The National Park Visitor Center, in Cruz Bay, is the place to start your exploration of St. John. The exhibits presented will introduce you to the park's history, hiking trails, historical sites and local flora and fauna. Park rangers can help answer questions about trails and hikes. Brochures about the Park, maps and books are also available. The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 am to 4:30 pm.
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We make an annual trip to St. Thomas, and renting a car can greatly expand your horizons. This year (Week of April 18th) we decided to take the car ferry over to St. John, something we had not done before. The trip was interesting to say the least, with locals playing dominos on the deck and having some colorful discussions. After arriving in Cruz Bay, we decided to drive the entire island and make occaional stops. This island is truly paradise, with scenic stops, beautiful pristine beaches, and of course the curious donkeys on the roadsides. Driving ourselves allowed us to explore and enjoy on our own time, beautiful mountains and beautiful beaches. First stop, Hawksnest. While right along the main road, it had very nice accommodations with showers and restrooms. The water was crystal clear and there were no crowds. Next stop, Trunk Bay which is a National Park. In addition to very nice amenities, a great snorkel trail, and pristine beach, it also has an archealogy center and small museum with working members present to provide some of the history of the island. Lunch was at a little place called Skinney Legs, which was touted as having the best burger on the islands...and they were correct. Tie died shirts and other beach apparel, jewelry not found anywhere else, and a local feel that was one of the higlights of our trip. The trip also involved visiting the ruins at Denis Bay (it's a climb but well worth it), and the old sugar mill called Annaberg. We really didn't want to leave, but the ferry back to St. Thomas was our only way home. Oh well, we'll be back I'm sure many more times to explore more.