It may be the smallest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but St. John is a natural wonder of crescent bays and perfumed forest groves. Most visitors will arrive in Cruz Bay by ferry from St. Thomas. This charming little downtown, with its small shops, restaurants and bars is a welcome change from the bustle of Charlotte Amalie. Be sure to check out Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village for lots of fun shops to explore.
Cruz Bay is also the first stop on any trip into the Virgin Islands National Park. The Park Service runs an information center there, then Route 20 (North Shore Rd.) takes you North out of Cruz Bay, past gorgeous views of Caneel, Hawksnest, Trunk, Cinnamon, and Maho bays... an amazing string of white sand beaches with sparkling turquoise water and views of distant islands.
Beautiful Beaches, Hiking & History
St. John has the best beaches per capita of any Virgin Island! Beautiful shorelines continue along the South, West and East ends of the island...some are sandy, some have rocky cliffs. There are countless great snorkeling spots some with underwater caves and swim-throughs. The National Park Hiking trails are well marked for your exercise and exploration.
One favorite National Park guided hike is the “Reef Bay Trail” where you can see mysterious petroglyphs carved along the edge of a small waterfall and rocky pool by the prehistoric Taino people. Crumbling ruins of stone forts and sugar plantations built by African slaves during the Danish colonial period dot the island and are a reminder of the island’s past.
Free roaming donkeys, sheep, goats and chickens connect us to the old island ways when these animals were essential for transportation and food.
Pottery in Paradise is located in Coral Bay on the east side of the island. Its the island’s original settlement, a favorite among boaters and has several small restaurants and bars with a fun, local feel most are within walking distance of the Studio!
Restaurants and Lodging
From Cruz Bay to Coral Bay St John has a number of fabulous eateries from dining al fresco with a view and a cool breeze, to dining indoors in a more intimate setting.
St John has many different accomodations to choose from, top of the line villas and resorts to small inns and campsites. You are sure to find something wonderful to meet your needs! Several are in close proximity to the Pottery in Paradise studio. Remember, St. John is a highly sought after vacation destination. Therefore, accommodations during high-season (November – May) will book up and sell out. Please do not wait until the last minute to solidify your lodging and car rental needs.