We just got back from a week in the USVIs and I am already planning a trip back! (Which says a lot because we are bougee on where we go). We also spent the second half of our trip exploring the British Virgin Islands (but I will do a second post on that trip.) The main reason we headed down there was for my swimline’s LainSnow’s newest collab with Salt Deck! They are a local boat charter company that does half or full days on the water, and it is nothing but fun! We took the boat out a few days to shoot around the islands and even swam with dolphins. The family that owns the company is so sweet and you now can rock matching swimsuits with their boats starting tomorrow at noon est when the site launches here! Below is everything you need to know to help plan your next trip to the USVIS :). Also all of these amazing underwater shots and boat day pictures were taken by Sarah Swan, book her here!
How to get there:
- Fly into STT (St Thomas Airport). This is the main hub with all the best flight options. You do not need a passport if just visiting the US Virgin Islands. If you decide to hop over to BVIS, bring it. Also I recommend bringing it because leaving the USVIs their is an expedited line for passport holders.
- Take a Ferry to St John (Cruz Bay): Book your ferry tickets ahead of time! There are two options here. You can take a 5 minute taxi to Crown Bay Ferry, which then leaves a 45 minute boat ride over to St. John. Or you can take a 45 minute taxi from the airport to Red Hook Ferry, which leaves a 15 minute ferry ride over to St. John. We took the Crown Bay Ferry so we could be in the fresh air immediately following the travel day, but check times on site for both ferry schedules. Red Hook tends to leave every hour, while Crown Bay stops its last ferry around 3pm. If you are going to Lovango Resort, They are their own ferry schedule as well.
- Rent a Jeep: Book these months in advance during high season! We started calling places a month our and almost everywhere was sold out of jeeps. You definitely need a jeep to cruise the island. We ended up renting with St John Jeeps and had a great experience! They are a short walk from the ferry once you arrive in Cruz Bay.
Where to stay:
- Coral Bay: This is one of the more secluded sides of St John and we were lucky enough to stay in an amazing property Villa Circe that shows views of BVIS and the Bay! Villa Circe is a 6 bedroom, 4 bath house that has hot tub, pool, game areas, and the most amazing views! The owners were so nice and accommodating. Also, the property management team at Antares was in constant communication for our arrival and met us in a jeep to guide us to the property. It is a little tricky finding it the first time, but after a few drives solo you quickly remember how to get back to the house. It sits high up on the mountain and has wrap around decks!
- Cruz Bay: This is where all the restaurants and action are if you choose to stay in this area. It is about 20 minutes from Coral Bay.
What to do:
- Book a boat day with Salty Daze Charters! They have various options, half days and full days. The slides on the boats were game changers for kids and we loved going to Lime Out to grab tacos daily. Its only accessible by boat and have floats and tables in the water to dine!
- Explore the Beaches: Our favorites were Cinnamon Bay & Trunk Bay. Only a few food truck options at both, so be prepared or pack a lunch!
- Go on a hike to the national parks (We didnt have time to do this with young kids but everyone recommended it)
- Go shopping in Cruz Bay! Loved Salt & Strand, it is owned by an NC gal :).
Where to Eat:
- High Tide: This is another NC owned business by the sweetest couple. It is located right by the ferry dock and sits on the beach overlooking the water. Perfect place to drink/eat before or after getting on the ferry!
- ZoZo’s: We dined here one night and got a babysitter, and it was breathtaking. It says a 3 course meal and 3 hours, but we let them know we preferred to eat faster and got out of there in 2 hours!
- Extra Virgin Bistro: Highly recommended but didn’t have a chance to go.
- Salty Mongoose Pizza: Ordered from here a few times and kids loved it. The hours are on island time, so typically afternoon is when we found them open.
- Personal Chef Service: I love doing this on vacations after a long beach or boat day, so you don’t have to worry about anything! We had food catered by Coral Bay Catering one afternoon buffet style. Another night we had Chef Vincent prepare an incredible sit-down meal! Both were amazing and catered to my GF/DF allergies easily.
Follow us on Instagram & Tiktok to see the highlight videos of the trip as well! <3