Looking for something fun and interesting to do when you’re vacationing in St. John? The Virgin Islands National Park has a lot of great offerings, and the best part is that the majority of them are free! All of the following information was provided by the Virgin Island National Park and Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park. Here is the full list of events:
Astronomy in the Park – Free
Join a park ranger for a tour of the night sky including constellations, planets, and deep space objects like nebulae and galaxies. The program will include use of the Park’s 10″ telescope and talks on the structures that comprise our universe, as well as the impacts of human activity on our ability to see the into the cosmos from Earth.
Park in the lot for Cinnamon Bay Beach & Campground, and take the sidewalk to walk past the restaurant on your way toward the beach. Once you reach the end of the sidewalk make a left turn, and you will see the ranger on the beach with the park’s telescope.
The Park recommends that each member of your group bring a flashlight to illuminate your way to and from the parking lot. Lastly, if you are uncomfortable standing for up to one hour, you may also want to bring a chair or a blanket to spread out on the grass.
This is a free program that occurs every Wednesday through August 31st from 8:15 p.m. to 9:15 p.m. You do not need to make a reservation to attend this free event.
Feathers of Francis – Free
Join a park ranger for a bird-watching walk on the Francis Bay Trail. This is one of the best areas on St. John to spot both native and migratory forest, sea, and wetland birds. This event starts every Friday at 7:30 a.m. (through May 26th) and lasts approximately 90 minutes. Participants should meet at the Francis Bay Trailhead. You do not need to make a reservation to attend this free event.
Annaberg Cultural Programs – Free
At one time, Annaberg was the largest plantation on the island and is well worth a visit for anyone interested in the history and culture. Learn from a bread maker and gardener about some of the rich heritage on St. John. Both are available for discussions every Monday through Wednesday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. This is a free, walk up event.
Annaberg History Tour – Free
Want to learn more about Annaberg? Join a guided tour by park docent Mark Mahowald, and learn about the history of the Annaberg plantation ruins, the colonial history of St John, and the process of sugar production. There will be demonstrations from the bread baker and gardener as well. This free event occurs on the second Friday of the month from 10 a.m. to noon. This is a free event, however you must register as space is limited. Click here to register.
Traditional Uses Of Plants In The VI – Free
Interested in learning more about the plants located in the Virgin Islands? Delroy “Ital” Anthony will talk about the culture and history of St. John, especially focused on the relationship between plants and culture. This event happens on the first Friday of the month (through June) from 10 a.m. to noon. This event occurs at the Friends Volunteer Camp at Cinnamon Bay. Participants can park at the Cinnamon Bay main parking lot. It is suggested that you bring water and hats. This is a free event, however you must register as space is limited. Click here to register.
Sea Turtle Talk At Maho – Free
Stop by the sea turtle info table on the beach at Maho Bay to chat about turtles and marine life in the bay with the Virgin Islands National Park Sea Turtle Monitoring and Protection Program Team and volunteers. This free, walk up event happens every Tuesday between 9 a.m. and 11 a.m. The info table is located on the western side of the beach, across from Maho Crossroads.
Hike Leinster Bay with a Park Ranger – Free
Learn about the natural and historical resources of this beautiful area recently designated as part of the National Underground Railroad Network to Freedom. This guided hike with retired ranger Laurel Brannick showcases panoramic views, diverse flora and fauna, and three different historic sites. This free event happens on the third Friday of the month through June from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The meeting point is the Annaberg parking lot. Transportation is not provided. This is a free event, however you must register as space is limited. Click here to register.
Hike Ram Head with a Park Ranger – Free
Ram Head is the southernmost point of St. John and one of the most unforgettable hikes in Virgin Islands National Park. Enjoy this guided hike with Friends Trails Manager Taylor White that begins and ends at Salt Pond. This free event happens on the last Friday of the month through June from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. The meeting point is the Salt Pond parking lot. Transportation is not provided. This is a free event, however you must register as space is limited. Click here to register.
Cinnamon Campground Chats – Free
- Every Tuesday: Traditional Music & Crafts | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. | Cinnamon Raintree Cafe
- Every Thursday: Coral Reef Protection | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. | Cinnamon Raintree Cafe
- Every Friday Friday: Archaeology: Exploring The Past | 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. | Cinnamon Raintree Cafe
The two following opportunities are paid events:
Reef Bay Hike – $75
This popular three-mile guided hike of Reef Bay Trail with a boat pickup at the bottom is back! The hike takes about three and a half hours from the trailhead to the beach and ends with a 40-minute boat ride back to the Cruz Bay Visitor Center. This hike is offered every Monday and Tuesday. Participants should meet at the National Park Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. Transportation is provided to the Reef Bay trailhead. The cost to attend this event is $75. Click here to register.
Turtle Boat & Snorkel Experience – $90
This unique experience is hosted by a sea turtle and coral ecosystem expert. Learn about these majestic endangered species and make two stops to snorkel with sea turtles. This event happens on the second Friday of the month from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Pickups and drop-offs occur both on St. John and in St. Thomas. The cost to attend this event is $90. Click here to register.