Many of you have written in and asked about visiting St. Croix. How do you get there? What’s it like? What do you do while you are there? Well, last weekend we took a little staycation while my parents were on island and I’m happy to FINALLY be able to give you some first hand advice on our sister island to the south!
First of all, you all know that I LOVE St. John. It’s my home and the place where my heart, my livelihood and my island family rests. But, I will tell you that I absolutely adored St. Croix! Wide open spaces, no crowds, stunning overlooks and a ton of fun activities combined to jam pack a lot of fun into just 24 hours!
We sailed to St. Croix on Vita, a beautiful 45-foot Leopard catamaran with mermaid stripes and all of the comforts and necessities required for a few days at sea. We did three nights with Captain Dulce on her beautiful boat…Night one in Christiansted, nights two and three in Frederiksted. However, I would highly recommend more than three nights if you plan to do a term charter down that way as I was not ready to leave yet! There is so much to explore and the rain last weekend definitely deterred some of our planned activities.
Other options for day trips or longer stays on land include the following:
- The Ferry– The ferry departs Charlotte Amalie for Christiansted at 8AM on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays and leaves Christiansted for St. Thomas at 4PM on each of those corresponding days of the week.
- The Seaplane– We watched the seaplane come and go while we had coffee and breakfast in the Christiansted harbor on board Vita and it was AWESOME! The Seaborne Airlines seaplane runs a regular daily service between Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted and offers several 25 minute flights per day between the two largest US Virgin Islands.
- Regular Flight Service- American Airlines flies direct from Miami and the price check I did for next month came back at around $300 round trip! There are also daily flights to STX from San Juan, Puerto Rico…if you REALLY want to do some island hopping!
Ok, now back to our adventure!
We arrived in Christiansted after a five-ish hour smooth sail from St. John. Yes, we saw dolphins. Yes, a whale. No, I didn’t get any pictures of that because it was SO quick. But magical all the same.
After arrival, we started to call around for dinner for 11 of us and realized quickly that we would need to split up in order to find space for all of us. So, a group headed to the casino for a night of fun while my parents, Teddy, Captain Dulce and myself sat down to a very nice dinner at Rum Runners, right on the water and directly next to the dinghy area. After a long day, and a lot of boat drinks, at sea, we weren’t feeling much like exploring that evening. But, the next morning…
I had previously been emailing with Sweeney’s Tours about doing an island tour and called on Friday morning to confirm our pickup time. He apparently had lost our reservation but kindly said he would have someone call us right away to get us taken care of. Man oh man, what a happy accident that was. The gentleman who called us within ten minutes introduced himself over the phone as “Mighty Pat.” I thought to myself, “Well that is just perfect for our group of colorful characters.” And he was. Just perfect! We were set to meet him at the Christiansted Fort at noon. So, we arrived about 20 minutes early to walk around the fort.
Mighty Pat met us in front of the Alexander Hamilton House and pointed it out to us before gesturing down the street to the Government House…Home of Governor Bryan. I knew immediately that we were in for a fun, informative and entertaining day with him. We jumped in the van after a few moments of walking and chatting and were on our way.
Two of our party decided to go golfing for the day, the captain, first mate and one of our group members were moving the boat from Christiansted to Frederiksted to meet us at The Fred at the end of the day. That left six of us to adventure around St. Croix on that rainy Friday afternoon.
Mighty Pat sweet talked the man at the gate and got us in for a quick drive through the property at The Buccaneer, a quint hotel, resort and golf course which reminded me a bit of Caneel Bay from an architectural and design standpoint.
Our first stop was Point Udall, the easternmost point of the United States and home to panoramic views of the sea and the Millennium Monument.
After about 30 minutes of strolling from one picturesque overlook to the next, we hopped back in the van and headed towards the Sion Farms (Mutiny Island Vodka) Distillery for a tour, some snacks and a sampling of their several artisan vodkas made from local breadfruit.
And, as we walked into the distillery, the sky literally opened up. As the thunder rumbled and lightning filled the sky outside, we sat and tasted clean and delicious vodkas of various flavors: The Puerto Rican Coffee and Roots(Ginger & Turmeric) varietals were my favorite. And, I pulled Mighty Pat away from his lone bar stool to join us to chat. We bantered back and forth for a while before him uncovering his special talents to us….He is also a recording artist. I immediately found him on Spotify and started following him. I knew this chance meeting was the stars aligning 🙂
Once the rain subsided a bit, we paid up and headed back to the van with the intent of heading out to see the beer drinking pigs and then to the botanical gardens before hitting our final destination at The Fred to “get the gang back together” for some pool time and dinner. But, Mother Nature had other plans and rain deterred us from our additional stops that day. So, instead, we put Mighty Pat on the van’s stereo and quickly learned the word in order to sing along with him. It was an hour long car ride filled with laughter, off-key singing and more rainy, yet magnificent, views. The whole private tour cost us only $50 per person and is still a talking point for all of us each day. Mighty Pat gets five stars, all around! To book a tour with him the next time you are on St. Croix, call 340-201-6392.
Mighty Pat delivered us to The Fred and departed with hugs, more laughs and well wishes. We were the last of our group to arrive at the quaint boutique hotel on the beach in the heart of Frederiksted.
The rest of our gang were laughing it up in the hot tub, enjoying the last of the rainy afternoon. I took a walk about to explore the property. It was my first time there and, although I have written about it before, it exceeded my expectations. The views, the staff, the food and drink and the overall layout of the space were all incredible.
After a fun night and a good night’s sleep, we gathered at the poolside, beachfront bar for frozen daquiris the next morning before heading back to the boat for some underwater adventures!
The Frederiksted Pier is just a stone’s throw from the gorgeous hotel (that I will definitely be back to visit again!).
On our last afternoon on St. Croix, we snorkeled the pier and it was absolutely incredible. The underwater pilings are home to so much vibrant coral and under the sea life! If it had been a bit warmer out, I probably would have spent hours swimming in and out of that magical wonderland of life. Teddy and Captain Dulcey did a night dive of the pier and came back with reports of sea horse and octopus. This too was an incredibly memorable experience and one I would recommend to you all!
All-in-all, even despite the rain, our brief time on St. Croix was absolutely magical. And, I would highly advise you to swing by for a day or three on your next visit! A big thanks to Mighty Pat, The Fred, Sion Farm and Dulce Vita Sails for making our sail and stay vacation one to remember!