St. John Journals

A Prescription for Real Relaxation - St. John

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A March 2004 trip to St. John by AgedToPerfection

Lime Inn Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands More Photos
Quote: Some say that St. John is too small an island and can be boring. I say that if relaxation is your goal, there's no better escape.

A Prescription for Real Relaxation - St. John

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Overview

Bouganvilea and Breathtaking Views Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
“I need a vacation to simply relax,” I told my husband. Too many times, our vacations were so action packed, we never rested and recovered from our stressful jobs. And we needed to get away…alone. Somehow, we always had additions to our vacationing party. If this sounds like you, consider St. John as a vacation destination. Isolated, relatively uncrowded and peaceful, this US Virgin Island easily charmed us into making this a “must visit again” destination. Don’t be surprised if the phrase “next time” populates your sentences when describing your time in St. John.Beaches, beaches, beaches. This is what St. John is about. The United States’ largest underwater national park happens to make its h...Read More

Westin St. John Resort and Villas

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Hotel | "Westin St. John"

Westin St. John Resort and Villas Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
There are two great resorts on St. John. One is Caneel Bay Resort and the other is the Westin Resort & Villas. We stayed at the Westin, booking one of the studio villas up the hill from the resort.For first-timers, pay the extra fee (when we traveled, it was $50 per person) for the Westin’s transfer package. The hotel staff will greet you at Charlotte-Amalie Airport in St. Thomas, take care of your baggage, provide water, and shuttle you to the ferry dock a few minutes away. There, we boarded a direct ferry to the Westin. If you opt not to take the Westin package, note that you have to catch a ferry from Charlotte-Amalie to Cruz Bay in St. John. There, you will need to catch a taxi to the ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 12, 2006

Westin St. John Resort and Villas
Great Cruz Bay
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
(340) 693-8000

Lime Inn

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Restaurant | "Lime Inn (The)"

Lime Inn Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Our first night in St. John, we took a taxi into town and ate at The Lime Inn. Apparently, “liming” or “limin’” is the local term for relaxing. So where better to get our first meal than The Lime Inn?Perched on a porch built around a large lemon tree, the open-air restaurant is found in the Lemon Tree Mall, between the Pink Papaya and Deborah Designs. The wait can get rather long due to the small size of the restaurant. Get there early and beat the crowds. Note that Wednesday night is the most crowded time to go because of the all-you-can-eat peel and eat shrimp night. We did not partake but we heard about the popular seafood fest.When a restaurant tells you they have fresh fish, you w...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on September 12, 2006

Lime Inn
King Street (Chase Bank is on the corner)
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 00830
(340) 776-6425

Skinny Legs Bar and Grill

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Restaurant | "Skinny Legs Bar and Restaurant"

Quote:
About halfway into our vacation, my husband started to get a bit antsy for some American bar food. He was living the Jimmy Buffet life of beaches, sunshine and not having a care in the world but he needed some Jimmy Buffet company too.Enter Skinny Legs. One of the restaurants our friends recommended was this hole-in-the-wall shack clear across the island on the east side. To get there, take Northshore Road to Center Line Road going toward Coral Bay. When you get to the intersection of Center Line (Hwy 10) and Hwy 107, keep going on Hwy 10. Skinny Legs is on the right as you enter town. Park in the dirt & grass lot to the right of the shack and find you way into the restaurant. The outside ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 12, 2006

Skinny Legs Bar and Grill
Coral Bay
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
(340) 779-4982

Knot Heads

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Restaurant

Quote:
One evening, I found an old friend of mine from elementary school working at a restaurant in St. John. She and I had attended the same school in Hong Kong and by chance, reunited miles away from our childhood home.As the sun prepared to set, my friend took us to Wharfside Village and watched the sunset on the beach, sipping drinks. As the night descended, we wanted to fill our growling stomachs so we proceeded to Knot Heads, a restaurant on the second floor of the building facing the ocean.One cannot visit the Virgin Islands and not try conch fritters. This local delicacy arrived at our table deep fried in a golden batter. One order did not satisfy our craving so we ordered ano...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2006

Knot Heads
4A Cruz Bay, Wharfside Village
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 00831

Mango Deli

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Restaurant

Quote:
At the Westin Resort, we located the Mango Deli hidden in the Bougainvillea Shops section of the property. The deli features a pizza delivery service, where guests can order pizza and have it delivered to their rooms, a bakery, a small grocery store and sundries.Every day at 5pm, the Mango Deli marked down the remaining baked goods half off. If you do not mind day old bakery items, make your way to the deli to find apple turnovers, cinnamon rolls and croissants for $1.25 instead of $2.50. Of course, at 5:00 PM, you run the risk of getting only the leftovers after the premium items have already disappeared at the hands of the early birds.We spent some time at the deli perusing th...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 9, 2006

Mango Deli
The Westin Resort
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 00831
(340) 693-8000

Ferry Trips To The Baths

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Attraction | "Boat Trip To The Baths & Norman Island"

The Caves At Norman Island Photo, British Virgin Islands, Caribbean
Quote:
Granted, St. John is a tiny island that can be explored in its entirety in a matter of a few days. However, we decided to take advantage of some of the excursions to neighboring islands during our visit to the Virgin Islands. We took a boat on Saturday at 8:00 AM from the Westin’s dock to the Baths on the British Virgin Island of Virgin Gorda. Note that before you board, you must leave your shoes and sandals so as to not leave marks on the ship. Because these areas are located in the British Virgin Islands, you will need to bring your passport for clearing immigration. On the way out to the British Virgin Islands, the ship’s crew will take your passport into the immigration office, get ...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 12, 2006

Ferry Trips To The Baths
Virgin Gorda BVI
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

Westin Hotel Island Tour

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Attraction

Westin Hotel Island Tour Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Thankfully, our vacation concierge convinced us to take the island tour before we did anything else. The tour is a great overview of the island and will help you navigate once you start out on your own. If you’re not staying at the Westin, check to see if you can pick up a tour from your hotel. Tours departed daily at 9:30am and 1:30pm. Take a morning tour because it will be cooler and you will have the rest of the day to yourselves. At the time we took the 2-hour tour, the cost was approximately $15-20 per person and they take you in an open air, covered bus. We first ventured westbound and got a look at Cruz Bay, St. John’s downtown. Our driver obligingly answered all of our questions...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 12, 2006

Westin Hotel Island Tour
U.S.V.I. P.O. Box 8310
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 00831
(340) 693-8000

Westin Hotel Island Tour

Attraction | "Iguana Feeding - Westin Resort & Villas"

Westin Hotel Island Tour Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
Now here is something you don’t do every day. The Westin has iguana feeding sessions which occur Monday through Friday at 3pm at the Gazebo, on the north side of the resort by the tennis courts. The staff provides fruit for the reptiles and guests can feed them.This might sound fine and dandy but the thing that struck me was how fast these buggers run. We didn’t go to the actual feeding during the week. We were exploring the Gazebo on a Saturday at about 3pm when a big, fat iguana came out to feed. These things don’t understand the concept of a weekend. It saw us and ran toward me, very quickly. I freaked and ran out toward the beach into the water. I figured it can’t swim and get me.I...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on September 13, 2006

Westin Hotel Island Tour
U.S.V.I. P.O. Box 8310
St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands 00831
(340) 693-8000

Snorkeling

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Story/Tip

Pensive Pelican Photo, St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands
Quote:
The largest underwater national park in the United States is in St. John. Almost half of the Virgin Islands National Park is submerged and boasts spectacular snorkeling and diving. Pack up your snorkel gear, towels, some fresh rinsing water, and head out. If you see a spot, pull over and jump in. Here is our tour of the beaches starting from the west side of the island.Great Cruz Bay: The Westin is located here on the west side of the island. Because boats moor here outside the national park, the water is murky. However, kids love the water trampoline and climbing hill.Cruz Bay: Downtown St. John where most of the boats and cruise ships moor is not a good place to snorkel but a terrifi...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on September 13, 2006

Local Grocery Stores

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Story/Tip

Quote:
One great tip we received was to hit the largest grocery store in town, Starfish Market. The prices are high so be prepared for sticker shock but the cost savings of making your own breakfast or having a midnight snack conveniently available in your room will overshadow any hesitation.When you first arrive in St. John, go to this market for your staples, such as cereal for the kids and beer for you. Starfish Market is located in The Marketplace shopping center, up on a hill across from…the waste treatment plant of all things. Take Route 104, either from the Westin or from downtown. Phone is (340) 779-4949.Starfish Market has a terrific deli counter where fresh salads and sandwiches are...Read More