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Options to St John #66389
08/28/2015 11:54 AM
08/28/2015 11:54 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
M
MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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MerSoleil1  Offline OP
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M
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
Hi all, I will also post this in the general Caribbean section, but I am looking for everyone's help in trip planning. We LOVE St John. So far, fav place on earth, but it is getting super expensive to rent nice villas and we have not ruled it out, but are thinking of trying somewhere new that offers St John-like beaches and snorkeling. Thinking about Grenada, Grenadines, but really need help! We are not into night life but having a local/good food place some evenings for dinner would be nice. I've heard the BVI's are not as nice and also even more difficult to drive. Anyway... thanks in advance for the ideas!!

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Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66390
08/28/2015 01:19 PM
08/28/2015 01:19 PM
Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,213
Somewhere out there
kneafseym Offline
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kneafseym  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2000
Posts: 3,213
Somewhere out there
Antigua has all you are looking for and easy to get to.

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66391
08/28/2015 02:01 PM
08/28/2015 02:01 PM
Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,988
VI,GA,AZ
sail445 Offline
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sail445  Offline
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Joined: Jul 2008
Posts: 2,988
VI,GA,AZ
St John is my favorite also.
What I enjoy is the serenity, you really feel like it's your private island (although that's changing rapidly) the beaches are beautiful and the restaurants are superb with good service and if you know where to dive it's great.
There really isn't another St John anywhere in the Caribbean.
But you'll probably enjoy Antigua like mentioned above.
If diving is reply important then Bonaire has some of the best in the Caribe it also has many beautiful tiny beaches with crystal clear water almost anywhere along the coast and decent restaurants with good service.
Then there is Culebra with hardly any amenities about a third the size of St John where you can rent a Jeep or Golf cart and it has enough casual restaurants and excellent snorkeling and diving to satisfy most.

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66392
08/28/2015 02:22 PM
08/28/2015 02:22 PM
Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 500
ski2play Offline
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ski2play  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2013
Posts: 500
Quote
MerSoleil1 said:
Hi all, I will also post this in the general Caribbean section, but I am looking for everyone's help in trip planning. We LOVE St John. So far, fav place on earth, but it is getting super expensive to rent nice villas and we have not ruled it out, but are thinking of trying somewhere new that offers St John-like beaches and snorkeling. Thinking about Grenada, Grenadines, but really need help! We are not into night life but having a local/good food place some evenings for dinner would be nice. I've heard the BVI's are not as nice and also even more difficult to drive. Anyway... thanks in advance for the ideas!!


Whom ever told you that about the BVI's was 100% correct <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Grin.gif" alt="" />

Re: Options to St John [Re: ski2play] #66393
08/28/2015 03:45 PM
08/28/2015 03:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,756
St. John, USVI
RickG Offline
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RickG  Offline
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Joined: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,756
St. John, USVI
We enjoy Virgin Gorda, but not as large or as varied as St. John. Not another huge national park out there like STJ. We're going to spend time on Culebra and Vieques in October, but will be headed to St. John and the BVIs afterward.

Cheers, RickG


S/V Echoes, 2003 Benetau 423
St. John, USVI
Re: Options to St John [Re: RickG] #66394
08/29/2015 08:11 AM
08/29/2015 08:11 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
M
MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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MerSoleil1  Offline OP
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M
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
We have heard Bonaire is great for diving but was told the beaches are pretty rocky and/or broken coral and not for sitting or walking. Ruled it out due to that. Is Antigua hard to drive around? I read about some of the beaches... are most of pretty, calm ones where the hotels are lined up so they will be totally crowed and full of beach vendors? Any smaller islands that have grocery store and just few local places to eat that might compare to the beaches and vibe of St John? RickG... any insights to Culebra and Vieques?
Bequia (spelling is wrong)... any others?? thanks all!!

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66395
08/29/2015 09:14 AM
08/29/2015 09:14 AM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
Nutmeg Offline
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Nutmeg  Offline
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Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
Culebra is like old St John, before it was gentrified. The town area is very compact and full of bars/restaurants. We didn't snorkel because the weather was not conducive.

For beaches and snorkeling, how about Anegada? Or the Grenadines by crewed charter yacht?


[color:"red"]NUTMEG[/color]
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.
Re: Options to St John [Re: Nutmeg] #66396
08/29/2015 05:12 PM
08/29/2015 05:12 PM
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,495
MIA
I
irina Offline
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irina  Offline
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I
Joined: Aug 2000
Posts: 2,495
MIA
Bequia.
cheers
irina

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66397
08/29/2015 05:50 PM
08/29/2015 05:50 PM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,332
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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Will_L  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,332
Ill, USA
In the late 80s and through the 90s we were St. Johnaholics going two or three times a year, once in winter with a group and then a time or two as a couple. Usually our favorite day was a day trip to the BVIs. In the early 2000s we began chartering out of the BVI, ended up putting a boat in charter and spending nearly all our vacation time in the BVI. We found we were drawn to virgin Gorda each trip as our favorite, with Savannah Bay our favorite beach. In 2007 (my real estate timing was never my strong suit) we bought our condo a mile up the road from Savannah Bay. To us it is much like St. John in the early 90s. Extremely friendly local population, uncrowded, great dive and snorkeling opportunities, variety of really good restaurants, though not as many as St John but is a much smaller island..9 mi or so long by a mile to two wide. Like St. John much of the island is undeveloped. We could not have been happier with the change.

As mentioned, the downside is more difficulty getting there. A little hard to understand the difference since of course it's easy to see St John from VG. On the other hand if it were easy I couldn't park anywhere I want in Spanishtown, the folks probably wouldn't be so full of hospitality, and there would be a line of cars outside my favorite beach instead of often deserted. <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />

Re: Options to St John [Re: Will_L] #66398
08/30/2015 09:18 AM
08/30/2015 09:18 AM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
M
MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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MerSoleil1  Offline OP
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Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
Ah, but wouldn't VG have the issues mentioned to me before...difficulties in driving, not great/dangerous roads? The people that told us this were the owner and crew of a charter boad that took us snorkeling from St John to BVI's and around. Both locals.
Has anyone been to Grenada? Grenadines? I will look at Antigua more but my first pass at it did not show many villas/homes for rent and what they had (again, just first pass) were not good options. But, I have not searched very hard yet!
I realize Grenada & Grenadines are not part of this forum but I'm not getting responses from the other ones yet.
Thanks!

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66399
08/30/2015 09:29 AM
08/30/2015 09:29 AM
Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,557
Woodstock, GA
RickinAtlanta Offline
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RickinAtlanta  Offline
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Joined: Feb 2002
Posts: 3,557
Woodstock, GA
Quote
MerSoleil1 said:
Ah, but wouldn't VG have the issues mentioned to me before...difficulties in driving, not great/dangerous roads? The people that told us this were the owner and crew of a charter boad that took us snorkeling from St John to BVI's and around. Both locals.
Has anyone been to Grenada? Grenadines? I will look at Antigua more but my first pass at it did not show many villas/homes for rent and what they had (again, just first pass) were not good options. But, I have not searched very hard yet!
I realize Grenada & Grenadines are not part of this forum but I'm not getting responses from the other ones yet.
Thanks!


The roads on Virgin Gorda are better than St. John especially when you consider the drive up Gift Hill from Cruz Bay.

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66400
08/30/2015 10:15 AM
08/30/2015 10:15 AM
Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,332
Ill, USA
Will_L Offline
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Will_L  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2004
Posts: 2,332
Ill, USA
Lol, now that's funny. Bad roads on Virgin Gorda? Did they mention the crocodiles lurking in the mangroves, the serial killers? <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/jester.gif" alt="" />
Actually VG probably has the easiest driving of all the Virgins and most would argue one of the most scenic. Now Anegada has easy driving...unless you get off the road into the sand..and sink. Trust me I really don't care for Virgin Gorda becoming more crowded, but the roads won't be a reason for anyone not to go...only one switchback on entire island, just above Leverick bay, nothing like those on St. John.
Most people giving charters from the U.S. never get away from the Baths or the Yacht Harbor, would not have a single clue where anything is or what the roads are like. They dump people, pick em up and head to next stop. They never venture around the island. Just explaining for others that if one likes the roads and traffic on St. John they will love that part of VG.

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66401
08/30/2015 01:45 PM
08/30/2015 01:45 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
sail2wind Offline
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sail2wind  Offline
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Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 10,213
GJ, CO S/V Long Overdue
VG has the best roads in all the VI's, great and not dangerous

Re: Options to St John [Re: sail2wind] #66402
08/30/2015 10:33 PM
08/30/2015 10:33 PM
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
M
MerSoleil1 Offline OP
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MerSoleil1  Offline OP
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M
Joined: Oct 2013
Posts: 35
Great to know! Any particular part of VG better to stay than others? I'll start looking at villas...thanks!

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66403
08/31/2015 10:01 AM
08/31/2015 10:01 AM
Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Twanger Offline
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Twanger  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2004
Posts: 6,098
Maryland
Another vote for Culebra, but you certainly can't go wrong on VG.

Culebra is large enough to have a town with some amenities, but small enough to be relatively unpopulated. many, many great beaches, two dive shops, awesome snorkeling. Easy to wile-away a whole week there.

Re: Options to St John [Re: Twanger] #66404
09/02/2015 11:25 AM
09/02/2015 11:25 AM
Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 429
St. Louis, Mo
Dougie Offline
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Dougie  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2005
Posts: 429
St. Louis, Mo
Agree with Twanger. Avoid the holidays, Easter week and July; the crowds overwhelm the restaurants and beaches. Beaches are diverse, ranging from classic shell beaches to powder white sand. Except for Playa Flamenco, and the kayak rentals on Tamarindo, you will often be the only people on the beach, Monday through Thursday.

Cheers!

Re: Options to St John [Re: Dougie] #66405
09/02/2015 03:23 PM
09/02/2015 03:23 PM
Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
Nutmeg Offline
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Nutmeg  Offline
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Joined: Sep 2001
Posts: 5,884
St. Thomas, USVI
Ditto about Easter in Culebra. I always thought they all went to the BVI, but they were thick and loud at Culebrita and in Dewey. If you are looking for land-based, check out Club Seabourne. Cute spot.


[color:"red"]NUTMEG[/color]
Today is the tomorrow you talked about yesterday.
Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66406
09/13/2015 01:18 AM
09/13/2015 01:18 AM
Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,155
searose Offline
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searose  Offline
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Joined: Jan 2001
Posts: 1,155
My sister arrived in curacou yesterday and has already posted gorgeous photos and said one trip down there and we would never return to stj....our heaven on earth...this would be very interesting...

Re: Options to St John [Re: searose] #66407
09/13/2015 01:54 PM
09/13/2015 01:54 PM
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,659
L
LBI2SXM Offline
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LBI2SXM  Offline
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L
Joined: Jun 2008
Posts: 2,659
Curacao is very addicting! <img src="http://www.traveltalkonline.com/forums/images/graemlins/Clapping.gif" alt="" />

Re: Options to St John [Re: LBI2SXM] #66408
09/13/2015 06:22 PM
09/13/2015 06:22 PM
Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,180
USVI
LocalSailor Offline
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LocalSailor  Offline
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Joined: Jun 2011
Posts: 1,180
USVI
"My sister arrived in curacou yesterday and has already posted gorgeous photos"



Curacao in the Dutch West Indies?
http://www.curacao.com/en/directory/plan/getting-curacao/#!air

OR Cariacou in the Grenadines??

http://www.grenadagrenadines.com/about-the-islands/discover-carriacou/

Re: Options to St John [Re: MerSoleil1] #66409
10/24/2015 02:39 PM
10/24/2015 02:39 PM
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,925
Milton, MA
JudyG Offline
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JudyG  Offline
Traveler
Joined: Oct 2001
Posts: 2,925
Milton, MA
We have regularly alternated St John vs VG since we love both...quieter, great beaches (less "labeled and thus many are quietly deserted), friendly people ( the British influence in VG makes for a more reserved, respectful, yet friendlier people), great restaurant choices and the roads have improved multifold since the early 90's...all paved, line-divided and well marked, with plenty of guard rails. It has those ups and downs roads like St John but only on the north end of the island.
We can heartily endorse Guavaberry Spring Bay Homes...we have stayed in everything from their hexagonal "tree-houses" (bungalows), to small and large villas. Their attention to customers is what makes Tina and company stand out! Plus their very own beach on Spring Bay, complete with water-side loungers and fresh beach towels, all located a very short distance from the famous Baths. When we go to St John, we rent different places; on VG, it is just GSBH.

Re: Options to St John [Re: LocalSailor] #66410
10/26/2015 09:33 AM
10/26/2015 09:33 AM
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 98
Virginia
B
BVIShuga Offline
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BVIShuga  Offline
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B
Joined: Dec 2012
Posts: 98
Virginia
Quote
LocalSailor said:
"My sister arrived in curacou yesterday and has already posted gorgeous photos"


Curacao in the Dutch West Indies?
http://www.curacao.com/en/directory/plan/getting-curacao/#!air

OR Cariacou in the Grenadines??

http://www.grenadagrenadines.com/about-the-islands/discover-carriacou/


I'd like to know this also.


Love sailing the BVI's with friends.
Re: Options to St John [Re: BVIShuga] #66411
10/30/2015 11:10 AM
10/30/2015 11:10 AM
Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 108
RickBlaine Offline
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RickBlaine  Offline
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Joined: Aug 2011
Posts: 108
I spent a few nights in Bequia while sailing the Grenadines and I really liked it. I too have enjoyed renting villas in St. John and I think Bequia would be a great option but getting there is a huge pain and expensive.


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