St. Croix is home. Being born and bred Crucians, the island holds an extra-special place in our hearts. Not only were our hearts and minds nurtured here, so too was our enduring love for the Caribbean; the same love that inspired us to create Uncommon Caribbean in the first place.
St. Croix is, of course, much more than our collection of utopian childhood memories. Today, it’s a destination in flux. Alternating periods of booms and busts have yielded profound socio-economic changes in recent years. Many native-born Crucians, like us, have left the island to pursue opportunities overseas. At the same time, a population influx, primarily from the Continental United States, has brought new ideas, investments, and opportunities to our home island’s shores. St. Croix is still plenty sweet, though in the process of all this change, some feel it has lost a bit of its “Caribbean melting pot” cachet.
In our St. Croix travel guide, we square the old with the new, all the while highlighting our home island’s natural splendor, unique traditions, and charms to show you why this is still one corner of the Caribbean that you won’t want to miss.
How to get to St. Croix
Depending on where you’re departing from, getting to St. Croix can be reasonably simple.
From the continental United States, Spirit, Jetblue, Delta, and American Airlines all serve Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport (STX) with daily arrivals. The only issue is a lack of enough direct flights.
Coming from the Northeast United States, you can expect a layover in Miami (MIA), Fort Lauderdale (FLL), or San Juan (SJU). If you’re starting your trip from further west, you may connect through Dallas (DFW).
None of those connections are too bad. (Patrick, though, has a particular dislike for the service at MIA!)
No Passport Required
The #1 draw for many Americans traveling to St. Croix: No passport is required!
Note: Just so that we’re 100% clear on this, St. Croix, the largest of the United States Virgin Islands, is a part of the United States of America (USA). The official political status of the United States Virgin Islands relative to the Federal Government of the United States of America is that of an unincorporated U.S. territory. This is just like Puerto Rico, though somewhat more so like Guam or American Samoa, at least from the standpoint of U.S. political history.
(Don’t worry, we’re not going to test you on this.)
St. Croix and the rest of the United States Virgin Islands (including St. John and St. Thomas) have been a part of the United States for more than 100 years—ever since the Treaty of the Danish West Indies in 1917.
St. Croix Beaches
The story of St. Croix is about much more than beautiful beaches. But if you think the island is lacking in this regard, you’d be wrong.
In fact, one of our favorite beaches in the world graces the island. Of course, we’re totally biassed, and of course, we’re talking about Sandy Point.
Located in the extreme west of the island, Sandy Point is nothing less than perfection. Imagine a wide stretch of brilliant white sand, lush green providing seclusion from the rest of the island, and crystalline waves lapping at the fringe.
Sandy Point was the most crucial beach of our high-school years, and it still holds a special place in our hearts today. But all that beauty isn’t just for human visitors.
Sandy Point is also a major nesting ground for endangered sea turtles. It’s so major, in fact, that the beach remains strictly off-limits to all human guests in favor of our soon-to-be-born seafaring friends from April 1 to August 31 each year.
There’s also a truly old favorite: Cramer Park. This was the beach we grew up visiting when we were kids with our family. I can still remember some of the picnics and playtimes we used to have here.
Where to eat
There are definite pros and cons to being a United States territory when it comes to the food on St. Croix.
One of the pros is that for visitors interested in a taste of home, standard American fare is easy to find.
Restaurants and bars line the Christiansted boardwalk offering pizza, hamburgers, and the like. Of course, some are better than others.
But for the best pizza, you’ll need to head to Five Corners a little outside downtown Christiansted and visit Un Amore. The pizza on offer might as well be coming straight out of an oven in New York. Their antipasti, pasta, and seafood are all also worth a taste.
The cons to all this easily accessible American fare is that regional flavors are sometimes overshadowed. And you didn’t come all the way to the Caribbean to eat American food, did you?
If you want to really get a feel for the local vibe, a visit to La Reine Chicken Shack is a must. Expect mouthwatering rotisserie chicken and fixings like macaroni pie and johnny cake that can’t be beaten!
Equally amazing is Panchi’s. This TRULY local spot isn’t a restaurant or a bar. Panchi is a man with a huge heart who loves to cook absolutely amazing local fare and serve it to late-night guests to his home in Gallows Bay. The fun here starts at 2am every Saturday morning and stretches well into Saturday afternoon. There’s no better place to stop after a late night of partying in Christiansted.
Other stops worth making include Salt Great Pond on the south shore, Ciboné and Braata in Frederiksted for dinner or Sunday Brunch, BES Craft Cocktail Lounge in Christiansted for incredible cocktails and inventive eats from our friend Frank Robinson, Ziggy’s Gas Station (really) for authentic West Indian breakfasts to go, and Blue Water Terrace way out east for all-you-can-eat lobster Mondays (really).
And finally, if you’re staying somewhere with a kitchen, consider paying a visit to local fishermen for the fresh catch of the day. From lobster to conch, and snapper; you might have the freshest meal of your life!
Know Before You Go
Where to stay on St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Feather Leaf Inn
Sugar Apple Bed and Breakfast
Company House Hotel
Arawak Bay The Inn at Salt River
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Things to do in St. Croix, US Virgin Islands
Hiking Goat Hill
Buck Island National Park
Ziggy’s Island Market
Sandy Point Beach
La Reine Chicken Shack
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