If you’re a fan of adventuring off-the-beaten-path, look no further than St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands. From colonial forts to beer-drinking pigs, the island is a place to expect the unexpected. Home to hidden gems, natural wonders and unique historical landmarks, St. Croix promises a world of unforgettable experiences.
Check out these must-visit attractions.
The Domino Club
Located in the heart of St. Croix’s rainforests, this cool jungle bar is home to beer-swilling hogs you must see to believe. No, seriously, these pigs have a taste for a cold brew (non-alcoholic), and guests can watch them crush the beer cans in their mouths. Once you’ve had your fill of these buzzed boars, enjoy a local craft beer at the bar, or grab a quick bite like a salmon burger or spicy wings on the patio.
If you’re looking for a picture-perfect snorkeling spot with crystal-clear waters and abundant marine life, Isaac’s Bay checks all those boxes. The beach at the island’s east end is walk-in only, which tends to make it less crowded. While the trail stretches for over three miles, it’s only about a 15-minute walk to the bay. Spend the day soaking up the sun on the soft sand or searching for sea turtles and parrotfish while you snorkel.
Christiansted National Historic Site
Immerse yourself in the unique Danish history of St. Croix at the Christiansted National Historic Site. From the mid-1700s to the early 1900s, the Danes established a legacy that still persists today. Explore historic buildings like Fort Christiansvaern, learn about the island’s sugar industry, and snap photos of the antique cannons. Be sure to visit the Danish Customs House, once a sugar trading compound run by enslaved Crucians, and the Scale House, a facility that inspected and weighed imports and exports.
Explore the island by horseback with Equus Rides. A fun and unique way to see the island’s sights, your riding tour will take you along the North Shore, through the island’s rainforests and to the ruins of a historic sugar plantation at Rust Op Twist. You’ll even have a chance to gallop along the beach in La Vallee, where your horse will playfully plunge into the shallow waters to cool off.
There’s nowhere in the United States that the sun touches before hitting Point Udall on St. Croix. It’s the easternmost point of the island and home to a massive sundial known as the Millennium Monument. Soak in the wraparound views of the ocean and hike to the top of nearby Goat Hill for sweeping views of the island’s vistas.
St. George Village Botanical Gardens
Experience the wonders of St. Croix’s native fauna at St. George Village Botanical Gardens. Rooted in the ruins of a 19th-century sugar plantation, this botanical wonderland in Frederiksted was curated from the native plants that reclaimed the area over the years. Book a guided tour, where you’ll learn about the estate and the plants within the garden such as the semi-arid cacti. There’s also a library where you can peruse materials about the site’s native plants and animals.
There are no pirates in this neck of the Caribbean, largely thanks to Fort Frederiksted. A 1760 Danish military installation, the fort is a historic landmark overlooking the port that helped protect the island from pirates and smugglers thanks to its cannon battery. Today, you can explore this National Historic Landmark’s restored buildings that now function as an interpretive museum. Stroll through the courtyards, snap a picture in the detention cells, peer out the musket windows and check out the various artifacts on display, such as whale bones and sailing instruments.
Salt River Bay
Nature and history meet at the Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve. Home to some of the most extensive mangrove forests on the island, it’s also the site of some of the earliest archeological finds about the island’s indigenous people, such as rocks carved with petroglyphs. Visitors can explore the mangroves by paddleboard or kayak. There’s also an area for snorkeling and scuba diving.
Alexander Hamilton Walking Tour
Did you know Alexander Hamilton spent many years of his life in Christiansted? Take a self-guided walking tour that unravels how living on St. Croix for eight years helped shape the founding father’s views on economics, trade and slavery. You’ll see the sites where Hamilton lived, worked and worshipped, from the Christiansted Wharf to St. John’s Anglican Church and The Firm of Nicholas Cruger, where Hamilton worked as a clerk and learned about international trade.
Estate Mt. Washington
You’ll need to take a dirt road to this 250-year-old sugar plantation ruins, but the drive and hike are worth the time. Located on the island’s West End, Estate Mt. Washington is one of the original Danish estates constructed on the island. The great house has been fully restored and is privately owned, but the stone ruins are available to explore, and you can even see them from the road.