Sunset at the Windmill Bar, Neptune's Lookout, St. John, USVI
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St. John, USVI Top 15 Bucket List activities

Are you looking for the ultimate adventure on St. John in the US Virgin Islands? Look no further! We’ve compiled a St. John, USVI top 15 bucket list of activities to get your heart racing and create unforgettable memories.

From hiking trails with stunning views to swimming with sea turtles, there’s something for every thrill-seeker on St. John. And for those seeking more tranquility, we’ve included can’t-miss beach spots and historic site tours.

Don’t miss out on all the excitement St. John offers – check out our bucket list and start planning your next vacation today!

Top 15 Bucket List Activities on St. John, USVI

Rams Head Trail

15. Hike Rams Head Trail – Park at the Salt Pond parking lot and bring your snorkeling gear along. It’s a short walk to the beach.

The Rams Head trail begins at Salt Pond Beach on the Eastern side. Along the path, you will be greeted with fantastic views.

Once at the overlook, there is a breathtaking 360° view of the Caribbean waters. Unfortunately, there is very little shade along this hike. Therefore, bring plenty of water and apply sunscreen.

It will take you about an hour to hike this 2.3-mile trail.

Salt Pond

14. Snorkel at Salt Pond – Grab your snorkel gear after hiking the Rams Head trail and cool off in Salt Pond Bay. This bay has clear water and very few boats.

If you aren’t a snorkeler, it’s great for swimming. For the most part, Salt Pond Beach is not very crowded and is truly paradise.

While in this area, check out Miss Lucy’s in Coral Bay for lunch.

Path walking to Salt Pond Beach on St. John, USVI

Salt Pond Beach Walking Path

A tucked-away Oasis

BVI

13. Visit the British Virgin Islands – The BVI has many beautiful islands. Bring your passport if you are a U.S. citizen to explore a few.

One of our favorite places is the Soggy Dollar on Jost Van Dyke. There aren’t any docks or marinas at White Bay. Therefore, patrons must swim to shore, and their currency is wet. This is why it’s named The Soggy Dollar Bar.

The Soggy Dollar is rich in Caribbean history. In the 1970’s George and Marie Myrick created the drink, Painkiller.

Today is hard not to find a bar that doesn’t serve a Painkiller, but this is its birthplace. Enjoying a Painkiller at the Soggy Dollar Bar should be on everyone’s bucket list!

Foxy’s is another popular spot to relax with a cocktail on enjoy the clear turquoise waters of Jost Van Dyke.

If you are curious about what is in a Painkiller, click here for the recipe: Cocktails Around the World

In addition to the Soggy Dollar Bar and Foxy’s, another place to consider visiting is The Willy T. It is a floating bar and restaurant in the Blight at Norman Island, BVI.

Or visit the Baths on Virgin Gorda. There are also many beautiful places to snorkel in the BVI, which can only be reached by boat.

During a trip pre-Covid, six of us chartered a private boat to snorkel and visit the Willy T and Soggy Dollar. It was one of the most memorable activities of our trip.

The Soggy Dollar has a hotel called the Sandcastle, and it’s on my bucket list to stay.

We did a USVI Island Hop and Food Boat tour on this most recent trip since the BVI still required Covid testing. It would be a great day if only some in your group have a passport.

Sunset Sail

12. Take a sunset sail around the Island –  Snorkel to one of the many spots that can only be reached by boat before enjoying the beautiful St. John sunset.

There is nothing better than being on the water at sunset. Check out this Private Luxury Sunset Sail or this Sunset Group Sail

Bucket list Sunset view from Neptune's Lookout on St. John USVI

Waterlemon Cay

11. Snorkel at Waterlemon Cay – A short swim from the beach is the best snorkeling with starfish, turtles, rays, and colorful fish. For this reason, Waterlemom is considered one of the best places to snorkel on St. John, U.S.V.I.

Swim counterclockwise around the Cay to go along with the current. It’s a short hike from the parking lot to this fantastic snorkel site.

Walking the path to Waterlemon Cay to snorkel

Waterlemon Cay

The best snorkeling on the Island of St. John

Top 10 Bucket List Activities on St. John, USVI

Annaberg Sugar Plantation

10. Visit the Annaberg Sugar Plantation – St. John is not all beaches. Visit this historic site and learn about the Island’s sugar plantation history. Afterward, take a hike to Leinster and Waterlemom Bays.

If you don’t rent a car or don’t feel like driving, this private 2.5-hour Island Tour is a great choice!

Beach Bar, St. John

9. Beach Bar for live music – This iconic lively bar should not be missed while visiting St. John. Order a Painkiller or a Bushwacker, as they are the Island’s specialties.

In addition to this lively bar, it has a fantastic beach view with a white sandy beach filled with games and chairs to relax.

Virgin Islands National Park

8. Take a hike on a Virgin Islands National Park trail – My recommendation is to go to the Reef Bay Trail. This 2.2-mile hike to Reef Bay will take you past the Petroglyphs, ruins and through a forest.

This trail is mostly downhill and ends at the beach. Because of this, the National Park Service offers a boat shuttle if you don’t want to hike back uphill. Schedule with the National Park Service in advance by visiting the Visitor’s Center in Cruz Bay.

Another trail to consider would be the Lind Point trail to Honeymoon and Salomon Beaches. Since so much of the Island is part of the National Park Service, it is a treasure trove of things to explore and learn.

Peace Hill trail on St. John, USVI

Peace Hill Trail

Hike to Denis Beach from here

Morgan’s Mango

7. Lobster Night at Morgan’s Mango – One of the best restaurants in St. John offers Lobster Night every Saturday and Tuesday. Make reservations in advance at this popular restaurant with a wonderful ambiance.

Trunk Bay

6. Pack a cooler and spend the day at Trunk Bay – Order sandwiches and grab & go sides from North Shore Deli and spend the day at this gorgeous turquoise water white sand beach.

Trunk Bay Beach is one of the most famous beaches on St. John, U.S.V.I. It is not to be missed!

Trunk Bay Beach, US Virgin Islands

Trunk Bay Beach

Woody’s Shark Bites

5. Shark Bites at Woody’s – This fun spot epitomizes casual St. John dining. Drop in for a cold beverage and try some of their famous Shark Bites. Check out the menu of their other food offerings.   

Lime Out

4. Charter a boat and eat Tacos at Lime OutUnfortunately, Lime Out is only available to visit by boat. They cannot serve swimmers from shore. Several shuttles will take you to Lime Out.

I recommend booking this tour. There is also a dingy rental available to explore Coral Bay. Lime Out serves delicious tacos and delightful craft cocktails. This floating taco bar should be on your St. John bucket list.

The Lime Out taco bar at Coral Bay

Lime Out

Floating Taco Bar

Sunset at Windmill Bar

3. Sunset at the Windmill Bar The Windmill has sweeping views of Hawknest Bay and the Pillsbury Sound. It has amazing sunset views and live music daily. This bar has a wonderful island vibe with cocktails and a restaurant on site.

Also, there is a fascinating history of the Susannaberg windmill and Neptune’s Lookout for those interested in Island history.

Be sure to check this awesome bar out on your next trip.

Skinny Legs

2. Lunch at Skinny Legs to Eat Burgers – One of the best places to grab an affordable burger or sandwich on St. John Island. This Coral Bay restaurant bar has a lively, family-friendly atmosphere.  Often, there is live music and one of the best shops for souvenirs on the Island.  

Maho Beach

1. Visit Maho Beach and snorkel with turtles and rays – This pristine white sand beach has calm water, making it family-friendly. The seagrass on this bay floor attracts turtles and rays. Its clear water is great for paddle boarding and snorkeling.

There is a food truck and water sports rentals across the road. It is a great beach to spend the afternoon.

Please keep a healthy distance from these beautiful creatures to keep them safe. Take memories and only leave footprints.

Maho Beach should be on everyone’s list to visit while staying on St. John, USVI

a Turtle at Maho Beach, St. John, USVI

Maho Beach

A Turtle Experience

Check out my other blog posts about visiting St. John! Dining on St. John VI Beaches & Snorkeling Guide of St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Basics about St. John, USVI

Our Trusted Resources


Booking.com: for booking accommodations

Fare Drop: for finding the best airfare deals.

Viator or Get Your Guide: for all my activities

Discover Cars: for car rentals

Airalo: for eSIM card

Trainline: for booking train tickets

Karen Kane & prAna: great sources for travel clothes

Coumbia: great clothes and accessories for outdoor adventures.

International Drivers Permit: for getting your IDP

Travelex: for Travel Insurance

FAQ about St. John, USVI Top Activities

What is the best time of year to visit St John?

St John has a tropical climate with warm, sunny weather throughout the year. However, the peak tourist season coincides with the dry season from December through April. If you want to avoid crowds, consider visiting during the rainy season from May to November.

How can I get to St John?

St John is accessible only by water as the island does not have an airport. You can take a ferry from St. Thomas or a private boat charter from other nearby islands.

Do I need a passport to travel to St John?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need a passport to visit St John as it is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. However, if you are not a U.S. citizen, you may need to have a passport or other travel documents.

What should I pack for my trip to St John?

St John has a laid-back island lifestyle, so pack comfortable clothing, swimwear, and sandals or flip-flops. Be sure to bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and a hat to protect yourself from the sun. Sturdy shoes are also recommended for hiking and exploring the island’s natural beauty.

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