!
Click below to download your FREE printable quick tips guide to Planning Your Trip to St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands:
If you visit St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands, don’t forget to tag @SpoonfulFlavor and use #USVInice so that we can follow along.
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