Coral Bay Named Top Small Town to Visit in 2016

Image by Steve Simonsen
Image by Steve Simonsen

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:

The 20 Best Small Towns to Visit in 2016

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… 🙂

Definitely not Coral Bay...
Definitely not Coral Bay…

7 thoughts on “Coral Bay Named Top Small Town to Visit in 2016”

  1. These types of articles make me wonder if the author actually visited the island. “…rent snorkel equipment and watch blue marlin, sailfish and yellowfin tuna swim by.” I don’t know about anyone else, but in all the years I have been snorkeling around the island, I have never seen Marlin, tuna or sailfish. Am I missing something? Aren’t those fish more associated wth deep sea fishing?

  2. Probably one of the poorest written articles I have read.

    The pic of “Coral Bay” is not Coral Bay
    Coral Bay does not have “miles of white sand beaches”
    You can not snorkel to see “blue marlin, sail fish”
    The Moravian Church does not have a visitor center.

    I met a tourist one day that had just gotten off the bus with their beach bags, asking directions to the Coral Bay beach.

  3. Speaking of Smithsonian, next Sunday night on Aerial America, they are doing fly overs on PR and the VI. Hopefully a little more realistic…

  4. did the people who post the article read it first.Downtown coral bay by the kmart!! right or is that the dump. Skinnys does not do thankspiging they close that day so KEN does it. maho is closed most people stay in a villa!!! Coral bay is 1 to me!!

Leave a Comment