St. Croix USVI Beaches

Beautiful Beaches of St. Croix USVI

 

BEST BEACHES IN ST. CROIX

 

St. Croix is full of beautiful beaches on every side of the Island. During our previous trip to St. Croix we visited Cane Bay, Rainbow Beach, and the Buccanneer. This time we ventured out and enjoyed multiple beaches around the Island. Each beautiful, with it’s own unique characteristics. Like many Caribbean Islands, all of the beaches in St. Croix are open to the public, meaning even non-guests can enjoy the beaches directly in front of any hotel or resort.

 

CHENAY BAY BEACH

 

St. Croix USVI BeachesLocated on the East End with easy access through the Chenay Bay Beach Resort. This beach is protected by a small cove which usually ensures a little calmer water for snorkeling. The resort offers a beach bar and restaurant with beach side service. Chenay Bay Beach Resort is a super cute resort with beach side cottages.  If you take a short walk west along the beach towards Christiansted, you’ll see where the locals drive in and park near the Beach.  While snorkeling in this area of Chenay Bay we enjoyed watching several sea turtles and an Octopus. A highlight of our trip!

 

 

Snorkeling with Turtles Video

 

At .38 sec the Octopus puffs up to show us who is boss!

“The Octopus” Video

 

THE BUCCANNEER BEACH

 

Best Beaches in the Caribbean

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Buccanneer was one of our favorite beaches we visited during our first trip to St. Croix. The Buccanneer charges a minimal parking fee of $4 per adult as you enter the hotel complex (kids are free).  There are kid-friendly activities including beach side chess, beach volleyball, basketball, and Frisbee golf.  They offer free use of beach chairs (as long as you order from their beach side servers), lots of shade, and a beach side bar & restaurant.  The view is beautiful, the beach is sandy white, and you can lounge around and watch the charter boats float by. The Buccanneer is a popular resort on St. Croix and we noticed a lot of families enjoying the beach and grounds during our visit.

Beach Side Chess Table

Beach Side Chess – A favorite activity for the kids.

 

 

THE RENAISSANCE CARAMBOLA BEACH

 

Renaissance Carambola Beach The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort is located on the North Shore. Anyone is welcome to use the beach, however non-guests must park outside of the gate and walk in to the resort. TIP: If you are visiting the restaurant or utilizing the dive shop Sweet Bottom (located inside of the complex), you will be allowed to park in the guest parking lot. This is a beautiful white sandy beach with good snorkeling on a clear day. The day we visited the water was choppy and churning up sand and the visibility was low. There is a full service bar & restaurant near the beach, and a mini bar located right on the beach. The Renaissance Carambola Beach is a great place to sit back and enjoy the day. We watched divers from the Sweet Bottom Dive Shop leave and return from their shore dives. The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort is a nice complex and should we return for a short hotel stay, we would consider this resort as a great option.

TIP: The restaurant offers a wonderful lunch menu; if you visit for the day plan on enjoying a fabulous burger or fresh Mahi Mahi sandwich.

Best Family Vacation

Sunset View from the Restaurant


SANDY POINT BEACH

 

Best Beaches in the Virgin Islands

Watching the Sunset at Sandy Point Beach

Located on the most Southwest corner of St. Croix, this beach is the longest stretch of beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sandy Point is also a National Wildlife Refuge due to the nesting of vulnerable Leatherback sea turtles.  Sandy Point beach is closed to the public each year from April/May – August/September by the National Wildlife service during the leatherback turtle nesting season. We were lucky enough to be invited by a private group to participate in the turtle watch program one evening. It was amazing! We watched baby turtles hatch and emerge from the sand and then be released into the sea. Pictures of the baby sea turtles are forbidden, but I was allowed to snap a picture of our little guy helping carry the pouch of baby turtles to the release spot. What a life changing experience for all of us!

Sea Turtle Nest Sandy Point

This Circle designates a Sea Turtle Nesting Spot

 

Sandy Point Turtle Watch Program

Baby Sea Turtles. A highlight of our trip!

During the rest of the year Sandy Point beach is open to the public on weekends only. It is important to remember that other species of turtles nest on this beach throughout the year. Never touch a nesting Sea Turtle. She may abort laying her eggs or even bite you if agitated. If you see a nesting sea turtle in distress contact the local STAR sea turtle assistance and rescue (340) 690-0474.   Do not dig for baby turtles or handle the turtles. If you happen upon baby turtles hatching do not use your camera light, flash lights, or any other flash as they may become disoriented.

If given the chance, I highly recommend a visit to this beach. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of sea turtles hatching and making their way to the sea. Just remember to be courteous of these protected animals.

 

FREEDOM CITY BEACH

 

Fun Family Vacation

View of the Pier from Freedom City Beach

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Freedom City Beach is located next to the Pier in Frederiksted. We visited this beach several times during our stay and loved it. The snorkeling is great, (especially near the pier), and the local beach side shop offers reasonable umbrella and chair rental ($20 per day).  The shop also offers paddle board rental, snacks, snorkel rental, and other beach amenities. Next to the shop is a nice beach side bar and grill. Freedom City Beach gets extremely busy on days when a cruise ship docks at the pier. If you ever enjoy a trip to St. Croix via cruise, this beach is within walking distance from the pier so no need for a taxi or other excursion to enjoy a relaxing day here. We were in St. Croix during a full moon and the shop has a full moon beach party complete with a full moon glow paddle board event, beach side music/entertainment, and local food vendors/food trucks.

Tip:  This beach is near the cruise ship port and can be very busy on a “cruise ship day.”  Check the cruise schedule and try to plan a non-cruise ship day to visit Freedom City Beach.

 

 

RAINBOW BEACH

 

Rainbow Beach St. Croix

Hello from Rainbow Beach!

Always a favorite for at least one afternoon when we visit St. Croix. Rainbow Beach is another great beach with soft white sand and clear blue water. Beach goers can rent umbrellas, beach chairs, snorkeling gear, paddle boards, and jet skis. There is a nice restaurant/bar located at Rainbow beach with plenty of rum drinks and a tropical pub menu.

Tip:  This beach is near the cruise ship port and can be very busy on a “cruise ship day.”  Check the cruise schedule and try to plan a non-cruise ship day to visit Rainbow Beach.

 

 

BUTLER BAY BEACH

 

Remote Beaches in the Caribbean 

 

 

 

 

 

Another gem we stumbled upon is Butler Bay Beach located a few miles North of Rainbow Beach. The day we spent there was pretty quiet with only a few locals visiting throughout the afternoon. The snorkeling here is fabulous, with clear blue water and lots of coral and sea life just a short swim from the beach.

Tip: Wear water shoes as the shore is rocky before it turns to soft sand. Pack a picnic. There is no bar, restaurants, or shops nearby.

 

If you are willing to get out and explore, you won’t be disappointed in the Beaches on St. Croix. There are so many wonderful white sandy beaches to see.  We only visited a fraction of the Beaches during our current vacation, but hope to explore more on a future trip to beautiful St. Croix!

 

These are our favorite beach accessories that take on our beach vacations.  The Genji Beach Tent is light and easy to assemble.  We use this tent at beaches with little or no shade.  During turtle nesting season, make sure to use sand bags to secure the tent, or utilize the tent away from turtle nesting areas.  We also LOVE our RuMe Tote BagThe tote folds up into a very small rectangle for easy packing, yet holds a ton of beach accessories!  For snorkel gear we prefer brands that feature the “dry top’ technology to help keep water out.  These are the actual brands and items we are using on our St. Croix adventure!

*We have not received compensation for featuring these items, however we may receive a small commission (at no charge to you) if you purchase through this link.  Thank you for helping to support our blog.

Beer Drinking Pigs St. Croix

Beer Drinking Pigs at the Montpellier Domino Club St. Croix

After a successful morning of snorkeling, we visited the Montpellier Domino Club home of the famous “Beer Drinking Pigs.” It’s a shack-like hideaway at the edge of the rain forest with a small bar and one daily food special (they only serve one menu item per day). When we arrived, there were a few locals at the bar and a couple of other people waiting to visit the pigs. The cost is $1 per person, plus $2 per beer, and another $3 if you take videos (pictures are free).

Not knowing what to expect, our group was led to the pig’s area armed with our beers.  We were surprised at the size of the pigs and how fast everything happened once we started tapping the beer can on the side of the pen. It was the end of the day, so only one pig was interested in showing off his drinking skills. The employees told us the pigs know when it is “quitting time” and prefer to lounge around and eat mangoes in the evening.

The pigs hop up on the side of their pen, you place the beer in their mouth, they crush the can, drink the beer and spit out the can. They drink O’Douls non-alcoholic beer.

 

If you have trouble with the video link you can watch the video here.

After the excitement of watching the pigs, we stayed at the Domino club and talked to the employees for a while. They were both very nice. They offered the adults in our party a shot of “Mama Wanna”, a local spiced rum drink made by Norma, the owner of the Domino Club. The liquor is 80 proof rum steeped with spices and honey. Two of our party tried the shot (I have been forbidden to post the “shot face” pictures).  I tasted a small drop on my finger, it has a gritty texture and is the kind of drink that will clear your sinuses.

Best Family Vacations Overall, the stop was interesting and fun, and the employees were informative about things to do on the Island.  If you find yourself in the area, The Domino Club is worth a quick stop to watch the Beer Drinking Pigs in action.

Follow along on our St. Croix Adventures:

St. Croix A Diver’s Paradise

Eating Our Way Through St. Croix

A Drive Down Mahogany Road

 

Best Place to see Sea Turtles

St. Croix – A Diver’s Paradise

Best Family Vacation

St. Croix is a fantastic divers destination. There is so much sea life to enjoy around the island. We purchased a tropical fish identification guide for our kids, and between diving and snorkeling we have seen almost every fish in the book! During the first week of our vacation, Dave was unable to dive due to an ear infection that resulted in a trip to the local Urgicare. He was given the green light by the Doctor and has enjoyed dives in Frederiksted and Davis Bay.

A few highlights of his recent dives include sea turtles, sharks, squid, sea horses, and tons of amazing brightly colored fish. I love to watch and share the videos with the kids. They enjoy picking out fish in the videos and then identifying them in our fish guide. My personal favorite video clip is when they enter “The Aquarium” dive site in Frederiksted surrounded by hundreds of fish. It truly looks like they are swimming in a huge aquarium of tropical fish.

 St. Croix Diving Video Highlights:

 If you are having trouble viewing the video you can watch it here: St. Croix Dive – July 2015

 

Highlights of Dave’s Dives in Frederiksted, Salt River Bay, and Cane Bay from our last trip in January 2015:

If you are having trouble viewing the video you can watch it here: St. Croix Dive – January 2015

We are enjoying St. Croix for a few more weeks and will be posting more diving and snorkeling videos. Please follow our YouTube Channel for updates!

 

 A few of our favorite diving accessories:

 

 

Please consider visiting one of our affiliates to plan your next Dive Vacation!


Special Offer: $25 off a HomeAway Vacation Rental


Airfarewatchdog


Compare Hotel Rates at Gezi.com

 

 

 

 

*This post contains affiliate links*

Best food in St. Croix

Eating our Way Through St. Croix – Local Grocery Shopping

During our first week in St. Croix we spent time seeking out locally grown produce and fresh seafood. We have found several great places recommended by locals, including road side vegetable stands and a local meat market. It took us over a week to locate fresh fish, however we feel like we are learning how to navigate our way through the St. Croix grocery shopping options.

LOCAL GROCERY SHOPPING IN ST. CROIX:

SEASIDE MARKET: Located in Christiansted, this was one of our favorite grocery stores on our last trip to St. Croix. They have a great wine selection as well as a small deli and meat market.

FOOD TOWN: We visited the location just outside of Christiansted on LaGrande Princesse.  They have a nice deli and a large selection of commercial breads and bakery items.

COST U LESS: Located mid-Island, this is a smaller version of a bulk food store (similar to a Sams Club or Costco). We found Cost U Less to have some of best prices on liquor and an internal meat department with a large reasonably priced meat selection. Best of all, you do not need to be a member to shop here. If staying for a short period, the bulk casing may be too much for standard items, however, they do offer meat and produce in smaller quantities.

LOCAL PRODUCE, MEAT, & FISH:

On our last visit we found The ARTFarm which offered fresh local produce several times per week. However, St. Croix has been experiencing a drought and currently they are only opening as produce becomes available. We look forward to visiting them in the future and they are worth in visit once the drought is relieved.

TROPICS HYDROPONIC FARM: We found the Tropics Hydroponic farm near Salt River Bay. They keep daily hours Mon-Sat 8-5:30.  Hours may change seasonally and you should call or check online before making the trip.  During our visit they had fresh tomatoes, cucumbers, and zucchini. Their tomatoes and cucumbers were excellent on our sandwiches and in salads.

LA REINE FARMERS MARKET & ROAD SIDE STANDS: Each Saturday there is a large Farmers Market where locals meet to sell their homegrown items. You’ll find a lot of local fruits such as mangoes and star fruit along with seasonal vegetables and herbs. We found some lovely rosemary, white zucchini, and star fruit at this market. There are also several fisherman that set up each Saturday between 6-7 am, and usually sell out before 7:30 am. Local Tip: Be wary of purchasing fish from roadside stands or not appropriately stored on ice. During the week you will also find small road side stands scattered throughout the Island with mangoes, sweet potatoes, herbs, and other seasonal items.

Shopping in St. Croix

La Reine Farmers Market

 

ANNALY FARMS: This local meat market is located mid-Island off of hwy 72. They offer both USDA choice beef as well as beef from locally raised Senepol cattle. We opted to purchase the Senepol bone in ribeye because we wanted to sample the locally raised products. They were fabulous and at an awesome price of only 5.50/lb! Periodically they also offer local fish for sale. We will purchase here again during our stay. TIP: Annaly Farms advised us to call ahead as their local beef sells out quickly.

Annaly Farms St. Croix

Locally raised Senepol Ribeye

 

ROADSIDE VENDORS: There are several reputable road side vendors for fresh lobster. Just ask any local and they will tell you where their favorite roadside seller is located. We found a good source for fresh lobster near Golden Rock. We were able to trade cell phone numbers and contact him when we were in need of fresh lobster.

Where to get fresh seafood on St. Croix

Tip: Never buy lobster from a roadside stand that is not alive.

On this trip to date, our home made lobster pasta is probably the best meal we have enjoyed. We had enough leftover for two full meals.

Best food in St. Croix

Our home made lobster pasta!

We shared the recipe on our sister blog The Winey Foodies. You can find a printable/downloadable recipe here: Lobster Pasta Recipe

FREDERIKSTED FISH MARKET: On our 10th day we found fresh Red Snapper from a fisherman near La Reine. He told us we should go to the Fish Market stand in Frederiksted, located at the boat launch, between 11-12.  That is the time the boats usually return from fishing. We met several nice fisherman and purchased another lobster. They also had shark and crab available. Tip: There is usually a crowd of people waiting to purchase fresh seafood from the boats so make sure to show up early.

Frederiksted Fish Market USVI

“I’m not touching that crab!”

There are several small corner stores, vegetable stands, and grocery stores located throughout St. Croix.  We have been able to purchase many of our favorite brands we enjoy back home, as well as finding new brands.  If you visit St. Croix and opt to stay in a Vacation Rental, you’ll find that the St. Croix grocery shopping options have everything you need to enjoy your own meals at home.

Save

Things to do in St. Croix USVI

A Drive Down Mahogany Road – St. Croix Rainforest

Mahogany Road – St. Croix Rainforest

We had the opportunity to drive down Mahogany Road through the St. Croix Rain Forest.  It’s a beautiful drive up and down long winding roads filled with large Mahogany trees.  If you look closely you might see a deer or an occasional mongoose on the side of the road.

Tip: A 4WD or mini SUV is recommended for this drive.

In the heart of the rain forest we stumbled upon a sign, that said “Shop Open.”  We looked around and saw another sign for the St. Croix LEAP project – Island Mahogany.  We had discovered a wood shop nestled deep in the forest.  After a short drive up another long and winding road we found a large barn/workshop and Vincent, a local woodworker.  The front and back of the barn are completely open.  We were unsure if we were at a business or someones private barn.  However, Vincent waved us in and gave us a tour of his workshop.  You feel like you are walking into the past in a room filled with antique sanders, clamps, lathes, saws, and other old-style woodworking and carving tools.

There are large slabs of aging mahogany.  Most of the items offered for sale are mahogany cutting boards, magnets, and small clocks.  However there are a few items made from other Island woods, saman and thibet.

Vincent told us he has been there for about 50 years.  There used to be more woodworkers but he said he was the only one there now.  He was a gracious host and took a lot of time giving us a tour of his workshop.  Every item is truly one of a kind.  We purchased a St. Croix magnet, and Vincent amazingly free-handed the words “St. Croix” on it with a router.

St. Croix Leap Project – Island Mohogany

We plan on taking another drive to St. Croix Leap to purchase a mahogany cutting board before we leave.  We also hope to visit the Montpellier Domino club, “home of the beer drinking pigs”, which is also located in the heart of the rainforest.

It is such a lovely drive and highly suggested if you have the chance to visit St. Croix.

You might also like: Beer Drinking Pigs at the Montpellier Domino Club St. Croix

Check for the lowest rates to St. Croix (STX)
Airfarewatchdog

 

*This post contains affiliate ads.  If you purchase from one of our affiliate advertisers you will be helping us maintain our blog at no extra cost to you.  Thank You!