St Croix is the Virgins' big boy – it’s more than twice the size of St Thomas – and it sports an exceptional topography spanning mountains, a spooky rainforest and a fertile coastal plain that, once upon a time, earned it the nickname ‘Garden of the Antilles’ for its sugarcane-growing prowess. Today the island is known for its scuba diving, rum making, marine sanctuary and 18th-century forts.
Perhaps because St Croix drifts by its lonesome 40 miles south of the other Virgins, the vibe here is different: it feels less touristy, less congested, and more 'lived in' by locals. It has two main towns: Christiansted, the largest, sits on the northeast shore. Frederiksted, its much quieter counterpart, resides on the west end, where an occasional cruise ship glides in and kicks up the pace.