The Caribbean island of St. John was originally under the sole authority of the native inhabitants of the area until Christopher Columbus discovered the island. Although Columbus claimed St. John for Spain, Denmark was the first European power to take a noted interest in what are now the U.S. Virgin Islands. The British, who controlled the nearby island of Tortola, strongly protested the growing Danish influence in St. John, particularly the island’s heavy slave trade that was transforming the island into a plantation colony.
In the 1660s, an increase in European exploration led a number of Europe’s most prominent powers, including Holland, France, England, Spain, and Denmark, to all seek possession of the Virgin Islands. However, Denmark was the nation who ultimately maintained control of the islands, especially St. Thomas. In 1718, the Danish established the first official settlement on St. John called Coral Bay. Then in 1733, Denmark gained control of St. Croix, which together with St. John and St. Thomas, became known officially as the Virgin Islands.
In 1917, while the United States was engaged in World War I, it purchased St. John for $25 million, and in 1927, St. John’s inhabitants were granted United States citizenship. In 1956, the state of the island was drastically altered when Lawrence Rockefeller purchased the island from the government. Under his direction, more than half of the island’s 21 square miles was granted to the national park service, and is set aside as the United States Virgin Islands National Park. This secured St. John’s position as one of the most scenic, popular tropical getaways in the world, drawing visitors from around the world to experience their dream Caribbean vacation in this island paradise.
St. John is especially famous among visitors and locals alike for its gorgeous tropical beaches. Some of the island’s most popular beaches include Hawknest Bay, Honeymoon Beach, Maho Bay, and Trunk Bay. If you are looking to relax, unwind and soak in the Caribbean climate and culture during your St. John vacation, look no further than these beaches. Not only are they characterized by a laid back charm and relaxed atmosphere, but all of St. John’s beaches boast pristine white sand, stunningly blue waters, and endless Caribbean sunshine.
If you enjoy recreational activities, St. John is the perfect place to enjoy a relaxing horseback ride along the beach, to hike across the island’s untouched landscape, to engage in a game of tennis, or to experience one of the island’s exceptional golf courses. If you prefer aquatic sports, then St. John is the ideal Caribbean destination for you. The surrounding waters feature some of the Caribbean’s most popular snorkeling, diving, and boating locations. If you enjoy deep-sea fishing, you will find St. John’s waters to be inhabited by exotic tropical fish including marlin, sailfish, mahimahi, and wahoo.