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Is St. John for us?

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Virginia
posts: 27
reviews: 4
Is St. John for us?

Thanks for your replies!

We are a family of four (2 adults and kids 11 & 9). I have started looking into St. John for a family vacation for next summer. We are just unsure whether it is the right fit for us since we have never been. I am drawn to it for its beauty and because it seems like a safe island to explore. Even though we enjoy exploring and some activity (like snorkeling), we also enjoy just relaxing by the pool or the beach. Also, is the summer a good time weather wise?

Ohio
Destination Expert
for Cruz Bay
posts: 4,678
reviews: 6
1. Re: Is St. John for us?

If you want to be ON the beach, you are very limited. There are only 2 resorts. Most people rent a private villa with gorgous views and get a jeep. There are few villas on a beach and they are $$$$. Renting a jeep allows you to explore on your own and on your own schedule. Villas come with beach chairs, so we just load them up at the begining of our trip and then always have them no matter what beach we decide to stop at. There is also hiking if you're into that. We took our kids the first time when they were about your kids age and they loved it. (We always rent a villa with a pool.) Somedays villa gravity sets in and we just hang out by the pool. We also like being able to prepare some of our meals and pack a cooler for the beach. The great thing about St John is you can do as much or as little as you want.

cherry hill
posts: 1,375
reviews: 201
2. Re: Is St. John for us?

I went in July once and only had one day where it rained too much. Historically, July has less chance for hurricanes and June lower rainfall. St John would be great for you but as stated above, there are few places right on the beach. The Westin Hotel is right on a manmade beach and has a big pool. And Caneel is right on several beaches if you have the means.

Weatherford, Texas
posts: 218
reviews: 1
3. Re: Is St. John for us?

Hi Virginia! My husband and I went solo last summer to "check it out" for our family of 5 with three girls.... 11, 9, and 5. We fell in love with the island and are booked for the last week in May. The variety of activities won me over for the kids.... and the beauty and beach for my my husband and I. We went through each day... and each activity asking ourselves... what would the kids think (or be doing). Not to mention (like you said) I felt very safe the whole time, and I never felt (like in some places I've traveled) that there is resentment to tourists.

We started snorkeling along hike/beach closest to Cruz Bay... I think its' called Lindt Point Trail and Solomon Beach. It was beautiful but wasn't convinced it was for the kids. Then went to Honeymoon beach and continued to work our way west along the north shore beaches. Trunk Bay and Maho Beach won me over for the kids. The variety of coral and sea life was amazing.... huge turtles at Maho and fish at Trunk.

I think that my kids will also love the hiking trails (cool cactus, crabs, mongoose). There aren't many places that I saw that have the same feel as a luxury or all-inclusive where you sit and recline in a lounge chair and order drinks (which concerned me at first). However, we're excited about venturing out and trying something new with our kids. I think the pay-off for not having that is that you see more sea life, coral, and quiet beaches.

My husband and I traveled to the Baths one day and, and I think my kids would love spending one day there. We are staying in a villa with a pool (which I know my kids will love).

Good luck on your decision!

St. John
posts: 237
reviews: 4
4. Re: Is St. John for us?

It's a terrific place for families who

Like to be outdoors. Snorkeling, beaching,hiking, paddle boarding, kayaking even horse back riding are all available. I love the diversity of villas available. And if no. And dad want a night out ,there is villa babysitting available. Most of the Villa Management companies have requested the Kids Night In flyer for their villa books. Full disclosure,

I own the place but guest really seem

To like the Orion of a date night or some adult fun.

California
posts: 3,567
reviews: 32
5. Re: Is St. John for us?

If you can, try to go as early in summer as you can because of the weather. We go literally the day or so after school is out. End of May, early June is still mostly rain free with the threat of hurricanes still a month or so off.

Pennsylvania
posts: 1,389
reviews: 16
6. Re: Is St. John for us?

We had great weather in May, June and beginning of July. I loved our summer trips.

We started taking our now 8yo when he was an infant so I think STJ is a great place for kids.

If they like boats, I highly recommend capt John Brandi of Palm Tree Charters. We spent a day with him in February and it was a wonderful experience. He understands family trips (not all captains do) and I was very impressed with his safety minded attitude as it related to traveling with a 7 yo.

If you like relaxing on the beach, STJ is great. As others mentioned, there are few on the beach or even walking distance to the beach options. Be prepared to pack up the jeep with gear and coolers and drive for the beach. To us, that is just part of a STJ vacation but some people think that is too much work. One couple that travelled with us commented "but we can stay ON the beach in Myrtle..." My own mother, after several STJ vacations prefers the easy footsteps to the beach, dining on-site resort vacations.

McLean, VA
Destination Expert
for St. John, Cruz Bay
posts: 2,485
reviews: 21
7. Re: Is St. John for us?

I've been taking my kids to St. John since they were infants. Now at 21 and 16 years old they love telling stories of all of the great times they've had there. So, yes, I think St. John is an awesome place for kids and families. My youngest daughter loves to spend the whole day on the beach, so she'll pack lunch for us while we make breakfast. A cooler full of kids' and adult beverages make for an awesome day at the beach. Having a pool at your villa makes for a great happy hour.

I've taken a lot of family members to St. John, with the biggest group having 24 people from infant to grandparent. Everyone loved their visits.

We love St. John in the summer for perfect 82 degree water. It's actually less hot on St. John than it is at our home in DC. The carnival goes through July 4, which is a lot of fun.

We're back in April with my college senior daughter - visiting St. John with her Dad was her first choice, over going to Cancun with her friends from college. Yeah, its that good.

Cheers, RickG

Edited: 9:02 pm, October 06, 2013
Virginia
posts: 27
reviews: 4
8. Re: Is St. John for us?

Thanks for all the replies! It does sound like it is a place we will enjoy. I guess now I need to start looking into villas!

Weatherford, Texas
posts: 218
reviews: 1
9. Re: Is St. John for us?

You may already know this... but just want to mention something since you have young children. As you look at villas/houses, you may want to consider which ones have an interior staircase (interior entrance to all bedrooms).

This seemed to narrow down our choices a lot. But we still found quiet a few great villas. Happy hunting!

Coral Bay, St. John
posts: 555
reviews: 22
10. Re: Is St. John for us?

You'll love St John! Since you'll likely hit the North Shore beaches the most - look for a villa that's convenient to Cruz Bay and North Shore Road. Lots of places have a pool - which is a great way to relax after going to the beach and soaking up the sun. Maho is a great spot to see turtles and rays. Trunk is just plain gorgeous! Enjoy!