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St. Croix Travel: The Island's Best Beach

April 7, 2008 at 3:02 PM | by | ()

The largest of the three US Virgin Islands, St. Croix is the often forgotten sister of cruise ship-friendly St. Thomas and nature-loving St. John. But just because it sees the fewest tourists in the VI doesn't mean it's not worth a stop.

In addition to the Cruzan rum distillery--which produces quite possibly some of the best rum in the Caribbean--St. Croix is home to pristine beaches, world-class diving, and a vibrant restaurant scene. Trust me, there's a reason why I called the island home for nearly two years.

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The Island's Best Beach: Sandy Point

No one visits the Caribbean without going to the beach--or at least they shouldn't. If you're headed to St. Croix then put this one at the top of your list. Not only is the two-mile crescent the largest beach in the USVI, but it's also made some memorable silver screen appearances: Remember the final scene of "The Shawshank Redemption?" When Tim Robbins and Morgan Freeman reconvene on a golden stretch of sand in Zihuatanejo? It was really Sandy Point, on the southwestern tip of St. Croix.

Secluded and pristine, it's where you'll find locals swimming in its azure water and basking in the sun's rays. (There are no palm trees so forget about finding shade).

More importantly however, Sandy Point is a National Wildlife Refuge and continues to be a vital nesting site for leatherback turtles--which is the main reason it's open only on weekends from 10am-4pm. Plan accordingly.

To get there, drive west on Melvin Evans Highway (Route 66). Once at the turnoff for the town of Fredericksted, continue straight until the road narrows. In about a quarter of a mile you'll see a sign that says Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. You're almost there. Continue straight on the dirt road for about two miles--potholes and all--until you can't drive any further.

Make sure to pack a cooler with water and any other beach-worthy libations since there are no concessions anywhere within the refuge. And leave those beach umbrellas at your hotel since they disturb turtle nesting habitats.

Related Stories:
· Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge [Official Site]
· Virgin Islands Map [Jaunted]

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