St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands, located in the Greater Antilles, is a beautiful, quaint Caribbean island steeped in history and bursting with culture. Spend a well rounded trip filled with natural beauty, tasting local cuisine, and experiencing rich traditions in the place I call home. Affectionately nicknamed ‘Twin City’ for its two cities on opposite sides of the island, Christiansted and Frederiksted. Christiansted is located on the north eastern part of the island.
How To Get There
If you’re an American citizen, St. Croix is a U.S. territory and requires no passport to visit! Just a hop and a skip away from the mainland, there are direct flights year round on American Airlines, Delta, JetBlue, and Spirit from Atlanta, Miami, Fort Lauderdale, and Puerto Rico. Taxis are available at the airport upon arrival, as well as rental car services (I recommend booking in advance).
When to visit
November – May are the most popular months, with my personal favorite being December and January to experience our Crucian Christmas Festival, but truly, you can visit anytime, anytime, and anytime. The U.S. Virgin Islands are beautiful all year round, the sun is always shining, and the island is always ready to offer you a warm welcome.
What to Pack
An assortment of colorful linens, flowy sundresses, swimsuits, mix and match cover ups, denim shorts and jeans, lightweight make-up with SPF, slip on sandals, comfortable hiking shoes, straw hats, your favorite sunglasses, and an extra pair of polarized sunglasses for beach days. High heels are optional, but not a necessity.
*pro-tip: leave your fanciest jewelry, gowns, and designer bags at home, the dress code is at most island elegant.*
Where to stay
For a fun weekend stay, King Christian Hotel is ideally situated in the heart of downtown Christiansted. Recently renovated in 2021, the style of the hotel has the charm of a vintage Caribbean bungalow, with all the modern day luxuries.
Pack your prettiest resort wear and plan on spending at least one day relaxing poolside. This boutique hotel has created a unique private tropical oasis amidst a bustling town.
Downtown Christiansted has a plethora of dining options for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Start off your morning with a robust cup of coffee at Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters before you set off on your day exploring the island.
Sit down for a beautiful brunch at the hotel’s very own Caroline’s restaurant. Choose from a pink interior lined with palm printed walls or dine outside with a view of the Custom’s House and Hotel on the Cay while boats sail in and out of the harbor.
Indulge in a sweet treat at Cream & Co. for home churned ice cream in fun flavors and El Leon for a Oaxacan inspired evening. Other delicious options within walking distance include Hamilton’s, Rum & Wine Bar (sushi), Galangal, Bombay, Toast (yummy breakfast), Savant, and Too Chez (the homemade cheesecake is a *must have*).
St. Croix has a rich and vibrant history and Christiansted is the perfect place to start exploring. The Landmark Society offers self-guided historical tours or have the hotel concierge organize a guided walking tour – available in multiple languages. Start at the historic fort Christianvaern and discover the hidden gems throughout the town.
*pro-tip: wear flat and comfortable shoes when walking around town as the ground and stone sidewalks are original and uneven*
Shop for local jewelry, home goods, or a variety of clothing and homemade skincare products. Some of my favorite stores include The Mermaid’s Purse Gallery for beautiful paintings by Isabelle Picard, Mitchell-Larsen Studio for unique glass creations, Laced Legacy for locally designed t-shirts and hats, Asha for curated items sourced from Asia, Sampson House for furniture and home goods, and Eden South for local souvenirs. If you’re looking for spa services try Pampered V.I., need a haircut pop into Ivy Moon, and both The Courtyard and Island Movement offer yoga and pilates classes in their downtown Christiansted studios.
St. Croix is particularly well known for it’s artisan handmade gold, silver, and chaney jewelry. Local favorites are Sonya’s, IB Designs, Joyia Jewelry, and Crucian Gold, and the trend is to stack collected bracelets over time on one wrist. Our iconic hook bracelet is originally designed by Sonya’s and the direction of the hook opening signifies your relationship status. Historic Chaney (broken ceramic pieces discovered around the island) are wrapped in gold or silver and worn as bracelets, earrings, rings, or my favorite, as a pendant.
Hop Over To Hotel on the Cay
If you want to enjoy the nearest beach, spend the day at Hotel on the Cay and soak in the beautiful Christiansted skyline and harbor views. A ferry sails back and forth from morning until evening, docking on the boardwalk directly in front of the King Christian Hotel. Dine at the local restaurant and conveniently rent chairs, umbrellas, kayaks, paddle boards, or jet skis for the day!
Spend the day Boating at BUck Island
Charter a boat or join a tour to our Buck Island Reef National Park (options include either a half or full day excursion). Hop in and snorkel the underwater trail followed by a hike to the top of the island, or for a more relaxing day: take a dip in the sea and simply soak up the sunshine on our pristine white beaches.
End the day with a relaxing sunset cruise back into Christiansted harbor. As an added bonus, see how many dolphins, turtles, and stingrays you can spot along the way!
However you decide to spend your weekend plans in St. Croix, I hope you experience the joy and pride we have in our island, our culture, and our people. We hope you too fall in love with our island and discover for yourself why St. Croix means so much to us!
Check back for my follow-up itinerary on a weekend spent on the west side of the island in downtown Frederiksted!