Our Guide to the Ultimate Honeymoon in St. Croix
If your ideal beach honeymoon comes with a hefty helping of authentic culture and cuisine, then St. Croix, the largest of the three US Virgin Islands, might be your dream destination. With its intricate mix of sandy shoreline, rich history and vibrant arts and music, this Caribbean isle is also home to two "twin cities," Christiansted and Frederiksted. Each quaint town is brimming with colorful buildings, picturesque architecture and charming side streets. Best of all, you don't even need a passport to feel like you're a world away. To help plan your romantic escape, we've picked our favorite ways to take in all the island has to offer. Mix and match these day trip ideas to create your perfect itinerary.
Day 1: Laid-Back Beach Vibes and Live Music
We wouldn't dare suggest you take a tropical honeymoon without time to relax on the beach (hey, after wedding planning, you've earned it!), and St. Croix isn't lacking when it comes to pristine stretches of white sand. But if you want to get a feel for the local culture, head to Rainbow Beach. Located on the island's west coast near Frederiksted, this baby powder-like sandy beach is a popular spot, especially on Sundays. The bar at its southern end, Rhythms, hosts live bands so you can drink and dance until sunset (which, given the beach's western location, is spectacular).
Day 2: Caribbean History and Local Cuisine
Fuel up for a day of sightseeing with breakfast at Baked Cafe in Christiansted. This cozy outdoor eatery specializes in delicious pastries along with vegetarian and vegan dishes (plus Instagram-worthy smoothie bowls). Afterward, travel back in time by exploring the many museums and monuments at the Christiansted National Historic Site. Imagine fending off pirates from atop the parapets at Fort Christiansvaern or see where the island's major exports of sugar and rum were weighed and measured at the original Scale House. As you wander back into town, check out the Apothecary Hall Museum to browse shelves of bottles, jars and antique pharmacy equipment, or stroll along the Christiansted Boardwalk to watch the seaplanes take off and the boats sail by. Finish your day sampling Crucian cuisine with a modern twist at Balter, where award-winning chef and St. Croix native Digby Stridiron puts a delicious contemporary spin on classic West Indian dishes.
Day 3: Superior Snorkeling and Fresh Fish
St. Croix's crystal clear waters make for some pretty stunning views, but they're also home to colorful marine life. One of the best snorkeling spots in the Caribbean is just a short boat ride away at Buck Island Reef National Monument. Book a full- or half-day boat tour to explore one of only three underwater trails in the US, which follows the barrier coral reef that circles this tiny uninhabited island. Caribbean Sea Adventures offers tours that include both snorkeling and an afternoon soaking up the sun on Buck Island's secluded Turtle Beach. After returning to the harbor in Christiansted, hit up happy hour on the dock at RumRunners (a favorite with locals) to watch the sun go down. Then head over to dinner at Savant, a restaurant renowned for its creative menu featuring local seafood and farm-fresh produce. For the ultimate romantic ambience, dine in the outdoor courtyard surrounded by twinkle lights and tropical foliage.
Day 4: Rum and Glowing Kayaks
In the 18th century, the foundation of St. Croix was built on two major industries: sugar and rum. Today, only rum remains (and we're certainly glad it does). Both Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan operate distilleries on-island, and there's no better way to imbibe than by touring each. For over 200 years, the Cruzan Rum Distillery, has called St. Croix home. The tour features historic 18th-century buildings and offers visitors a chance to experience every step in the rum-making process from sugarcane juice to final bottling (and of course, drinking). At the Captain Morgan Visitor Center, you'll learn about the history of the rum trade and the man-of-honor Captain Henry Morgan himself, followed by a tasting in their tavern complete with bartending pirates. In the evening, keep that warm glow going with a nighttime paddle across St. Croix's bioluminescent bay. In the dark, the waters of Salt River Bay light up with the presence of glowing microorganisms. SeaThru Kayaks VI is the only tour offering entirely clear kayaks, so you can witness the magical glow from every angle and feel like you're gliding above a sea of stars.
Day 5: Elegant Architecture and a Moonlight Sail
Start your visit to the island's western side with a journey into St. Croix's complex past at the Estate Whim Museum. This 18th-century plantation and sugar mill is the oldest of its kind in the Virgin Islands and was once home to acres of sugarcane fields. The museum's exhibits tell the story of the African slaves who lived and worked there, as well as the sugar industry that ruled the Caribbean during this time period. Continue your exploration by heading to the picturesque town of Frederiksted, which is seven streets long by seven streets wide. This tiny town is chock-full of colorful, historic buildings like the Customs House and Fort Frederik. End the evening with a sunset or moonlight cruise with Lyric Sails. Aboard the Jolly Mon, the live band and bottomless rum punch will definitely make for smooth sailing.
Day 6: Foodie Favorites and Downtown Shopping
One of St. Croix's highlights is undoubtedly the food. So why not taste the best the island has to offer? Virgin Island Food Tours hosts a three-hour trek to some of Christiansted's top spots for authentic local treats, serving up a classic Crucian lunch, herbal "bush" tea and ice cream from a 100-year-old recipe. After eating your fill, walk it off while shopping in the town center, which is full of charming storefronts and unique boutiques selling everything from Caribbean art to handmade jewelry. Looking for an authentic souvenir that won't just collect dust on a shelf? Bring home a traditional Crucian hook bracelet: The local folklore dictates that wearing the open hook facing your heart indicates you're taken—a perfect memento for newlyweds! With your island haul in tow, wrap up the afternoon with some well-deserved locally brewed refreshment and waterfront views at Brew STX, the island's sole microbrewery, known for its Boardwalk Brown Ale and V.IPA, a Virgin Islands spin on a classic IPA.