Cruz Bay, this lively seaside town situated on the west coast is St John’s main commercial centre with the principal port, Cruz Bay Harbour where visitors are required to pass through US Customs and Immigration. The town offers delightful shopping areas such as the Marketplace, Mongoose Junction and Wharfside Village. The Virgin Islands National Park Visitors’ Center is also located there.
Coral Bay is a sheltered port on the southeastern side of the island, once the main town of the St. John until the current ferry service was introduced to Cruz Bay. Coral Bay has a handful of shops, cafés, bars, restaurants and a bohemian air – compared to Cruz Bay. Although it takes half an hour by car from Cruz Bay, it’s worth driving the route for the magnificent view from Centerline Road (RT10) and to grab a snack at Skinny Legs Bar & Grill, a fun place.
St. John National Park, the principal reason to visit St. John, covers two third of the island, not to mention most of St John’s long and lovely beaches. The National Park Service has, with non-Caribbean efficiency, set up 22 hiking trails ranging from 0. 5 miles to 3 miles (15 minutes to 2 hours), along with detailed maps. The Park service also offers guided hikes and activities such as Reef Bay Hike and Sky Watch.