Caribbean Real Estate Blog
Spring Break is a great time to visit St. John. When the cold winter months are really beginning to wear on you, planning a warm, tropical getaway is a great way to hit the refresh button! St. John has gorgeous beaches – you could visit a different beach every day during a week long vacation and still not go to every one! With over 75% of our island being National Park, the beaches are pristine, protected and clean with crystal clear water! In addition to beaches, St. John has a great beachside bar and dining scene in Wharfside Village that will make for the perfect Spring Break vacation! Some of our favorites include:
– Joe’s Rum Hut: a great happy hour right on the beach, offering you the quintessential ocean front bar. Happy hour is from 4-6pm with $3 “you call it” (meaning anything on the menu or that you order is $3). Our favorite: don’t miss the Lime in Da Coconut frozen drink or a Dark ‘n’ Stormy!
– The Beach Bar: another low key spot right on the beach in Cruz Bay. Stop here for the sunset and pull up a chair on the beach, play some cornhole and enjoy what island life is about! Our favorite: the “Tuna Down Now” is a great snack or app and we love to order a Light Cruzan Rum and Ting (local grapefruit soda)! You can also view the live webcam here to help you get through those cold days until you are in paradise!
– Waterfront Bistro: Waterfront Bistro offers a beautiful beachside location, combining fine-dining with a laid back atmosphere. The wine list is extensive, menu is light and fresh with local fish and a number of gluten-free items! Our favorite: we love the local green papaya salad and the octopus tartine. The Swann is a great specialty cocktail!
Kick back and enjoy some time on the beach in Cruz Bay at some of these great bars and restaurants during your Spring Break!
If you are looking for some things to do on your spring break (or in general while on a vacation) you have come to the right place! Below is a list of top 5 things to do on St Thomas! As always feel free to post comments or questions!
1.) Start your trip off right with a visit to the world famous Magens Bay Beach located on the North side of the island. Click here to hear what others have to say about this beach!
2.) Do some duty-free shopping in downtown Charlotte Amalie! Our favorite thing to shop for is the beautiful jewelry!
3.) Hit the links at Mahogany Run Golf Course
4.) Play with Sea Lions and view colorful sea life at Coral World located at Coki Point
5.) Take the tramway up to Paradise Point and take in some truly spectacular views
The Sea Glass Team sponsored and actively participated inThe 19th Annual St. John 8 Tuff Miles Road Race Festival this past Saturday. We had a blast! The community of St. John could be found every mile of the race cheering runners on with encouragement!
The race begins on the west end of the island of St. John, Virgin Islands and travels in an east direction. The course measures 8.38 miles. The starting line is located at the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay at an elevation of about 5 feet. As you can see here in this description the highest point on the course is 999 feet and the finish line is back to near sea level in Coral Bay. Over the years many stateside residents have programmed their treadmills and turned up the heat in their home gyms to mimic the course for their personal training proposes.
The Sea Glass Team after completing The 19th Annual 8 Tuff Miles Road Race
The highest point of the 8 Tuff Miles can be compared to climbing to the 86th floor of the Empire State Building using the stairs. There is about a 51 foot difference between the two, but I can promise you the view of St. John at the highest point hands down beats the view from the Empire State Building. Everyone is welcome to sign up! From your most competitive runners to your casual walkers of all ages you are guaranteed to have a great time!
We’ve talked a lot this month about the Virgin Islands National Parks – after all, it’s part of what makes our islands so special! The VI National Park not only protects and preserves our beautiful islands, beaches and coastal waters, but it also serves as a platform for learning! There are some fun ways to experience the VI National Parks!
The Friends of the VI National Park (which we talk more about, here), offers a slew of seminars, hikes, coastal cleanups and events where you can get involved and learn more about the history, ecology, archaeology and more of our islands. Whether it’s a snorkel tour, a guided hike or a tropical ecology lecture and tour, there is something interesting and exciting for everyone. Through the Friends of the VI National Park seminar series, you can even learn how to make hot pepper sauce or shoot underwater photography! A few of our favorite upcoming activities can be found below, or check here for the full schedule of events.
The Beach to Beach Power Swim is also coming up in May, so sign up and find more information on the Friends website here. Get involved, learn something new and experience more of the VI!
The Virgin Islands National Park is a United States National Park covering approximately 60% of the island of St. John in the United States Virgin Islands
Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is dedicated to the protection and preservation of the natural and cultural resources of Virgin Islands National Park and promotes the responsible enjoyment of this unique national treasure. The organizations main goals are to Preserve, Protect and Educate.
Friends of Virgin Islands National Park is only as strong as its members and donors make it. Your support is essential to ensure the protection and preservation of the Park for future generations CLICK HERE to donate! Or you can visit our online store and support our efforts by purchasing your own Friends of Virgin Islands National Park apparel and gifts.
The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park website explains “Virgin Islands National Park, renowned throughout the world for its breathtaking beauty, covers approximately 3/5 of St. John, and nearly all of Hassel Island in the Charlotte Amalie harbor on St. Thomas. Within its borders lie protected bays of crystal blue-green waters teeming with coral reef life, white sandy beaches shaded by seagrape trees, coconut palms, and tropical forests providing habitat for over 800 species of plants. To these amazing natural resources, add relics from the Pre-Colombian Amerindian Civilization, remains of the Danish Colonial Sugar Plantations, and reminders of African Slavery and the Subsistence Culture that followed during the 100 years after Emancipation – all part of the rich cultural history of the Park and its island home.”
Help us keep our island beautiful by protecting our National Park CLICK HERE to stay updated and read The Friends of Virgin Islands National Park news letter.
To honor the Friends of the Virgin Islands National Park and the 11th annual gala being held tomorrow, this month we are covering all things National Parks in the Virgin Islands!
For those that are not very familiar with the Virgin Islands, you might be surprised to hear that St. John is approximately 60% national park!
Here is a quick history and facts about the St. John National Park:
In 1917 the United States bought St. John from Denmark. By the 1930’s, news of the beautiful American island had spread to the United States mainland and the beginning of what was to become a tourism boom on St. John was established.
Laurence Rockefeller in 1956 donated land to the Federal Government to establish a National Park. The 5000 acres became the nation’s twenty-ninth National Park. The land was presented to Fred Seaton, who was the Secretary of the Interior, he promised the government would ‘take good and proper care of these precious acres and verdant hills and valleys and miles of sunny, sandy shores’. Since then other donations have been made and presently the Virgin Islands National Park includes 7200 acres of land and 5600 acres of underwater lands.
Today St. John thrives as a favored tourist destination. A construction boom in the past couple of years is changing St. John from a quiet, sleepy island to one with a little more traffic and development.
Note: The information contained in this brief history was gathered from St. John Backtime Eyewitness Accounts from 1718 to 1956, compiled by Ruth Hull Low and Rafael Valls, printed in 1985 and John Lonzo Anderson’s Random Notes on the History of St. John printed in 1970.
You can also read more on the park at National Geographic by clicking here
Look out for our post next week overviewing what the Friends of National Park is, and the following week a more in-depth post including more specific information on St. John’s National Park!
by Chris Lampe
Welcome to the last post of the month following our “Why VI?” theme! We at Sea Glass love island life and everything that it entails. We hope some of our blog captures that, but if we haven’t got you yet–read below for some of our top reasons to move to the Virgin Islands. (scroll down, and make sure to read the plug below the pictures!).
Great Friends & New Experiences:
World Class Villa Rentals and Properties on the Market:
Sea Glass VI is proud to be your all-in-one Virgin Islands Resource.
Concierge: If you are looking for the best activities on Island, we are able to give our expert recommendations, and even set up your excursions for you! Click for more information on concierge.
Management: Many people who live off island love to take advantage of our management services. We have the ability to pay vendors on your behalf and take care of all of the bookkeeping as well as do weekly walk-throughs to make sure everything at your home away from home is being taken care of! We also manage many villas and condos on St. Thomas and St. John as villa rentals. For our villa rentals, we treat the home as our very own, taking pristine care and consideration into every detail whether it is: scheduling cleaners, using our innovative marketing techniques to attract more bookings, respond and book inquires, provide guests with superior service including 9-5 concierge! If you would like information on our tailor-made villa marketing, vacation and management services please email Alison at email@example.com
Vacations: With a selection of 32 villas, we are able to accommodate you for a once-in-a-lifetime vacation experience! Whether you are looking to take a helicopter ride into you ultra-luxe and private villa or you are looking for a quaint ocean-front cottage we can fit anyones needs.
For a visual sampling of some of our divine properties, please click the links below and watch our videos!
Properties & Rentals: Our real estate agents have over 100 years of on-island experience. You can trust that they will be ready to meet all of your needs and questions!
Read our Island Living Magazine by clicking this link, you can also send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to request a free hardcopy.
St. Thomas Properties & Management 340.774.5277 | St. John Properties 340.776.6666 | Vacation Villa Management or Bookings 1.800.727.6610
Why Choose Sea Glass? At Sea Glass Vacations, the number one priority is to make your vacation enjoyable, fun and a wonderful experience. That comes with impeccable planning and attention to detail on our part. As you may know, we have been busy shooting a number of videos for our villas (you can view a few here, such as Marea, Rivendell or Capri). Recently, a few of our staff got together to talk about what goes into making your vacation a memorable experience! Take a look here:
With a knowledgeable staff that has either grown up in the Virgin Islands or lived here for years, Sea Glass offers a local knowledge and approach to your vacation. We also pay attention to all the details, ensuring that nothing is overlooked during your stay! OR if you are a villa owner and want to effectively market your home, our team has the knowledge and expertise to put together great campaigns, stunning videos and other collateral to showcase your home in an eye-catching, professional way!
Why should you move to the VI? The Virgin Islands is rich with unique Caribbean culture and is one of the many reasons we moved to the Virgin Islands in the first place! Read below to learn about some of the food, music and customs.
Recipes of some of the island’s favorite plates—sure to satisfy any palate!
You can find these scrumptious pates on side street vendors and restaurants alike! Here’s a recipe:
Step I. Pastry
4 cups flour
4 level tablespoons unsalted vegetable shortening
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1 cup water
Mix dry ingredients in large bowl. Cut in shortening with knives or pastry blender. Add water gradually to form a soft dough. Knead gently on a floured board for a few minutes. Cover and let rest for about 10 minutes. Shape into small balls, roll out and cut into size circles desired for turnovers.
Step II. Filling
1/2 lb. lean ground pork AND
1/2 lb. ground beef OR
1 lb. ground beef (omitting pork)
1 large sweet pepper
1 medium onion
1 tablespoon minced celery
1 tablespoon minced parsley
2 tablespoons margarine
1 clove garlic, crushed
Hot pepper to taste (optional)
1/4 cut tomato paste
1/4 teaspoon Oregano
1 tablespoon fine bread crumbs
Sauté pork in margarine until brown, usually about 10 minutes, add beef and continue cooking another 5 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Cook for a few minutes longer (make sure beef is cooked, no longer pink) If filling seems very dry add a little water.
Step III. Prepare and Cook
Place filling on each circle of dough, leaving edge bare, moisten edge with water, turn over and seal meat inside dough by pressing moist edge together with fork. Fry in hot deep fat, until dough in golden brown.
1oz. dried sorrel
3 slices of fresh ginger (1 inch thick)
1 tablespoon cloves
1 piece dried orange peel
10 cups boiling water
A few grains of rice
Optional Ingredient – 1/4 cup white or dark rum
Put water and ginger slices in a large saucepan. Cover and boil well for 3 minutes. Place sorrel, cloves and orange peel in a jar with boiling ginger-water mixture. Allow mixture to sit for 24 hours. Strain the mixture and sweeten to taste (Sorrel is quite tart, so a couple cups of sugar may be necessary.) Add rum. Pour liquid into glass bottle adding a few grains of rice to each bottle. The grains of rice are said to help quicken fermentation. Leave bottles of sorrel un-chilled for a minimum of 24 hours before serving.
2 1/2 cups boiling water
1 1/2 cups cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon shortening
To rapidly boiling water add salt and sprinkle cornmeal in slowly, stirring the mixture. Allow water to boil with cornmeal a few minutes. Stir briskly to prevent lumping. When well combined add shortening. Cover and allow to steam for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Okras may be added. Cut the okra into small pieces and allow to boil for a few minutes before adding to the cornmeal. Suggestion: It is difficult to cook a fungi that is lump free. To prevent lumps and get a smooth fungi – mix 1/4 cup of cornmeal with 3/4 water. Add to boiling water, stirring constantly while adding. Let this cook to consistency of a thick cereal, add remaining cornmeal and stir, mashing lumps as you stir.
Local fruits |
Kenips, Star Fruit,Plantains,Mango,Soursop,Passion Fruit, Breadfruit, avocado, pomegranate tamarind, sea grape, coconuts and banana figs
Historically, calypso music can be traced to the days of slavery. It was a means of communication and a vent to the strains of oppression. Calypso has it’s roots on the island of Trinidad. Present in Trinidad during French and Spanish occupation, calypso did not take root until English occupation. With English as the common language Calypso could now be understood by the entire population. Calypsonians are respected as news carriers and what they sing is considered to be truthful interpretations. Calypso is most famously known for expressing political commentary through satire and sarcasm. Today Calypso has evolved into two types, the traditional informative Calypso and a new dance hall type of calypso music.
Soca Music |
Add some soul to Calypso and you have Soca. The origin of the music is Trinidad and Tobago. The lyrics are used to express political and social commentary.
Reggae music is an offshoot of ska music. The order of creation is ska then rock-steady then reggae. Famous reggae artists like Bob Marley, Peter Tosh and Bunny Wailer began their careers as ska musicians. Ska music started as dance music. Audiences wanted a more steady beat, and the music evolved into the more mellow reggae of today. Reggae lyrics usually have an emphasis on redemption. Reggae music has traveled and become popular across the world.
Is a musical form native to the British Virgin Islands. It is characterized by a variety of instruments and is sometimes called a scratch band.
Is a high energy music characteristic of islands such as Puerto Rico and the Dominican Republic.
Rock Steady |
Is the precursor of reggae. It is slower, heavier and more vocal.
Is a Latin dance music developed in Puerto Rican and Cuban communities in New York.
Is a dance music from the French Antilles and is played in both slow and fast beats.
The word Carnival brings to mind an assortment of images; for music lovers it might mean heated Calypso shows and for children it brings to mind amusement park rides and cotton candy. To those who enjoy Caribbean delicacies Carnival may mean food fair and food/drink booths at the village. And to anyone who has experienced the Carnival parades, the word certainly brings to mind steel drums, bands, colorful costumes, people of all ages dancing in the streets, mocko-jumbies and fireworks. And if none of these images came to mind, perhaps you have never experienced Carnival in the U.S.V.I.
There is no denying that Virgin Islanders love Carnival! It is the most anticipated cultural event of the year! Carnival is a festival celebrating freedom through dancing, singing, parades, pageantry, music, drinks, food, friends and fun. It includes nightly displays of talented bands and individual musicians, pageants for Carnival royalty and fairs showcasing local crafts, food and drinks. Carnival however is much more than a large party. It is an exposition of culture and a treasured tradition that is passed down year after year. It draws on African and European customs including music, dancing and masquerades. Carnival can be found throughout the Caribbean and is celebrated on various islands at different times of the year. In the United States Virgin Islands Carnival events take place on St. Thomas in April/May, St. Croix in December/January and St. John in June/July.
Mocko Jumbies |
Colorfully costumed stilt dancers, like the one in the picture above. They can be seen at carnival parades and other local events. The word jumbie refers to ghost-like spirits of West African belief.
Facts and information taken from: www.VINow.com