Since a majority of its land is protected by the National Park Service, St. John offers unspoiled natural beauty and a wealth of picturesque beaches that are simply unmatched. Rather than massive resorts and sprawling commercial centers, lush mangrove forests and preserved historical ruins are the setting for a relaxing getaway in a St. John vacation rental.

The Virgin Islands National Park covers approximately 60 percent of the island’s surface and is home to spectacular stretches of sand and exciting snorkeling opportunities at Trunk Bay. Considered one of the best beaches not only in the Caribbean but the entire world, snorkelers flock to the warm turquoise water for the self-guided, underwater trail, while sunbathers spread out along the soft white sand that lines this heart-shaped bay. The only downside to this magnificent bay is the large crowds, which is where the limitless waterfront splendor of St. John comes in handy.

Since the constant commotion around Trunk Bay can become tiresome after awhile, you may only want to spend a couple of afternoons there before retreating to a quieter, more secluded waterfront haven. While the most popular beaches are located on the north shore, the entire coastline is brimming with options such as Salt Pond Bay and Lameshur Bay Beach, which offer solitude, privacy, and excellent swimming and snorkeling. Miles of hiking trails can also be traversed from these hidden treasures, winding their way through the island’s interior and leading you on a St. John adventure complete with plantation ruins, breathtaking views, and petroglyph rock carvings.

For most individuals escaping to St. John, these gorgeous beaches are the main reason for selecting it as their vacation destination. They imagine relaxation and seclusion on this untamed island, and that is exactly what they find when they stay in a vacation rental. Scattered throughout the island, many St. John vacation rentals line the sandy coast of this Caribbean paradise while making it easy to participate in any waterfront activity you could imagine. Snorkeling, swimming, scuba diving, and sunbathing lie just a few steps out the back door, and reserving a prime sunning spot has never been easier when you can scope out the sand from your bedroom balcony.

No matter which part of the island is most to your liking, or what kind of atmosphere you want to integrate yourself into, there is a home or villa rental that can surround you with everything you love the U.S. Virgin Islands. You can find St. John rentals near the commercial center of Cruz Bay, which also offers easy access to the nearby island of St. Thomas, or you can stay in the exclusive East End community of Privateer Bay to avoid the commotion of the north shore. A palatial retreat perched on a magnificent bluff is another excellent option for those who want privacy and need to accommodate a large traveling group during their St. John getaway.

After location and size, with the number of bedrooms the most important consideration, many individuals view the amenities inside their accommodations as simply icing on the cake. While you will certainly find a St. John rental along your favorite hidden beach or on a popular stretch of sand, keep in mind that the little extras will help make the time you spend indoors just as entertaining and exciting as your time outdoors. A media room, a game room, wireless internet, and a fully-equipped kitchen are just a few of the options that you can find in vacation rentals, in addition to comforts such as a washer and dryer and plenty of beach towels, for an all-around fulfilling stay.

Imagine yourself on a lush green hill, overlooking the turquoise waters of the Caribbean with the British Virgin Islands a speckle in the distance, as you kick back on a private patio without a care in the world. The perfect place to getaway from it all, St. John can make any fantasy com true on its pristine beaches, throughout its stunning rainforests, and along its historical trails. If you are looking for commercial excitement, head to St. Thomas, but if you want a vacation destination that features natural beauty beyond compare, then you have certainly come to the right place.

Jen W.