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Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

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Mishawaka, Indiana
1 post
Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

We are planning Spring break first week in April with our 2 teenage daughters (17 adn 14). Someone told me that the girls would NOT like Coral Bay due to the fact that at night it is dead and also we would not like driving the roads at night, from trying to go over to the North Shore beaches and Cruz Bay area. In other words, Cruz Bay has alot more going on and is more "walkable". I am finding less places to stay in Cruz and the ones I find are more expensive. CB seems to have a few more options. Just wondering about these 2 locations, one over the other??

Level Contributor
170 posts
13 reviews
1. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

First trip...Cruz bay, or nearby.

New Hammpshire
Level Contributor
393 posts
1 review
2. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

Well, what do you envision your girls doing at night? Playing board games? Frolicing in the pool or hottub? Reading? Watching DVDs? All of these can be done in Coral Bay. Our first visit was to Coral Bay and there was not one complaint, believe me!

Destination Expert
for St. John
Level Contributor
5,326 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

I usually recommend that first timers, especially with kids that age, stay on the South Shore. Great Cruz Bay, Chocolate Hole, Hart Bay, or Rendezvous.

You will be a quick drive to Cruz Bay (less than 10 minutes) but will still give you that great villa getaway. Also, that will ensure that your kids are not walking around town alone at night. The drinking age is 18 and your 17 will likely have no issue being served, so if that is something that you have a concern about, it would be best that they are not roaming around un supervised :)

Cruz Bay is a small village with shops and restaurants and not many villas, although there are many condos and some of them are very nice.

It really is all about how your family likes to vacation. We are in our 40's with no kids and stayed in Coral bay for the first (and last) time last year. It is just not for us.

Level Contributor
2,051 posts
109 reviews
4. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

I'm with skillians, but of course ultimately the decision to like or NOT will be you daughters. If your kids need a lot of distraction and are allowed to roam at will Coral Bay can feel isolating. There is no place to go alone. I brought my two children to Coral Bay and heard no complaints but we kept the days full enough that some down time was needed. Late afternoon was town time on two occasions and we were packed up and heading out right at dusk. We also got out to a couple of bars in Coral Bay for some live music a couple times.

New Tripoli...
Level Contributor
31 posts
1 review
5. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

I have stayed on the island for many years wth my teenage boys and girl. From my perspective, I would stay on Coral Bay because a visit to St. John is a time to de-compress and enjoy family togetherness. I have found that my children have strengthened their personal relationships and as a result STJ is a special place for them. They have developed themselves pesonally by writing a journal and reading. The meals that we cooked together enabled the family to collaborate as a functioning team. Our home life was way too busy with school, sports, social activities, etc. A trip to STJ Coral Bay allowed them to just be themselves.

Evening visits to Cruz Bay were all about eating and drinking and shopping. Which of course we all love to do, if it is in the budget. There are many wonderful shops in Cruz Bay and things to buy that I simply can't afford.

So, in addition to the considerations above think about the overall vacation budget and perhaps reserve a special "dress up" night and have a lovely evening in Cruz Bay.

Last year my daughter and I took a solo trip to the island. We rented a condo in Cruz Bay because we couldn't get a car and wanted the convenience of taking taxis to th beach. We had a lovely time. However, since she was only ever exposed to Coral Bay on previous trips she mentioned that she missed the BIG Coral Bay view, the sounds of the tree frogs at night, the open space you get at a villa rental and accessibility to salt pond and the more remote beaches.

Whatever you decide to do. I can assure you that this vacation will be special and very memorable.

East Coast
Level Contributor
174 posts
6. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

We went against the advice for first time visitors and chose Coral Bay for our first Trip last Spring. It could not of been more perfect for us. It was just the the 2 of us. If we traveled with our adult son's we would probably choose something closer to town for them to have the freedom and ease to go to Cruz Bay at night. Young teenagers I would go with the advice above. You know your Daughters best and whether Villa time would suffice for them.

There is music at places in Coral Bay. So you all could sit and enjoy that. In fact we only ate at 3 places there and felt like we missed so much. Which we did. So we are in planning mode for our return trip to Coral Bay now! Maybe read up on the Coral Bay restaurants and see if they sound fun for your family. I bet you will find some that will fit. Just because they are so quirky and different the girls will probably love them. Skinny Legs and Donkey Diner are two that we missed that come to mind.

The ones we did and enjoyed all three were Shipwreck Landing, Aqua Bistro and Miss Lucy's.

This link has links to some of the restaurants in Coral Bay.


No matter what you decide you will be planning a return trip in not time just like us!

Seattle, Washington
Level Contributor
2,661 posts
37 reviews
7. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

We too chose Coral Bay for our first trip and loved it. If you mean THIS April I'd find out if you can get a jeep for Spring Break since I assume that is a pretty busy time on STJ that may determine if you stay in Coral Bay or not.

hot springs, ar
Level Contributor
405 posts
3 reviews
8. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

They will probably be tired from swimming & snorkeling all day. We are staying in Coral Bay with our 16 yr old daughter and plan to watch movies & play board games in the evenings. I didn't want to stay at Cruz Bay simply because we are not drinkers so no need to be near all the bars & the people that over indulge. Also didn't want the touristy area.

cherry hill
Level Contributor
1,456 posts
231 reviews
9. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

If your family enjoys a variety of restaurants, maybe some music, and some shops then staying closer to Cruz Bay is appropriate. If you don't care about that at all and want laid back then Coral Bay is for you. Cruz Bay at night is not just a bunch of drunken people and bars, however.

Level Contributor
2,051 posts
109 reviews
10. Re: Coral Bay or Cruz Bay location

Glad we got that cleared up.

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