Travel Formalities — there is no regulation requiring a U.S.
citizen to have a passport but it is always your best I.D. when traveling. In
any case, some form of identification (voter’s card, birth certificate or
passport) should be carried to evidence citizenship. Citizens of any
country outside the U.S. should follow regulations required by the U.S.
for their country.
Location — St. Croix is in the beautiful Caribbean, the beautiful
United States Virgin Islands. All in all, there are about fifty islands; some
big, some not so big, some merely rocks jutting out of the clear blue sea.
The three principal islands are St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. St.
Croix is the largest, and lies entirely in the Caribbean sea. St. John and
St. Thomas are next to each other thirty-five miles away, between the
Atlantic and the Caribbean. St. Croix is approximately 1500 miles
south/southeast of New York City and 1100 miles east/southeast of
Miami. The eastern tip of St. Croix is the easternmost Atlantic point of the
United States. St. Croix is 82 square miles in area, with two distinct
towns to visit: Christiansted and Frederiksted. Also of special interest:
St. George’s Botanical Gardens, a Rain Forest, the restored Whim
Greathouse, Point Udall (the easternmost point of the U.S.) and Buck
Island—with the only United States National Monument (we call it a
"National Park") that is underwater.
History — the Virgin Islands date back to Columbus’ second voyage
in 1493. Because of their incredible, unspoiled beauty, he called them
"The Virgins," with reference to the legend of St. Ursula and her beautiful
Weather — the weather is always comfortable, making St. Croix an
ideal destination for a vacation the year round.
Winter — the islands are far enough south to be assured of warm
weather; an average mean temperature in the winter of 77F (25C).
Summer — there is a steadiness of the trade winds, blowing almost
without exception from an easterly direction— and an average mean
temperature of 82F (27C).
Tourism — almost 2 million visitors come each year to the Virgin
Islands, the perfect place for a vacation. There is a wide range of
accommodations, excellent sports, a selection of other things to do, and
a reputation for the best shopping in the Caribbean. And the people are
among the friendliest in this part of the world.
...and The Rest
Clothing — the ambiance is "casual chic", meaning you can dress up
or down as you please. Swimwear or similarly abbreviated attire within
the city limits is against the law.
Currency — since St. Croix is part of the United States, the currency
is the U.S. dollar. Traveler’s checks and major credit cards are widely
Dining & Entertainment — dining in St. Croix is truly world-
class, and ranges from French to Japanese to Italian to Chinese. Be sure
to try some of the West Indian specialties—including fresh fish and
lobster. And entertainment ranges from get-together places with folk
singers to the best in calypso to sophisticated dance clubs.
Driving — in a carryover from Danish rule, traffic keeps to the left. To
drive here, you need a valid stateside driver’s license.
Electric Current - Standard North American, 120 volt/60 cycle.
Government — the United States Virgin Islands is an
unincorporated Territory with a non-voting Delegate to the House of
Representatives. There are three Government branches: Executive,
Legislative and Judicial. All persons born here are citizens of the United
Language — being part of the U.S., the language is English. The
local lilt given to English is referred to as "calypso."
Shopping — with no customs duties on tourism-related items (such
as watches, cameras, fine jewelry, china and leather goods) the Virgin
Islands is truly a free port for the visitor. There’s no luxury tax or sales
tax, either. And since they’re part of the United States, U.S. citizens are
allowed a duty-free shopping quota of $1200—twice that of any other
island in the Caribbean—three times that of Europe. And the shopping is
truly world-class—with names to drop including Cartier, Gucci and Louis
Sports — what would you like to do? Swim, sail, dive, snorkel, play
golf, go parasailing, play tennis, go fishing or horseback riding— it’s all
available in St. Croix.
Time — the Virgin Islands are in the Atlantic Standard Time Zone,
which is one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time. (When those on
Eastern Standard Time switch to Daylight Savings Time ... St. Croix has
no time change. This means they are no longer one hour ahead)
Travel Arrangements — St. Croix is easily reached from where
you are right now. For example, we’re 6 1/2 hours from NYC via American
Airlines connecting in San Juan; 5 1/2 hours from Charlotte, NC via
American connecting in Miami or San Juan. 8 1/2 hours from
Raleigh/Durham, NC via American connecting in Miami; 2 1/2 hours
nonstop from Miami via American.
For availability of flights and schedules from your area
check www.expedia.com (St. Croix = STX)
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