Wow, the secret really is getting out…
St. John was yet again named one of the best of this best. This time, however, is was Coral Bay that specifically made the list. Smithsonian Magazine just released its 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016 list and our very own Coral Bay made the cut at number 18. Here’s what they had to say:
In honor of the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, our top picks this year are all towns close to America’s natural splendors
Known as Saint John’s “other” town (Cruz Bay, with a population of 2,750, is the island’s largest), Coral Bay, located on the southeastern side of the U.S. Virgin Island, has its own quieter appeal, boasting miles of white sand beaches, with crystal clear waters for swimming and snorkeling, local pride, as well as some important historical sites.
To enjoy the clear blue waters of Coral Bay, rent snorkel equipment and watch blue marlin, sailfish and yellowfin tuna swim by. For a great meal and live music, Miss Lucy’s offers a famous crab-cake benedict and regular jazz performances. Avoid the horrors of highway traffic on Thanksigivng and travel to Coral Bay for the holiday; its annual tradition of “Thankspigging,” features a pot luck meal that includes a pig roast hosted by local burger joint Skinny Legs.
Like much of the Caribbean, Saint John has a tragic colonial legacy, and to understand it better, visit the Emmaus Moravian Church. The Estate Carolina plantation, walking distance from Coral Harbor, was the site of a 1733 Slave Revolt, one of the earliest revolts where enslaved workers rose up against their Danish masters. They successfully won control of the island and held it for six months until reinforcements arrived and squashed the rebellion. It would take until 1848 for slavery to be abolished on the island.
The United States purchased Saint John from the Danish West India and Guinea Company in 1917, and Laurance Rockefeller, who was heavily involved in the creation of the Virgin Islands National Park (which takes up two-thirds of Saint John), donated more than 5,000 acres of the island to the National Park Service.
Rockefeller encouraged eco-friendly tourism, and the island delivers on that front. Just ten minutes from downtown Coral Bay, the beautiful and environmentally conscious Concordia Eco-Tents, provide a hospitable place to stay.
Well that was a nice little write up. The only issue though is that this is the pic that they used along with the story. Oh well Smithsonian, better luck next time… 🙂