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New Month, New Low Airfares!

These barstools are calling your name!

Hello everyone, and happy May 1st! Let’s start the month off right… with some super low airfare to St. John! The island is unusually quiet right now, so we would really love to see more of you travel to visit us. It’s a great time to book a trip as there aren’t many parking issues, it’s easy to get a seat in your favorite restaurant, our beaches are beautiful and mostly sargassum-free, and the island is green! Oh and even better, our villas and condos are offering discounted rates. Now that is enticing!

I spent some time this morning pulling up airfares from numerous airports around the country, and I found some great deals. How does less than $400 roundtrip sound? Great, I know! Well I found several of them! Check it out!

How I Found These Airfare Prices

I used Google Flights Explore function. Not familiar with Google Flights’ Explore function? It’s pretty simple to use. Go to Then click the Explore button in the left sidebar on a laptop/computer. If you’re using a cell phone or iPad, the Explore button is in the top menu. For the airfare listed below, I chose a 1-week trip in the next 6 months. Scroll to the bottom for more helpful travel info.

Low Airfare Prices

Atlanta –You can fly as little as $272 roundtrip! The only caveat is that this price is for United, which means you will have a quick stop in Dulles. This price is for travel on October 30th, returning on November 8th. This means you can spend Halloween on the island, which is super fun! If you prefer to fly direct on Delta, the best price I can find is $589 roundtrip from September 17th through the 26th.


Boston – You can visit us during the quietest time of the year, just please buy travel insurance. You can fly for just $425 round trip with travel dates of August 26th through September 2nd. The flight is nonstop flying down, and there is a quick layover in Puerto Rico on the way home.


Chicago – Your best fare is happening soon! You can fly from May 18th through May 24th for just $410 roundtrip! The downside is that it’s on Spirit. But for that price, I can deal with Spirit for six hours of my life.

Cleveland – You can spend Memorial Day weekend with us for just $341 roundtrip! The travel dates are May 28th through June 6th, which is a great time to visit. The airline is Spirit, which isn’t amazing, but it’s a great price!


Dallas – If you can visit from May 18th through May 25, you can do so for only $373 roundtrip.


Grand Rapids, Michigan – Your travel dates aren’t as ideal fo the best prices, so you, too, should buy travel insurance. But if you are willing to fly in mid-August, you can do so for only $578 roundtrip on American Airlines.

Grand Rapids

Hartford, Connecticut – Where are all of my home state friends? Well you can come and visit for under $400 roundtrip, which is a fantastic price from BDL! The cheapest travel dates are August 20th through August 29th, and the airline is United.


Houston – You can come and visit us later this month! This price is just $453 roundtrip from May 28th through June 5th.


Indianapolis – Pack your bags because you can come and see us in two weeks! The roundtrip price for travel May 15th through may 24th is just $411 roundtrip!


Miami/Ft. Lauderdale – It’s always less expensive if you are willing to fly out of Ft. Lauderdale. You can fly later this month for just $237 roundtrip. Book those flights!

Miami/Ft. Lauderdale

Minneapolis – You can also travel for under $400 roundtrip. The best prices for you are in August, so prepare for warm waters and fewer crowds!


New York – This is consistently one of the least expensive markets to fly out of. You can fly out of Newark for just $311 roundtrip. If you prefer JFK, the price is only $364. The cheapest travel dates are in September.

New York/New Jersey

Philadelphia – You, too, can pack your bags! The good news is that the cheapest flights for you ar happening this month. The bad news is that these are some of the highest airfares I found today. Your trip will cost you $661 roundtrip.


Raleigh-Durham – I have been hearing horror stories about airfare prices coming out of your area. I am excited to tell you that I found low prices for you! If you are able to travel at the end of October, you can do so for only $364 roundtrip on United. What a great price!


So as you can see, prices continue to trend lower. Such great news! I hope some of you can take advantage of these lower prices and visit St. John this year.

Want more details on the discounted villa rates that I mentioned? Please click here to read last week’s Island Update, which includes information on that and much more.

Are you a first-time visitor and you want to know exactly how to get here? Please click here for details about traveling to St. John and the steps you need to take at the airport when you’re heading home.

As always, thank you so much for reading! I appreciate you all!

Looking to take a St. John island tour?

Learn more here –> Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

Follow Explore STJ on Social Media



Lovango Resort & Beach Club is Holding Inaugural Food Festival This Week

The dock at Lovango Resort + Beach Club

The Lovango Resort + Beach Club is holding an amazing culinary event this week, and you’re all invited to attend.

Taste of Lovango is a three-day food festival that will feature a delicious assortment of culinary pop-up experiences, including exclusive meals curated by world-renowned chefs, creative cocktails from local partners, and a fun schedule of daytime and nighttime activities. Taste of Lovango is being held from Tuesday, May 2 through Thursday, May 4.

“The goal is to have something fun for the community to look forward to,” Matt Snider, Lovango’s director of operations, told me recently. “We really wanted to have a fun culinary event and to make it special.”

Tuesday, May 2nd

The three-day event kicks off Tuesday when the Beach Club opens at 10 a.m. The regular Beach Club menu will be served this week, along with a special daily item prepared by a guest chef including Tiffani Faison of Top Chef, Sam Choy and Adrienne Calvo.

The nighttime event kicks off at 6 p.m. with the Mutiny Island Vodka Opening Party. The cost is $150 per person. That includes roundtrip ferry transportation, dinner and a special curated cocktail menu. Check out the party’s official description:

Come celebrate with us at a delightful cocktail reception, hosted by our esteemed friend and partner, Todd Manley, who is the proud owner of Mutiny Island Vodka and is the exclusive distiller of our very own Little Gem Spirits. Both are distilled from the breadfruit tree on the stunning island of St. Croix, making for a truly unique and remarkable cocktail experience.

Savor the flavors of the Caribbean and the US Virgin Islands through a mouth-watering selection of passed hors d’oeuvres, small plates, homemade charcuterie, cheese boards, and a tantalizing raw bar.

End the evening with an array of handcrafted ice cream and desserts, all carefully made using the freshest locally sourced ingredients. It’s an epicurean adventure not to be missed.

Click here to view the event’s menu.

Wednesday, May 3rd

The Beach Club will feature another chef’s special on Wednesday, as well as a Lulee and Golden Hour pop-up shopping event from 11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. There is a signature dinner happening at night that features wine pairings provided by Island Hope Wines, however, that event is sold out.

Tickets are available for the Beach Club on Wednesday. I have spent several days at the Beach Club over the years, and I have always had a wonderful time. (Click here to read a previous Explore STJ post about Lovango’s Beach Club.)

The pool at Lovango’s Beach Club

Thursday, May 4th

The food festival continues Thursday with the Beach Club and pop-up shopping event. The event culminates on Thursday night with a dinner that will support Friends of Virgin Islands National Park.

Relax and unwind in the picturesque waterfront beach club, bathed in the warm and inviting glow of twinkling lights. Delight in the exceptional appetizers and light bites, meticulously crafted by our talented chefs, while indulging in signature cocktails that feature the unique flavors of breadfruit spirits distilled by Mutiny Island Vodka, hailing from our sister island of St. Croix. Alternatively, savor carefully curated wines and locally crafted beer, expertly paired to enhance each dish. As the evening progresses, partake in a family-style dinner and intimate gathering with our esteemed guest chefs, who will showcase their skills with lively, interactive chef stations. Be amazed as they expertly use fire, smoke, and precision techniques to create delectable island-inspired flavors and stunning presentations. Finish off the night with delectable homemade desserts and libations, soaking in the enchanting ambiance of the Caribbean.

Brian Arruda is the Founder & CEO of premier chef-placement agency Executive Chefs at Home. Prior to this, he traveled the country working for acclaimed chefs including José Andrés, Thomas Keller and Daniel Boulud, working his way from prep cook to Executive Chef.

James Beard Rising Star semifinalist Robbie Felice is the co-founder and chef-partner of the exclusive pop-up pastaRAMEN, as well as Viaggio Ristorante and Osteria Crescendo in New Jersey.

Chef Belie’s culinary approach is rooted in using the freshest regional ingredients, as well as teaching and mentoring staff on the consistent production of high-quality food. Prior to joining Lovango as food & beverage director and executive chef, he has been executive chef at Noble House’s Little Palm Island Resort & Spa and Gateway Canyons Resort.

Click here to view the event’s menu.

Interested in learning more about Taste of Lovango? Perhaps you’re looking to buy a ticket to one of these great dinners or the Beach Club? Please visit to learn more.

The Lovango Resort + Beach Club will close for the season on July 20th. They plan to reopen in mid-December. For more information, please visit

Downtown Sips Opens in Cruz Bay

A great new coffee and wine shop opened up in Cruz Bay this week, and I have to admit, I absolutely love it.

Downtown Sips is located across the street from The Longboard and below The Upstairs. It is an adorable little coffee shop that serves freshly baked pastries, cookies, and other treats too. They serve Hacienda San Pedro coffee, which is farmed in Puerto Rico. It is absolutely delicious. Downtown Sips will begin selling wines by the glass, bottles, and to-go sometime next week. At that time, they will offer cheese boards and other snacks too. Downtown Sips is owned by St. John residents Anadini Dañobeitia and Brent Squires.

This latte was delish!

Downtown sips shot – Condensed milk, a shot of espresso and Liquor 43

And while Downtown Sips is mostly a grab-and-go spot, there are a handful of seats if you’d like to sip on your latte inside the air conditioning, or, of course, if you’d like to stop in for a glass of wine. And regarding parking, the closest paid lot is Slim’s, which is right next to Tap & Still. You can always have someone drop you off. They can make the loop around Cruz Bay, past the ferry dock, and circle around to pick you back up. It’s worth that small hassle. I promise. Here are a few more pics:

Downtown Sips is open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday. They are closed on Mondays. Not certain where they are located? You can find their exact location, and the locations of all of our restaurants, on Explore STJ’s Restaurant Map at

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Looking to take a St. John island tour?

Learn more here –> Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.


St. John Charter Boat Lists For Sale

Bonus Time at White Bay in Jost Van Dyke

Ok folks, I know many of you dream of this… Who wants to own a business in paradise? A a St. John charter boat just listed for sale, and I have all of the details.

Bonus Time Charters is looking for a new owner. The asking price: $295,000. Here are the details straight from its MLS listing:

Have you dreamed of owning a Charter Boat Business in the Caribbean? How about a beautiful 29-foot World Cat power cat. All the hard work is done, website, booking portal, payment portal, USCG certificate and BVI permit makes this is a perfect business to purchase, especially if you have ever considered being a boat captain! Bonus Time comes with a BVI certificate for up to 10 passengers, plus crew. Bring your friends and family out when they visit and/or continue to charter it for income. This is a perfect boat for the USVI and BVI trips. Escape the rat race and become an island local. You only live once. Enjoy the journey.

Bonus Time is listed with Seaglass Properties for $295,000.

Looking to purchase a business or real estate on St. John? Click here to check out a list of business, including St. John real estate companies. 

Looking to take a St. John island tour?

Learn more here –> Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

Follow Explore STJ on Social Media




Helpful Things to Know About St. John

Cruz Bay Tuesday morning. (I really wish they’d move these power lines.)

Hello everyone, and happy Tuesday. My parents and their high school friends are currently visiting, so I have been busy playing tour guide to them for the past week. Their friends have never been to the island, so I have been helping them with basic things like taxis, ferries, restaurants and the like. It got me thinking that there are so many helpful things to know about St. John, and most of them can be found right here on this website. So today, I am going to do a quick rundown of things to know when planning a St. John vacation.

How to Get Here & Getting Home 

Looking for information about our airport and the logistics of traveling to and from St. John? You can find all of the information at This post includes information on the people ferries and car barges too, including schedules.

Everyone hates leaving, but it’s a reality for nearly everyone. Leaving the airport is a four-step process for those of you who opt to check bags. We have a post that walks you through the process when you leave, including Customs, Pre-Check and more. You can find that information at

Want to know about the food and drink situation at the airport? We’ve got you covered. You can find details on this at (There have been one or two new spots that have popped up since that was originally posted in November.)

The Taxis

The majority of our taxis are open air safari trucks like seen in this picture.

The taxis follow a fee schedule, which is set by the Taxi Commission. Taxis are cash only, so please bring small bills if you plan on using the taxis. There are always taxis waiting at the main ferry dock in Cruz Bay. There are also taxis regularly parked at the Westin Resort for their guests. You can find the most current taxi rates at

Looking for a private taxi driver? You can find a list of names at

Where are the Restaurants Located

Want to know exactly where each restaurant is located? You can see them all on our searchable restaurant map. That can be found at

Where are the Grocery Stores, Gas Stations, Pharmacy, Public Restrooms & More

Sometimes we need to know the simple things when on vacation. Our Logistics Map is also searchable. It includes the following information:

  • Grocery Stores & Markets
  • Gas Stations
  • Pharmacy
  • Free Parking
  • Paid Parking
  • Ferry & Barge Locations
  • Dumpsters

You can find this information at

What are Some of the Best Hiking Trails

St. John has more than 20 miles of hiking trails. I’ve posted about some of my favorites ones. You can find that information, including directions, pictures and videos at

What Do Some of the Beaches Look Like

Trunk Bay

Admittedly, I need to add more information to the page. But if you’d like to see some of our beaches here on St. John, please check out

What’s the Latest on the Sargassum

I know that the media has been talking a lot about the sargassum seaweed that’s out in the Atlantic Ocean. We’re seeing some of that here, but it’s not enough to ruin anyone’s vacation. You can read my weekly (and sometimes daily) updates on sargassum on St. John at

What are Some Helpful Items to Bring to St. John (or on any beach vacation)

I’ve compiled a list with the help of some of my readers. (Thank you all!) This list can be used for a vacation to St. John or any beach locale. You can find that list at

What are Some Villas, Boat Charters, etc. that Explore STJ Recommends

You can find a complete list at

Looking to take a St. John island tour?

Learn more here –> Full & half days available. Rated “Excellent” on TripAdvisor.

Follow Explore STJ on Social Media



How About a Little St. John Update?

Cruz Bay harbor

Hello everyone, and happy Monday! It’s been a bit since I’ve posted an island update, so here we are!

Let’s start with the good news. Rates for the majority of our accommodations here on St. John recently dropped. How great is that?! Most vacation homes and condos drop their prices in mid-April, so it is now a little less expensive to stay on island.

Island Getaways, for example, lowered its rates between 20 and 30 percent for its “Summer Season” which continues through December 15th. Caribbean Villas also dropped its rates to “Off Season” prices, and that will continue through December 15th as well. Caribbean Villas also is also offering an additional 10 to 15 percent off its already-reduced off season rates for more than 20 properties. This additional discount applies to last-minute trips only. Villa Bonita is offering 20 percent off May 6th through 14th, and Mystical Mermaid is offering discounted rates through June 5th. Click here to get links to all of these businesses, plus others that are offering discounted rates. 

Now on to the not-so-amazing news. That darn sargassum has started to affect some of St. John’s more popular beaches. But there is no need to worry, this should not continue. Normally our winds blow east to west, so the sargassum passes either north or south of us, and it doesn’t typically hit the more popular spots like Trunk Bay, Maho, etc. Well we had a strange westerly wind over the weekend, which blew the sargassum into some places where we normally do not see it. It came into Trunk, Francis and Salt Pond yesterday, for example. I updated this on my new Sargassum Weekly Update page. Check it out at But again, this is not expected to continue, so it is nothing to stress over.

Image credit: Bonvi Hospitality Group

Now back to the positive news. 🙂 The island is starting to green up again! We have had some rain showers here and there over the past few weeks. It’s not enough to ruin any vacations or beach days, but just enough to green up the island. I am seeing buds and new leaves all over the place. I even saw the first flamboyant flowers of the year bloom over in Chocolate Hole. In a few more days or perhaps a week, the whole island should be green again.

The rain seems to have passed too, and the rest of the week looks beautiful and sunny! Want to see for yourself? You can always check out my webcam page at

And lastly, I have a few open spots this week for island tours. Whether you are a first-time visitor or a repeat guest, I promise I can show you something new. Together we can see beautiful sights and beaches, explore centuries-old plantations or maybe snorkel with a turtle or two. We can even stop at a tiki bar near the beach. Explore STJ is rated Excellent on TripAdvisor, and I am super proud of that. Please check out or email me at for more info.

Have a great day everyone!

Explore STJ would like to introduce & thank our newest advertiser Island Getaways. Island Getaways has been creating unforgettable vacations here on island since 1996. They have beachfront and water view villas that range in size from two to six bedrooms.

Please click here to learn more about Island Getaways and to get more details on their vacation rentals.