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  • Writer's picturePolly Clover

St. Croix Vacation Guide: Where to Stay, What to Do, & FAQs


Christiansted, St. Croix
Christiansted, St. Croix

St. Croix is the largest US Virgin Island and is one of the best Caribbean islands to visit. In this article, we'll share everything you need to know to plan the best St. Croix vacation.


We’ll discuss where to stay, fun activities, and expected costs. We’ll also answer common questions about visiting St. Croix.


Why Visit St. Croix, USVI

There are many reasons to visit St. Croix, including the following:


  • Unique culture and history - The US Virgin Islands has a culture and history that dates back thousands of years, making it one of the most special Caribbean vacation destinations. There are also many fun ways to explore the culture and history, which we’ll share below.

  • Beautiful beaches - There are so many beaches to discover on St. Croix, most of which are picture-perfect, with clear-blue waters and soft sand.

  • Warm weather year-round - No matter when you plan your St. Croix vacation, you'll enjoy warm weather, with high temperatures usually in the mid to upper 80s and lows in the 70s.

  • Friendly locals - Most Crucians are very friendly and laid-back. We always greet each other, even strangers, with a good morning, good afternoon, and good night.

  • Fun activities - There are so many fun things to do on St. Croix, whether you want to relax, get active, or do a combination of both.

  • No passport needed - St. Croix is a US territory, so it’s one of few Caribbean islands you can visit without a passport if you’re a US citizen.


People kayaking the Salt River Bay
Salt River Bay

Where to Stay in St. Croix (Popular Areas)

When booking your accommodation, you'll notice many are in Frederiksted, Christiansted, or Cane Bay. Frederiksted and Christiansted are the main towns, and Cane Bay is a popular beach on the island's north shore.


Frederiksted is a small town on the west side of St. Croix where many locals live. It's also where cruise ships dock and close to the rainforest. The beaches and sunsets are gorgeous in Frederiksted, and there are several great shops and restaurants.


Christiansted is the larger of the two towns. This area takes up a large portion of the island, but the most popular area is where the downtown area and boardwalk are. In Christiansted town, there are many shops and restaurants. There are also a few hotels and vacation rentals.


Cane Bay is a small area on the north shore, a bit further from many popular attractions. Locals and tourists love Cane Bay Beach. There are also a few restaurants, bars, and accommodations along the north shore.


While these are the main areas of the island, there are also other places you can stay and hang out. While the island is only 22 miles long and 7 miles wide, it does take longer than you’d think to get from one place to another, so be prepared to drive or get a taxi if you want the full St. Croix experience.


Frederiksted town in St. Croix, USVI
Frederiksted, St. Croix

Best St. Croix Vacation Accommodations

There are many places to stay when visiting St. Croix, including hotels, resorts, and vacation rentals. 


Note: While there are a couple of small resorts on St. Croix, they aren’t all-inclusive. If you’re planning an all-inclusive resort vacation, St. Thomas might be a better option.


Some of St. Croix’s best accommodations include:

  • Victoria House - A charming hotel in a historic building (Frederiksted)

  • The Fred - An adults-only hotel with a pool, spa, and beach access (Frederiksted)

  • Sand Castle on the Beach - A beachfront hotel with a restaurant and pool (Frederiksted)

  • Carambola Beach Resort - A resort with a private beach, pool, hot tub, fitness center, restaurant, and bar (between Frederiksted and Cane Bay)

  • The Waves - An oceanfront boutique hotel (Cane Bay)

  • Company House Hotel - A renovated hotel in a historic building close to many shops and restaurants (Christiansted)

  • Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast - A small boutique hotel within walking distance of the boardwalk (Christiansted)

  • The Buccaneer Hotel - An upscale hotel and resort with a restaurant, spa, tennis courts, and golf course (Christiansted)

  • Grapetree Bay Hotel - A restored 1960s hotel with a restaurant, bar, and pool (East island)


There are also many St. Croix vacation rentals on Airbnb and Vrbo, which is ideal if you want a kitchen or space for a larger group.


Fun St. Croix Vacation Activities

One of the best reasons to visit St. Croix is its many memorable activities. From relaxing on the beach and kayaking to shopping and hiking, there's something for everyone.


Relaxing on the Beach

What’s an island vacation without relaxing on the beach? St. Croix has no shortage of beautiful, sandy beaches. Some of our favorites include:


  • Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge - A long sandy beach only open on Saturdays and Sundays, from April through August (Frederiksted)

  • Dorsch - The perfect spot to relax, snorkel, and hunt for sea glass (Frederiksted)

  • Rainbow Beach - A lively beach where you can rent jet skis, chairs, and umbrellas (Frederiksted)

  • Cane Bay - A popular beach to hang out, snorkel, and dive (North Shore)

  • Cay Beach - A fun beach, a short boat ride from the Christiansted boardwalk (Christiansted)

  • Mermaid Beach - A public beach at the Buccaneer Hotel, where you can rent chairs and umbrellas and order food and drinks (East Christiansted)

Mermaid Beach in St. Croix, USVI with chairs and umbrellas
Mermaid Beach

Snorkeling and Diving

Going snorkeling or diving is a must when you’re visiting St. Croix. You can snorkel at most beaches, and there are a few gear rental shops, including Cane Bay Dive Shop and SCUBA


You can also take guided snorkeling and diving trips. Some of the most popular places to do this are at the Frederiksted Pier and Cane Bay. You can also snorkel at Buck Island if you take a day trip with Big Beards Adventure Tours.


Kayaking

Kayaking is one of the best St. Croix activities for relaxing, enjoying nature, and learning about local history.


Virgin Kayak Tours offers a unique experience exploring the beautiful Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. Best of all, foot pedal kayaks make the adventure incredibly comfortable for all skill levels.


There are various kayak tour options, including:


You can also rent kayaks for a self-guided adventure of St. Croix’s Salt River Bay.


Kayaks at Salt River Bay in St. Croix
Virgin Kayak Tours

Eating and Drinking

St. Croix’s food and drink scene is one of the best, and there are great options all over the island.


Some of our favorite restaurants and bars are:

  • Domino Club - A bar and grill in the rainforest with beer-drinking pigs (Frederiksted/rainforest)

  • Leatherback Brewing Company - A St. Croix staple where you can enjoy locally brewed craft beer, pizza, and regular events (Frederiksted near the airport)

  • The Landing Bear Bar - A delicious restaurant overlooking Cane Bay Beach (North Shore)

  • La Reine Chicken Shack - A popular family-owned restaurant and must-try when visiting St. Croix (between Frederiksted and Christiansted

  • Common Cents Pub - A restaurant and bar with indoor and outdoor seating (Christiansted)

  • Shupe’s - A bar and grill on the boardwalk and a popular late-night spot (Christiansted)

  • Savant - An intimate and elegant restaurant (Christiansted)


Fishing

One of the best St. Croix excursions is fishing, whether you want to stay inshore or head offshore. Most fishing charters offer half or full-day tours and supply everything you need for a successful fishing trip.


There are several reputable fishing companies on St. Croix, including:

  • Silver Kings

  • Down South Charters

  • Caribbean Sea Adventures


Shopping

While St. Croix doesn’t have big stores or malls, there are many small shops worth checking out, especially if you want to find local items.


Some of our favorite shops on the island include:

  • Eden South - A small store with Crucian art and snacks

  • Sonya’s Fine Island Jewelry - A local jewelry store that sells the original hook bracelet

  • Mitchell Larsen Studio - A large shop with locally made glass art, including plates, ornaments, and picture frames

  • Barbara Art Studio - An art studio and gallery with locally inspired pieces

  • Christa’s Art Gallery - A gallery and store with cultural home decor and special gifts

  • Molly’s Tropical Boutique - A shop with men's and women’s clothing, swimsuits, and shoes


Hiking

One reason many people love St. Croix for an island vacation is because not only are there great beaches, but you can also go hiking.


Some of the best hikes on St. Croix include:

  • Goat Hill - A 3.5-mile, moderately challenging hike that ends with endless ocean views

  • Annaly Tide Pools - A popular 4-mile, moderately challenging hike that leads to tide pools in Frederiksted

  • Hams Bluff Lighthouse - A 0.8-mile, easy-to-moderate hike to a historic lighthouse and beautiful views of the island

  • Mount Eagle - A moderate hike about a mile long to St. Croix’s highest point; note that the road to the trail is rough, so a 4WD vehicle is best


views from Goat Hill in St. Croix
Goat Hill

St. Croix Vacation Cost

When planning your trip to St. Croix, costs will vary depending on the type of activities, accommodations, and restaurants you choose. You should also rent a car to get around. Taxis are available but can be less reliable and cost more than car rentals.


Average costs typically look like the following: 


  • Accommodations for two people - $150 to $250 per night

  • Car rental - About $100 per day

  • One meal at a restaurant - $30


Again, these costs will vary. There are also many free activities, including going to the beach and hiking.


St. Croix Vacation: FAQs

Make the most of your Caribbean vacation with answers to common questions below.


What is the best month to go to St. Croix?

While there are perks to visiting St. Croix any time of year, April or May is a great time since the busy season is ending, the summer heat hasn't hit, and it's before hurricane season.


St. Croix’s peak season is during winter, and hurricane season is late summer through fall, so keep this in mind when planning your trip.


How expensive is a vacation in St. Croix?

You can expect to spend at least $150 per person each day of your vacation in St. Croix, including your accommodations, transportation around the island, and food.


St. Croix prices are similar to those in big cities, and how much you spend can vary greatly depending on your travel styles and activities.

 

Is St. Thomas or St. Croix better to visit?

St. Thomas is a better place to visit if you want more amenities and nightlife, but St. Croix is better if your primary goal is relaxing and enjoying nature.


Do I need to rent a car for my St. Croix vacation? 

It's best to rent a car when visiting St. Croix because the island is spread out, and taxis aren't always affordable or convenient. There's a lot to see and do all over the island, and you can miss out on many experiences if you don't have a car.


How many days to spend on St. Croix?

It's best to spend at least three days on St. Croix. However, up to a week is ideal to see and do as much as possible while also having time to relax.


St. Croix Vacation: Conclusion

We hope you found this article helpful in planning your Caribbean getaway. St. Croix is an incredibly special island and the perfect vacation spot.


If you’re ready to start planning your activities, book a kayaking tour with Virgin Kayak Tours to experience a slice of the island’s beauty and history.

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