Beautiful St. Croix is the largest of the three major U. S. Virgin Islands. While it has two very different cities (Christiansted and Frederiksted), St. Croix is best known for its beaches, watersports, and colonial ambiance. According to Caribbean Travel and Life Magazine, “A walking tour of Christiansted offers a history lesson on St. Croix. Almost the entire city is on the National Register of Historic Places.”
St. Croix is not only one of nature’s playgrounds but also where to get its unique rum, Cruzan Rum, which is made only on St. Croix and has won international taste tests. Visitors come for distillery tours and taste tests.
From exciting nightlife to secluded beaches, St. Croix is a Caribbean paradise that shouldn’t be missed.
About the St. Croix
At 28 miles long and 7 miles wide, Saint Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands located in the eastern Caribbean Sea and is located 65 miles from Puerto Rico. It has two major cities, Christiansted and Frederiksted, and a terrain that consists of mountains, fabulous beaches, and a rainforest.
The island, discovered by Christopher Columbus, was fought over by the British, French, and Dutch due to its profitable sugar production. It eventually became a Danish colony in 1773 and was subsequently bought by the United States, along with the islands of St. Thomas and St. John. They are three separate islands that are united as one entity, the United States Virgin Islands. They are now an unincorporated territory of the United States.
The largest city, Christiansted, is on the north side and is a haven of culture, bars, and duty-free shopping. Always in the mood for a good party, citizens of Christiansted have a “Jump Up” four times each year for no discernable reason other than to have fun. Many visitors come simply to take part in the festivities as the streets close and the bars open late. Musicians abound, as do the dancers flowing through the streets. Hopeful vendors sell anything from arts and crafts to jewelry. Jump Up happens in February, May, July, and November.
Frederiksted, the smaller of St. Croix’s two cities, is less of a party town than it is a beach paradise with lovely small boutique accommodations.
In addition to several great beaches, Frederiksted also has Fort Frederik, an 18th-century fortification to protect the island from pirates that is now a museum. The fort is a great way to explore St. Croix’s colonial history, the most memorable being that it was here, in Frederiksted, that a slave revolt resulted in the end of St. Croix’s slavery.
Language Spoken in St. Croix
English is the official language in St. Croix. However, it can be an accented Creole English which may be difficult to understand at times as it involves unique pronunciations and different rules of grammar.
Currency Used in St. Croix
The currency of St. Croix is the U.S. Dollar.
Things to Do in the St. Croix
The Christiansted boardwalk offers of stunning view of the harbor. And visitors also come here to bar hop. The best bars in town are here, from Nate’s Boathouse to Shupe’s, and many others. While enjoying the sights, indulge in the famous local rum, some beer, or a friendly cocktail. Visitors shouldn’t miss the tiki bar at the King Christian Hotel by King’s Wharf.
The harbor by the Christiansted Boardwalk has a ferry to Protestant Cay, the only beach near downtown. The island has accommodations and a restaurant, or it makes a wonderful family day trip from Christiansted Harbor. The white-sand beach has palm trees for shade and loungers for comfort. Enjoy some great snorkeling, or just chase the sea turtles.
This is not as rude as it may sound. The Mt. Pellier Domino Club in Frederiksted features wonderful food. What guests really come here for, though, is to visit the beer-swilling hogs in their pen and share a can of beer with them. The hogs are used to being spoiled, always enjoy a good brew, and will smash a beer can with their teeth on demand. Not anyone’s usual drinking companions, but probably more fun than most.
Sunrise at Point Udall
Can you name the easternmost point of the United States? It’s Point Udall at the east end of St. Croix. This is where to catch the first daily sunrise in America. The Millennium Monument was built in 2000 to commemorate the first arrival of the new millennium in this country.
The drive itself to Point Udall is scenic, the sunrise here is spectacular, and the view across the Caribbean is unforgettable. It is a place of tranquility, and the only sounds are the waves crashing against the shore.
Tiki Tour of the Harbor
Christiansted is all about a good party, but the Harbor Tiki Tour may be the best. Enjoy a drink or two of local rum on this floating party boat as its moves through Christiansted Harbor. There are even sunset party cruises.
Food Tour of Christiansted
St. Croix has become a favorite Caribbean culinary destination, and foodies shouldn’t miss this marvelous food tour. Taste test at six local eateries and learn where the locals eat. In addition to extraordinary food, the walking tour will showcase Christiansted’s charming and colorful Danish architecture, and visitors will learn more about the city’s history and its food in particular. Enjoy a rum drink and finish off with some delicious local ice cream. Both carnivores and vegans will love this experience.
Best Beaches in St. Croix
The beaches in St. Croix are some of the most fantastic and beautiful in the Caribbean.
Jack’s and Isaac’s Bay Beach
Jack’s and Isaac’s Bay Beach is secluded near the equally remote Point Udall, which provides an excellent starting point for a hike to Jack and Isaac Bay. The white sand beaches are surrounded by forests and a barrier reef. The views from the beach are picture-postcard perfect. There are no beach bars here, just nature at her most exquisite.
Turtle Beach on Buck Island
Turtle Beach on Buck Island is a stretch of almost blinding white sand. Buck Island, which has been declared a National Monument, is uninhabited. Visitors will find some of the best snorkeling in the entire Virgin Islands here. Divers are likely to encounter schools of colorful exotic fish and a few sea turtles.
There are picnic areas and restrooms, but no restaurants. Buck Island can be accessed by a boat owned by local tour guides from St. Croix, who can drop visitors off early in the day and pick them up later.
Cane Bay Beach
Cane Bay Beach is on the northern side of St. Croix near party-loving Christiansted. While many of the island’s beaches are secluded, Cane Bay Beach has several restaurants and a dive shop. Loungers and umbrellas are also available for rent. Waves Cane Bay is one of St. Croix’s best restaurants with an incredible view. For unbeatable fish tacos, visit Rowdy Joe’s.
Cane Bay Beach has the infamous “wall.” While the waters are shallow near the shore, at around 40 feet there is a drop of 3,000 feet. This is a sheer paradise for divers and snorkelers.
You’ll also find beach lounge chairs and umbrella rentals, as well as snorkeling gear rentals.
Beautiful Rainbow Beach in Frederiksted is ranked by TripAdvisor as the No. 2 activity on St. Croix. This is not only because of the beach itself but due to the convenience of having a beach with water sports rentals. It also has Rhythms, St. Croix’s most popular beach bar, with a striking view of the Caribbean.
Carambola Beach Resort
Carambola Beach is another stunning Christiansted beach with a lush green tropical backdrop. Hammocks and chairs are tucked along the water. The picturesque white beach has frequently been highlighted in travel promotions. Best of all, the beach is home to the luxurious Renaissance Carambola Resort.
Pelican Cove Beach
Pelican Cove Beach is located near Christiansted. The beach is lined with an abundance of swaying palm trees to ensure a comforting shade when needed. Stretches of the beach are great for swimming and snorkeling. There is an eatery and a bar by the beach, as well as the Palms Resort and Palms Restaurant, whose steak has been voted the “Best Steak on St. Croix”.
The Best All-Inclusive Resort or Hotel in St. Croix
The 30-room, all-inclusive, adult-only Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort in Christiansted has ocean and hillside suites and rooms with private balconies. With all the inclusive activities, there is no reason for guests to leave the resort. They can try their luck at the in-house Carina Bay Casino, and enjoy the resort’s four restaurants, beach bar, and oceanfront fire pits. Or have a late-night meal at the casino.
The onsite sports center has kayak, paddleboard, and snorkel gear rentals. The concierge’s desk will be happy to arrange tours of the island.
The Best Resort or Hotel for Couples in the St. Croix
The Buccaneer Beach & Golf Resort in Christiansted, St. Croix, treats its guest to a free breakfast buffet, watersports, eight tennis courts, and two pools. The resort faces three beaches and has an 18-hole golf course. Fortunately, it is close enough to downtown to enjoy even more activities, such as visiting the Cruzan Rum Distillery or the Divi Carina Bay Casino.
The special Romance Package includes a snorkeling trip, a cabana for one day with a picnic lunch, lunch and dinner with wine, two Infinity Bracelets, and champagne and snacks as a welcome gift, along with a room upgrade.
Best Resort or Hotel for Families in the St. Croix
Cottages by the Sea in Frederiksted consists of 27 individual cottages with fully equipped kitchens, a patio, and a garden or ocean view. Perfect for families looking for lots of activities, such as scuba diving, surfing, kayaking, sailing, as well as several boat and ecotours. Golfing is also available nearby. For pure relaxation in the garden, the cottages come equipped with loungers and umbrellas. Each one also has a closet filled with fun games.
The Beachside Restaurant is conveniently located next to the Cottages.