5 Reasons to Rent a Car While on St. John

We recommend renting a car while you are staying with us. Here are some of our reasons…

  1. Money. Taxis can be pricey. You pay by the person not by the ride, so this can add up quickly. Especially if you are staying for an extended period of time, you will actually save money renting a car. Plus, there is almost always free parking in town. Just ask us about our favorite spots!
  2. Time. When you are here for a short period of time, you want to make use of every second. You don’t want to waste time waiting on a taxi. Most taxis will not leave until the taxi is full costing you precious time.
  3. Beaches. Taxis don’t always trav
    el to every beach on island. This means that you may miss out on what could be your favorite beach.
  4. Adventure. It can be fun driving around and finding new things while on island. Plus you get to experience the adventure of driving on the left side of the road! Our roads can be an adventure in itself to explore the hills and turns.
  5. Freedom. You want to be able to go where you want, when you want. After all, it is your vacation! You don’t want to wait until a taxi is full to go to where you want to go, or be restricted on where you can go or what time you do it.

Book your rental jeep today! Click here for a full list of St John vehicle rentals. We recommend St John Car Rental. 



Day Trips While on St. John

We are thrilled to offer you discounts with some Island Abodes partners.

It is important to have great snorkel gear while vacationing with us, so be sure to reserve yours today with St John Beach Bum and a promo code for a 10% discount is sent to you after booking.

We are also happy to offer you a 10% discount on your boat trip with Sunshine Daydream Charters.  More information is sent to you after booking.

We also recommend the following day trips:

Powerboats

Palm Tree Charters (BVI or US waters, up to 12 passengers)

Born to Rhumb (BVI or US waters, up to 15 passengers)

Ocean Runner (BVI or US waters, up to 12 passengers)

Cruz Bay Watersports (private or group charters, BVI or US waters, sailing or powerboat options)

Sail Boats

Morningstar Charters (BVI or US waters, also offers diving)

Cimarron (private or group charters, BVI or US, up to 12 passengers)

Diving

Low Key Watersports (courses available)

Rentals and Adventure Trips

Arawak Adventures (kayak, paddleboard, flyfish, snorkel)

Fishing

Ocean Surfari  (sport fishing and sightseeing charters)

Island Tours

News of St. John (private tours, 5 hours, you pick the places)

Star Fish Tours and Taxis (private tours, 2 1/2 or 4 hour tours, predetermined places)



Things to Do on a Rainy or Overcast Day

Maho Bay Overlook. Image courtesy of newsofstjohn.com.

We know that most of you visiting St. John look forward to laying out on the beautiful beaches, swimming and snorkeling in the crystal-clear water and soaking up all the sunshine you can while you are here. Unfortunately, even in the Caribbean, there are rainy and overcast days.

We have been experiencing a lot of rain in the past couple of days so we thought we’d share a few things to do on days the sun decides to take off.

Spa Day

Take a day to pamper yourself. There are several masseuses on island that will come to your rental! Our Chocolate Hole and Sunset Serenade rentals all have plenty of room for a masseuse and their equipment. Ask us for more details if you decide to book a massage.

You can also visit the spa at The Westin which a short drive from any of our rentals. Caneel Bay Resort offers spa services and the Drift Away Spa above St. John Market has reopened.

Shopping

Image courtesy of mongoosejunctionstjohn.com.

You will find plenty of St. John apparel and souvenirs to take home at any of the shops in Mongoose Junction. Wharfside Village has several shopping options as well. If you decide to visit Coral Bay you can shop in Skinny Legs and in the Cocoloba Shops where Aqua Bistro is located.

Dining

Grab lunch and a beer at any of the awesome restaurants in town. In Cruz Bay, some of our favorites are Woody’s, Jake’s, Ocean Grill, Sun Dog Café, The Tap Room, Waterfront Bistro and Cruz Bay Landing. In Coral Bay, you can’t go wrong with a rum punch and burger at Skinny Legs to pass the time in the afternoon.

TV and Movies

All of our rentals (except for the Studio) are equipped with a TV and Roku where you can catch up on your favorite Netflix show or watch the latest movie release.

Hiking

With clouds covering the sun, temps might cool down a bit to enjoy a nice long hiking day on St. John. The Reef Bay and L’Esperance trails are great options on days when the sun isn’t shining bright. You can discover more hiking trails throughout St. John in the Last Trail Bandit Guide that we provide in each of our rentals.

One of the best things you can do on a rainy day is RELAX! You’re on vacation! Kick back and throw your feet up while lounging on the outside deck area at any of our rentals. Listen to the rain fall while enjoying an adult beverage too… we strongly encourage it!


Dining Out On St John

We are often asked what are the best places to eat on St. John.  Here is a list of our personal favorites…. in no particular order. 

Casual Dining

Cruz Bay Landing (Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner) 

Longboard (happy hour and dinner) 

Lime Inn (lunch and dinner)

Sundog Cafe (lunch and dinner)

Morgan’s Mango (dinner – make reservations)

Cafe Roma (pizza- dinner)

Lucky Chops (happy hour- dinner)

Greengo’s (Mexican- lunch and dinner)

Bar Dining

Tap Room (lunch and dinner- at Mongoose Junction. Great local beer) 

Woody’s (dive bar)

Fine Dining 

Ocean 362 (dinner, located at Gallows, sit at the bar and watch the sunset- make reservations and request the upstairs bar) 

The Terrace (make reservations)

Extra Virgin (make reservations)

Rhumb Lines (yummy – make reservations)

Ocean Grill (lunch and dinner)

La Tapa (menu changes daily – make reservations)

Da Livio (pizza)

 Beach Dining 

Drink (just a bar but it is awesome)

High Tide (on the beach, breakfast, lunch, dinner)

Deli Style – To Go

Sam and Jacks (lunch- deli)

North Shore Deli (breakfast and lunch)

Little Olive (food truck, open W-F lunch/dinner pick up) 

Ice Cream

St. John Scoops (super yummy ice cream and more)

On the other side, Coral Bay. 

Aqua Bistro (lunch and dinner) 

Skinny Legs (lunch and dinner) 

Miss Lucy’s (lunch and dinner)


How Far Away is the Beach?

 

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “How far away is the beach from our Island Abodes suite?” The answer is simple: it’s closer than you think! When you arrive on island for a vacation full of adventure and relaxation, one of the first things you’ll want to do is throw on a bathing suit and head out to explore. St. John is home to gorgeous white sand beaches surrounded by the sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea, so jump on in! And, most of our beaches are in the National Park, which means everyone has to drive to get to them! 

How far away is the beach from our Sunset Serenade Suites?

Great Cruz Bay Beach/ The Westin

Many guests stay with us to attend a wedding at the Westin or have boat trips planned with Cruz Bay Watersports from Great Cruz Bay Beach. Both properties are very close to the resort. You are also welcome to visit the Westin to enjoy a mealspa services, tennis and workout room (all for a fee). Great Cruz Bay Beach is also where Cruz Bay Watersports is located.

Distance: .5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals

Cruz Bay Beach

The beach in downtown Cruz Bay is always a lively destination, as it is home to beach bars, restaurants, charter boats, and the ferry dock. While we don’t recommend swimming here, it does provide a picturesque backdrop for sunsets, beach strolls, and happy hour. Cruz Bay Beach is the perfect place to mingle and experience the eclectic, easy vibes Love City is known for!

Distance: .9 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

Chocolate Hole Bay

Adjacent to Hart Bay you’ll find Chocolate Hole Bay, which provides the stunning bay views seen from the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite. There’s a lovely bay to swim in, a place to lounge and relax, plus enchanting views of harbored yachts and unique rock formations.

Distance: 1.1 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

Hart Bay

Hart Bay is one of the closest beaches to the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite, both located in Chocolate Hole. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming.

Distance: 1.6 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

North Shore Beaches 

Take a day (or three!) to explore along the North Shore of St. John and you won’t be disappointed. Nearly twenty stunning beaches span the coastline, all protected by the USVI National Park Service. Each beach has a unique personality, from quaint Salomon Bay to the world-famous Trunk Bay to sea turtle filled Maho Bay. Bonus: the panoramic views from North Shore Road are exquisite!

Distance:  1.1 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to lower Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance:  1.5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to upper Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 2.5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Caneel Bay

Distance: 3 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Hawksnest Bay

Distance: 3.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Oppenheimer/Gibney Beach

Distance: 3.7 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Dennis Bay/Peace Hill

Distance: 3.8 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Jumbie

Distance: 4.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Trunk Bay

Distance: 5.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Cinnamon Bay

Distance: 6.3 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Maho Bay

How far away is the beach from our Chocolate Hole properties?

Hart Bay

Hart Bay is one of the closest beaches to the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite, both located in Chocolate Hole. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Chocolate Hole Bay

Adjacent to Hart Bay you’ll find Chocolate Hole Bay, which provides the stunning bay views seen from the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite. There’s a lovely bay to swim in, a place to lounge and relax, plus enchanting views of harbored yachts and unique rock formations.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Great Cruz Bay Beach/ The Westin

Many guests stay with us to attend a wedding at the Westin or have boat trips planned with Cruz Bay Watersports from Great Cruz Bay Beach. Both properties are very close to the resort. You are also welcome to visit the Westin to enjoy a mealspa services, tennis and workout room, (all for a fee). Great Cruz Bay Beach is also where Cruz Bay Watersports is located.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Cruz Bay Beach

The beach in downtown Cruz Bay is always a lively destination, as it is home to beach bars, restaurants, charter boats, and the ferry dock. While we don’t recommend swimming here, it provides a picturesque backdrop for sunsets, beach strolls, and happy hour. Cruz Bay Beach is the perfect place to mingle and experience the eclectic, easy vibes Love City is known for!

Distance: 1.4 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

North Shore Beaches 

Take a day (or three!) to explore along the North Shore of St. John and you won’t be disappointed. Nearly twenty stunning beaches span the coastline, all protected by the USVI National Park Service. Each beach has a unique personality, from quaint Salomon Bay to the world-famous Trunk Bay to sea turtle filled Maho Bay. Bonus: the panoramic views from North Shore Road are exquisite!

Distance: 1.6 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to lower Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 2 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to upper Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 3 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Caneel Bay

Distance: 3.5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Hawksnest Bay

Distance: 3.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Oppenheimer/Gibney Beach

Distance: 4.2 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Dennis Bay/Peace Hill

Distance: 4.3 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Jumbie

Distance: 4.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Trunk Bay

Distance: 5.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Cinnamon Bay

Distance: 6.8 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Maho Bay


Breakfast at Cruz Bay Landing

Cruz Bay Landing BreakfastIs there anything better than a satisfyingly delicious breakfast after a peaceful island sleep? If there is, please let us know! We love trying out all of the tasty breakfast and brunch spots on St. John, and one of our top picks for a casual morning munch is the incredible Cruz Bay Landing.

Cruz Bay Landing offers a great variety of breakfast options, ranging from sweet blue banana pancakes to savory veggie omelets. Whether you choose a traditional breakfast bennie, classic egg sandwich, or giant cinnamon swirl pancakes with bacon, you won’t leave hungry. Our personal favorite is the signature ‘Landing Skillet’.  If you’re looking to feel good before spending the day at the beach, treat yourself to a healthy and filling California omelet accompanied by some of the best guacamole we’ve had on St. John.

         Need your daily caffeine fix before heading out on an island adventure? Look no further than Cruz Bay Landing’s specialty craft coffee menu. Lattes, espresso, and cocktails, oh my! The drink menu features refreshing coffee concoctions, both with and without alcohol. Choose to sip on a hot Drunken S’more made with S’more vodka, coffee, milk, and chocolate syrup or cool down with a Snow Cap on the rocks.

Coffee          Located just steps from the Cruz Bay ferry dock, we never hesitate to recommend a visit to Cruz Bay Landing. While enjoying a mouthwatering meal at a reasonable price, you can savor your last moments in paradise as you wait for the ferry, or stop by during your stay to try out the awesome coffee bar, where Danielle or Cassie will serve you up! Open seven days a week at 7am, this breakfast hot spot certainly has our stamp of approval! Be sure to sit at the bar and enjoy the company of our friends, Eric, Boo and Heather! 


Movie Night at the Ruins

There’s something so dreamy and romantic about drive-in style movies. Rarely are there ever opportunities to enjoy a drive-in theater; it seems like those days have long left us behind because of technology advancement and mega movie theaters. The closest movie theater is on St. Thomas, but our community has a once in a lifetime cinematic experience waiting for you: Movie Night in the Susannaberg Ruins. It’s like a drive-in movie theater, but so much better!

        The Susannaberg Ruins are apart of a private piece of land on Centerline Road near Gifft Hill. There’s a sign at the entrance of the drive up to the ruins to show you where to go. These ruins are home to an old, but pristine sugar mill at the top of a hill overlooking St. Thomas and other islands. The sunset views are gorgeous, but most of the movies begin after dark during busy season. Even so, the sparkle of St. Thomas and the unbelievably clear stars make it such a dreamy location. Since Susannaberg is private property, guests are only allowed during the Movie Night specified time, and with the sunsets happening later and later throughout the next several months, sights of the sunset should not be missed. Regardless, the views are gorgeous, the ruins are magical, and the movies are such a great bonus!

Once you park your car, you can walk up to the ruins where there’s lots of space to lay a blanket or set up chairs. Typically, movie night has a great turn out with forty or more people lying under the stars and enjoying each other’s company, and even though that may seem like a crowd, everyone is able to enjoy their own space. It’s never incredibly crowded or overwhelming. Our team recently attended the Movie Night in the Ruins watching “Officespace.” The movie started at 7pm sharp, so try to be there a little earlier to set up your space. You can bring food and beverages to the Movie Night, but they have a full-service concession stand inside the sugar mill. They have cocktails, water, freshly popped popcorn, and candy. Sometimes they’ll make themed concessions and cocktails to go along with whatever movie is playing. In fact, this Halloween there’s set to be a spooky arrangement in the mill with Halloween movies playing, so definitely a must-do activity if you’re on island.

Watching movies in the ruins is truly a once in a lifetime experience, and something very special to do while visiting St. John. Pack a dinner, grab some wine, and relax amongst some of St. John’s best history. 


Annual Save The Coconuts

Block Party
  Who doesn’t love a block party benefiting a      good cause? It’s that time of year again, the 7th   annual Save the Coconuts party at Woody’s!  This year’s Save the Coconuts party will be h  held this Friday, October 14 from 7pm to 11pm.

 As always, this block party will feature great  entertainment, raffle prizes, drinks, and more!  One hundred percent of the proceeds from the event is donated to the St. John Cancer Fund and goes directly to residents on island battling cancer.

Just to showcase how much this event has helped the community, last year, the residents of St. John and Woody’s contributed $103,000 to the St. John Cancer Fund. It’s amazing to see just how much an event like this benefits a great cause, and the St. John community can’t wait for this year’s turnout!

This year, DJ Adonis and Cool Sessions Brass will be our entertainment for the night, and there will be activities like flip cup competitions, raffles, and beer pong. Also, some of the best restaurants on St. John have agreed to provide some of their amazing food for the event as well!

Save the Coconuts 2016A large portion of the event is online now in form of an auction! Items up for bid include boat charters, restaurants, villas, and more. A three-night stay at the Honeymoon Suite at Sunset Serenade Suites is one of the popular items! Be sure to check out all the awesome items here. We’re so excited to be apart of such a great event, if you are on island, it is a must attend event! If you are not, help out Woody’s and the St. John Cancer Fund by bidding on something now here.