THINGS TO DO IN ST. JOHN, USVI

Things to do in St. John, USVI…
our FAVORITE PLACE ON EARTH!

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Happy Hour

Alisa and I are big happy hour fans and you obviously can’t go wrong with $1 Happy Hour (well drinks and certain domestic beers) from 3-6pm at Woody’s or Castaways. Both also have pretty good bar food (try the nachos at Castways and the blackened fish – aka “Sharkbites” – and boneless Buffalo Wings at Woody’s). I’d also recommend The Lime Inn which offers 1/2 off the entire bar from 3-6p. It’s not as cheap as $1 drinks but you can get an awesome specialty or frozen drink (like the Lime & Coconut, Painkiller, Bushwacker, Pina Colada, etc.) for $4 and top shelf liquor for around $5. Joe’s Rum Hut offers $3 you-call-its from 4-6pm, meaning anything you order is 3 bucks…so be creative (think Patron Margarita or my go-to party starter, the “Top Shelf Long Island Iced Tea”).

To say this is a drinking town is an understatement!

THINGS TO DO IN ST. JOHN, USVI - Happy Hour

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Beaches and Snorkeling

When you think “Things to do in St. John” you have to think BEACHES! They are some of the best and most gorgeous beaches in the world, with crystal clear water.

You really can’t go wrong with any of the North Shore beaches. Hawksnest and Honeymoon are great for relaxing. Trunk Bay is great for its big beach and world-famous snorkeling trail (just don’t go on heavy cruise ship days…the cruise ship schedule is posted in the local newspaper). At Cinnamon Bay, you can rent a Stand Up Paddleboard at the watersports shop…a very fun and relatively inexpensive way to explore. Maho Bay is also very relaxing and lately there has been sightings of huge Manta Rays (Alisa and I both swam with a 15′ Manta at Maho Bay and Francis Bay).

Things to do in St. John - Beaches and Snorkeling

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Late Night Bars

Head to Beach Bar to see what band is playing. Then stop by Castaways which also has nightly events ranging from live music to Karaoke to DJs. Lastly, round out the night at The Quiet Mon to chill out with a bucket of beer or a pint of Newcastle.

Things to do in St. John - Late night bars
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Craft Beer, Brunch and more

Across the street from Uncle Joe’s BBQ and the Post Office you can grab a fresh Coconut for about $3 (or fill it with rum for a few bucks more)…delicious. Sunday Brunch at Rhumb Lines is AMAZING. Besides fantastic food, they offer an all-u-can drink serve-yourself Bloody Mary and Rum Punch bar…just don’t plan anything too intense for afterwards (we almost always planned a relaxing beach day after this boozy brunch).

Lastly, no trip to St. John is complete without a visit to The Tap Room. As the flagship brewpub of St. John Brewers, this is the place on island to get a cold draft beer. Whether it’s one of their own signature brews, homemade Root Beer (try my favorite…a rum and root beer), their “Green Flash” energy drink, or any number of other rotating craft beers, you will not leave disappointed. The owners/brewers are also building a brew-trailer in the back parking lot so visitors will have a first hand look into the brewing process.

Things to do in St. John - Brunch at Rhumb Lines

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Restaurants

Ocean Grill, Zozo’s (try the Papardelle and Pork Chop), Rhumb Lines and Lime Inn (famous for fresh fish and lobster) are all fantastic (I bartend at Lime Inn and Alisa is a server and hostess at Ocean Grill). You can’t miss BBQ Ribs at Uncle Joe’s. It’s right near the Customs Building and across from the post office…a small restaurant with amazing BBQ Ribs and Chicken.

Things to do in St. John - The Lime Inn

Head out to the East End for a hike and then come back to Skinny Legs to reward yourself with a well-deserved burger and (several) ice cold drinks.

Things to do in St. John - Pet Donkeys in Coral Bay

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Hiking

Hiking on St. John is phenomenal and was one of our favorite pastimes. We highly recommend the Caneel Hill trail. There is an observation deck at the top with 360 views of the entire island, as well as views of Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, St. Thomas, and even St. Croix on a clear day. A great loop (and a longer hike) is to take the trail from town right next to Mongoose Junction shopping mall, up to the top of Caneel Hill, over to Margaret Hill, down to Caneel Bay Resort, through the resort to Honeymoon Beach. Then take Upper Lind trail back into town.

Another of my favorite trails is Reef Bay. It’s all downhill through lush forest to the beach, with a side trail at the bottom to ancient petroglyphs (similar to hieroglyphics) and a small fresh-water waterfall. Then you get your exercise hiking all the way back uphill! I recommend reading St. John: Off the Beaten Track” by Gerald Singer for details on all the trails and beaches (as well as some great history too).

For more St. John hiking tips from The Carpe Diem Couple, check out Hiking on St. John – A Summary of Awesomeness.

Things to do in St. John - Hiking

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Other Activities

I have to mention Kekoa, the catamaran that Alisa works on. It is a gorgeous, custom-built wooden boat, built by the Captain and his brother. Every time I have been out on Kekoa it has been amazing. They do trips around St. John and to the British Virgin Islands. Also, you can check out Annaberg. This was a fully functional sugar plantation, which was run by slaves in the 1700s. The ruins are still in incredible shape.

Things to do in St. John - Kekoa

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Renting a Car

To experience all the things to do in St. John it’s nice to have your own car, especially if you plan to do a lot of exploring (and driving on the left side of the road is easy). You can get by with taxis and hitching (yes, it’s safe here), but again, it’s much more convenient with your own ride. The only downside is parking in town at night…definitely cab it if you plan to have a night out in town.

Things to do in St. John - Renting a car

Have YOU ever been to St. John (aka “Heaven on Earth”)? Please share your tips in the comments below!