It’s hard not to speak in phrases or use metaphors or even drum up played-out pop cultural similes when talking about an island as untouched as St. Croix. Naturally, the island is chock-full with brown people; the same people who were enslaved on other islands or captured in Africa all those years ago still inhabit St. Croix.
The Island of St. Croix gives off the type of vibe that keeps the psychiatrists -and their meds-far away. It’s a stress-free kind of place that boasts gorgeous, lush water and is the antithesis of what you might find in its sister island, St. Thomas. Like St. Thomas, it’s U.S.-owned-which coincidentally, makes the move to the island as easy as a move from Detroit to Chicago. (Well, almost as easy.) But unlike the other island, there’s almost nothing North American there to remind you that you’re on a U.S. domain.
St. Thomas, by contrast, looks much more like South Beach, with its luxurious four-star shopping, familiar fine-dining restaurants and the same sprawling hotel resorts that you’d find on the West Coast (or heck, even the Midwest, for that matter).
But in St. Croix, the culture and local color reign supreme.
Walking about the streets will be the colorfully dressed Moko Jumbies, who stand on stilts and are as tall as eight-feet in the air, and dance about in carnival-inspired garb. The West Indian and African tradition is as stunning as it is inviting.
It’s the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands – but considering it’s only 28 by 7 miles, you’ll surely run into people you meet twice and then some – and like most of the Caribbean islands, rum rules everything around.
Here, it’s the Cruzan rum, which comes in flavors as diverse as mango and guava, and the locals use it to marinate and baste poultry and seafood.
It’s the kind of place that begs of you to turn off your cell phone and stow it away in your luggage. Instead, you’ll want to hit the sea, snorkel for coral or take a horseback ride along the coast.
Many of the more lush resorts here feel like home. I stayed at the Buccaneer resort, which has been around since the 17th century, and has a modern-day Victorian spin to it.