Things to do in St. John, USVI - Insider's Guide

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Mingo Cay donated to TVIL

MINGO CAY, Virgin Islands – Philanthropist, financier, and St. John homeowner Donald Sussman announced today the donation of Mingo Cay island to the Trust for Virgin Islands Lands (TVIL). Mingo Cay is a nearly 50-acre island situated two miles off the northwest coast of St. John and two miles off the northeast coast of St. Thomas.

Sunday, March 22, 2020 Coronavirus update, St. John, USVI

Sunday, March 22, 2020 Coronavirus update

wow this has been a whirlwind week. We are doing ok, so far 6 cases in the territory with about 40 results pending. Of course due to low testing the actual rate is believed to be much higher.

Most restaurants and bars as well as shops have announced their closure to protect their staff and following the 10 person rule. 


Visit Mermaid’s Chair, St. John

Mermaids chair is a beautifully private tiny bay. Calling it a beach would be an overstatement, but depending on swell and tide level there can be a tiny pocket of sand just big enough for a towel.


Stingrays on St. John

Another interesting creature you might see swimming or snorkeling on St. John is a Stingray. Close to shore you are most likely to see the Caribbean Whiptail Stingray as in the photos, but if you venture further out or snorkel from a boat, you might also see a beautiful spotted eagle ray.


Catherinenberg Ruins, St. John, USVI

The Catherinenberg ruins are ruins of a 18th-century sugar and rum factory. The consist of a circular horse mill and a very well preserved wind mill. They were part of the Hammer Plantation and are one of the oldest plantations on St. John


Frank Bay, St. John, USVI

Frank Bay St. John is a lesser known beach that is only a few steps from town. It is a great beach if you have to kill some time before flying out or if you don’t have a car. It only has a few parking spaces so it is never crowded.


Turks Head Cactus

The Turks Head Cactus is a small rounded Cactus with a big read head. It can be found at St. John’s East End where  the climate is much hotter and drier vs. the Cruz Bay area.


Ram’s Head Trail

Another must do while on St. John is the Ram’s Head Trail. It is a beautiful hike which starts at the very remote East End of St. John at Salt Pond Beach. There is always a nice breeze so it is also good on hot summer days.


Cinnamon Beach, St. John, USVI

It is a beautiful, long, white, sandy beach with plenty of space where you will always find some privacy, especially if you walk to the very far left end. It’s a beach for action: You can swim, snorkel, surf (when there is a decent Northern Swell), windsurf, sail, kayak, paddleboard and observe the site of a recent architectorial dig. There also is a loop trail through the ruins.


Hermit Crabs on St. John

Another interesting creature you will most likely see on St. John is a Herbit crab. These crawly little creatures live in shells that they haul around on their backs. They are also known as “soldier crabs” or “purple pinchers”.


Jumbie Bay Beach

Jumbie Bay Beach is a great beach during the busy season. It only has 5 parking spots so it never gets crowded. It basically gives you the beauty of Trunk Bay (which you can see in full if you swim or paddle out) without the crowds.

Summer in January – Love City Live 2016

Beach, Boats, Reggae, Rum & Island-Vibe…Don’t be left out in the cold.


Maho Bay Beach – St. John, USVI

Maho Bay Beach is another great St. John beach. The water is usually calm and it is nicely protected from the wind. It is usually the calmest spot on the North Shore and  a great spot for beginner snorkeling and paddleboarding and families with kids. When you stay close to shore, inside the bay, you will be safe even if the wind is howling.


Trunk Bay Beach, St. John, USVI

Trunk Bay is St. Johns most famous and most photographed beach. It regularly makes it into the world’s top beach rankings. It also is one of the busiest beaches on St. John especially during the high season (winter months). And it is the only beach that actually charges an admission fee, unless you get there before 8:30AM or close to sunset (4 PM).


Johnny Horn Trail, St. John, USVI

Even after a few years on St. John I am still amazed by the beauty of the nature and the trails. Today’s story is about the Johnny Horn Trail, just half an hour outside Cruz Bay you can find yourself in total wilderness and enjoy tranquil, stunning views.


Frangipani Caterpillar

We got this photo from Rock Hoppin’ yesterday and thought that make a nice addition to our Animals&Critters of St. John section. It is a Frangipani Caterpillar that will eventually turn into a giant moth, a common moth in the American tropics and subtropics in lowland habitats.


Caneel Hill Trail

This is not an easy trail. It is a steep and steady incline, gaining gaining 719 feet of elevation in less than one mile. But the breathtaking view you will have from the top (pictured above) will totally be worth it.

Pizza Pi Pizza Boat USVI

Visit Pizza Pi, the USVI Pizza Boat

Update: Pizza Pi has reopened for the season and now is open daily!

Here is a great activity for the whole family. Visit Pizza Pi, a food boat that is moored in Christmas Cove.


8 Tuff Miles St. John 2016

Approx. 14 weeks until we line up for the start of the 20th Annual 8TM Road Race. Seriouly folks, it’s time to start training. Local registration will begin on Tuesday
December 1st. Once again it is best for ANYONE hanging out on STT & STJ to walk into our registration locations, sign up, pay and walk out with your bib number in your hand. See for those registration locations.

8 tuff Miles St. John on Facebook

All Island Holiday Party


An enchanting evening to celebrate the holiday Season. Fancy Island Dress Code, Adults only please


Evening in the Courtyard

Get in the Holiday Spirit with Fun & Festivities at Mongoose Junction

  • Fashion Show
  • Fabulous Offers & Raffles
  • Food & Wine Specials

Santa Anna’s Gold in a Pirate Sea

Looking for a great book to read on St. John? Something written by a local author?


Watch the sunset on St. John

Sunsets on St. John are amazing. One of our favourite places to watch the sunset on St. John is on North Shore Road. Drive past Mongoose Junction, up the hill and you will see a small parking bay to the left. You will see a great sunset from there.


St. John Island Information

Some useful information about St. John. While it is a US territory and you do not need a passport travelling there from the mainland, a few things are different. Here are the basics, for more general Island and Travel Information head over to


Go for a nightpaddle on St. John

You have been on St. John for a while and checked all the basics of your bucket list, like Peace HillCaneel Hill Trail, Annaberg Sugar Plantation, Reef Bay Hike….. and are looking for a new adventure?


Iguana Watching

Iguanas are everywhere on St. John, you just sometimes have to stare at the same space for a while until you actually see them! The species found on St. John is called “Green Iguana” but that does not mean they are actually green (they are after birth but then change into various colors).


2015 Paddle in the Park SUP Race

Celebrating the beaches and waters of Virgin Islands National Park, the Friends of Virgin islands National Park is pleased to again host Paddle the Park, a standup paddleboard race. This year’s date will be NOVEMBER 1st, 2015!

Paddle the Park SUP PADDLEBOARD RACE 2015

will be held on Sunday, November 1st, 2015 at Maho Bay on St. John. More information is here


Meet the Donkeys on St. John

The donkeys on St. John were imported in the 16th century to work on the sugar plantations. The slaves were freed and the plantations went out of business then another few centuries later the first cars showed up on St. John and the donkey were let go free. And they still roam around on St. John.


Peace Hill, St. John

The Peace Hill hike on St. John  is a very easy one, but nonetheless very rewarding. It begins at a Parking off Northshore Road, about half a mile after Hawksnest.


Love City Triathlon, Aquathon & SUPathon 2015

Join us Labor Day Weekend for the 16th Annual Love City Triathlon & Aquathon & 2nd Annual SUPathon! Compete in the Tri as an individual or join a relay team. $45 entry fee includes t-shirt, finisher’s award, on-course support, beach picnic, and custom awards three-deep for the Tri, Aquathon, SUPathon and relay (thank you Gail at Pottery in Paradise!). Rent a SUP and have it delivered to the beach on race day for $20 from Arawak Expeditions. Register at, or pick up a registration form at The Tap Room or Arawak Expeditions on St. John, Caribbean Surf Co. on St. Thomas, or Stamina Sports on St. Croix. Register early to be guaranteed your shirt size.



Reef Bay Trail Hike

The secrets of St. John’s tropical forests, petroglyphs, freshwater pools and sugar mill ruins come alive on the three-mile Reef Bay Trail Hike.  You will also see a 40ft waterfall, various plants and animals like deer, bats, land crabs, termite nests.


Mangrove Snorkel at Hurricane Hole

You have been to most of the famous snorkeling spots and are looking for something different? How about a Mangrove Snorkel?


Visit Easter Rock

Easter Rock is a giant, majestic boulder right next to St. John’s North Shore Road (after Hawksnest and before Peace Hill). When driving East, it will be on the left hand side.


Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins

In 1717 the Danes started huge plantations growing mainly sugar cane for rum. Slaves were forced to work on the plantations, gruelling hours sometimes from 4.00 AM to 10.00 PM. Life was very rough for them and in 1733 the slaves organized a revolt which ultimately led to the abolishment of slavery.


Visit Hawksnest Beach – St. John, USVI

One the best beaches on St. John is Hawksnest. It is not too long of a drive from Cruz Bay (little under 2 miles from Mongoose Junction), parking is close to the beach and the palm trees and watercolor is just amazing.


Beach to Beach Power Swim

Swim to Cinnamon Bay, swim to Trunk Bay, or go all the way to Hawksnest Bay.

On Sunday, May 24, 2015 Friends of Virgin Islands National Park will host the 12th Annual Beach-to-Beach Power Swim on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The race consists of three courses:

  • Short Course from Maho Bay to Cinnamon Bay, about 1 mile
  • Intermediate Course from Maho Bay to Trunk Bay, about 2¼ miles
  • Long Course from Maho to Hawksnest, about 3½ miles. Swimmers can compete in the long course as an individual or as part of a 3-person team.

Swimmers may also compete assisted by snorkel and/or fins in an “assisted swimmer” category

Pre-race meeting

At the T’ree Lizards Restaurant at Cinnamon Bay Campground, Saturday, May 23rd. All swimmers are strongly urged to attend this full briefing.

3:00 pm: Registration and pre-check in (complete paperwork and distribution of event t-shirts and goodie bags)

4:00 pm: Detailed briefing on the course and the event. This lasts about 45 minutes

Beach to Beach Power Swim Photos

More St. John Events


Love City Live 2015 – St. John

April 15th to 19th – 5 days of Reggae on St. John. Roots Reggae Festival, Arts and Crafts Vendors, food & bars.

Locations: Cruz Bay Beach Front, Ball Park, Drink, undisclosed private villla…..

Head over to for full list of events and watch the video below to get into the mood!

More St. John Events:

St. John Arts Festival 2015

Feb 14th – 18th the 15th Annual St. John Arts Festival takes place in Cruz Bay and surrounds. Kicking off with Love City Pan Dragons Youth Steel Orchestra on Saturday at 12.30pm and filled with other performances including dance, film, music and crafts. See for more information!



More St. John Events


Rock Fit Open House. Friday, January 9th from 2pm to 10pm

The opening day of Rock Fitness, the new gym in town, is near.  OPEN HOUSE for Rock Fitness, Rock Clothing and The Rock Bar and Driftwood David’s. Come join the Block Party in The Lumber Yard, Lower Level!!!  This Friday January 9th from 2pm to 10pm! We will have beer, wine…and food from Driftwood David’s and The Barefoot Cowboy! And some giveaways! Come by and check it all out!

More information on Rock Fitness St. John:

>> Rock Fit on Facebook

More St. John Events:

>> St. John Event Calendar


Bird Watching – Francis Bay Trail

At Francis Bay there is a short loop trail with 2 entrances which is great for bird watching. You will also see deer and land crabs.


New Gym in town: Rock Fitness

With the gym at the Westin undergoing major renovation and having moved to one of the meeting rooms we are excited to hear there is a new gym in town, at the Lumberyard complex.


ACC St. John Annual Gala

This year’s theme is a Buccaneer Ball and the event will take place at Eden’s Whim Villa (72-73 Laughing Gull Lane of Great Cruz Bay Road). Update: Online Auction is live now here.


  • The event starts at 6:00 pm.


  • Tickets are 100$ in advance or 125$ at door. Tickets can be purchased at ACC, Chelsea Drugstore, Catered to, St. John Hardware and Connections.


  • “Island Fancy with a Pirate Twist”

ACC is working right now on collecting raffle and auction items for their Annual Gala on island on January 24th. Items valued under $500 will be part of the raffle or silent auction, all items over $500 will be part of an Online Auction. If anyone has a villa, charter, photography, jewelry, restaurant, etc… that would like to donate – please message me directly. Items should be mostly on island, although if you have an item valued over $500 – that will be part of the online auction and accepted as well.



Spend a weekend on Anegada, BVI

Have you been to Jost van Dyke, Norman, Willy T. and Virgin Gorda already? Looking for something new/different? How about Anegada in the British Virgin Islands. It is about a 50 mile ride and the ocean can be rough, so it is a bit of a stretch, but it is ideal for a weekend trip.


Wounded Warriors Picnic

American Legion Post 131 is hosting a community picnic for visiting Wounded Warriors; Saturday, Nov. 8, 2014, 1 pm in Coral Bay at Legion headquarters (at the Agriculture Center complex, near the Love City Mini Mart). These visiting veterans are recovering from physical and emotional service-related injuries; kayaking here in local waters is part of their continued therapy and recovery. The picnic is a community event. All are invited.

We ask that you bring a food item to share, if possible. Others have asked about making a small monetary donation toward the event; that is also appreciated.

For more information, please contact Doug (Crabby) Benton, Post Commander, at 340 201-1837.


Coral Bay Marina Proposal

The discussion on this is beyond the scope of this website, but if the proposed 145 slip marina came to life in Coral Bay it would change the face of the island forever so we feel this is relevant to share.


Labor Day Trip to St. Croix


For those of you looking for something to do for Labor Day Travel to the Agrifest St. Croix onboard the M/V Caribe Cay with Transportation Services of St. John, Inc.

More information here


Labor Day Trip to St. Croix

For those of you looking for something to do for Labor Day Travel onboard the M/V Caribe Cay to St. Croix with Transportation Services of St. John, Inc.

  • Trip to Agrifest St. Croix, September 1st “Harvest Bounty, Bugs, Bikes & Bulldogs”
  • Departs Cruz Bay St. John @8.00 AM
  • Reservation required
  • for more information contact  (340) 776-628



Read Mingo’s Cave

Mingo’s Cave is about adventure in the Caribbean. In it the reader gets to meet quirky island characters, search for hidden treasure, ride along on dangerous boat excursions, learn about the destruction of an Eco-sensitive camp, and seek revenge for a senseless murder.

FIsh Identification Database St. John, USVI

Try to identify the fish you saw!

Ok, snorkeling and freediving is great on St. John, we have established this. Now how about after your snorkel, you try to identify the fish & other marine life that you have seen? We came across this totally amazing website. This is a website with over 4000 (!) photos of fish and other marine life, all taken while snorkeling on St. John.

Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta, St. John

All classes of boats are welcome to enter the Thanksgiving Regatta at Coral bay, where the U.S. Virgin Islands boast world-renowned Caribbean island-hopping sailing. The event is sponsored each year by the Coral Bay Yacht Club. For more information, call (340) 513-4955.

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