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Which island

Little Falls...
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Which island

The more I read the more confused I am getting as to which island to vacation on this winter.

St, Croix, St. Martin or St. John. We really want to stay in condo or villa on or very close to a swimmable beach in walking distance to restaurants and fun beach bars. We may rent a car to do some excursions as well but would prefer not to if we could hire a driver or take a few tours. Which island best fits this description? Thanks so much!

Boston
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1. Re: Which island

They are very different islands. For the most part, St John does not have accommodation on the beach because most of it is national park and protected. Most people rent a villa and drive to the beach every day. St Croix has many places on the beach and I presume ST Maarten does as well. St Maarten would be the busiest of the three and IMO STX would be the most laid back. I have not been to SXM in years so cannot really comment in any meaningful way. Have you considered Anguilla, that might fit the bill. You fly to SXM and ferry across. For both STJ and STX it is best to rent a car as taking taxis/tours can get quite expensive.

This is my standard spiel on the three USVI (It inclusdes St Thomas as well.

The three main ones: St John, St Thomas and St Croix are very different from one another, but I am sure one will suit you. You should do a bit of research on the three island forums to see which one might suit you. Then after you have a better idea of which island, ask questions and you will get better information if you are specific: what is your budget, what amenities are important to you etc. For airports, STT and STX have airports and to get to STJ you take a ferry from STT. Also, to get to the BVI many people fly to STT and ferry over to the BVI. (you need a passport or passport card to go to the BVI).

Everyone on this forum has their favorite island but a basic overview of the three main ones: STJ is about 2/3 national park and has the best beaches and great snorkeling and hiking. Since so much of the island is national park, there is not much beachside accommodation. Most people stay in a villa and rent a car and drive to the beach. It is the most expensive of the three. STT is the capital and commercial center of the USVI. It is busier than the other two and is a big cruise port and is know for its shopping, but also has beautiful beaches and good snorkeling. It also has a lot of other activities. Both STT and STJ are close to the British Virgin islands so you can island hop (but you need a passport or passport card to go to the BVI). Some people stay on STT so they can stay on the beach and then take the ferry to st John for day trips.

St Croix is the largest of the three and is separate geographically - so no island hopping. It also has a lot of activities, great beaches, snorkeling and world class diving and is less expensive than the other two. It is my favorite hands down. It is much less touristy and very laid back. Many people feel that STX has more of an island feel than the other two and it also has the best restaurants in the Virgin Islands. There is a lot of accommodation at all price points both on the beach and off.

Good luck planning! Are you in Little Falls NY??

St. Thomas
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2. Re: Which island

"We really want to stay in condo or villa on or very close to a swimmable beach in walking distance to restaurants and fun beach bars."

Water Island

Edited: 11:28 am, May 17, 2017
St Thomas
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for St. Thomas
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3. Re: Which island

Based on what you're looking for and given that you're not keen on renting a car, I think St Martin would best suit you. All the US Virgin Islands are very spread out with few places where a bunch of restaurants and bars are within walking distance of each other and beaches but St Martin has all that and a very vibrant atmosphere (and great food!). Water Island is beautiful but with only two beachfront bars which also serve food, probably not exactly what you're looking for!

Boston
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4. Re: Which island

The other place that might work is Tortola - Cane Garden Bay area.

Chicago, Illinois
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5. Re: Which island

St. John almost definitely won't work. It's a beautiful island but mostly national park. Typically you need a rental car and you pack up in the morning and drive to the beach. You could stay near or in one of the two towns, Cruz Bay and Coral Bay, but you're still driving to a beach each day. it works best for people who want to get out and explore a bit.

6. Re: Which island

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