In keeping with the theme of let’s pass some time at work during the holiday week, who has dreamt of owning a business on St. John? I know I used to, and I’m fairly certain many of you have too! But before I get into the particulars of what’s currently for sale on St. John, please know that all of the businesses mentioned below are open for business as usual. The fact that they’re listed for sale has no impact on daily operations. So go ahead and continue enjoying them all. 🙂
The most affordable business that’s currently listed is Cafe Roma. Cafe Roma has been dishing up Italian fare in Cruz Bay since 1981. The current owner purchased the business after reading about it on my former blog, so maybe the new owner will purchase it after reading about it here on my new blog! This sale is for the business only, as the restaurant space is leased. Cafe Roma is listed for $150,000 by Sea Glass Properties.
If you’ve ever visited St. John, chances are you’ve picked up one of our popular cartoon maps or guidebooks. Well that business is up for sale too! Island Treasure Maps launched in 1984 when a local cartoon artist wanted to use her talents to connect visitors with merchants on the island. The sale includes three maps, one guidebook, original artwork and reproductions. The maps print twice a year. Island Treasure Maps is listed for $225,000 by 340 Real Estate Co.
Two boat charter companies are currently listed for sale as well. Cimmaron Yacht Charters is a successful charter business that includes two sailboats – Cimmaron, a 43-foot classic wooden yawl built in 1969 and Grace, a 41-foot center cockpit Bristol high performance cruiser with a distinctive classical styling built by some of New England’s finest craftsmen. The sale includes two moorings in Great Cruz Bay. Cimmaron Yacht Charters is listed for $295,000 by Cruz Bay Realty.
Just Fish, a well-established and renowned fishing charter company based out of Cruz Bay, is also listed for sale. Just Fish offers half days, three-quarter days, full days, and marlin trips. There are two boats in the fleet, which are both moored in Cruz Bay. Just Fish is a 42-foot Liberty Express sport fishing boat, and Go Fish is a 32-foot center console boat. The charter experience includes fishing offshore on the north or south drop, or inshore around the inner cays. Just Fish is listed for $895,000 by Cruz Bay Realty.
How does a beautiful waterfront hotel sound? Pretty amazing, I know! The priciest piece of real estate that’s for sale on St. John is Sea Shore Allure. This is truly a stunning property that’s impeccably maintained. The sale of this business includes two parcels and the lease of a third waterfront parcel, and all are located in the Coastal Zone Management’s regulations free zone. This beautifully-built hotel has eight units – four one-bedrooms, two two-bedrooms and two three-bedrooms. It has a pool and an ample-sized outdoor bar and lounge area, as well as private access to a pebbly beach. There is potential to add a restaurant or small marina onsite. Sea Shore Allure is listed for $29 million by Cruz Bay Realty.
Surf Club Cantina, formerly known as Wok on the Beach, is also listed for sale, although it’s not on the official MLS. This business is listed for $850,000 on Biz Buy Sell. It recently had a $250,000 price reduction, according to the listing.
Interested in learning more about what’s for sale on St. John? Then please check out Island Tidbits’ two real estate advertisers – 340 Real Estate Co. and Holiday Homes. Click here to learn more about 340 Real Estate Co. Click here to learn more about Holiday Homes.
Ok folks, so I love a good story about St. John’s history. And I know a lot of you do too. Did you know that you used to be able to fly right into Cruz Bay? Seriously, it’s true!
Getting to St. John isn’t easy, as we all know. (Click here to read our previous post: How to Get Here.) We have to fly into the airport on St. Thomas, and then we have to take a taxi and a ferry in order to arrive on St. John. Well for about 25 years or so, you could actually fly directly into St. John. Can you imagine watching planes land in Cruz Bay? That must have been a sight to see!
Antilles Air Boats launched in 1963, and provided air service between the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico and Tortola over the years. The first flights began out of St. John in 1967. From St. John, you could fly directly to both St. Thomas and St. Croix. Antilles Air Boats was founded by Charles F. Blair, Jr., the first person to fly solo over the North Pole.
The seaplane ramp was located in Cruz Bay on the land to the far right if you’re looking at the water from the beach. It was located at the end of the road that takes you to the Lind Point trailhead. In the early days, you actually had to take a small boat out to the seaplane in order to board it. Check out the picture below:
Antilles Air Boats soon became the world’s largest seaplane airline. It’s estimated that Antilles Air Boats completed about 40,000 flights a year.
Sadly Charles F. Blair, Jr. died in a plane accident near St. Thomas in 1978 along with three other passengers. At that time, his wife, movie star Maureen O’Hara, took over operations. She sold Antilles Air Boats to Resorts International the following year. Resorts International closed Antilles Air Boats in 1981. (Random fact: Donald Trump then acquired Resorts International in 1987. He sold it to Merv Griffin Enterprises the following year.)
Virgin Islands Seaplane Shuttle began service in 1982 and continued until Hurricane Hugo destroyed most of its fleet in 1989. The Virgin Islands Port Authority permanently closed the seaplane ramps in St. Thomas and St. Croix following Hurricane Marilyn in 1995. The Virgin Islands National Park closed the seaplane ramp on St. John soon thereafter. (The ramp was leased through the VINP.)
A businessman tried to launch a new seaplane service called St. John Air Taxi in 2004. The Federal Aviation Administration approved two routes at the time – one run between Frank Bay and Stevens Cay, and the other from Moorhead Point (beside Frank Bay) on an angle out toward Great Cruz Bay. This new service never came to fruition.
A seaplane landed in St. John several times in early 2021 – in Frank Bay and also in Round Bay on the East End. It caused quite the stir on social media and has not visited since to my knowledge.
So what do you think… Should seaplanes return to St. John? Please vote in the poll below.
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Island Tidbits would like to welcome our newest advertiser Villa Circe. Villa Circe is a recently remodeled home perched atop a ridge in Upper Carolina, a neighborhood in Coral Bay. The villa, which boasts six bedrooms, has panoramic views of the British Virgin Islands, Coral Bay and beyond. This beautiful home has a pool, a hot tub and numerous games to keep the kids busy, including a Nintendo Switch. Please click here to learn more and to see additional pics.
A question I get asked quite often during my island tours revolves around beach eats. Guests are interested in knowing which beaches have food and drinks available for purchase. The quick answer is Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay and Maho Bay. I plan to highlight all three here on Island Tidbits, but today we’re going to start with Trunk Bay.
The food at Trunk Bay is not only tasty, but it’s affordable too. I don’t know about you, but having a great lunch and drinks at one of the most beautiful beaches in the world sounds pretty darn good to me! But first let’s start with some logistics…
Where Exactly is Trunk Bay
Trunk Bay is located on St. John’s north shore (Route 20), and it’s located about 15 minutes from Cruz Bay and about 25 minutes or so from Coral Bay. It has a relatively small parking area, so it’s best to go early in the morning or later in the day. Taxiing from Cruz Bay is always a good option too. The taxis go there regularly, and several are usually there to bring you back to your villa, condo or back to the ferry dock. Trunk Bay does have a small entrance fee of $5 per person, which supports National Park operations. They offer discounted rates for seniors and active military, and they also accept most National Park passes. (Click here for the latest taxi rates on St. John.)
The Beach Bar & Snack Shack
The concessions area at Trunk Bay is located off to your right when you walk in, behind the shower building. There is a full bar onsite that opens at 9 a.m. It even has four barstools that you can relax on throughout the day. They offer regular and cold brew coffee starting at 9 a.m., as well as lighter breakfast options like muffins and fruit. The main kitchen opens at 10 a.m. and serves a full lunch. Looking for some happy hour specials? Well it starts early at Trunk Bay! Happy Hour specials are offered at the bar daily from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
The Trunk Bay Snack Shack has a variety of reasonably priced items ranging from hot items like a BBQ bacon cheeseburger, a pulled pork sandwich and a mahi sandwich with pineapple chutney. They just added a new shrimp burger (whole pieces of shrimp) and comes with homemade bang bang sauce. They also offer cold items like a chicken caesar wrap, a turkey BLT and a shrimp roll among other items. There are more than 20 rotating selections on the menu. And because they slice their own deli meats, you can even get a good ‘ole fashioned deli sandwich. Oh and one of the best parts- all orders are served very, very quickly.
There’s even a little retail area beside the bar in case you’re looking to purchase a reusable cup, hat, t-shirt other souvenirs. They have ice cream too.
Beautiful beach: Check!
Delicious & affordable food: Check!
Cute little bar: Check!
A place that cares about the earth: Check!
Early morning happy hour: Yes, please!
The next time you’re on St. John, be sure to check out Trunk Bay’s bar and snack shack. It just may be one of the best lunches you have on island!
I was at the Windmill Bar earlier this month when I had the opportunity to listen to Ikema Dyer playing steel pan. He started to play one of my favorite Christmas songs, so I took a little video to share with all of you. Enjoy!
Ikema is playing tomorrow, December 16th, from 12 p.m. to 2:45 p.m. at the Windmill Bar. The Windmill Bar is located about two miles from Cruz Bay on Centerline Road, which is Route 10 on the map. Be sure to check him out if you’re on island. He’s pretty amazing.
That’s it for today everyone. If you need more of a St. John fix today, check out our webcams by clicking this link. You can also see more of our videos, including beach videos, GoPro videos and more by clicking this link.
Hello everyone, and happy Wednesday! I am all about paying it forward, so today’s post is going to be about just that. 🙂
I published my first post here at Island Tidbits three months ago today. Time certainly flies when you’re having fun! When I first launched the site, I wasn’t certain how it would be received. Well I have to admit, I am super excited to see that so many of you are enjoying it. A huge thank you for that! I am also very thankful for the businesses who contacted me over the past three months and asked to join me in this new endeavor. So today, I’d like to give them all a little extra love.
If you are planning a St. John vacation, or if you happen to be on St. John, please check out the following businesses:
Elaine Estern’s Coconut Coast Studios
Elaine Estern is known for her stunning watercolor paintings that often depict the beauty of the underwater world. She welcomes you all to visit her studio, which is located in Frank Bay, just down the hill from Gallows Point Resort, Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. You can purchase original paintings, reproductions, calendars, note cards, magnets and more. You can shop in the store or online. Click this link to check out Coconut Coast Studios online.
Looking for a quiet and serene place to stay when vacationing on St. John? Then you’ll want to check out Southern Exposure. Southern Exposure is a three bedroom, three bath villa that has panoramic ocean views. It’s located in the quiet neighborhood of Fish Bay, which is roughly 10-15 minutes from Cruz Bay. This home comfortably sleeps up to six people. It has a good-sized outdoor living space and a pool. Click this link to learn more about Southern Exposure and to see additional pics.
Fish Tales is a cute and comfortable Caribbean cottage. This home has two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and sleeps up to six guests. This spacious home is located in Fish Bay and has views of Bovocap Point and Little St. James. It is located near the border of the National Park, and it is close enough that you can even walk to Reef Bay beach. Fish Tales has a generous outdoor living space complete with a small dipping pool. Click this link to learn more about Fish Tales and to see additional pics.
Mystical Mermaid is one of my favorite villas on St. John. If I could live here, I would in a heartbeat. Mystical Mermaid is two bedroom, two bath villa located in a flat stretch of Fish Bay. The home is open and airy, and extremely private. There is a large living space, both inside and out, and a large pool with a separate hot tub. If you are looking for an updated home with ample privacy, then you will definitely want to check this one out. Click this link to learn more about Mystical Mermaid and to see additional pics.
Looking for an accessible villa that’s all on one level? Then Villa Bonita is for you! Villa Bonita is a beautifully finished three bedroom, 3.5 bath villa. Each bedroom has an en suite bathroom, so it is great for families or friends vacationing together. This home features a gourmet kitchen and has central air throughout. There are water views from the covered and uncovered deck areas, and it also features a pool. Villa Bonita is located in Fish Bay and is about 10 minutes from Cruz Bay. Click this link to learn more about Villa Bonita and to see additional pics.
If you are looking for luxury, then look no further than Mare Blu. It is sophisticated. It is elegant. And it is quite large with amazing views! Mare Blu features six primary suites, an extremely generous living space – both inside and outdoors – and a large pool that overlooks the picturesque Rendezvous Bay. You can even see St. Croix while floating in the pool on a clear day. Mare Blu is conveniently located less than 10 minutes from Cruz Bay. Click this link to learn more about Mare Blu and to see additional pics.
That view! Villa Circe is a newly renovated six bedroom, four bath home perched atop a ridge in Upper Carolina, a neighborhood in Coral Bay. This home has panoramic views of the British Virgin Islands in one direction and Coral Bay in the other. This multi-level home is the perfect getaway for a large family or a group of friends. Click here to learn more about Villa Circe and to see additional pics.