What island would be the best for 2 women in mid-twenties?
My best childhood friend and I are considering moving next year to USVI. We are in between St. Thomas and St. Croix right now. Both look so amazing we are having a hard time deciding where to do our PMV in March! Can anybody offer any guidance on what differs between these two islands? From what I have read, St. Thomas is a little more touristy. Is it too touristy? To give an idea of who we are, we are in our mid twenties, she's a teacher and I'm in marketing. We are hoping to find a happy balance of work, play and a relaxation wherever we move to. I'm sure BOTH islands are wonderful for this but if anybody has input it would be greatly appreciated!
Thank you thank you!!
Tons of mid twenty transplants on St. John. It's a small community (4,200 people), where it is super easy to meet people. With 2/3 of the island being National Park, there is lots to explore (hiking, swimming, snorkeling). We mostly have all small independent business (no big name restaurants or stores) but St. Thomas (51,000 people) is just a 15 minute ferry ride away where you can find more of that. I'm sure lots of people can chime in here about both St. Thomas and St. Croix. And there is also a ton of information on this forum if you do a few searches.
STT and STX can be quite different. STT does have probably 5 to 10x the tourists as STX on any given day. This one difference makes some people very turned off at living in STT, and others attracted to living in STT relative to STX. They are indeed both beautiful places.
What is it about the USVI or living on a caribbean island in general that is driving you and your friend to consider moving? If you answer this question as detailed as possible we can help you decide which island if you have only the PMV funds for one.
Kiki88, welcome to the forum.
This is a frequent subject. Here are some past threads:
Some of the threads are old, so keep in mind these recent developments:
- The oil refinery on STX closed in 2012, which hurt the economy there
- There is no regular ferry service between STX and STT
You may be better able to find jobs in STT. Not to mention, there's lots to do here and it's much easier to take day or weekend trips to the BVI and STJ is just a 20 min ferry ride or a 30 min car barge ride away to explore STJ which is mostly National Park and also has phenomenal beaches, hiking trails, etc. so allows even more options for exploring.
May - Nov. is our slow season. Cruise ship and tourist arrivals are way down and and thing don't really get very busy for tourism until mid-Dec. - Mid April.
After that things peter out.
Both STT and STX are quite nice and offer different things.
Hi all! Thank you so much for all your responses this is really helpful 🙂 St. John sounds incredible and I like that a lot of people our age are there! However, moving from the LA area we are looking for something with a little more people 🙂
ChrisMI, we are just looking really to experience a different, more laid back, positive, beautiful lifestyle! We have always lived in California and as beautiful as some places are here, we want to explore new places and different styles of living. Given that, we still need to be mindful of things like obtaining a job. From some of these responses it seems like STT may be a little easier to find a job on? (Thanks Alana33!) From the posts so far it really seems like STT should be the one to spend a PMV on.
In regards to living expenses, from my research so far on this forum and apartment searching sites such as craigslist, St. Thomas seems more expensive than STX. Would you say it is much more expensive?
One last thing. I'm a vegetarian and eat a lot of greens. I know in Hawaii produce (except fruits that grow there) are really expensive because they have to be imported. Does the same go for USVI?
Thank you ALL so much for your responses again! This is really helpful!! So grateful to have found this website with so many nice people.
Yup, St. John might be a little too laid back for big city girls 😉 As far as fresh produce goes, yes, it can be more expensive. There are a lot of great local fruits and vegetables that are going to be a little less expensive. So make sure you give all of them a try and ask the vendors you buy them from how they suggest preparing them until you learn how to add your own flare. There are also a ton of great Ital restaurants for you to try out. From what you have mentioned so far, I am thinking STT might be a great fit for the two of you. And there is a lot of great info on STT relocation on this forum, so make sure you do a search and read as much as you can. I also recommend making a pre move visit to check the island out. Enjoy!
STT for sure for you. It will offer you the most mid twenties entertainment.
STJ is too snooty for my liking LOL! Sorry STJ people. So STJ people have a name like Thominians or Crucians? Jhonians sounds redic.
I LOVE St. Croix and will likely live there at some point but its much more laid back and not as much to do from my experience there. A great place to love thou.
STT is a love hate. Its busy and we have traffic BUTTTTT thats how we all make money honey. There isn't one night of the week where there isn't a party, club, event, live music or ladies night.
stjohnjulie Thank you for the info! Ya it does seem like STT is the right fit! I'm sharing all this info with my friend and I think we're going to go with that for our PMV. I wish it was now I can't wait to go!! Thanks for the tip about local fruits and veggies - and I LOVE itl food so that also is a big plus 😀
AandA2VI Thanks! Haha well we already deal with traffic so I'm sure that will just feel normal! 😉 We love events and such (who doesn't?) so that sounds GREAT about it!
I've been looking at condos tonight and there are a lot of neighborhoods/areas to choose from...where would you guys suggest is a good location to try and narrow down my search to? Is there an area that is better for being close to restaurants, grocery stores, nightlife, etc?
Again, thank you all SO much. 🙂
First, don't rent anything until you personally see it. You can get an idea of areas, and when you come in March, you will know where to look. Some people like the east end for services like restaurants, shops, etc. Others prefer the northside. It will depend on your work, what area calls you. Remember the whole island of St Thomas is 13 by 3 miles.
For teaching, on the east end, we have a great school: http://www.vimsia.org/
Ericw: You seem like a nice person. I frequently run into servers and bartenders on St John who are telling visitors how wonderful St John is and how they wouldn't be caught dead on "St Trauma" except, of course, to go to Cost-U-Less. Then, when engaged in conversation, it turns out they have been there 3 weeks. I'm not sure if that is what A&A meant, but that is my observation. The long-time residents are terrific.
AandA why all the St. John bashing? I'm here so it can't be snooty! 😉
Dude if u told you the stories you'd not believe me. I am to the point that I refuse to shop or even talk to people on St. John. Idk what the problem is but I've never run into more entitled people in my life. That's one reason I left the states. I always am smily and friendly until I get treated like crap. Then I say I'm from STT thinking that would help and it seem to make it worse. I've even had a server say I'm sorry once to me when I said I was in STT. Right after she argued with me for five minutes that my "mahi" sandwich wasn't actually taliapia (which it was for) $27. She was a total B!!! Whoever that guy with the octopus ring on at baked in the sun needs to be smacked too. Loudly talking in front if my customers I took there for breakfast about his bender theta night of cocaine and how he hasn't slept yet. It's BAD. I've had over a dozen instances there now and I just don't get it. I work over there often also doing island tours and my customers say the same thing. As a matter of fact a couple days ago I was on a tour and they said thy wouldn't stay in STJ again. Too pretentious. I love the beaches and it's clean and pretty so I just take my paddleboard and a cooler and AVOID town like the plague. Sorry - truth.
I wouldn't put up with that kind of nonsense for 2 min.
I would have suggested that those servers either got me the manager, the owner or their contact numbers and put a stop to it, there and then.
The majority of people have dealt with in STJ in service industry (shops/restaurants)
have always been very nice and professional. My sister lives there so I go back and
forth but haven't run into those partcular issues. I can see where it leaves a bad taste.
That no doubt happens when you have the transient Continental work force that comes to make $$ in winter months and are off to the next place in the summer. Luckuly, most don't come back.
A&A - OMG! I'm sorry, seems like you've had a string of bad luck 🙁 I've never encountered anything like that! Next time you have a free day hit me up and I'll make sure you have a great time over here :). We just made it back from a great early evening in town. Had a drink at Joes Rum Hut for $3 you call it happy hour, then mozied over to the beach bar to here John Gazi and his band who were great. Then over to Cruz Bay Landing for dinner and they were giving out free brownie cake a la mode for desert! All this after a day at the beach 🙂
I would agree with Alana. Seems AandA has run into some rude transient workers. The managers should definitely be advised of this rude behavior. I don't care if a business is located in paradise or not, my discretionary budget is limited. If I am treated rudely I will let it be known and if it gets to a point that AandA has run too, I too would not frequent these establishments. Most businesses need all the business they can muster or go out of business. That said, there are plenty of pleasant people on STJ and I will not let these rude people keep me from enjoying the island and all of its natural resources. After a day long hike or day at the beach, I will go to dinner and drinks at the establishments who covet my business.
Dont rule out ST Croix. Plenty of twenty somethings on STX without all the hussle and bussle of fighting tourists. Amazing beaches, music venues, restaurants.....and housing is more affordable.
Also, this fall may be a good time to seek a teaching position as many changes taking place in the school systems, public and private. If you want to work on STX, you will find a job.
Good day all here is my take on explaining the difference in the 3 islands in mainland terms.
St Thomas-like New York, always something happening, crowded and busy.
St john- Like California, back to nature, pricey, and people are different (I'm a California boy so its not an insult)
St Croix- Like the South, open spaces and real small town atmosphere, farmers markets.
I am on St Croix and wouldn't go anywhere else. Just like those that love the rocks they're on. If you are happy on your particular rock then its the right one for you. St Croix seems to be the most affordable.