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  • Best Things to Do on St. Croix, USVI (Top Tips from Locals)

    St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is known for beautiful blue-water beaches, outdoor adventures, and unique culture. In this article, we’ll share some of the best things to do on St. Croix. Whether you’re a local looking for unique activities or visiting St. Croix and want to enjoy a memorable experience, there’s something for everyone. From kayak tours and shopping to sailing adventures and beer-drinking pigs, there’s no shortage of fun activities on St. Croix. Below, we’ll explore our favorite activities with insider tips from St. Croix locals. 1. Take a Boat Trip to Buck Island Visiting Buck Island is easily one of the most magical St. Croix adventures! Buck Island Reef National Monument protects the small, uninhabited island about a mile and a half north of St. Croix. Buck Island is only accessible by boat, and Big Beards Adventure Tours offers half-day and full-day trips. You can take Big Beard’s catamaran to Buck Island to snorkel, play in the clear, blue water, and walk along the sandy beach—all while experiencing picture-perfect Caribbean scenery. 2. Visit Point Udall Point Udall is at the East end of St. Croix and the easternmost point of the United States. The drive to scenic Point Udall is incredible, with panoramic views of blue waters. There's a unique sundial at Point Udall known as the Millennium Monument, built for New Year's in 2000 to represent the first US sunrise of the new millennium. Point Udall is a popular place to take pictures and enjoy the views. You can also take a relatively easy hike at the nearby Jack and Isaac Bay Trail, which takes you to a beach. We also highly recommend stopping at Ziggy's Island Market on your way to or from Point Udall. Ziggy’s is a gas station, convenience store, and bar with a relaxed atmosphere and some of the best food on St. Croix. 3. Kayak the Salt River Bay One of the most fun and unique things to do on St. Croix is kayaking the Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve. This is one of our favorite ways to get outside, enjoy nature, and relax. Salt River Bay is a preserved natural area with more than 2,000 years of history. It's also home to only ten studied super glow biobays worldwide, meaning it glows year-round. Virgin Kayak Tours offers several guided kayak tours, including the Bioluminescence Bay, Sunset & Moonlight, and Historical & Ecological. You can also rent kayaks and standup paddleboards if you prefer to explore the bay on your own. The best part about Virgin Kayak Tours is the foot-pedaled kayaks, which means all you have to do is move your feet back and forth to go. This offers a relaxing experience for all skill levels, and you can keep your hands free to take pictures or agitate the water to see the bioluminescence glow. 4. Drink Beer at Leatherback Brewing Company Leatherback Brewing Company is a St. Croix staple that is kid and adult-friendly. It’s conveniently located a few minutes from the airport and serves delicious food and drinks, including pizza, craft beer, and cocktails. We love visiting Leatherback to enjoy traditional beers and those made with Caribbean-grown ingredients. They have a few delicious year-round options and always have unique seasonal beers, like the Biobay Double IPA and the Caribbean Trail Pilsner, which support local causes. There are also regular events at Leatherback, including live music, crab races, fundraisers, and movie nights. 5. Go Hiking One of the best free things to do on St. Croix is hiking. There are many amazing hiking trails throughout the island for all skill levels, each offering different scenery. Some of our favorite hikes are: Goat Hill - A moderately challenging 3.5-mile hike leading to 360° ocean views Annaly Tide Pools - A moderately challenging 4-mile hike to a popular area with tide pools in Frederiksted Hams Bluff Lighthouse - An easy to moderate 0.8-mile hike to a historic lighthouse and beautiful scenery Mount Eagle - A moderate hike about a mile long, depending on where you park, to St. Croix’s highest point (The road to the trail is rough, and you can stop along the way or continue driving until you see a small parking area.) 6. Support Ruff Start Animal Rescue Ruff Start is a local non-profit organization that rescues stray, neglected, abandoned, and surrendered animals. We highly recommend supporting Ruff Start while you’re visiting St. Croix by: Attending a local benefit event, which you can find information about on Ruff Start’s Facebook page Visiting Ruff Night Hair of the Dog Bar, a fun dog bar with drinks and music (all proceeds go to Ruff Start) Sign up to fly a rescue dog back to their forever home in the States at no extra cost to you 7. Explore Christiansted Christiansted town is in the center of the island and has many things to see and do. It's one of the best areas for eating, drinking, and shopping. You can park on the street or in the Christiansted parking lot to walk around and explore. A few of our favorite places, all of which are on the Eastern end of Company Street, are: Eden South - A small shop with local art and other Crucian gifts Sonya’s Fine Island Jewelry - A local jewelry store selling the original hook bracelet and other unique pieces Christa’s Art Gallery - A gallery and shop with cultural art, gifts, and home decor Mitchell Larsen Studio - A large store with locally made glass art pieces, including ornaments, plates, picture frames, and more Barbara Art Studio - A studio and gallery with locally inspired art Jump Up Deli & Dem Tings - A delicious deli and Caribbean-inspired gift boutique Common Cents Pub - A restaurant and bar with great dinner and late-night food, cocktails, live music, and indoor and outdoor seating Shupe’s - A bar and grill on the boardwalk with made-to-order food; open all day and ideal for late-night food and drinks Dazzled - A bar with tapas, cocktails, live music, and salsa dancing If you’re looking for places to have a nice dinner in Christiansted, we recommend checking out Too Chez Restaurant and Bar, Hamilton’s, or Savant. We also love hanging out on the boardwalk to eat, drink, shop, and enjoy views of the Christiansted harbor. 8. Hang Out at the Beach Another one of the best free things to do on St. Croix with kids, friends, or alone is hang out at the beach. St. Croix has some of the most beautiful blue-water beaches, all offering a unique vibe. Here are some of our favorite beaches on St. Croix: Cay Beach - Get to Cay Beach with a short boat ride from the Christiansted boardwalk. It’s at Hotel on the Cay, which has a beach bar and live music on the weekends. You can also rent chairs and umbrellas. Mermaid Beach - The Buccaneer Hotel on the east side of the island has a beautiful public beach where you can rent chairs and umbrellas. You can also order food and drinks to enjoy on the beach. Cane Bay - This stunning beach is on St. Croix’s north shore. It’s popular for hanging out, snorkeling, and diving. It’s also across the street from The Landing, a great beach bar and restaurant. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge - On Saturdays and Sundays, from April through August, you can visit Sandy Point’s long, sandy beach. Dorsch - Relax on the beach, go snorkeling, and hunt for sea glass at Dorsch Beach in Frederiksted. Rainbow Beach - If you’re looking for a lively beach, Rainbow Beach is perfect. It has a beach restaurant and bar, and you can rent jet skis, chairs, and umbrellas. These are some of the more popular beaches. If you want to find a secluded area, drive past Rainbow Beach, and you'll see pull-offs for more private beach spots. 9. Go on a Sailing Adventure Stanford Joines, author of The Eighth Flag, spent 30 years sailing the Caribbean. Now, he leads historical sailing tours on St. Croix with 8th Flag Charters. Take a private tour with your group and no other sailors, aside from your guide, to explore the beautiful Salt River Bay in St. Croix. You can take a two-hour historical tour, fun for anyone, or a romantic sunset sail. 10. Take a Guided Fishing Trip If you want to go fishing on St. Croix, Silver Kings Fishing offers a fun experience! The most popular option is inshore kayak fishing, but you can also take a guided beach fishing trip. Silver Kings Fishing has everything you need for a successful fishing trip, including rods, reels, lures, flies, and baits, which have landed almost 30 unique tropical species. Various tour options include small groups, larger groups, and personalized trips. 11. Snorkel or Dive at the Frederiksted Pier While there are tons of incredible snorkeling and diving opportunities on St. Croix, the Frederiksted Pier is one of our favorite spots. The pier is where cruise ships dock, and the waters are home to sea turtles, fish, and other marine life. There are a couple of shops across from the Frederiksted Pier where you can rent snorkeling and diving gear and also take a guided scuba diving trip: Cane Bay Dive Shop and SCUBA (St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventures) dive shop at Molly’s. If you want to grab a bite to eat before or after your adventure, there are several restaurants and bars nearby. 12. Go to a Local Event Attending a local event on St. Croix is one of the best ways to enjoy the culture. With many events throughout the year, there’s almost always something going on. Here are some of the best local events on St. Croix: Art Thursday - An art event in Downtown Christiansted on the third Thursday evening of every month from November through May Jump Up - A festival in Downtown Christiansted four times per year Agricultural and Food Fair - The largest agricultural festival in the Caribbean during President’s Day weekend Carnival - Festivals and parades over the last week of December and first week of January every year 13. See Beer Drinking Pigs at Domino Club Mt. Pellier Domino Club is an unassuming restaurant and bar in St. Croix's rainforest, where you can serve non-alcoholic beer to pigs. Guided visits to see the pigs are every half hour, but they are well taken care of, so visits may be limited if they need rest. Make sure you try Domino Club’s famous Mama Wanna, a local rum soaked over island roots, herbs, and spices. They also serve beer and cocktails and have a small but delicious food menu. While the road to Domino Club is a bit bumpy, and there’s little to no cell service, it's one of the most unique spots on the island and well worth a visit. It’s also cash only, so be prepared! 14. Zipline Through the Rainforest Another fun St. Croix rainforest experience is ziplining with Carambola Zip Line – a fun activity for those ten years and older. Take a scenic safari bus ride to the top of St. Croix, then zipline through the lush rainforest for some of the best views in the Caribbean. There are three ziplining adventures, with tons of cool photo opportunities throughout your experience. Best Things to Do on St. Croix: Conclusion We hope you’re excited to enjoy St. Croix’s unique and fun activities! From kayaking the beautiful Salt River Bay and enjoying blue water beaches to attending local events and visiting beer-drinking pigs, there’s something for everyone in St. Croix, USVI. If you’re ready to start planning your St. Croix experiences, book a kayaking adventure with Virgin Kayak Tours.

  • Best Kayak Tours in St. Croix (Biobay, Day, & Self-Guided)

    A St. Croix kayak tour is one of the most fun and memorable experiences. It’s also the best way to explore the beautiful and historic Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. In this article, we’ll share the best kayak tours in St. Croix, including the iconic bioluminescent bay tour, a daytime tour, and a self-guided adventure. Where to kayak in St. Croix? The most popular place for kayaking in St. Croix is Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. Salt River Bay is a preserved natural area with over 2,000 years of history. It’s also home to one of only ten studied super glow biobays, which means it glows year-round. The Best Kayak Tours in St. Croix Virgin Kayak Tours leads guided biobay, sunset, and daytime tours. You can also rent a kayak for a self-guided trip around the bay. Bioluminescence Kayak Tour The Bioluminescence Kayak Tour is the most popular in St. Croix. Spend an evening touring Salt River Bay and experiencing a rare and magical underwater glow. On a Bioluminescence Kayak Tour, you’ll kayak around the beautiful bay, learning about five different bioluminescent organisms that can be seen in the area. Virgin Kayak Tours offers nets, so you can agitate the water and see the bioluminescent glow. Various factors affect the concentration of the bio and brightness, including how bright the moon is, so it’s best to book a guided tour to ensure you go at the right time. Sunset & Moonlight Tour When the bioluminescence isn’t shining as bright, you can take a Sunset & Moonlight Tour to experience the Salt River Bay at night. During the Sunset & Moonlight Tour, you’ll enjoy the peaceful bay and its natural beauty. You’ll also learn about Salt River Bay’s history and explore some of its most fascinating ecological features, including the red mangrove tree, the night sky, and constellations. You’ll also learn about the bioluminescent organisms, and there's a chance you'll see a glimpse of the glowing bioluminescence, even on the Sunset & Moonlight Tour. Historical & Ecological Day Tour The Historical & Ecological Day Tour is one of St. Croix’s most fun and memorable daytime activities. Appreciate the warm weather, St. Croix’s history and ecology, and beautiful scenery. During your Historical & Ecological Day Tour, you can spend a relaxing morning kayaking and learning about the Mangrove Estuary’s ecology, the Indigenous Peoples of St. Croix, migratory birds, and Christopher Columbus’ expedition. Self-Guided Kayak Tour To explore St. Croix’s Salt River Bay on your own, you can take a self-guided kayak tour. Virgin Kayak Tours offers half and full-day kayak rentals. With the self-guided tour, you'll get a map and helpful information about the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. From there, you can enjoy a kayaking adventure on your own terms. Virgin Kayak Tours in St Croix If you book a tour with Virgin Kayak Tours, you’ll get to explore the Salt River Bay in the Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak. We’ve been leading kayak tours for over 25 years and have found these to be the most comfortable and efficient way to enjoy a fun kayaking adventure. The Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak is spacious, unlike many other kayak options. It’s also sturdy, comfortably holding up to 260 pounds. It’s even stable in strong winds and currents, offering a pleasant experience no matter what. The pedals allow you to easily maneuver your kayak with a simple back-and-forth motion, offering a great experience whether you’ve never kayaked before or you’ve been doing it for years. The foot drive also frees up your hands so you can take pictures, enjoy a beverage, or agitate the water to see the biobay glow. Check out how to Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak works: Kayak Tours in St. Croix: FAQs Make the most of your kayaking experience with answers to common questions. Are see-through kayaks better? While some people enjoy see-through kayaks, many find the foot-pedal kayaks to be the best way to explore Salt River Bay. They're sturdy, spacious, and comfortable, unlike see-through kayaks. With the Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak, you don’t have to worry about using paddles to move across the water. It’s also easier to see the bioluminescence glow from the pedal kayak because you can use your hands or the net provided by Virgin Kayak Tours to agitate the water. What is the best time to see the bioluminescence? Although St. Croix’s Salt River Bay glows year-round, for about ten days leading up to the full moon each month, the extra brightness in the sky diminishes viewing conditions. During this time, you can take the Sunset & Moonlight Tour instead and can usually still see some bio glow. Can anyone take a kayak tour in St. Croix? Just about anyone can enjoy kayaking the Salt River. Most kayak tours require you to be at least six years old and under 260 pounds. Virgin Kayak Tours’ pedal kayaks are also suitable for all levels, beginner to pro. Book a Kayak Tour in St. Croix We hope this guide to the best kayak tours in St. Croix has inspired you to enjoy kayaking the beautiful Salt River Bay in the comfortable Hobie Mirage Pedal Kayak. Whether you take a guided biobay, sunset & moonlight, or daytime tour, you'll have a memorable experience. The self-guided tour is a fun adventure, too. Virgin Kayak Tours has been sharing St. Croix’s beauty and history with locals and visitors since 1998 with various tours and rentals. We hope to see you on the water soon!

  • Bioluminescent Bay St. Croix, USVI: Where and When to See It

    Exploring the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands, is one of the most unique and fun experiences. There are two biobays in St. Croix, but only one is considered a “super glow” bio bay, where you can see water that glows at night from light emitted from living organisms in the water. In this article, we’ll share where and when to see the glowing bioluminescent light in St. Croix. We’ll also explore fun facts about the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix and the best way to experience the biobay. Where to See the Bioluminescent Bay in St. Croix There are two places to see the biobay in St. Croix: Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve and Altona Lagoon. Salt River’s Bay is a “super glow” biobay and the most popular place on St. Croix to experience bioluminescence. It’s known as a “super glow” biobay because there’s a high enough concentration of organisms to be visible 365 days per year, regardless of the moon phase or weather conditions. When can you see bioluminescence in St. Croix? Although you can see bioluminescence year-round in Salt River Bay, many factors impact the visibility of the biobay concentration and glow. Ambient light in the sky, generally from the moon, can diminish the effects of the bio since there isn’t as much contrast between the light in the sky and light in the water. You can book a guided tour to ensure you explore the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix at the right time to see the bioluminescence. Virgin Kayak Tours offers Bioluminescence Kayak Tours when the bio is most visible. During a tour, you get a hand-held net to agitate the water for an incredible glow. The best part? It’s easy to focus on the bioluminescence since Virgin Kayak Tours’ kayaks are foot-pedaled, giving you a hands-free experience. When the bioluminescence effects aren’t as visible, you can book a Sunset and Moonlight Biobay Tour. The Sunset and Moonlight Tour lets you explore Salt River Bay while catching the end of the sunset and learning about the bay’s unique history in a peaceful setting. As you kayak to the biobay, you still even get to see a glimpse of the bioluminescent glow. Can you swim in the bioluminescent bay? To help protect and preserve the bioluminescent organisms, swimming isn’t allowed in the bioluminescent bay. The best way to enjoy the biobay is by looking at and appreciating the scenery and glow. Fun Facts About the Bioluminescent Bay in St. Croix As one of only ten studied super glow biobays in the world, Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve is one of the most fascinating places in the Virgin Islands, with over 2,000 years of human history in the Caribbean. Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve covers over a thousand acres and has numerous prehistoric and colonial-era archeological sites and ruins. The area preserves an abundance of natural, cultural, and historical resources, which document the human and natural Caribbean world from the earliest indigenous settlements to the present day. Not only do mangrove forests, upland watersheds, and estuarine and marine environments protect threatened and endangered species throughout Salt River Bay, but they also create a peaceful slice of paradise in St. Croix. Five different bioluminescent organisms are found in Salt River Bay. The two most abundant are dinoflagellates and diatoms. There are also egg sacks of the Bermuda fireworm, fireflies, and comb jellies. You can learn more about all of these organisms during a biobay tour with Virgin Kayak Tours. Explore the Stunning Biobay in St. Croix A guided tour with Virgin Kayak Tours is an incredible way to explore the bioluminescent bay in St. Croix. Virgin Kayak Tours has been showing visitors the beauty of Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve since 1998. You can tour the biobay in a Hobie Mirage Kayak, which is foot-pedaled and offers a hands-free experience, perfect for relaxing and enjoying the opportunity of easily using the provided nets to agitate the water and see the biobay glow. The Hobie Mirage Kayaks are sturdy and comfortable, with a weight capacity of up to 260 pounds per person. They offer a fun experience exploring the bio bay in St. Croix for anyone six years and older. No matter your kayak level, you can easily move your legs back and forth in the Hobie Mirage Kayak to cruise along the water and enjoy your Salt River Bay experience. During a tour with Virgin Kayaks Tour, your guide will discuss local ecology and history as you explore the biobay and enjoy a memorable St. Croix, USVI adventure.

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