Driving Time on St....
 
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Driving Time on St. John  

 

Wolverine888
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May 7, 2017 7:54 am  

I've confirmed my visit for 1-7 June 2017 and will be staying in STT but will be taking the ferry over to STJ one day and renting a Jeep to explore by driving around as much as possible...assuming I'm willing to get to the island as early in the morning as possible and depart from there as late as possible, what's the best day of the week (will be there Thursday thru Wednesday) for minimal traffic and any recommended driving routes and realistic travel times, given the terrain and posted speeds? To be clear, I'm not talking about driving around to take in the tourist attractions for any length of time, but rather to keep moving and to see as much of the island as possible.


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fdr
 fdr
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May 7, 2017 10:30 am  

You'll have to wait for the car rental company to open, so keep their hours in mind when you make your plan. Aside from "rush hour" (7-8a and 4:30-5:30p, plus the school bus slowing traffic around 3-3:30), which isn't much traffic at all, and the occasional herd of animals on the road, traffic is not a concern here.

St John is very small. I'm not sure what you want to see specifically, but we have only two "towns" (and Coral Bay is more of a village than a town). It takes about half an hour to drive Centerline Road from Cruz Bay to Coral Bay, and another 20 minutes to reach the end of paved roads from Coral Bay to either the East End or Lameshur area.

From Cruz Bay it takes 15 minutes to go south out to Fish Bay, and you could get back to Cruz Bay via Gifft Hill and Centerline for another 15-25 minute trip.

Then there's the North Shore road, where our national park beaches are. Takes about a half-hour to drive the whole thing and wind up back on Centerline. You could take the Catherineberg Road between northshore and Centerline to see what our less-paved roads are like, although I think they have paved more of it recently. Most maps call this John's Head Road. Or you could head back on the Bordeaux Mountain road for a similar experience.

So basically, if you just want to drive down every main road we have, it will take you three hours in the Jeep. If you want to explore neighborhoods, it will take longer. If you go off the main roads, it's easy to get confused about where to turn on some places.

Don't trust Google Maps here, and never follow right behind a large truck going up a steep hill! And if someone is following closely behind you, please pull over when you can safely do so to let them pass - we are not all on vacation! Have a great visit.


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Wolverine888
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May 7, 2017 11:26 am  

Thanks fdr for the excellent info, very helpful


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DL
 DL
(@DL)
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May 8, 2017 2:49 pm  

You might be better off renting on St. Thomas and bringing it on the barge. Anyone that tells you it's illegal is mistaken. There's an old law prohibiting rental vehicles from St. Thomas from being brought to St. John, but it was deemed unconstitutional in federal court, so the VI government does not enforce it.


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Alana33
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May 8, 2017 6:23 pm  

But some of the rental car agencies don't allow it.
Dependable Car and Budget both do.

Indeed, rent on STT and take the car barge service back and forth.
Round trip is cheaper but you must come and go with same service.
Be sure to check the departure times and ask if there are any scheduling changes.

It'll save time. You can pu maps at national park headquarters across from Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay


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Wolverine888
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May 9, 2017 8:28 am  

Perhaps I created some confusion, am only renting the vehicle for one day to drive around St John, so why would it be preferable to rent that vehicle in St Thomas and take it back and forth on the ferry for just that one day? Is the savings of doing that considerable?


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Gator's Mom
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May 9, 2017 11:20 am  

There is a public bus that runs between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. You might check that out before deciding to rent a car.


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Alana33
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May 9, 2017 3:30 pm  

Perhaps I created some confusion, am only renting the vehicle for one day to drive around St John, so why would it be preferable to rent that vehicle in St Thomas and take it back and forth on the ferry for just that one day? Is the savings of doing that considerable?

Thought you were renting a car for the entire time.
If not, then rent for day there.
Just make advance reservation tho it shouldn't be a problem in June.
Can't say which day is better than another but the barges do take commercial commuters during the week.


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fdr
 fdr
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May 9, 2017 3:56 pm  

Perhaps I created some confusion, am only renting the vehicle for one day to drive around St John, so why would it be preferable to rent that vehicle in St Thomas and take it back and forth on the ferry for just that one day? Is the savings of doing that considerable?

No, it would cost you more, and you'd be limited to returning by 6pm (last barge for the day leaves Cruz Bay then). Renting on STJ is a sound plan.


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Alana33
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May 9, 2017 7:50 pm  

Since you wouldn't be dictated by the barge schedule by renting on STJ, you could stay later in STJ to have dinner, catch ferry back to STT and hopefully catch a taxi back to where you're staying. I don't know how late Taxis are available in Red Hook but it's a popular nighttime spots with lots of bars, restaurants, within walking distance. Ditto for Cruz Bay.

I think both Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay have fresh water showers.
You have to pay to get into Trunk but after 4/4:30 there's no charge.
Lots to do on STJ on a day trip depending on what floats your boat.

If you pay to get into Trunk Bay,($4) which has an underwater snorkel trail, you'll also have access to the Annenberg Ruins (same day) which has historical significance, gorgeous and incredible views.

Take the north shore road out to Coral Bay. I love Shipwreck Landing for lunch over Skinny Legs and Lameshure over Salt Pond. 4 wheel drive recommended for that, especially if there's been a rain event.

Lots of good shopping in Cruz Bay and at Mongoose Junction.
Great food at Lime Inn and Gallows Point has wonderful sunset dining.

Honestly, there's so much to do, see and explore, the earlier you get started, the better!

Enjoy!


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fdr
 fdr
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May 10, 2017 10:48 pm  

I think both Cinnamon Bay and Trunk Bay have fresh water showers.
You have to pay to get into Trunk but after 4/4:30 there's no charge.

And no showers after that, either! They shut off the water when fee station closes.


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