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Place: St. Croix
Adventures in St. Croix
by Caitlin Moore
Fine beaches, lush forests, historical landmarks, and a touch of Europe make a visit to St. Croix, the largest of the US Virgin Islands, a journey through land and time. The attitude of this island is fun-loving and welcoming to tourists, so start planning a jaunt in this direction if you feel like sampling the finest features that the Caribbean has to offer.
Eighty two square miles is a lot of ground to cover, so a little investigation into the sights and sounds of St. Croix will better allow you to do and see what you want while you're here, while saving time for plenty of lounging on the beach, of course. History buffs, party animals, and nature lovers will all have several options, so prepare for endless entertainments to punctuate your vacation of variation.
To relive St. Croix's past, a full tour of the island might be a good idea. Definitely make a stop at Estate St. George Botanical Garden, a fertile area of land that contains the ruins of a 19th century sugar cane plant, rum distillery, the worker's buildings that accompany them, as well as a stone dam and watermill. Salt River is the place where Columbus first set foot on "Santa Cruz" in 1493 during his second voyage to the Caribbean. Finally, Whim Greathouse, which has been restored to its original glory after having been built over two hundred years ago, is where you'll view the windmill, main house, and several other structures that help to define St. Croix's image. A museum will help explain what you see and a gift shop will supply you with souvenirs.
The rainforests of St. Croix make for another eye-popping adventure. Though owned privately, several acres of land in the western part of the isle are accessible to the public and reveal clusters of mahogany trees, Tibet trees, and yellow cedars. Listen for the sounds of mountain doves and take a few moments to breathe in the fragrant, fruit-scented air. For a one-of-a-kind token of your trip, order a sculpture made from these very trees by the artists who work in the area. As you watch the woodcarvers in action and then commission them to create a piece of furniture to be sent to your home, you'll know you're doing something special.
For more traditional island pursuits, you'll want to save plenty of time to hang out at the parks and beaches that sweeten the shores of St. Croix. Buck Island Reef is home to a National Monument; the only underwater park in the country. This expanse of terrain is filled with lovely beaches and plenty of recreational amenities like picnic tables and barbecue pits. Cramer Park is another choice that makes getting together for food, drink, and even dancing an easy choice. Live music is a regular occurrence on the weekends while the weekdays stay a bit quieter.
From the Danish-influenced towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted, which appreciators of architecture should definitely take note of, to the peaceful forests and beaches, St. Croix has what it takes to make a vacation memorable. By seeing the sights and allowing yourself to enjoy some downtime as well, the few days you spend here will be both enriching and relaxing, an unbeatable combination.
To fully take advantage of all that is here in St. Croix, it would be wise to consider renting a vacation home in order to ensure that your home base is a stress-free part of your getaway. A seaside villa that gives you goose bumps when you first lay eyes on it will serve as a good omen for the entire trip. Unpack your bags and settle in to the sound of the waves hitting the beach, and leave the windows open all night to watch the curtains sway with the gentle breeze.
If traveling with several people, vacation homes keep everyone happy by providing lots of space and entertainment options. This means no arguing over what channel to watch on TV (not that you'll be doing too much of that) and no running out of clean towels. Small groups and couples will be equally well taken care of, as a number of cozy little casitas make for the possibility of a true escape from reality.
St. Croix is a heavenly place to spend a few days, so if the mood has struck, start planning a trip today. Go online to reserve the perfect St. Croix Vacation Rental for your needs, and let the island take it from there.
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