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Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. John?

Travel discussion for St. John

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Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. John?

Postby HeidiD » Wed Apr 19, 2017 8:44 pm

So we just got back from our 5th trip to St. John and we're still feeling the withdrawal! I was just asked by my in-laws to plan a multi-family trip next year to celebrate their 50th anniversary. They want to go to the Caribbean but unfortunately St. John won't work for them, mainly due to some physical limitations. I need someplace that we can fly directly to from the east coast. We'll be a party of 12 ranging in ages from 10 to 75 so finding something for everyone all ages is important. St. John is the ideal island vacation for my family, but this trip is going to need to be different. We'll need a place with a nice resort that's directly on the beach, big pool and jacuzzi, and restaurants and shopping close by. Basically, plenty to keep everyone busy. Problem is I'm seeing so much of what looks to me like an Las Vegas Hotel/Casino on the beach or too quiet with not enough to keep a our teenagers interested. I just can't get into that. Can you recommend anyplace that will fulfill the extended family's wishlist but still include some of that magic that we love about St. John? Any ideas for islands, areas, or specific resorts to check out world be so appreciated!
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby Suziekue » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:01 pm

There is my favorite alternative St. Croix! Something for everyone I'm sure.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby hoosierdaddy » Wed Apr 19, 2017 10:50 pm

I have a friend who loves to go to Sandals Resorts. From what he tells me they are very similar to the resort you are looking for. The only draw back is they do not have the quaintness of St. John.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby equineannie » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:46 am

You may be happy in Turks & Caicos. The main island has lovely beaches, nice places to eat and you can volunteer at Potcake Place-taking rescue puppies to the beach or just out and about. You can fly there direct from a number of East Coast airports. Grand Cayman might work for you, although it is quite like Miami Beach on an island. Plenty to do, good food, great beaches and nice places to stay. It is a huge cruise ship stop so be prepared for massive crowds several days a week. St Lucia is really nice and you can fly direct. Lovely beaches, complete slate of eco-tourism opportunities and nice people.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby PA Girl » Thu Apr 20, 2017 11:28 am

We have taken multi-generational trips to Mexico (Xcaret, Playa Car and Cozumel) and Provo, T & C.

The nicer all-inclusives in Mexico can be a great value. There is a whole "style" to an AI vacation that some people love (my parents) and others tolerate (me and hubby) but there is typically a lot to do. Depending on your idea of dining out and shopping, the areas I mentioned might not fit the bill, they didn't for us but we did enjoy the family time together.

On Provo, we rented at http://www.aquamarinebeachhouses.com/ Its directly on the beach and there is a reef out front and a few others that you can easily walk to. There are many, many low rise style condo/resorts on Grace Bay Beach. Be prepared for very high food and drink prices on the island, the country's main (and maybe only) source of revenue is import duties. A couple of years back, cheap beer was $50 per case and a basic burger was $18. The island has some very good restaurants, be prepared to drive everywhere as there isn't a town like Cruz Bay where you can park for the night and walk around.

Virgin Gorda is great but doesn't fulfill your transportation, shopping and activity requirements.

Are a pool and Jacuzzi a must have? I ask because we stayed at a fantastic place on Barbuda in January with tons of activities included.

Have you considered Puerto Rico? Very family friendly and there are resort option within a reasonable drive from the airport. We hired a private van and transfers were a breeze. Old San Juan is very interesting.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby Chris @ Work » Thu Apr 20, 2017 7:02 pm

Never been myself but the in-laws loved Punta Cana, Dominican Republic AI resorts. I believe they went to Hard Rock but there are others.
To answer your original question...stay home saving up for the next STJ trip :D
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby Exit Zero » Thu Apr 20, 2017 9:47 pm

St. Thomas has all of the things you are looking for and is an easy ferry ride to STJ for any of the group to visit.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby david@va.beach » Sun Apr 23, 2017 11:02 am

I agree with Exit Zero..It's a win-win for everyone.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby HeidiD » Sun Apr 23, 2017 10:45 pm

Thanks for all the replies...I have a lot to look into! I've managed to convince the in laws that we should skip the big all inclusive resort and instead go for a villa on the beach. I think that may open up some more possibilities. I'm imagining someplace on the order of Grande Bay but on the beach so my in laws can easily get back to their room throughout the day if they want. MIL also wants to be able to easily get in a cab or a bus and get to shopping. A condo on a place like Grand Cayman would fit that bill and I'd be a lot happier with that than a Sandals type resort. Maybe even St. Croix?? How do the towns there compare to Cruz Bay for dining and shopping? I just love the STJ beaches where you're surrounded by nothing but ocean, sand, mountains, and tress...such a magical place.
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby arenee » Mon Apr 24, 2017 8:36 am

I'm not sure if you would be interested in St. Maarten or not (much different/busier than St. John) but Beachside Villa's would give you direct beach access. It is a small villa complex located directly on the beach. One thing to note is that the complex is located near the airport so you do have some airport noise during the day. We have family friends that have stayed there yearly for the past 20 years. http://www.beachsidevillas.com
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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby iowaguy » Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:01 am

Grand Cayman is very easy to get to by air, it is safe, and it has beautiful beaches. It is heavily developed but not glitzy. The biggest downside is that it is pretty expensive. There is more to do in the Seven Mile Beach area, but the Rum Point area also offers a number of beachfront condos and villas.

Turks and Caicos is very similar and slightly less crowded. Depending on the time of year, it might not be quite as warm. Lots of beachfront condos in Grace Bay or beachfront houses in Taylor Bay/Sapodilla Bay area.

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Re: Where do St. John lovers go when they can't go to St. Jo

Postby happycanesfan » Thu May 04, 2017 9:13 pm

Switzerland!
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