In 1750, Owen Lloyd escaped to St. Croix hauling 55 chests filled with Spanish silver coins—some of which stayed on the island. His story inspired Robert Louis Steven’s Treasure Island, and continues to fuel dreams of finding buried riches. Now pirate gold may remain elusive, but the quieter, agricultural US Virgin Island holds many gems. Here are four fun things to do on St. Croix, plus one outstandingly family-friendly resort and one great place to eat while visiting St. Croix with kids.
Note: This feature is the second of two covering the US Virgin Islands with Kids. Click here for part one: The 411 on St. Thomas and St. John.
Activity 1: Explore a Sugar Plantation at Estate Whim Museum
Estate Whim Great House is set on a 12-acre site that is interesting to explore just for itself, but it’s also important as the only sugar plantation museum in the Virgin Islands. The museum which also includes the mill and factory complex offers insight into the relationship between the European plantation owners and the African slaves who provided the muscle.
Activity 2: See the Dungeons and Cannons of Christiansted National Historic Site
Christiansted National Historic Site focuses on Danish history in the Virgin Islands, which includes the island’s role in the slave trade. Built with the labor of hundreds of slaves, Fort Christiansvaem was finished in 1738 when Denmark and the Danish West India Company owned St. Croix. Christiansted National Historic Site focuses on Danish history in the Virgin Islands, which includes the island’s role in the slave trade. Pick up a free self-guided tour brochure or check the park calendar for ranger programs.
Activity 3: Snorkel in Buck Island Reef National Monument
Snorkeling Buck Island Reef is one of those bucket list items—the reef is extraordinary with one of the largest coral collections in the Caribbean—that is not to be missed. But the water can be choppy and may not be suitable for young children. However, the boat ride to Buck Island is a lot of fun and even the youngest kids will enjoy exploring the deserted island.
Activity 4: Catch the First Sun Rays to Light the US at Point Udall
Meriting a quick photo opp, if only for bragging rights, Point Udall is the easternmost point in the United States, and the first place American soil sees sunrise.
1 Great Place to Stay on St. Croix: The Buccaneer Resort
Family-run for generations, The Buccaneer is one of the longest-running resorts in the Caribbean and quite possibly one of the best for families anywhere. Kids Camp is free and available daily, year round. The complimentary breakfast is diverse and outstanding, prepared in the same kitchens that serve the hotel’s top-rated restaurants. Resort amenities include spa, golf, tennis, pools, and three beaches. Best of all, families with children ages 14 and under can opt to stay in Family Cottage Suites—one room with king bed, the other with twin beds—plus patio fronting lawn and bay view.
1 Great Place to Eat on St. Croix: Rum Runners Restaurant
Voted St. Croix’s People’s Choice Best Restaurant, Rum Runners on the waterfront has kids covered with chicken fingers and cheese quesadillas. More adventurous eater should try the conch fritters, and parents, don’t miss the rum cake liberally doused with local Cruzan Rum.
Ready to start planning your trip to the US Virgin Islands with kids?
Don’t miss the Google map with my recommendations below, and click here for part one of these features: The 411 on St. Thomas and St. John.