Newcomers to St. Croix generally arrive eager to learn: how to drive on the left, find the best beaches, get the hook-up for fresh fish right off the boat, etc. Most island residents are welcoming and happy to help. With a large population of “continentals,” who have relocated from the U.S. mainland, many people have been the new kid.
The first thing you’ll notice leaving the airport is the “keep left” signs. Historians disagree about why we drive on the left. But St. Croix did fly under the English flag at one point, so like our neighbor British Virgin Islands, we follow the same custom.
You will find GPS largely unhelpful on St. Croix, as most landmarks and some roads are not recorded. The best bet is to grab a map and learn the old fashioned way. Locals generally do not know the road numbers (there are named streets in the towns and some neighborhoods) and will provide directions by landmarks. With time and experience, finding your way will come easily. The island is only 28 miles long and 7 miles wide and most roads are only two lanes.
Exploring the best beaches will be a joy. The island has so many to offer from Turtle Beach at Buck Island (off the north east coast) to Sandy Point on St. Croix’s west end. All St. Croix beaches are public, so even those associated with hotels and resorts are not off-limits. Of course the “best” beach will be different for every individual. An active kite surfer isn’t seeking the same beach as a family with small children. VisitStCroix.com and VInow.com both offer great beach guides with maps and a chart of amenities.
Finding great connections to things like fresh fish and produce is easy, when you are out and about in the island’s vibrant social scene. In pursuing whatever sports or charitable causes you are interested in, it is easy to find new friends. Don’t miss events like Jump-Up and Art Thursday in Christiansted and Sunset Jazz in Frederiksted. Try the wine tasting club at The Galleon, or become a member at The St. Croix Yacht Club or Caribbean Community Theatre.
VItraders.com sells a U.S. Virgin Islands Settlers Handbook to make transitioning to island life even easier.
Ready to embrace life in the left lane?
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