I have just returned from a luxurious long weekend in the U.S. Virgin Islands and I have to tell you, I fell in love. I have been to two other places in the Caribbean, Puerto Rico and the Dominic Republic, but neither of those tropical locales prepared me for the overwhelming, natural beauty of St. Thomas and St. John.
We arrived to St. Thomas via a direct flight from Boston on jetBlue. If you haven't heard me rave about my love for jetBlue, we could spend days talking about it. I think they are the absolute best airline in terms of price, leg room, amenities (TV, wi-fi, free snacks), destination cities from Boston and friendliness of their crew.
Once we landed, it was a quick 20 minute taxi ride to our hotel, the Marriott Frenchman's Reef. This is the view from the lobby bar:
I can't say enough about the Marriott Frenchman's Reef. It's in an ideal location, has stunning views from every side, a private beach, gorgeous pools, friendly staff and activity options for people of all ages. The rooms are clean, spacious and have balconies equipped with patio chairs and tables making it easy to enjoy your million dollar view.
On our way to the beach on our very first day we made some new friends:
At the end of the day, if we timed it right, we could watch the sunset from our balcony. Check out these neon pinks, yellows and oranges.
Once the sun was down, the view across the bay was spectacular. You can see the lights from downtown and on the right side of the frame you can see the nighttime kayakers.
On our second day we took the ferry to St. John. I couldn't believe a ferry ticket was only $7 dollars and it takes just 10 minutes to get from island to island.
When we pulled into the harbor in Cruz Bay all the buildings on the waterfront were painted in bright, festive colors.
As soon as we stepped off the boat, taxi drivers offered to take us to whatever destination we wanted. We wound up hopping in a cab (in St. Thomas and St. John cabs are actually more like giant open air Jeeps) that was parked next to this beauty:
Mr. Wonderful indeed!
We asked our driver to take us to Trunk Bay, one of the many picturesque bay beaches on St. John. 60% of the island is protected national park, so it hasn't been commercialized at all.
As we zipped through the steep hills of the island our driver stopped at the very top of one of the hills to let us snap photos of Trunk Bay down below. I could not believe this was where we were headed. I had to pinch myself!
We hopped off at the entrance to Trunk Bay park. It costs $5 dollars to enter and that ticket is good for the entire day. You are able to come and go, as long as you show your ticket.
As we walked down the tree-lined path to the beach, the view of the water started to come into focus and we all gasped.
This is what lay on the other side of that canopy of trees:
The water was so clear, so bright and so blue!
You can walk the full length of the beach, including some rocky areas at the far ends.
We had such a great time exploring Trunk Bay and taking in the views. None of us could get over the pure, natural beauty of the beach and its surrounding greenery.
Here is one of the last shots we took before the rain moved in and we had to head back to Cruz Bay for cover.
After our excursion to St. John it wound up raining for the rest of our trip. A total bummer, since we had planned to spend our third and final day soaking up the sun at our hotel's picture perfect infinity pool. Just like Beyoncé we made lemonade and booked ourselves an afternoon at the spa.
If you are thinking about an island getaway for Memorial Day weekend, summer vacation or even for this coming winter, I really can't say enough about St. Thomas and St. John. It's just a four hour direct flight from Boston and you arrive to the most naturally beautiful islands. I am already thinking about when I can go back.