Saint Croix

For other places with the same name, see Saint Croix (disambiguation).

Saint Croix is the largest island of the U.S. Virgin Islands (82 square miles), a territory of the United States of America. This island of rolling hills, rainforest, and picturesque towns is the home of approximately 60,000 people.

Cities

There are two towns on the island:

Talk

English is the official language, although a local dialect "Crucian" is spoken. Spanish and French creoles are spoken as well, given St. Croix's history of migration.

Get in

Get around

The local roads are narrow and curvy and not pedestrian friendly. To get around you will either have to take a taxi or have access to a car. Taxis are large vans that often pick up several passengers at a time. If you are not along a busy route you may have to call for a pickup. Trips may be in the $10-20 range, or higher depending on how far you are traveling.

See

Do

Buy

Both Christiansted and Frederiksted have merchants offering jewelry, liquor and souvenirs, but with atmospheres more genteel than in large cruise ports. For any items that benefit from duty-free importation, prices generally rival those in Saint Thomas. (See this same topic for Saint Thomas; most advice applies, though St Croix is seldom overrun by cruise passengers.)

Eat

Local Flavors - The Cruicians pride themselves on their culinary flare. Local fish, goat, and pork are amongst their most varied dishes. Try the salted fish, stew goat, and pig "soup." Fresh seasonal vegetables are always available at road side stands throughout the year. The mango reigns over St. Croix's summer season, and is described as "the Queen of Tropical Fruit." In fact, an entire festival is dedicated to it – Mango Melee.

Although Crucians still cook many traditional foods, St. Croix is rich in culinary variations stemming from the island's history and the influence of the United States and neighboring Caribbean islands, especially Puerto Rico. There is food for all tastes and occasions while local specialties are still held long in tradition.

St. Croix is home to a celebrated week-long culinary festival held each April called the St. Croix Food & Wine Experience which includes wine seminars, dinners with celebrity chefs (Kevin Rathbun, Rocco DiSpirito, Robbin Haas, Gerry Klaskala, Richard Reddington are just a few who joined the fun) and the main event, A Taste of St. Croix, showcases foods from more than 50 of the islands restaurants.

For a listing of restaurants on the island see . Great local food can be found at Harvey's (stew goat), Singh's (roti) and Norma at the Domino Club in the rain forest always has something cooking.

For fine dining, try Tutto Bene, Case Place, Bacchus, Savant and The Galleon.

Tutu Bene in the Gallows Bay area of Christiansted is a local favorite for Italian cuisine. Also in the area is Case Place, with an eclectic menu and nice atmosphere. Try Le St. Tropez in Frederiksted for authentic French fare, Villa Morales or Paquito's for Puerto Rican food and Brady's in Christiansted for native fare.

Drink

Cruzan Rum is made at a distillery in Frederiksted that you can tour. Be sure to do the tour and participate in the tasting after! Cruzan Rum is available just about everywhere, but there are certain flavors (ie Clipper) that are not sold in the USA, so take a bottle back with you.

In the seaside town of Christiansted is the Brew Pub which makes several good beers.

When at local places or events, always ask if there is a local drink. Be wary of the home recipes (ie Mama Wanna) - they are STRONG!

Best watering holes are Bongos and Club 54 in Christiansted, Harbor Lights in Frederiksted, and El Sol mid island. Also try 2plus2 in La Grande Princesse and Sand Bar right on the beach in Frederiksted.

Sleep

As a vacation destination, St. Croix has a lodging industry that offers dozens of resorts and hotels, covering a range of service from economy through luxury 5-star. Resorts located along the shore and away from the metro areas almost always have private beaches. Hotels located in the two cities are likely to be limited to lodging and dining. Privately owned homes, ranging from condos to villas, are available for rent directly from owners on various websites, and may be a bargain especially if traveling with four or more people. One would want to exercise reasonable caution when renting in this way.

Almost all of St Croix major tourist resorts and hotels have packages which offer sailing, fishing, snorkeling, sightseeing, historical tours, and daytrips to Buck island National Park.

Two resorts offer golf packages on their own private courses:

and

Stay safe

It has similar risks to any large western city. Most of the crime in the "city" is occasional break-ins to cars, businesses, and homes, but hotels are typically quite safe and hoteliers are safety conscious.

Go next

When leaving St. Croix, be sure to carefully pack your rum in your luggage because you can't carry it on the plane with you. (See "Buy" under Saint Thomas for details.)

Also know that the islands are protective of the sea and wildlife. If you are taking shells or other natural things from the island, always ensure that you are following local laws and guidelines (e.g., you can take conch shells, but they have to be a minimum size), as well as national regulations for taking them back home.

Even better, take only photos of the nature and wildlife and leave the shells for the crabs and sea critters to inhabit.

This article is issued from Wikivoyage - version of the Thursday, February 11, 2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.