The Travel Professor
Join me on a journey across the broad spectrum of interesting travel topics. We’ll discuss destinations domestic and abroad, some familiar and some off the beaten path. We take a look at suppliers like cruise lines, air carriers and tour operators and find their bargains and special offerings. Got questions? Email

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

St John part of America's Caribbean playground

Purchased as a refueling stop for the Navy early in the 20th century the US Virgin Islands are one of America’s true treasures and vacation playgrounds. Often a port of call on Eastern Caribbean cruises they offer plenty of amenities and adventures for a week’s vacations.

My favorite Virgin is St. John, the smallest of the three U.S. Virgin Islands. It retains a tranquil, unspoiled beauty uncommon in the Caribbean or anywhere else in the world. Settled in the early 1700’s by Danish immigrants attracted to the island’s potential as a sugar cane producing colony, St. John soon blossomed into a thriving economy. The island’s unspoiled forests and stunning beaches attracted the attention of wealthy families who sought privacy and tranquility on the island. At Trunk Bay an underwater snorkel trail with descriptive placards describes the abundant colorful fish and coral that you’ll swim through.

Cruz Bay is one of the small settlements on the island and it reminded me of something out a Hemmingway novel and a Jimmy Buffet ballad. It’s a ferry stop town with quaint shops, bars, restaurants and plenty of local characters with island charm.

I was in on a day excursion from a cruise so I couldn’t spend the night on the island but one choice of lodging would be the Gallows Point Resort. It’s a short stroll from Cruz Bay and this place offers plenty of Caribbean ambience and island style suites. What really impressed me were the incredible views available from the sleeping rooms and public areas. They also home to ZoZo’s Ristorante, one of the island’s hottest restaurants. This is an upscale resort but worth it.
My day trip is ending as it is time to catch the last ferry back over to St. Thomas and Charlotte Amalie, the capitol of the USVI. I’ll share this island’s treasures with you later.