St. Croix wouldn’t be a trip without checking out the entire island. We rented a car for the day and mapped out our route ahead of time to make sure we used our time wisely. Our first stop was Frederiksted, one of the two towns on the island (Christiansted & Frederiksted). I enjoyed driving there and back because it was quite scenic. We saw lots of farms with horses, chickens, lizards appearing every now and then on the road. Our route was a combination of hilly, windy and remote which, eventually lead us towards the coast that overlooked the Caribbean Sea. It was a nice site and I remembered not seeing a lot of cars on the road at the time. At times, it felt like we were on the island by ourselves.
Coming from California, we’re used to crowds on a daily basis and arriving at Frederiksted was a surprise in that it was very quiet. We walked around the boardwalk and rarely saw anybody around (except the chickens). There were a few colorful buildings near the pier that probably was once a cool place, sadly, a lot of them are closed now and dilapidated. By about 11am, there were a few scuba divers and snorkelers who started making their way into the water. Apparently, there’s a ton to see near the pier area that appeals to scuba divers and snorkelers. We decided not to do either one because we had other places we wanted to see.
We stayed for about an hour at Frederiksted, had breakfast at Ci Bo Ne and contemplated after eating whether we should go to Sandy Point or not. We knew ahead of time that there’s a potential for that beach being closed due to turtle nesting. Since it was nearby we decided to check it out anyway and came to find out that it was, indeed, closed. I was sad as I read that there’s really only two nice beach spots on the island with ultra clear turquoise water, non-rocky and provides plenty of beach space. Those two are the Buck Island and Sandy Point.
Fun Fact: There’s a movie called “The Shawshank Redemption” that shows the main characters running away to an island somewhere in Mexico when it was actually filmed in St. Croix at Sandy Point! Several people on the island had mentioned the movie to us and we finally saw it once we came back home. After seeing the movie, it made our trip all the more special.
After driving to Sandy Point we made our way to Rainbow Beach. I guess this was the spot to be in because it was crowded. We hit traffic as soon as we arrived and there were cars already piled up on the side of the road. Luckily, we found parking right away.
The beach onsite has a restaurant and a rental store for snorkeling and jet skiing. I can’t comment about either one since we didn’t buy any food and we had our own snorkeling equipment. However, we tried to jet skii and we weren’t successful since we didn’t have any reservation and they didn’t have any time slot we wanted. We ended up snorkeling instead. One thing to be careful on this beach were the rocks. When you first get in the water there’s a ton of them at the beginning then it spreads out as you further get in. I saw a few fish here in compare to snorkeling in Protestant Cay and there’s an area on the beach where jet skiers are coming in and out which, creates small waves every now and then. We stayed here for an hour before we made our way to the next beach spot.
Cane Bay was a 20 minute drive from Rainbow Beach. It is also situated right by the road but, unlike Rainbow Beach the water was calmer in Cane Bay and it hardly had any rocks (except the big chunk of reef right by the shore). The beach has a few shades and a gorgeous backdrop of the tip of the island that you can see from far away. There was also a restaurant right by the entrance to the beach and a dj was playing various types of music. Although, I could’ve done without it to be honest.
On this beach, it felt like there were more families who came here in compare to Rainbow Beach that appealed more towards a younger crowd. I liked this beach more than Rainbow Beach because it felt calmer. We swam here for a few minutes before deciding to leave in time to make it to Point Udall.
The eastern most point of the United States, Point Udall is worth the drive. From Cane Bay it took us 40 minutes to get there since it was on the opposite side of the island. We made this our last stop on our day trip as it is located closer from where we rented our car and hotel. The view from here is one of the best on the island. There’s a monument onsite, a path that leads down to a beach with limited parking spaces. When we arrived we did not find parking and decided to drive all the way up to the top where the monument was located and got out there to take photos. They say it is a perfect spot to watch the sunset or sunrise and seeing the view from here I can see why.
Parking: Even though we didn’t have issues there’s warning about car break ins in the area. On Tripadvisor, a few people mentioned that in order to avoid your car from being broken into they suggested to (obviously) do not leave valuables in your car and to keep your windows down. When we visited Point Udall we saw most cars parked did exactly what was suggested and we also followed suit. Also, keep in mind that there’s no service in the area so, getting help would be difficult. Make sure you have a car insurance that will cover car break ins in case you are the unlucky few.
I saved the best for last! Buck Island is a paradise haven. It’s an island off the coast of St. Croix on Christiansted side that can only be reached through an approved vessel with a permit from the city or tour boats. It’s government protected with one of the most pristine beaches I’ve ever seen in my life! We booked our tour half a month prior to our trip and let me tell you that it was every bit worth it.
Part of the tour is a guided snorkeling through coral reefs. The experience of seeing the coral reefs is unbelievable. I saw a few that were much bigger than I imagined and towards the end of our snorkel was this huge swordfish swimming nearby. He didn’t seem to be scared of us one bit. I imagine that the fish here are probably used to seeing people everyday.
After snorkeling, our group made our way to the beach of the island and we had a chance to roam around for the rest of our tour. My bf and I walked from one end of the beach and to the other where we ended our time swimming. The sand here is as white and pure as it gets. There’s not a lot of things to do on this island except swim and picnic. There’s also shades near the restroom and a few benches around however, with the water being warm and clear what else do you need?