Good morning, good morning! Today I hopped in my cute little island-style Honda Element with the goal of giving you the most Island-vibes traffic report I could create! As you know, North Shore Road, Centerline Road, and South Shore Road, are all two-laned winding roads that can easily get backed up with the business of island life. Some of our usual St. John traffic obstructions include, water trucks to fill dried up cisterns, construction trucks for building material transport, sightseers, and a few furry friends that roam freely (we will get to them later!).
New author alert!! Katie Minetree here! I’ll be filling in for Hillary this week as she enjoys a well deserved vacation in some far off land where there are highways and large mammals! Bear with me, as I venture into this new territory of blogging. I hope you are at least slightly into quirky humor and dad jokes, because those are my specialty. And now back to your regularly programmed St. John Traffic Report…
The journey from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay along North Shore is a lovely west to east road trip that usually lasts a whopping 30 min or so, if you’re in a rush. However, if you are anything like me, you cannot let the baby blue and turquoise waters pass by without pulling over and snapping a few photos. Of course these photos can never quite capture the in-person beauty of this island, but we can always try, and edit, and keep trying.
Since we are very much about living a life of “no stress” here on St. John, I decided to take my time on this road trip and broke the would-be 30 minute voyage into a two part expedition. So today, we’ll focus on the overlooks of North Shore from Cruz Bay to Maho, and we will save our Coral Bay furry friend adenture for Monday!
Right outside Cruz Bay we hit our first overlook! Boat watching is a peaceful past time for some people, there’s something about watching busy life go on from a distance that brings a sense of stillness to my present moment. From this vantage point, you can watch the passenger ferries roll in and out between Cruz Bay to Red Hook on St. Thomas. Day charters come in and out of this view as they scoop up their guests from the National Park Dock for a fun day on the water. At this time of year with high season slowing down, I was the only car that pulled over.
It’s a perfect place to feel like you’re still close to town, but tucked away a bit. It’s peaceful, and you’ll usually find a lot of locals up there catching up with friends, watching the sunset, or sharing a night cap. I’ve been known to have a picnic or two up there as the sun goes down! Anyway, that’s just stop one, so let’s keep on rolling…after one more peak!
Caneel Bay Overlook is where I stopped next! I shared the small turn off with another car and together we noticed the amount of green we were seeing. All this rain is looking so gorgeous in Cruz Bay! It’s pretty amazing to see how nature is reclaiming it’s space. Here’s an article Hillary wrote about what some of the proposed plans for the Caneel Bay land if your brains are curious.
One of the things we all love so much about St. John, are the numerous hikes throughout our island! I love how many are so accessible along North Shore Road. And, here’s one of them!
As I continued along the road I slightly drooled thinking about the menu at ZoZo’s as I passed the sign at the Caneel Bay Gate.
Then I couldn’t resist a little detour to see some more beautiful blues (and oranges!) at Hawksnest and Oppenheimer.
Afterwards, I did something I’ve never done before that I’ve always wanted to to. I parked at Peace Hill and walked along the side of the road so I could get up close and personal to the infamous and mysterious Easter Rock. The warmth and energy from this rock felt like an old friend reminding me to slow down and appreciate the magic around me.
After a little run back to my car, and realizing that running in boots is pretty hard, I continued onto the Trunk Bay overlook. The calmness and clarity of the water made that little jog absolutely worth it, boots or no boots! Barefoot would’ve even been worth it!
North Shore “traffic” was still pretty minimal when I arrived at this landmark overlook. In the high season it can be incredibly hard to find a spot to pull over for the classic Trunk Bay selfie. This time of year, there are still a few taxis bringing a truck load of people to grab their photos, but I only had a few cars zip by or pull in while I soaked up these views!
Maho Bay Overlook felt similar. A quiet hum has come over the island in the past week, with just a pinch of visitors still getting their vacation in while September begins.
Part one of my St. John “traffic” report came to an end after grabbing a cocktail and sinking my toes in the Maho sand! Any of you who get the opportunity to drive on North Shore understand…You’ll get the chance to slow down, absorb the beauty and be reminded that life doesn’t always have to move so fast. Stay tuned for Part two coming at you on Monday! Furry friends included!