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Some people can’t wait for the holidays to be over so they can have a break from parties and celebration, but not on St. Croix! Our St. Croix Christmas Festival, also known as Carnival, started on December 26 and culminates with the Children’s and Adult Parades and closing night at the Village with fireworks.
The parades are an opportunity to see many cultural island traditions. Troupes dress in colorful, feathery handcrafted costumes and dance through the streets. Majorettes twirl batons and march along the parade route to the sounds of festive music. The St. Croix Festival Queen and her court are escorted in convertibles while adorned in bejeweled crowns and elegant dresses. Steel pan bands on double-decker trucks fill Frederiksted with island favorites. Mocko jumbies are decked out in their finest cultural attire.
Expect to make a day of the Adult Parade. The start time is 10am, but we are on island time (some groups place friendly wagers on when the actual start time will be). Of course, you’ll also want to get there a little early to scope out the perfect spot along the route. Take into consideration where the sun will be a various points during the day and be sure to bring sun protection (hat, sunscreen, etc.).
For a Perfect Day on St. Croix, visit the Carnival Village for local treats and stick around for the fireworks at 8pm.
St. Croix’s Point Udall is the easternmost point of the United States, plus we’re on Atlantic Standard Time which makes us an hour ahead of the eastern states during the winter months. Many people make the trek out East End Road after midnight on January 1 to be the first in the U.S. to see the sun rise on the new year.
People begin gathering in the wee hours of the morning, sitting along the stone wall and around the Millennium Monument. The remarkable light show in the clouds begins almost an hour before the sun first peeks up over the horizon of the sea. And when it finally does, the crowd erupts in cheers!
If you’re not too tired from New Year’s Eve festivities, you can hike to Jack’s and Isaac’s Bays from Point Udall and there are a few other scenic stops along the winding road back west.
There’s no question, St. Croix is a beautiful place filled with many perfect days. Imagine if you could see it from a completely different perspective — from 350 feet up in the air. Parasail Virgin Islands is back on St. Croix on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays through February. If you’re a thrill-seeker, parasailing should definitely be part of your Perfect Day on St. Croix.
Parasail Virgin Islands has a unique winch boat that allows you to take off and land directly on the boat. A 600 foot tow line will put you about 350 feet in the air. By request, you can do a touch ‘n go where they slow down and touch your toes in the water.
The whole parasailing trip lasts about an hour, with you flight being 8-10 minutes, so you’ll have plenty of time for more adventures during your Perfect Day.
For another unique perspective of the island, hop on the ferry over to Hotel on the Cay. The view looking across the water at Christiansted and Fort Christiansvaern will give you a new appreciation for the quaint town.
Hotel on the Cay has a beach barbecue every day from 11am-4:30pm and The Beach Bar is a great place to hang out. Sometimes they have live music and they do trivia on Wednesday evenings. There is also a watersports shack where you can rent snorkel gear, kayaks and other gear, or sign up for a tour. The ferry to/from Hotel on the Cay is $5.
We may not be dreaming of a white Christmas, but there’s no lack of Christmas spirit on St. Croix. This Perfect Day on St. Croix actually encompasses a weekend and will make you feel merry for the whole month!
One of our very favorite days of the year on St. Croix is Christmas Boat Parade day. On Saturday, December 8, boaters will adorn their sailboats, fishing boats, and motor boats with festive lights and take laps around the Christiansted Harbor while playing cheerful Christmas music. This year is the 20th anniversary and is sure to be a blast. Speaking of blasts, immediately following the parade, fireworks will light up the Christiansted night sky.
Get to town early to enjoy food and drinks from street vendors and restaurants. Plus, you’ll want to scope out a spot on the boardwalk to take in the parade.
The following day, Sunday, December 9, is Christmas Spoken Here at the St. George Village Botanical Garden. Do your holiday shopping with arts and crafts vendors. Indulge in treats from food vendors. Enjoy live entertainment from local musicians. And there will be a special visit from Santa Claus himself! Centerline is a proud sponsor of a Christmas Tree for the Meet Me Under Mistletoe Gala and Christmas Spoken Here.
Even if you’re not on a cruise, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy all of the energy of cruise ship day. Vendors line Strand Street in Frederiksted, making it a great time to find gifts from local artisans. You’ll also find several shops and eateries throughout town.
We recommend getting a coffee from Polly’s at the Pier and finding a park bench near the clock tower for some people watching. You may even see a mocko jumbie or two! Often times there will be live music from the gazebo, setting the tone for tourists as they step foot on St. Croix.
As you meander through the street vendors, you’ll find handmade arts and crafts, jewelry, food items, clothing, ceramics and more, as well as souvenirs like t-shirts and hats.
The Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is also located on Strand Street and has undergone renovations. In addition to the downstairs gallery, explore the upstairs galleries showcasing regional artists. The gift shop has a variety of handmade items for sale. There is even a nice courtyard in the back where you can enjoy a cold drink and free WIFI.
Dive shops and boutiques offer a relaxed shopping environment, while restaurants and bars feed off the energy that the cruise ships brings to town. Be sure to all the way down Strand Street to check out The Fred, St. Croix’s newest boutique hotel, as well as the nearby restaurants. You might even decide to rent snorkel gear from a dive shop and take in some underwater scenery in Frederiksted.
It’s also a great opportunity to tour Fort Frederik, which is a U.S. National Historic Landmark, and pay homage to the Emancipation Monument.
Check out the 2018-19 Cruise Ship Schedule for the Ann E. Abramson Marine Facility at the Frederiksted Pier.
What’s that bright, shining thing in the sky? The sun? A full moon? Or is it a disco ball?!
Ann’s Perfect Day on St. Croix includes…
…taking my Centerline Jeep ( I like the 4-door blue one) for a drive from The Buccaneer out to watch the sunrise at Point Udall. After watching the sun come up, we cruise over across the south shore back to Christiansted to grab an iced tea and sweet at Twin City Coffee. Then we stop at the market for an Italian hoagie to-go and drive up the North Shore, ending at Carambola where we hike to the tide pools. There, we eat our lunch on the rock beach and take a dip in the pools. We take our time making our way back toward Christiansted, maybe stopping at Eat @ Cane Bay or Rowdy’s Joe’s, and roll back in time for Disco Bingo at The Deep End because that is the perfect end to any day.
If you’re visiting St. Croix during a weekend between September and March, we highly recommend that one of your Perfect Days include a visit to Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. The Refuge is open Saturday and Sunday from 10am to 4pm, but closed during peak sea turtle nesting season (April through August). The beach is a critical nesting habitat for leatherback, green and hawksbill seat turtles, which is why it closes during peak nesting season.
Sandy Point is a two-mile stretch of sandy beach, comprised of 383 acres, on the southwest corner of St. Croix. There are a variety of activities to be done, including hiking, wildlife observation, nature photography, hanging out on the pristine beach, and swimming in the crystal clear water. Birders will delight as there have been more than 100 species of birds documented in the woodland, mangrove, salt pond and beach habitats.
There are no amenities or shade at Sandy Point, so plan accordingly. Bring plenty of water, sunscreen and maybe even a picnic lunch. Given that the area is known for turtle nesting, pick up lunch from Turtle’s Deli (Saturday only) in Frederiksted — it will be one of the very best deli sandwiches you’ve had in your life!
Note that if you spend time on the beach there are no umbrellas, tents or chairs allowed because there of the risk of disturbing a sea turtle eggs beneath the surface of the sand.
Head to Louie & Nacho’s in Frederiksted for cocktails and tacos after Sandy Point closes. Their balcony offers the perfect view of a breathtaking Caribbean sunset.
Whether you start your Monday at the crack of dawn watching a beautiful Caribbean sunrise or spend a day in the sun at the beach, by late afternoon you’ll surely be feeling crabby — but not in a cantankerous way! Head to BREW STX in the afternoon for a fresh, local beer and Crab Races with Tito and Sue. Here’s how it works:
There are four heats and a finals round, with winners receiving some awesome prizes. And all kiddos get a fun prize from Tito and Sue. Tito and Sue are also at Deep End Bar and Grill on Friday evenings.
Stay for dinner at BREW STX or, if you’re feeling especially crabby, head east to Blue Water Terrace for their All-You-Can-Eat Night (Monday’s only). For one set price, you’ll be served courses of soup, salad, bread, mussels, prime rib and crab legs or lobster with a side of corn-on-the-cob and baked potato. And you can ask for as much prime rib and crab legs/lobster as you want!
There’s a new barbecue place on St. Croix that everyone is talking about! Smoke STX BBQ & Bottle Shop has a mouthwatering menu complete with starters, sandwiches, plates, sides and desserts — even including some vegan options.
A few things that stand out on their menu are the BLT (you’ll see why in a second), Three Day Ribs, Smoked Meatloaf, Mahi, and Chili (with a vegan option). Smoke makes their own special sauces — Original Honey Spice, Carolina Mustard, Shenandoah Red or Hellfire — three of which are Chef Joe’s secret recipes and one passed down from family. And, get this, they make their own bacon and sell it by the pound.
Owned by Joe Smith and Brian “Monty” Montgomery, Smoke STX is located in Frederiksted in the Louie & Nachos complex and is open Wednesday through Sunday from 11am- 9pm. They’re currently working on seating, but their carryout BBQ and bottles are perfect for the beach.
And where there’s smoke, there’s fire. Though it can’t be on the same day as experiencing Smoke, we definitely think you should make time to see CoralFire at The Mermaid at The Buccaneer Resort on a Monday evening (starts at 7pm). They put on a spectacular fire dancing show using various contraptions, like twin hoops, dragon staff, fire poi, fire fans, and a flaming parasol.
CoralFire also performs at special events, including the upcoming Slow Down Dinner at Ridge to Reef Farm on September 9. Or you can hire them for a private show to suit your own theme, from jazz and flapper to rockabilly or swing, electronic or hip hop, reggae or Latin — they even have characters for kid’s parties, like Alice in Wonderland and princesses.
If you’re interested in learning their art, CoralFire offers private workshops and they are hosting the CoralFire Flow Arts & Yoga Retreat on St. Croix in November.
“….since we re-opened the resort in 1999, the Divi Carina Bay Resort has utilized Centerline Car Rental as its preferred car rental service on St. Croix!
By simply placing a phone call, Centerline Car Rental delivers vehicles to our guests, complete the paperwork and even provide detailed instructions on how to get to particular areas of interest! “Service” should be a part of their name, as they’ll also pick up the vehicle from the resort, allowing our guests a few more hours of beach time.
The staff at Centerline have always been friendly, efficient and accommodating, without a doubt; the best on island! The consistently high-level of Customer Service, the most modern fleet of well- maintained vehicles and the great pricing is what makes us stay with Centerline Car Rental.”
Divi Carina Bay All-Inclusive Resort
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