Picture-perfect beaches and pristine waters as well as a rich culture and intriguing history make this tropical island a fascinating vacation destination.
The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix is home to a diverse range of landscapes. Admire vistas of open white-sand beaches and lush, tree-covered mountains. Observe colorful marine life and examine relics from the island’s past.
Arrive in Christiansted and soak up the carnival atmosphere of the town. Wander past rows of brightly painted buildings. Find a seat on a restaurant terrace and sample salted fish or make your way straight to Fort Christiansvaern. This yellow fort offers stunning coastal views from the cannon-topped ramparts.
Board a boat at Christiansted Harbor for the short journey to Protestant Cay, located less than 600 feet (180 meters) offshore. Lie on the soft sand or swim in the crystal clear sea before heading to the bar for a cooling drink.
Surrounded by almost 19,000 acres (7,700 hectares) of protected coral system, Buck Island is one of the most spectacular locations for snorkeling. Tour boats run trips here from Christiansted. Follow the underwater reef trail past colorful fish, turtles and dolphins.
Drive or take a taxi to the town of Frederiksted at the island’s western end. Stroll along the pier and see fish feeding in the water below. When you become hungry, head for one of the nearby cafés and try the local delicacy of stewed goat. As you eat, watch cruise ships come and go from the port. Other highlights around the town are the Cruzan Rum Distillery and Estate Whim Plantation Museum where you can learn more about the old sugar cane industry.
Also known as the “Big Island,” St. Croix measures 84 square miles (218 square kilometers) and has about 50,000 permanent residents. Fly to Henry E. Rohlsen Airport and take your pick of accommodation in the two main towns. More secluded, luxury hotels are spread along the coastline, many of which have private beaches. Visit between April and June, when the weather is mild and dry.