St. John is a very beautiful island among many in the Caribbean Sea. It is a part of the district of US Virgin States, USVI. It is situated to the east of Saint Thomas at a distance of about four miles having a population of 4,170 humans. It was discovered by the most famous explorer – Columbus during his second voyage. It is the smallest island there, but yet it is the prettiest of all. The most famous attractions here are the beaches which are one of the best beaches in the world. Tourists must not hope of getting an airplane to the island because it houses no airports. The island is only accessible by water. From St. Thomas, you can take a ferry which is available every hour or you may come from Tortola where a ferry is available on daily basis. Other ways to reach here are from Virgin Gorda, Anegada and Jost Van Dyke. More than 60 percent of the island, which is about two-third of the island, is protected and comes under Virgin Islands National Park.
Cruz Bay is the main community of this island which is situated towards the western region of the island. This main town is the one with colorful shops, multiple restaurants and very friendly bars. The ferries usually come to Cruz Bay directly and all you journey of St. John will literally start from this particular town. The area is not too large to cover but is definitely worth a visit. Tourists usually love the gift shops that have a unique charm in them and the quaint restaurants for the amazingly tasty food. Near the ferry dock, there is a park which is the best place to rest for some time after travelling.
To start exploring the island of Saint John, the starting point is the Visitor Centre. This is in Cruz Bay and offers you the exhibitions (both natural resources as well as cultural resources) that will explain you the history of the parks, the trails for hiking in Saint John, the ancient historically important places and information about the flora and fauna (like the reef fishes and beautiful coral) found on the island. There are Park Rangers that will be at your service always and will answer your questions and queries about anything from trails to hiking. Displayed there are some artifacts that dates back to the pre-Columbian Tainos and some tools which were used to harvest plants like sugarcane and some other objects what were necessary for survival after the period slavery emancipation. They offer brochures containing the information about the park and the maps to show you the proper routes. This centre is open from 8:00 in the morning to 4.30 in the evening every day.
Elaine Lone Sprauve Museum:
Just outside the town of Cruz Bay, you will find this beautiful Elaine Lone Sprauve Museum and Library. The Division of Libraries, Archives and Museums maintains this place and keep it organized. All the historically important events and the traditionally rooted culture of the Saint John Island are stored at this small yet important place. Some surprisingly rare photographs and pictures, some newspaper clippings of events, some exceptionally great art and paintings are displayed on exhibit in this place. the building of the museum originally used to be a plantation great house which was later renovated in 1757 and restored as a museum and library. You can visit the museum only on week days, i.e., Monday to Friday between 9:00 am to 5:00 pm.
Another famous museum of Saint John is Ivan Jaden Museum. It has exhibits of the cross-cultural times of the Ivan Jaden. Ivan Jaden was a man with a lifespan of 94 years in which he became famous as the Great Russian tenor during the 20th century. Professionally, he was an artist who was rebellious against Stalin’s terror in the year 1941. He reached United States after eight years. There are more than five thousand artifacts in this museum which are all equally fascinating. There is also a collection of CD’s, videos, historical documents, photos and books in English and Russian which is highly unlikely in a museum with art pieces.
Virgin Islands National Park:
Miles of forests and historical plantation ruins on the land along with the reefs lying underwater and pristine beaches at the shores together constitutes the Virgin Islands National Park. The trail of the National park crosses the lookout points of the beautiful scenery of the island, the ruins of sugar plantation (which used to be on a very large scale in the old times), through the rock carvings which are mysterious till today and the unspoiled and lush forest which is magnificent beyond knowledge. These trails of the National Park find their end at the shoreline in form of beaches. The most beautiful beaches in the whole Caribbean are found on St. John Island. Anyone visiting St. John must spend the time on a beach here to get an experience for life-time. Annaberg and Trunk Bay are two parks which are the most popular park sites of St. John; Trunk Bay is the best beach in the world and is breathtakingly beautiful having an underwater trail marked.
The St. John is a very adventurous and beautiful place to live in and to visit to. Never miss a chance that take you to this small and yet amazing spot in Caribbean.