Hello friends! I’m writing to you this afternoon from a very soggy St. John 😉 It has been grey and drizzly and sometimes pouring since sometime yesterday. Which is absolutely great for the flora and fauna of the island (and our cisterns!). But not so great if you’re only here for a week and looking for some fun in the sun. Well, the sun may be hiding its beautiful face for the most part this week, but that doesn’t mean there’s no fun to be had.
Hike the Reef Bay Trail- Yes, you might get a bit wet on your walk, but these rainier times of the year are the absolute best to hike the Reef Bay Trail. The waterfall at the Petroglyphs is generally pretty non-existent during most times of the year. But, in times of heavy or consistent rainfall, it is an awesome, and elusive, sight to see! Bring raingear, plenty of water (at least two liters per person), bug spray and sturdy shoes as the trail can get a little slippery when wet. Additionally, stay off the rocks at the Petroglyphs site as they can become treacherously slick in wet conditions as well.
Explore the Annaberg Plantation- I remember when my parents were visiting in February of 2014 and it poured for most of their visit! We braved the drizzly conditions and headed out to Annaberg for a stroll and got stuck in a downpour with the gardener, Charles Jackson, in his tool shed. Ha! He taught my folks about the land and the edible plants he grew there while we waited out the storm. It was an absolutely memorable afternoon. Now, this probably won’t happen to everyone. But the close proximity to the car, several places to duck and cover if the sky opens up and the incredible array of Caribbean blues with a grey backdrop from the overlook are all reasons to put this historic site on your list of rainy-day things to do on St. John. Pro-tip: Check out the Virgin Islands National Park website on the history of Annaberg before you visit for the history of this sugar mill factory and plantation.
Get shelter from the storm at Catherineberg- Underneath the windmill at Catherineberg, located just off of Centerline Road at the Virgin Islands National Park Sign near Mid-Way Market, you’ll find an old stone storage area that is completely covered and mostly sheltered from the weather. This is a great spot to listen to the rain while remaining dry and contemplate the complex history of St. John. Bring some snacks and drinks with you and a copy of Off the Beaten Track (available online or at St. John Spice) to read aloud with your friends or family in order to learn more about the historical and natural sites you can visit (rain or shine!) while you are here.
Enjoy a day of shopping, drinking and snacking at Mongoose Junction- This one goes without saying as I’m sure our downtown shopping plaza is absolutely bustling right now! But there are so many great shops and restaurants at Mongoose Junction that it is absolutely easy to “waste” away a rainy day! Grab a breakfast sandwich at North Shore Deli and then stop into Bajo El Sol to take in some artwork, culture and history with a deliciously warm coffee (or rum!) in hand. Then hop from shop to shop while avoiding the intermittent bursts of rain. Grab a casual indoor lunch at Greengos or The Tap Room or duck into the Gecko Gazebo at Sun Dog Cafe if you can find a spot! Spend the afternoon with a bit more retail therapy before hitting happy hour or wrapping up with a sweet ending at Scoops. Oh, and I bet you didn’t know you could find a waterfall on St. John without having to work for it 🙂 There are several areas at Mongoose where the water absolutely gushes underneath the shopping plaza during heavy rains!
Hideaway at your favorite watering hole- It is no secret that the bars of St. John are the most popular place to be during rainy days! If the power is out (as it currently is as I write this…pun intended) many residents will flock to the bars and restaurants with backup power to duck out of the rain. And the dark 😉 Visitors who have found the beach a bit soggy will head in for an early happy hour as well. Making the bars and restaurants an absolutely happening place to be in the middle of a rainy day!
Spend the day at the beach- Although I wouldn’t recommend getting in the water after a heavy rain (the weather can churn up bacteria that can be unsafe!), the beach is still a blissful place to be on a dreary day…Am I right? You’ll likely not be fighting the crowds for beach or parking space and the view is still absolutely lovely. I LOVE the colors of the water here on grey days. It’s like the blues are even more electric than they are on a sunny day. And, you won’t be dealing with crazy heat or threats of sunburn 🙂 Opt for Hawksnest, Maho, Cinnamon or Trunk so that you have the option of ducking under some coverage if the rain picks up. Disclaimer- If it is thundering and lightning, like it is today, step AWAY from the water!
Snuggle up and enjoy the view! So, what am I doing right now while the thunder and lightning and downpouring rain swirls around my home? Well, I’m obviously writing this post at present. But as soon as I’m finished, I’ll be snuggled up on the couch with my ACC rescue pup, Chewy, and reading the newest edition of Off the Beaten Track while watching the rain water the earth and fill my cistern through the window. Rainy days, like most days here on St. John, can be absolutely glorious.