Tucked away in the Caribbean, St Croix, USVI, sparkles like a secret. This captivating island offers a beautiful blend of various cultures, directly reflecting its diverse heritage. The rhythms of local traditions swept us away. Enjoy the island’s tempting culinary delights, or bask under an eternal summer sun on its picture-perfect beaches. For those journeying from the United States, a passport isn’t required. St Croix is proudly part of the US Territory.

St. Croix’s Diverse Cultural Heritage

On our visit to St. Croix, we were struck by the cross-cultural vibrancy. Numerous cultures, including African, European, Caribbean, native Carib, Taino, and American, are wonderfully interwoven to give this island its unique rhythm. You feel this heritage in the island’s music, see it in the local art, and taste it in their diverse cuisine.

And then there are the “Cruzans,” as the natives are affectionately known. Their friendliness is just as much a part of St. Croix’s charm as its beautiful landscapes. Pay a visit, and you’ll surely agree they are likely the nicest people you will ever meet.

Sweet Legacy: Tracing St. Croix's Sugar Industry

Historically, St. Croix’s relied heavily on the sugar industry. During the sugar boom of the 18th and 19th centuries, the island flourished as one of the globe’s wealthiest sugar cane producers, its lush topography speckled with thriving plantations. Fast forward to today, and visitors like us can delve into this sugary past at places like the Estate Whim Plantation Museum. Here, guided tours take you on a fascinating journey through time, immersing yourself in the island’s sugary heritage. As you meander around the island, you’ll spot remnants of old sugar mills punctuating the scenery. But remember, most of these historical relics are on private lands, so you’ll likely get your best view from the roadside..

Savoring St. Croix’s Local Cuisine

St. Croix is every food lover’s delight; we’re no exception! The culinary scene is a brilliant mosaic of fresh sea bounty, ripe fruits and veggies, and farm-to-table specialties, all mixed with a generous dusting of Caribbean spices.

Try the conch fritters, saltfish and fungi, and johnnycakes. And for refreshment, nothing beats the ‘love and passion,’ a delightful juice concocted from local fruits. Most places had vegetarian options brimming with the island’s bright flavors. During our stay, Louie & Nacho’s became a go-to eatery – their food was as colorful and stunning as the surrounding views!

Louies and Nachos in St Croix USVI

Seaside Serenity: St. Croix's Entrancing Beaches

St. Croix has some of the best beaches in the Caribbean. They have a variety of sizes for however, you want to enjoy the sun and sea – swimming, sunbathing, or simply enjoying the warm Caribbean waters. During our trip, we checked out several of them, but Cane Bay, Dorsch, and Rainbow Beach were our favorites. You can’t go wrong with any of them.

Exploring Buck Island National Monument

The US National Park Service manages Buck Island National Monument. It is more than just your average park. It has diverse ecosystems – mangroves, lagoons, seagrass beds, and coral reefs. This is a great place to visit if you’re into swimming, snorkeling, or diving. There are plenty of local companies that run day trips to the island. We took a half-day trip, which was enough time for us. I must admit, I was a bit underwhelmed by the coral beds. They did not have the vibrant colors we expected and appeared tattered and worn. We are not experts in this field, but we have seen pretty colors in other places. There were many fish species we had not seen up close and personal before, so that was cool.

Jim on the beach on Buck Island near St Croix USVI
Monument at Point Udall St Croix
View from Point Udall St Croix
Buck Island as seen from Point Udall

A Visit to Point Udall

Point Udall holds the title as the ‘easternmost point of the United States’. It has incredible views spanning across the Caribbean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the stunning St. Croix landscape. And if you’re into hiking, you’ll love the East End Loop Trail and Jack and Isaac’s Bay Trail. Both trails offer unbeatable views of the island’s eastern coastline. And don’t forget to check out the Millennium Monument, a unique stone sundial marking the new millennium. We would suggest an early morning visit to catch a breathtaking sunrise. But be warned, parking’s a bit sparse, so get there early or be prepared for a bit of a walk. Remember to hide any valuables you have in your car. We noticed small piles of glass where car windows had been broken into.

Ziggys Island market in St Croix
Shops in St Croix

Shopping & Dining on St. Croix

When it comes to dining and shopping, most of the action is in St. Croix’s two big towns, Frederiksted and Christiansted. Both towns have delicious food stops, an excellent selection of shops, and cool spots to spend your evening. Don’t expect quite the same scene outside these towns; it’s quieter with fewer restaurants and bars. You’ll find a few scattered shops and grocery stores around the island, but most of the major retail stores are in town.

Lodging Options in St. Croix

Looking for a place to stay in St. Croix? Most hotels and resorts here lean more towards the cozy and intimate side, offering a personalized touch. There’s something for every budget, from ultra-luxurious resorts to wallet-friendly options.

If you ask us, we’d suggest you check out Cottages by the Sea. It was our go-to on the trip! We had generous room space, super friendly staff, and a location right on a fantastic beach. Whether traveling solo, as a couple, or with the family, it’s the perfect base to soak up the Caribbean Sea’s stunning turquoise views. And don’t even get us started on the sunsets – they’re a showstopper!

Cottages by the sea walking path to beach

St. Croix: An Unforgettable Paradise Retreat

We had a great time on St. Croix! This island is a one-stop shop for fun and beautiful things: dynamite culture, jaw-dropping beaches, and exciting water adventures. Granted, it’s not as sexy or busy as its neighboring islands, but we were looking for quiet and less crowds. Honestly, St. Croix was more than just another destination; it was an unforgettable experience for us.