Things to Do
We have some suggestions – based on what we like to do and what our guests have also enjoyed – so here is a suggested itinerary for a week long stay at Coral Bay Outlook.
Get into the island way...
Have Sunday brunch at Miss Lucy’s – fabulous crab-cakes benedict accompanied by great jazz – open air dining along the water located on the road south towards Saltpond Bay. After brunch, continue along the road past Saltpond to Little Lameshur Bay for sunning, swimming and snorkeling; (Little Lameshur is up the dirt road as far as you can go by jeep.) If you want to walk off brunch, hike up to see the petroglyphs – 1.5 miles – trail #18 on NPS trail guide..
Experience one of the prettiest beaches on the island:
Take your snorkeling gear (or rent it from Crabby’s Water Sports) to Francis Bay (head west up Centerline Road and take a right at the ice cream roadside stand and another right near the bottom of the hill and then go straight when the road forks.) Francis Bay is a lovely, quiet beach with snorkeling along the far right side. If you look to the left, you will see Maho Bay Camp Grounds. If you want to go for a day sail or sunset sail later in the week, you can call Maho (or stop by, it is the very rough road to the right as you leave Francis) and arrange for a charter aboard the classic wooden sailboat “Pepper” owned by Fred Renner and Renee or one of the other boats that are usually available here.
See the wildlife!
Have coffee on the deck and put sugar water in a bowl for the bananaquits; wait just a few minutes and a flock of these little birds will join you (bring the bowl in when you leave or they will make a mess). Make sandwiches, go to Leinster Bay (near Francis) and hike all the way to the beach (about a 15 minute walk from the parking lot). Right off the beach you will spot sea turtles eating the eel grass and usually rays. Go to Waterlemon Cay (hike further along the beach or swim a fairly long way) and you will see starfish and coral. On your walk back, stop about halfway back along the path - where you can see some shallow rocks and reefs close to shore – there are some great fan coral and fish here (one of my favorite spots). Try Skinny Legs for dinner – always an experience.
Explore the island!
Go to Cruz Bay to shop and eat lunch. Stop at the famous Caneel Bay Resort for a drink or tennis (if you call ahead, you can usually reserve a court and rackets). On your way back stop at Cinnamon Bay for a swim. It is a National Park beach and campsite so there are public bathhouses where you can change into swim gear and rinse off when you are done. There is a nice short hike here - Cinnamon Bay self-guided trail #5 - that will take you past an old sugarcane factory. Come home along the North Shore Road, stopping for Ben & Jerry's ice cream at the "tin lizard" van at the top of the hill before descending back to Coral Bay harbor and drinks on the deck watching the sunset.
Get out on the water!
Do a charter sail and snorkel trip; or rent kayaks; or take a ride on a powerboat; or go visit one of the British Virgin Islands by private boat or inter-island ferry service. Crabby's Watersports at the bottom of our hill is a great source for boating information. In the evening, go experience the island's music scene - try to Shipwreck Landing or Island Blues for live music and dinner.
Hike the hills - or 'jeep' them if you prefer.
Bordeaux Mountain Trail #17 has amazing views. The hike to Brown Bay #11 to #12 has been recommended by friends; although we haven't tried it. Ram's Head Trail #15 is recommended for its sunset views. Or you can drive up Bordeaux Mountain - along another incredible St John road - and then go to the furthest east end where you will get wonderful views of the British Virgin Islands as well as looking back across St John. If you go to the east end, visit Sloop Jones "wearable art gallery" - it is fun to see his workshop even if you find his T-shirt art too pricey to buy. Relax tonight at Aqua Bistro or Sweet Plantains - good food, very pleasant atmosphere.
Do whatever you love best on St John!
Or there is still time to try something new. For those of you with special interests: there is horseback riding at The Carolina Corral, just past Skinny Legs; deep sea diving (see Crabby for more information); tennis at Caneel Bay (call ahead); and a host of other activities which you can find by looking at the comments in our guest book, St John visitor guides, the phone book yellow pages, and by chatting with the friendly residents - like George and Mo at Keep Me Posted under Lily's Market. Saturday evening the bars will be hopping and live music is everywhere.
Whatever you do, we are certain that you will have a great time. We haven't found anyone who didn't fall in love with St John, and we're sure that you'll agree that Coral Bay is the best spot on this wonderful island.
Resources & Information
- Virgin Islands National Park
- St John's Beaches
- Events on St John
- Ferry schedules
- St John Links
- St John Weather
Discover the wildlife
Enjoy St John's white sand beaches
Hike among the ruins of the sugar plantations
Rent a kayak
View the extraordinary scenery
Relax in St John