In 2017, we honeymooned in the US Virgin Islands in St. Thomas and St. John. We found our resort, Caneel Bay in St. John, simply by visiting Trip Advisor. This was clearly the front runner for a honeymoon. Romantic, private beaches, a spa, and heavenly eggs Benedict on the breakfast buffet! Caneel Bay was damaged in Hurricane Irma just 3 months after we stayed there. I hope the rebuild goes smoothly, because I am dying to go back there! The resort boasted one of the most acclaimed restaurants in the area, ZoZo’s, where we had a scrumptious meal and Mark took a luge shot of Grand Marnier out of a wild boar’s bone, as suggested by the bartender, Brian. We actually ran into Brian the next night when we were out in Cruz Bay, barhopping like locals. This was the second time in USVI we were mistaken for locals, probably because I know enough tips to not look or act like a tourist.
On the other hand, there are some things you just have to do as a tourist, like hitch a ride on a tour to the sugar mill ruins at Annaberg Historic District. We got to ride through national park area and see some sick views (including Kenny Chesney‘s former house), while the driver let us know that milk costs $10/gallon and there has been 1 murder in the past 10 years on the island. I think I’ll take the expensive milk for that trade-off. Some people take their vehicle on the ferry to shop in St. Thomas to avoid the inflated prices (shout out to Kmart). Exploring the sugar mill ruins and hiking along the coast was fantastic, until we realized we had walked too far away from a taxi spot (and we weren’t officially on that tour anyway) so we had to walk back to town along the road maybe about 5 miles. Lots of tour trucks and taxis passed us by but we kept on truckin’ and finally saw a public beach again (Cinnamon Bay), which of course meant that a taxi would be easy to find. It was definitely a test of a new marriage, but hey, who doesn’t like exercise?
At Caneel Bay Resort, there weren’t a lot of people around in the off-season so the private beach in front of our room (Turtle Bay) was populated by us, maybe one or two other couples at times, and a few donkeys. Baby donkeys too! So adorable. Donkeys, horses, and deer roam free on St. John. The absolute highlight of this resort for us was the breakfast buffet! Eggs Benedict, anyone? Yes please, I’ll have 2 or 3 every day. The open dining room faced the main beach and port, where Caneel Bay’s own ferry shuttled back and forth to St. Thomas several times every day. Lionel with his rum punches! We did ferry back to St. Thomas to go to the King of the Wing festival at Magen’s Bay. Totally worth leaving the pristine St. John just for half a day.
Barhopping in Cruz Bay was pretty sweet, and we aren’t afraid to one-and-done when we aren’t vibing a place, like Morgan’s Mango. We totally enjoyed Longboard’s (excellent shrimp tacos and beer) and Quiet Mon Pub (an Irish-Caribbean dive bar where we drank with locals). Not just because I was in honeymoon phase, but I think St. John is my favorite place I’ve visited, and I would move there in a second!