Two-thirds of St John is a protected national park, with gnarled trees and spiky cacti spilling over its edges. There are no airports or cruise-ship docks, and the usual Caribbean resorts are few and far between. It's blissfully low-key compared to its island neighbors.
Hiking and snorkeling are top of the to-do list. Trails wind by petroglyphs and sugar-mill ruins, and several drop out onto beaches prime for swimming, with turtles and spotted eagle rays.
Two towns bookend the island: Cruz Bay, the ferry landing and main village that hosts a hell of a happy hour; and Coral Bay at the east end, the sleepy domain of folks who want to feel as though they're living on a frontier.