Visitors flock to St. John primarily for one thing: the great outdoors. Whether that means lying on the beach, hiking, snorkeling, or horseback riding, it's all there for the taking.
Beaches are the most popular outdoor attraction, and Trunk Bay on the North Shore tops the list of favorites. This well-loved beach can get a little busy in winter though, so if you want a more quiet beach experience head to Salt Pond Bay on the far southern tip of the island.
The waters around St. John are best explored by boat or kayak, with companies like Arawak Expeditions or Wet Woody's. Arawak offers guided kayak tours of the coves and reefs, while Wet Woody's specializes in festive offshore "booze cruises."
Those who prefer to stay on dry land can explore the many trails of the Virgin Islands National Park, such as the Reef Bay Trail, which descends from the top of the island, through plantation ruins, all the way to the sea. If you'd rather let someone else do the work, try a 2-hour horseback ride at Carolina Corral, where you'll be treated to panoramic views of distant islands.
If you need a break from the great outdoors, spend a half a day wandering the quaint streets of Cruz Bay. Pop in and out of the boutiques, or treat yourself to a gourmet dinner at one of the many fine restaurants. Just up the hill at the Elaine Ione Sprauve Library, a range of exhibits illustrate the culture and history of St. John.