View Full Version : Question for Islander
December 22nd, 2009, 09:45 PM
We are considering just renting a car and seeing St. Croix on our own and stopping at a beach or two to snorkel.
What beach(s) would you recommend? What are some not to miss sights?
Safe for a family of 3 (dad, mom, 12 year old) to give this a try?
Thanks for any tips,
December 23rd, 2009, 09:03 AM
I am sure Islander will reply, but maybe I can help too, as I am a "small-i" islander as well. : )
By all means rent a car and sightsee. I recommend booking it ahead, we have lots of snowbirds here now and a big turnaround at Hess in Jan. and sometimes there is high demand and few rental cars. Driving on the left is easy, just beware when coming out of parking lots- it feels weird the first few times! Even if you wind up in the wrong lane, we understand and will most likely smile, flash our lights, and point out where you should go. Most traffic runs about 35mph, frequently slower- you will do fine.
The maps are good suggestions of the roads, don't fret if you get lost. I don't know the roads by the numbers, just the names- and lots of roads have no names, lol. Smile, say good morning/ afternoon, and ask for help if you are in need.
Great snorkelling can be had at the Tamarind Reef Hotel. The beach is nice, the snorkelling is great, you can rent chairs- plus there is a restaurant and facilities.
Sights to see:
-Drive though the rainforest, it is along windy roads, lots of vegetation. You can stop at LEAP to see wonderful mahogany items, and you'll pass the house with all the bottles.
-Cane Bay- good snorkelling, good beach, plus they yumminess of Eat @ Cane Bay, plus other dining options.
-Driving the north and south shores, and driving from west to east, will let you see how much variety there is on this island. You will find interesting contrasts.
-Point Udall- very eastern tip of the island, with a monument. It is a bit stark, not much to see but rather the idea you are as far east as possible in American territory.
There is more too, but I hope this is a good starter. Hope your trip is amazing!
December 23rd, 2009, 10:47 PM
adonisr - on St. Croix you can easily drive the whole day, stopping for views and breaks, if you drive from Frederiksted all the way east to Point Udall and then back through Christiansted and along northshore and then back and do rain forest area. There is actually something called the Heritage Trail you can follow: http://heritagetrails.stcroixlandmarks.org/Default.aspx?AspxAutoDetectCookieSupport=1. You could look it over, the website has a link for requesting a brochure - if they are able to send it to you in time you could read through it and pick and choose places of interest from it.
If you want to do a historical site, a bit of driving tour plus the beach then maybe head out to Whim Plantation, then do a segment of the driving tour and then head to Buccaneer. You have to pay a small fee but it includes use of the beaches, chairs, some of the watersports (there are kayaks and some other things). There is a nice restaurant beach side - this is at Mermaid Beach. At the beach next door, same property, called Grotto Beach there is decent snorkeling along the rock ledge that runs parrallel to the shore - its right by the shore. Then from the beach take a different route back so you do a little more of the driving tour.
You could do Whim, then head along the northshore to Davis Bay to sightsee, stop at the beach and then come back and stop at Cane Bay for more beach time and snorkeling. Have lunch at either Carambola Resort which is at Davis Bay or you can have lunch at Cane Bay.
December 29th, 2009, 10:19 PM
Wow - thanks for the tips. Sounds like we will be going it on our own.
Can either of you recommend a car rental company near the port?
December 30th, 2009, 01:16 PM
I don't think any of the car rental companies have an office right by the port however in another thread Geckos mentioned that a few send a representative to Frederiksted when ships are in port. Here was the comment...
Geckos wrote: "There are three different car rental companies set up along strand street on cruise ship days. Avis, Olypic, and Hertz. Olypic usually has a gut standing with a sign by the fountain, Hertz is at the Cruzan rum store, and Avis is at the end of the block. all three are good, just check for pricing comparisons. you can either book in advance or when you disimbark."
So you might try and look those up and email or call for more information. You could try others and see if they offer pick up/drop off in Frederiksted.
January 12th, 2010, 02:33 PM
Islander / Peacha - here is my proposed route - take a look and tell me if it's reasonable.
Leave port via our own rental car with stop at Whim. Head east past airport to Southside Road taking photos along the way to Point Udall. Leave Point Udall with quick stop for photos of the radio telescope. Proceed along East End Rd. to Christiansted. See the historic district and grab lunch. After seeing Christiansted, head to Cane Bay (taking photos along the way). Get some photos at Cane Bay. Head back to port via the Rain Forest.
If this looks realistic - questions:
What is parking like in Christiansted? Where to park?
Any suggestions for a lunch break in town?
Looking at Google maps, the senic route through the rainforest turns south from the north shore and runs past the Carambola golf course and then follows Mahogany Run and Strand Street. Is this correct?
Any sights along these routes that are great photo ops?
Thanks in advance for your advice.
January 12th, 2010, 08:38 PM
Sounds good! I think your route is reasonably do-able, as long as you are not poring over every last detail on all of your stops.
Parking in Christiansted depends on your good parking karma or willingness to walk. If you don't nab a streetside spot, you may park in the lot at the Fort, or at the public lot on Strand street (Cruzan Gold and Zebo's are on Strand, to give you your bearings). Some great spots for lunch that I have often enjoyed: Rumrunners on the boardwalk, and Cafe Fresco in Penthany Courtyard. There are lots of other good choices, I've never starved in town!
I am not sure if you can squeeze in scenic drive on top of everything else, so be sure you have your alt. route back to the pier from Cane Bay, just in case. Things run slower in the tropics, lol.
I can't help with the scenic route, sorry... I just follow my nose and go a different way each time.
The Southshore road has some beautiful vistas, esp. as you approach Divi. You will also see some lovely seascapes as you approach Pt. Udall.
Hope I've helped, and that your trip is wonderful!
January 12th, 2010, 10:20 PM
Thanks - I'm sure we'll have a blast.