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Jennifer and Cj's Guidebook

Jennifer

Jennifer and Cj's Guidebook

Where to eat in Coral Bay
Everyone has to eat. Here's a list of places that can help make that happen! Island Life Disclaimer: All names of restaurants, food quality, and operating hours are subject to change at any time with absolutely no warning.
A la carte (mostly) affordable Southern food served out of a shipping container with a full bar. This is a local fave. You order at the window, grab your food and find a seat. The menu changes every night but there’s generally a meat option, a fish option, and a veggie option...and then lots of sides. They usually BBQ on Friday. They post the menu on their facebook page. They are also sometimes open for breakfast. Closed Sunday and Monday.
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Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis
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A la carte (mostly) affordable Southern food served out of a shipping container with a full bar. This is a local fave. You order at the window, grab your food and find a seat. The menu changes every night but there’s generally a meat option, a fish option, and a veggie option...and then lots of sides. They usually BBQ on Friday. They post the menu on their facebook page. They are also sometimes open for breakfast. Closed Sunday and Monday.
Shockingly good pizza for an island! Tiny little space with outside seating. You should 100% go. They also do takeout if you want to grab a pie and bring it home. They open at 3pm (I think) and are closed on Sunday and Monday and almost never answer their phone. It’s a little bit farther from the house than the other choices, but not too bad. It’s on the way back from Salt Pond and Lameshur, so stopping in for dinner after the beach could be a plan.
Pizzabar {in paradise}
Shockingly good pizza for an island! Tiny little space with outside seating. You should 100% go. They also do takeout if you want to grab a pie and bring it home. They open at 3pm (I think) and are closed on Sunday and Monday and almost never answer their phone. It’s a little bit farther from the house than the other choices, but not too bad. It’s on the way back from Salt Pond and Lameshur, so stopping in for dinner after the beach could be a plan.
Open for lunch and dinner. It’s got a centrally located bar right across from the water and all of the seating is outside. Burgers, fish sandwiches, conch fritters, steaks, salads, some kind of alfredo, desserts. Full service. Live music playing softly in the background. Like that. It’s a solid choice for dinner out in coral bay and it is NOT as fancy as the website makes it seem!
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Aqua Bistro (Seafood Restaurant)
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Open for lunch and dinner. It’s got a centrally located bar right across from the water and all of the seating is outside. Burgers, fish sandwiches, conch fritters, steaks, salads, some kind of alfredo, desserts. Full service. Live music playing softly in the background. Like that. It’s a solid choice for dinner out in coral bay and it is NOT as fancy as the website makes it seem!
Iconic coral bay burger dive (they have veggie burgers and fish sandwiches, too). Very casual. Their motto is “a pretty ok place.” And it is. They’re open for lunch and dinner and word on the street is there’s Trivia on Tuesdays.
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Skinny Legs
9901 Estate Emmaus
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Iconic coral bay burger dive (they have veggie burgers and fish sandwiches, too). Very casual. Their motto is “a pretty ok place.” And it is. They’re open for lunch and dinner and word on the street is there’s Trivia on Tuesdays.
Rhumb Lines/ Indigo Grill- Recent merger of two restaurants into one space. I think what’s going on now is that it’s the Indigo menu (eclectic american) for lunch and Rhumb Lines (pan asian) for dinner. Worth checking out just to see what’s happening. It’ll either be Pad Thai or gourmet tater tots. Very tropical vibe. Popular Happy Hour. Also, they frequently have live music.
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Indigo Grill
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Rhumb Lines/ Indigo Grill- Recent merger of two restaurants into one space. I think what’s going on now is that it’s the Indigo menu (eclectic american) for lunch and Rhumb Lines (pan asian) for dinner. Worth checking out just to see what’s happening. It’ll either be Pad Thai or gourmet tater tots. Very tropical vibe. Popular Happy Hour. Also, they frequently have live music.
Pickles is like the community center of Coral Bay. They open early. They have breakfast. It’s a deli. They make sandwiches and salads and wraps you can take to the beach. They sell beer. There is often some kind of community event going on outside. They are only open for breakfast and lunch EXCEPT on Thursday when they stay open late. Thursday is open-mic music night and it is easily the most attended event in Coral Bay. Cars line the streets. I’m pretty sure they serve food at music night, too.
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Pickles in Paradise
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Pickles is like the community center of Coral Bay. They open early. They have breakfast. It’s a deli. They make sandwiches and salads and wraps you can take to the beach. They sell beer. There is often some kind of community event going on outside. They are only open for breakfast and lunch EXCEPT on Thursday when they stay open late. Thursday is open-mic music night and it is easily the most attended event in Coral Bay. Cars line the streets. I’m pretty sure they serve food at music night, too.
Where to eat in Cruz Bay
There are a lot more restaurants in Cruz Bay than in Coral. Here are some you might want to try.
Deli on the top floor of the Marketplace. Good sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Excellent pickles and iced tea. They also have dinners you can take out, like eggplant parm and spaghetti and meatballs. Breakfast and lunch. And wine.
Sam & Jack's Deli
Deli on the top floor of the Marketplace. Good sandwiches, wraps, and salads. Excellent pickles and iced tea. They also have dinners you can take out, like eggplant parm and spaghetti and meatballs. Breakfast and lunch. And wine.
Located in The Marketplace. Brand spanking new healthy takeout counter. Smoothies. Natural Juices. Kombucha. Lots of vegetable dishes and salads you can take to-go with options to add things like herbed chicken or salmon. Menu changes constantly. Before our kitchen was finished we would stock up on prepared food from here. Lunch only.
Shaibu's
Located in The Marketplace. Brand spanking new healthy takeout counter. Smoothies. Natural Juices. Kombucha. Lots of vegetable dishes and salads you can take to-go with options to add things like herbed chicken or salmon. Menu changes constantly. Before our kitchen was finished we would stock up on prepared food from here. Lunch only.
Our favorite night out in Cruz Bay. Great happy hour, delicious drinks, good food. Menu has coastal fusion options featuring ceviche, poke bowls, tacos, sushi. Upscale laid-back vibe. Opens at 3 seven days a week.
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The Longboard
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Our favorite night out in Cruz Bay. Great happy hour, delicious drinks, good food. Menu has coastal fusion options featuring ceviche, poke bowls, tacos, sushi. Upscale laid-back vibe. Opens at 3 seven days a week.
Beautiful setting for a romantic, pricey, in-town dinner that leans modern Italian. Will likely need reservations. We like sitting at the bar and making a meal of the starters.
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Extra Virgin Bistro
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Beautiful setting for a romantic, pricey, in-town dinner that leans modern Italian. Will likely need reservations. We like sitting at the bar and making a meal of the starters.
A sit down restaurant serving good Caribbean food like curry goat, roti, beans and rice, etc. Worth a visit.
De'Coal Pot
A sit down restaurant serving good Caribbean food like curry goat, roti, beans and rice, etc. Worth a visit.
Local favorite fancy night out. Airy dining room, well-prepared fish dishes. It burned down, they rebuilt it. It blew down, they rebuilt it. It’s still packed! Just dinner. Might need reservations.
Morgan's Mango
Local favorite fancy night out. Airy dining room, well-prepared fish dishes. It burned down, they rebuilt it. It blew down, they rebuilt it. It’s still packed! Just dinner. Might need reservations.
Our local brewery! Good beer and decent food at decent prices. Open for lunch and dinner. In Mongoose Junction-St. John’s mall!
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The Tap Room
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Our local brewery! Good beer and decent food at decent prices. Open for lunch and dinner. In Mongoose Junction-St. John’s mall!
Another high-end local dining favorite. Birthday? Anniversary? Oysters Rockefeller anyone?
The Terrace
Another high-end local dining favorite. Birthday? Anniversary? Oysters Rockefeller anyone?
Elegant and expensive with an innovative menu and a drop-dead sunset view from the bar. Dinner only. Will need reservations.
OCEAN|362
Elegant and expensive with an innovative menu and a drop-dead sunset view from the bar. Dinner only. Will need reservations.
Where to Hike
Most famous trail on St. John and for good reason! It has some spectacular views, hidden tropical jungle ruins, informative plaques, a spur leading to a waterfall with ancient petroglyphs, and ends at the ruins of an old sugar plantation next to a usually deserted beach. Round trip is about 4.6 miles. Pretty easy going down and strenuous coming up. Also spur trails to Lameshur and other ruins. Budget at least 2 to 3 hours. You'll want to spend time seeing everything!
Reef Bay Trail
Most famous trail on St. John and for good reason! It has some spectacular views, hidden tropical jungle ruins, informative plaques, a spur leading to a waterfall with ancient petroglyphs, and ends at the ruins of an old sugar plantation next to a usually deserted beach. Round trip is about 4.6 miles. Pretty easy going down and strenuous coming up. Also spur trails to Lameshur and other ruins. Budget at least 2 to 3 hours. You'll want to spend time seeing everything!
Gorgeous flat trail that hugs the coast for almost a mile. Great views of the British Virgin Islands. Lots of places to stop, swim, and snorkel. Starts at Annenberg Ruins which are very well maintained by the National Park, have amazing views, and give visitors a good overview of plantation life on St. John. Trail ends at stretch of sandy beach at about a mile in. Can continue along the beach and pick up Johnny Horn Trail or continue further along the coast line to get to snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay.
Leinster Bay Trail
Gorgeous flat trail that hugs the coast for almost a mile. Great views of the British Virgin Islands. Lots of places to stop, swim, and snorkel. Starts at Annenberg Ruins which are very well maintained by the National Park, have amazing views, and give visitors a good overview of plantation life on St. John. Trail ends at stretch of sandy beach at about a mile in. Can continue along the beach and pick up Johnny Horn Trail or continue further along the coast line to get to snorkeling at Waterlemon Cay.
This is one of the most spectacular hikes on the island! Be sure to bring your beach stuff so you can cool off at Salt Pond beach after the hike! The trail starts at the far end of Salt Pond Beach. Walk along the rocky coastline until you see the trail cut in. It steers you a little inland and upwards leading to some good early viewpoints. After a while it lets out on a very rocky beach. Keep walking down the beach towards the big point of land in front of you (Ram's Head). More than halfway down the beach keep an eye out for the trail to cut back inland through the brush. There should be some cairns marking it. Then it takes you on a moderately steep uphill climb out along the point of land. There are steep drop-offs into the water below and it gets windy!!! The views are amazing, the landscape is almost otherworldly. As you get closer to the end of the trail it breaks off into a lot of spurs. Try to stay on the most clear cut, obvious one to help prevent erosion. At the end you are rewarded with an amazing vista of the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. The drop off is very steep here as well! This is an absolute must do!!! Total distance out and back is about two miles but plan to spend some time enjoying all the incredible sites.
Ram Head Trail
This is one of the most spectacular hikes on the island! Be sure to bring your beach stuff so you can cool off at Salt Pond beach after the hike! The trail starts at the far end of Salt Pond Beach. Walk along the rocky coastline until you see the trail cut in. It steers you a little inland and upwards leading to some good early viewpoints. After a while it lets out on a very rocky beach. Keep walking down the beach towards the big point of land in front of you (Ram's Head). More than halfway down the beach keep an eye out for the trail to cut back inland through the brush. There should be some cairns marking it. Then it takes you on a moderately steep uphill climb out along the point of land. There are steep drop-offs into the water below and it gets windy!!! The views are amazing, the landscape is almost otherworldly. As you get closer to the end of the trail it breaks off into a lot of spurs. Try to stay on the most clear cut, obvious one to help prevent erosion. At the end you are rewarded with an amazing vista of the Caribbean on one side and the Atlantic on the other. The drop off is very steep here as well! This is an absolute must do!!! Total distance out and back is about two miles but plan to spend some time enjoying all the incredible sites.
Johnny Horn is an intense trail with a number of spurs and look-outs. You can pick it up from the Leincster Bay Trail and climb up to an amazing view of Sir Frances Drake Passage framed in the archway of an old Danish ruin. A bit further up are more Danish ruins also with incredible views. This is one of our regular hikes...we take the dogs, have a snack at the ruins and turnaround, but you can definitely keep going for a longer hike. If you stay on the Johnny Horn it will let you out by the Moravian church near the Coral Bay Triangle (and just a short walk to Skinny’s). The Johny Horn and Brown Bay can be long and strenuous. Plan to spend at least 4 hours if you are doing all of either of them and definitely check with the park service and maps for more info before you go.
Johnny Horn Trail
Johnny Horn is an intense trail with a number of spurs and look-outs. You can pick it up from the Leincster Bay Trail and climb up to an amazing view of Sir Frances Drake Passage framed in the archway of an old Danish ruin. A bit further up are more Danish ruins also with incredible views. This is one of our regular hikes...we take the dogs, have a snack at the ruins and turnaround, but you can definitely keep going for a longer hike. If you stay on the Johnny Horn it will let you out by the Moravian church near the Coral Bay Triangle (and just a short walk to Skinny’s). The Johny Horn and Brown Bay can be long and strenuous. Plan to spend at least 4 hours if you are doing all of either of them and definitely check with the park service and maps for more info before you go.
Beaches
There are so many beaches on STJ. It's hard to go wrong. Here are some of our faves.
Great beach, little bit of a trek down a rocky path from the parking area, but well worth it. Has a few picnic tables and a National Park porta-potty. This is one-stop shopping. Beautiful beach with access to Ram’s Head Hike (fantastic) and Drunk Bay.
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Salt Pond Beach
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Great beach, little bit of a trek down a rocky path from the parking area, but well worth it. Has a few picnic tables and a National Park porta-potty. This is one-stop shopping. Beautiful beach with access to Ram’s Head Hike (fantastic) and Drunk Bay.
Two secluded beaches nestled in the National Park. Lameshur is a rocky beach and Little Lameshur is sandy. Little Lameshur has some picnic tables with grills and a National Park porta-potty. The road to get to these beaches is VERY, VERY ROUGH. Please don’t go if you don’t have a 4WD vehicle. You can also hike down to Little Lameshur from Bordeaux on the Bordeaux Trail.
Lameshur Beach
Two secluded beaches nestled in the National Park. Lameshur is a rocky beach and Little Lameshur is sandy. Little Lameshur has some picnic tables with grills and a National Park porta-potty. The road to get to these beaches is VERY, VERY ROUGH. Please don’t go if you don’t have a 4WD vehicle. You can also hike down to Little Lameshur from Bordeaux on the Bordeaux Trail.
This is probably the most famous beach on STJ. It also has the most services (snack bar, regular bar, showers, real bathrooms, snorkel rental). It can get pretty busy but you should probably check it out anyway. It really is beautiful. And accessible. Has a National Park snorkeling trail. There is no hiking involved.
Trunk Beach
This is probably the most famous beach on STJ. It also has the most services (snack bar, regular bar, showers, real bathrooms, snorkel rental). It can get pretty busy but you should probably check it out anyway. It really is beautiful. And accessible. Has a National Park snorkeling trail. There is no hiking involved.
This is a perennial fave. Maho is a beautiful beach right next to the road (so no hiking in). The snorkeling here isn’t that great EXCEPT it is an EXCELLENT place to see sea turtles. No, really. There is an extremely good chance you’ll see them. Make sure to talk to other snorkelers/swimmers. They are usually more than happy to point out turtles. Also, someone recently opened a space with a bar and some food and tons of hammocks and couches to chill on. It’s called Maho Crossroads. It’s one of the few non-National Park operations. There are also some picnic tables and National Park porta-potties at the far end of the beach.
Maho Bay Beach
This is a perennial fave. Maho is a beautiful beach right next to the road (so no hiking in). The snorkeling here isn’t that great EXCEPT it is an EXCELLENT place to see sea turtles. No, really. There is an extremely good chance you’ll see them. Make sure to talk to other snorkelers/swimmers. They are usually more than happy to point out turtles. Also, someone recently opened a space with a bar and some food and tons of hammocks and couches to chill on. It’s called Maho Crossroads. It’s one of the few non-National Park operations. There are also some picnic tables and National Park porta-potties at the far end of the beach.
Part rocky and part sandy beach with some nice snorkeling. Tucked away on the east end. No services.
Haulover Beach
Part rocky and part sandy beach with some nice snorkeling. Tucked away on the east end. No services.
Very sweet sandy beach off a short trail from either behind the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay or an easy to access trail off Centerline Rd. I believe there is also now a dingy service that will take you over there from near ferry landing in Cruz Bay! Has hammocks, shady beach spots, amenities.
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Honeymoon Beach
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Very sweet sandy beach off a short trail from either behind the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay or an easy to access trail off Centerline Rd. I believe there is also now a dingy service that will take you over there from near ferry landing in Cruz Bay! Has hammocks, shady beach spots, amenities.
Very small, quiet white sand beach near Trunk. Not very much parking. No amenities.
Jumbie Bay
Very small, quiet white sand beach near Trunk. Not very much parking. No amenities.
Groceries, ATMs, Gas
GAS: There are only two gas stations on the island and they are both in Cruz bay on the same street (just past The Marketplace). There are NO gas stations in Coral Bay. Always fill up in town before you think you need to! Groceries: We have a couple of food markets very close to the house in Coral Bay. Love City Mini Market is a glorified convenience store, but they have way more stuff than you would think. We also have Dolphin Market which is more of a complete grocery store. The grocery store with the best selection on STJ is Starfish Market which is located in The Marketplace in Cruz Bay. ATM's: The only ATM in Coral bay is located in the Dolphin Market (same comple as Aqua Bistro). It may or may not be working. There are a few ATM's in Cruz Bay including in The Marketplace near Starfish Market and at the Ferry Dock.
Best grocery selection on island. Wines, cheese, produce, meat, seafood, deli.
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Starfish Market
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Best grocery selection on island. Wines, cheese, produce, meat, seafood, deli.
Biggest grocery store in Coral Bay.
Dolphin Market
Biggest grocery store in Coral Bay.
Love City is kind of a glorified convenience store but it's surprising how much stuff they have. Just down the hill from the house. And not as scary as it looks! Good place to pick up beer, wine, water, etc.
Love City Market
Love City is kind of a glorified convenience store but it's surprising how much stuff they have. Just down the hill from the house. And not as scary as it looks! Good place to pick up beer, wine, water, etc.
This is the main gas station. It's in Cruz Bay, just past The Marketplace. This is NOT a 24-hr operation. I think they close at 7 or so...
E&C Service Station
This is the main gas station. It's in Cruz Bay, just past The Marketplace. This is NOT a 24-hr operation. I think they close at 7 or so...