The historic harbor town of Christiansted boasts colonial architecture in vibrant shades of pink, blue, purple and green. For an overview of the island’s rich history, explore a few of the area’s museums, such as Christiansvaern, an imposing fort built by the Danes in the 18th century to guard them from pirates. Or stroll among the town’s boutiques and chat with local artisans. Be sure to pick up the popular St. Croix hook bracelet—you wear the hook facing your heart to indicate you’re taken. Then have some lunch at RumRunners, a fun local spot overlooking the harbor that serves up deep-fried conch fritters, ice-cold beers and views of fishermen bringing in the daily catch. Do leave room for dessert! The homemade St. Croix rum cake is sticky, yummy and delicious (lrumrunnersstcroix.com).
For a great island experience, take a tour of the St. Croix Heritage Trail, a 72-mile route that crisscrosses the island. This easy-to-follow road takes you past more than 200 popular historical and cultural sites that date from the 17th and 18th centuries, when cotton was king, to the present day. Check out abandoned sugar plantations and mills ruins, the Cruzan Rum Distillery, historical forts, Mt. Eagle—the highest spot on the island—and Point Udall, the easternmost bit of land in the United States.
Or you can drive yourselves if you’re comfortable navigating on the left side of the road. But be aware that you may have a hard time judging distance from the median strip, since not only are you driving on the left, but your steering wheel is also on the left—just as it is in the States.
You can also have someone else do the driving. Tan Tan will take you off the beaten track to areas accessible only by four-wheel-drive vehicles. You’ll get unobstructed views of pristine Jack’s Bay from Goat Hill in the east and a leisurely look at the lush forest on Mount Victory. There’s time, too, for refreshing dips in tidal pools along the way. All itineraries start from Christiansted and may be personalized (stxtantantours.com).