St Croix Attractions
With a land area of 84sq.mi/221sq.km, St Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Shaped like a meat cleaver, St Croix lies 40mi/65km south of the other isles and looks significantly different.
The north coast of the island is a chain of several hills, with the highest being Mount Eagle, rising 1,165ft/355m.The south side of the island features a fertile coastal plain not found on the other U.S. Virgin islands, earning St Croix the nickname "Garden of the Antilles". Historically, this plain was one of the best places in the Caribbean to cultivate sugar.A common cruise ship destination, St Croix offers many interesting attractions. The historical towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted feature excellent examples of Danish colonial architecture. Many ruined and restored plantations dot the coastal plain and are ripe for exploration.Several beaches and coves offer opportunities for hiking, snorkelling, diving and other water-sports. Golfing is another popular activity, and the island offers a large selection of duty-free shopping.St Croix has a long and interesting history of human occupation. The Ciboney Indians were the first to inhabit the island as far back as 2000 BC. The subsequent years saw habitation by other Arawak Indian groups, and by the time of the arrival of Christopher Columbus in 1493 the Indian community was a mixture of Taíno and Caribs.The controlling Caribs were fierce warriors, attacking the Spanish who then drove them off the island. An English colony was established In 1587, only to be displaced by the Spanish. By 1625 the English re-established their colony along with a group of Dutch and French settlers who colonized on the west end of the island.By 1645 a brutal war broke out between the groups and the French and Dutch fled the island. The Spanish returned to wage war on the English, also obliterating French and Dutch ships that attempted to return. Eventually, control of the island returned to the French, but the colony was mostly wiped out by malaria. By 1695 the French had abandoned St Croix and subsequently sold the island to the Danish in 1725.Years of unrest between the large population of slaves (22,000) and planters followed on St Croix. A slave rebellion on the island caused the emancipation of all slaves in the Danish West Indies, however maltreatment of the black population continued. These conditions along with hurricanes and an earthquake spurred the depopulation of the island.By the time the United States purchased the Danish islands in 1917 the population had dwindled to 15,000. Prosperity did not return to St Croix until the 1960s when the Hess Oil refinery, the largest in the Caribbean, was built on the south side of the island. The oil company and the increase in tourism account for St Croix's present success.
The St Croix Heritage Trail is a 72mi/116km self-guided driving tour of the island's historical and natural sites and attractions. Markers along the road guide visitors along the route (primarily Centerline Road) that runs between Frederiksted and Christiansted, extending east to Point Udall and north to Hamm's Bay in the west.Not only does the Heritage Trail include St Croix's most popular attractions, lesser-known places are pointed out along the scenic coastline and throughout the tropical forests, cattle country and historic seaport towns. This is a great way to independently experience all that St Croix has to offer.
St Croix Golf Courses
The majority of golf courses in the U.S. Virgin Islands are found on St Croix.
Buccaneer Resort Golf Course
The Buccaneer Resort Golf Course is a par-70, 18 hole course offering excellent vistas of Christiansted harbor, St Thomas, St John and Buck Island National Park. The course was designed by Bob Joyce.
Carambola Golf Club
The Carambola Golf Club is considered one of the best courses in the Caribbean. The annual LPGA Golf Tournament takes place at this 18-hole course.
Annual Hibiscus Show
The St Croix chapter of the American Hibiscus Society holds an annual show in mid-January where blooms are presented and judged. Planting techniques and discussions with experienced growers are featured.
Crucian Christmas Fiesta
The Crucian Christmas Fiesta takes place on St Croix from December 27 to January 7. Many of the events take place in Christiansted, where there are many musical performances and a Christmas village.
Hay Penny Beach (Manchenil)
Hay Penny Beach or Manchenil is located in south St Croix. This long stretch of white sand is a little off the beaten path with access only by dirt road. Despite this, the beach gets busy with locals coming here mostly on weekends.
Sportfishing around St Croix
The waters north of St Croix offer a long season of sportfishing from September to June. Possible catches include the kingfish, wahoo, bonito, marlin, yellowfin tuna, and swordfish. Various charters operate offering fishing excursions.