St. John

Many vacationers find the crowds of St. Thomas to be uninviting. Too much like home - not much difference between the island and, say, Key West. Some find even St. Croix to be a bit too popular. But visitors continue to flock to the neighboring island of St. John - here you can find the seclusion key to any good Caribbean vacation, plus the large protected parks make it simple to slip away into thick forests and scenic beach coves. On St John Island Caribbean and American lifestyles coalesce into a symbiotic relationship - the tourism industry and local communities both realize they need the other to survive, and graciously acquiesce to the other when necessary.

St John island vacations revolve less around the beaches as they do the Virgin Islands National Park, which spreads itself over almost the entirety of the island. Though it is protected land, the island of St. John offers a number of camping opportunities, somewhat of a rarity in the Caribbean islands. You can then search the hills of the Virgin Islands National Park as you wish - a guide is completely unnecessary, though some are available. Trail after trail lead you past decaying plantations and through lush forests, one of the many wondrous sights you can find amidst a St. John island vacation.

Despite all this, however, the island still has numerous beautiful beaches where you can go hours without seeing another tourist. Those that work the more popular beaches, such as restaurant owners and rental shop workers speak of their oceanside locations in conspiratorial tones - even they are wary of large crowds, despite the intrinsic effect it would have on their business. Sailing is quite popular along the southern coast, and is an inexpensive and endearing way to take in the beauty you'll find on a St. John island vacation.

As for St. John villas, you won't find many on the beaches. The majority are kept safely in the center of the small towns - though a couple resorts have managed to acquire beach front property. Most St. John villas worth mentioning are found in Cruz Bay, a thriving town with a wide range of restaurants and bars. The rest are all private affairs located scattershot along the southern and eastern coasts, away from the large park that makes the island famous. These are wildly popular with honeymooners, the St. John villas offering the private getaway young newlyweds envision for their initial weeks together. They are also convenient - often times the owners of caretakers of the villas meet you at the airport or dock and many even include car rental with a certain length of stay, allowing you to explore the island of St. John at your leisure.

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