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St. John is tiny - only 9 miles long by 3 miles wide - but it is broken into distinct areas that are helpful to identify in planning your trip.
St. John Map.
Cruz Bay Map Cruz Bay, the largest town on St. John, has charming, twisting streets with colorful West Indian buildings that are filled with very stylish clothing, jewelry, and gift stores as well as gourmet restaurants and arts and crafts galleries that draw praise from the most discerning customers. It's the center of the tourist industry on St. John and is frequented by short and long term visitors.You'll also find access to all the water sports, rental agencies, and charter companies that you'll need during your visit.
North Shore Beaches The most famous beaches are found along its north shore and can be visited by boat or car. Some of the greats are Trunk Bay, Caneel Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Cinammon Bay, and Honeymoon Beach.
Virgin Islands National Park covers about 3/5 of the island and is the main reason that the island has been preserved in its pristine beauty on both land and water. Beginning to the northwest of Cruz Bay and extending across most of the island to the Coral Bay area, it includes over 20 hiking paths available to park visitors passing through tropical vegetation, by Pre-Columbian relics, and the ruins of sugar plantations. The park includes and protects most of the northern and southern coastal beaches and spectacular coral reefs. Annaberg sugar plantation and Trunk Bay beach are the most popular sites in the park.
National Park Campgrounds are legendary. Where else can you stay in a beachfront cottage on one of the most beautiful beaches in the world for under $100 dollars per night? Tents are only $58 and baresites are $27. Cinnamon Bay Campground is spectaculary beautiful, has lots of land and water activities, and is very clean and friendly. Handsdown, you couldn't find a better place for a beachside camping experience. Maho Bay Campground is equally popular and set on a hillside by another perfect beach.
Coral Bay is a smaller town on the east side of the island that is located near a well-protected harbor (hurricane hole) and attracts year-round residents as well as a yacht crowd. Try it to get away from the tourist scene and to experience the local laid back ambiance. There are still plenty of shops, restaurants, and bars.
Salt Pond Bay
is a secluded area on the south shore that is part of the National Park and often overlooked by tourists. It has white beaches and calm waters are good for snorkeling. There is hiking in the area, too.