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St. Croix

St. Croix

This is the largest of the United States Virgin Islands, 82 square miles in area. There are two distinct towns to visit: Christiansted and Frederiksted. The architectural quality and historic interest of the one-time Danish West Indies capital has made part of Christiansted (founded in 1734) a National Historic Site.

In Christiansted, you can shop the day away through quaint shops filled with French perfumes, china, crystal, batik clothing and jewelry. You can visit Buck Island, one of the world's finest dive spots.

Moving west along the North Shore, visit the west side of Salt River where Columbus' crew landed in November of 1493.

Frederiksted has its share of shops and shopping. It also has a tropical Rain Forest and Whim Greathouse, a plantation restored to the way it was in the 1700s.

The towns of Christiansted and Fredriksted each has its own distinctive style; together that are the Twin Cities, a must-see.

St. Croix has fine hotels, excellent dining, sights to see, a selection of other things to do and all kinds of beaches.

Touring the island is quite an adventure, since it's 82 square miles.

Rental cars are available. You can also rent a taxi/tour car and have the guide show you the island. The cost varies; it depends on the number of hours. Your guide will know where to take you, what to see, and where to have lunch (which is extra) outside of town.

Through your hotel you can arrange for a twilight sail or a cocktail cruise or a Buck Island cookout and much more. Sightseeing tours can also be arranged through your hotel. Ask for literature to find the range of programs offered.

Sites to Look For:

Estate St. George Botanical Garden
Consisting of lush woods and rich land, the Garden covers 16 acres and contains ruins of a 19th-century sugarcane village and rum factory including workers' homes, manager's house, a bake oven, stone dam, a blacksmith's shop and foundations of a watermill. A small admission fee is charged.

Buck Island Reef
Here is the only United States National Monument (we call it a "National Park") that is underwater. The Park itself covers over 850 acres including the island proper, with a sandy beach, picnic tables and barbecue pits. The reef has two major underwater trails -- Turtle Bay Trail and East End Trail. Numerous boats operate off the dock in Christiansted; your hotel has specifics.

Cramer Park
A very nice place to relax the day away during the weekdays. The Park has a beautiful beach and picnic area. On weekends the park is transformed into a outdoor bar atmosphere with DJ's and music.

Cruzan Rum Distillery
Out on West Airport Road you can visit the distillery and see them making Virgin Islands rum. The tour includes a walk through the plant by long, flat sections of kegs, up ramps past the distilling, through fumes as intoxicating as the rum itself, to bottling and labeling. Check at your hotel for visiting hours.

Eastern End of the Island
You've gone as far as you can go in the United States on the easternmost point of St. Croix, Point Udall. The spot is barren, but beautiful. Bring your camera.

"Eye to the Sky"

Less than a mile from Point Udall, the National Science Foundation has funded the installation of a giant $5-million-dollar antenna -- 82 feet in diameter. This 260-ton dish will be used to explore the unknown universe. Visit the site, where guides will explain that the antenna is identical to nine others around the U.S. Together, the ten make up a single radio telescope, sharing their data over the Internet.

Rain Forest
As you head towards Frederiksted, you'll come upon Creque Dam Road and the 15 acres of the Rain Forest. The dam itself is 150 feet high. You will also go along Mahogany Road, which is lined with beautiful mahogany trees, yellow cedar, and Tibet trees (also called "mother's tongue" because of the pods that rustle in the wind). The air is filled with the scent of many of our island fruits, and also the call of mountain doves. The Forest is private property; the owners have graciously consented to let visitors tour.

St. Croix Leap
Also in the Rain Forest, you will find a group of talented woodcarvers. You can order wood sculptures and chairs and tables all made from local mahogany and have them shipped to your home.

Salt River
Here's where Columbus first arrived in the Virgin Islands in November 1493 on his second voyage to the New World, with 17 ships and 1500 men. He called this island Santa Cruz.

Whim Greathouse

A restoration of one of the finest greathouses from the late 1700s. There's the main house, windmill, watch house and bathhouse, cookhouse and apothecary; also a museum and gift shop. This is one of St. Croix's showplaces. Small admission fee.