Leave the outside world behind as you embrace the intimate Caribbean gem that is St. John, distinguished not only for its pristine environment and rich diversity of recreational activities from snorkeling and diving on world-class coral reefs to surfing and sailing around windward shorelines, but also for its vibrant culture and rich history. Many breathtaking natural attractions await your discovery within this unspoiled island and its thriving waters.
Virgin Islands National Park
A sprawling sanctuary of exquisite natural beauty, the paradisial park includes 7,000 acres of unspoiled beaches and verdant, hilly inlands, as well as miles of submerged protected lands abounding in coral gardens, marine life and seascapes. Covering a majority of St. John, Virgin Islands National Park ensures the island's status as an exceptionally well-preserved escape.
Along St. John's windward north shore stretches the National Park's longest beach, with powder-pure sands arching around sheltered waters surrounded by graceful green folds of the hills rising behind. Swells and breezes provide favorable conditions for surfing, windsurfing and other water sports, while snorkeling explorations include a wrecked aircraft and small offshore island.
This favorite snorkeling and diving spot of locals, reachable by water taxi or chartered excursion, is set just off the island's southeastern coast and includes dramatic coral heads reaching upwards of 12 feet within easy viewing distance from the surface in the crystalline water.
One of the most pristine sites in all of the Caribbean, this popular National Park beach offers spectacular snorkeling in lucent waters following a 650-foot trail of vibrant coral reefs and colorful sea life, an ideal locale for underwater photography. Behind the silken sands of sunbathers lie hiking trails to explore ruins of historic sugar plantations, remnants of St. Johns Danish colonial past.
Elaine Ione Sprauve Library and Museum
Located within the historic and beautifully renovated Estate Enighed greathouse, this library and museum displays an extensive collection of photographs, newspaper articles, paintings, drawings and other artwork, providing unique glimpses into the fascinating past of St. John, as well as the other American and British Virgin Islands and the Caribbean at large.
St. John Arts & Music Festival (February)
Immerse yourself in the island's robust artistic community with relaxed exhibits, free concerts and daily food fairs overlooking the yacht-dotted harbor of leeward Cruz Bay.
Beach-to-Beach Power Swim (May)
This segmented open-water swim takes participants 3.5 miles along St. John's scenic northwest coastline, even allowing for "assisted" swimmers donning snorkel gear.
Carnival (June – July)
Find yourself dancing in the streets to steel-drummed music, joining in a parade of bright feathered costumes and dining until the wee hours in this highly anticipated celebration of freedom.
Flavors of St. John (October)
A sugar-sand beach, live music and the best food on the island—who could ask for more? Delight your palate with the flavors of the world and cast your vote in this annual culinary competition.
With its alluring sailing waters, St. John is a favored playground of yacht-lovers, with exhilarating regattas to watch throughout the year, including the Coral Bay Thanksgiving Regatta (November) and the Commodore's Cup (May).