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Though St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, it is much less touristy and much more peaceful than its neighbors, which is perhaps due to the fact that it lies 40 miles south of the other islands. It is also, compared to nearby St. Thomas and St. John, the most historic, with plenty of well-preserved buildings dating from the island’s time as a royal Danish colony, which lasted from 1754 until 1917. Nicknamed “Twin City”, St. Croix is bound by its two largest towns which sit on opposite ends of the island, Christiansted to the east, and Frederiksted to the west, but away from the towns, St. Croix’s main draw is undeniably its stunning natural landscape. With lush mountains, fertile coastal plains and an eerie rainforest, the island is particularly popular with diving enthusiasts who come to enjoy the crystal clear waters.
St. Croix boasts sunny skies and temperatures averaging 85° throughout the seasons, making it a great year-round destination. Be aware however that rain is more likely from September to November, and there is also the possibility of hurricanes from late summer to early fall. The island can be reached via direct flights into Henry E. Rohlsen airport from some U.S. cities, or via flights from San Juan in Puerto Rico or neighboring St. Thomas. It is also possible to travel from St. Thomas via ferry, or on a seaplane.
Hike through the rainforest
Much of St. Croix remains covered in rainforest, now a mix of native species and additions from the plantations, including sweet lime, mango, plum and breadfruit trees. In the northwest of the island, numerous trails allow you to explore this lush interior. Drive north on the coast road from Frederiksted to Butler Bay, leave your car at the head of Creque Dam Road, and head inland. As you make your way between the mahoganies, vines and silk-cotton trees look out for birdlife - the crested hummingbirds and green-throated caribs are a particularly special sight. Or hike to the tidal pools just to the north at Annaly, if you want a scenic soak at the end of your day.
Wander through Christiansted
Having preserved many buildings from the Danish colonial era, such as the Customs House and the 18th-century Fort Christiansvaern, Christiansted undoubtedly deserves its National Historic Site status. Its unique architecture is a fusion of Danish and African influences – and is notable for its combination of pastel-colored stone buildings with bright red tile roofs. Join one of the walking tours traversing the cobblestone sidewalks to get a fuller picture of the settlement's history from a knowledgeable Crucian, as the locals are called. There’s also the Alexander Hamilton House Museum, which gives visitors a real sense of how growing up in this remote outpost influenced the man who would go on to become one of the Founding Fathers of the United States.
Sample the local produce
Now managed by an eighth generation of the Nelthropp family, the Cruzan distillery, founded in 1760, remains an island institution. The products of the 'the most honored rum distillery in the world' are probably also St. Croix’s most famous export. The distillery offers visitors a front seat in the rum-making process, as they can tour the working factory in which these vanilla-noted spirits are produced, but more importantly, it provides the opportunity to try the many rums produced there. For something a little different try the dark rum made from blackstrap molasses.
Hit the seaside
St. Croix's selection of beaches, strands, and cays is exceptional, offering something for all tastes. If you want to feel cut off from it all, hop on one of the ferries in Christiansted for a short ride across the bay to the four-acre Protestant Cay, and hole up in a cabana. Rainbow Beach offers a livelier approach to sunbathing, as it is home to the colorful Rhythms, a bar known island-wide for its music and food. There is also fantastic snorkeling off many of the island’s beaches including Rainbow Beach, Chenay Bay, and Cane Bay, but the reefs around Buck Island, a short boat trip from the north of the island, are the most impressive, boasting a huge array of colorful fish, corals, and turtles.
Experience the luxury of our St. Croix rentals
Make your trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands extra special with a stay in one our luxurious St. Croix rentals.
Cane Bay villa rentals
Cane Bay is everything you can hope for from a Caribbean getaway, with its fine sandy beaches surrounded by reefs abundant with colorful fish, and a great selection of delicious casual dining options just behind the beach. At the end of the day head back to one of our Cane Bay villa rentals and look out at all this from your expansive terrace or palm-fringed pool.
Christiansted vacation rentals
St. Croix’s largest town is famous for its unusual Afro-Danish buildings, and our Christiansted vacation rentals have been designed to blend in with the distinctive local architecture. With its vaulted ceilings and Italian marble floors, Villa Miramar's rooms will make you feel like you are looking at the Caribbean Sea from a palace. There's also an infinity pool to relax in, and a beautiful seating area in the master suite from where you can see Buck Island and its surrounding reefs.
Shoys Estate villas
Our Shoys Estate villas are in an exclusive enclave between Christiansted and Green Cay, offering guests convenient access to both, as well as the tennis, golf and spa facilities of the neighboring Buccaneer resort. You will also have easy access to Shoys Beach, which is a mere five-minute walk away. The villas themselves are the perfect place to barbeque some local seafood on outdoor grills with the family, or share stories with friends, ensconced in the elegant rattan furniture.