Caribbean Real Estate Blog
The Reef Bay Trail
Hiking in St. John is a wonderful experience you will surely want to include on your list of stuff to do on your trip! One of the most unique attributes of St. John is the Virgin Islands National Park, which covers approximately 60% of the Island. Each year, about 500,00 people visit the park. The park is spread out on 14,737 acres and has 22 unique hiking trails to choose from. One of the most popular trail is the Reef Bay Trail.
The Reef Bay Trail is the toughest of them all. It’s a 2.6 mile hike from the starting point on Centerline Road to the beach at Reef Bay. Hiking down to the beach is not too bad, but the hike back up is a little challenging! It is one of the most popular trails on the island. As you are hiking you’ll enjoy the lush vegetation, historic sugar cane plantation ruins and the beautiful Reef Bay Beach.
Bring plenty of water
Pack a couple snacks like granola bars
Bring a small first aid kit with you
Check the weather forecast the day of your hike
Have a compass & map of the area with you
Learn what plants will be in the region that you need avoid
Always let someone know where you’re going & when you plan to return
To learn more about the Reef Bay Trail and other trails on St. John check out the National Park Service.
Reasons to Come to the Virgin Islands – Community!
This month we are sharing some of our top reasons to come to the Virgin Islands. The perfect white sand beaches, warm tropical breezes, beautiful views and crystal clear ocean waters are obviously at the top of the list! That said, there is so much more to these islands than being a tropical paradise. One of our favorite parts of living here is the sense of community that the Virgin Islands offers. Long-time residents, “snow birds,” new residents and even tourists see these islands as home and a place where one can make a difference, give back and get involved. The Virgin Islands are so small and we depend on community involvement for a slew of events, charities and organizations to function and operate. At Sea Glass, we understand the importance of giving back and being a part of the community and help in many ways with our Sea Glass Cares organization.
As a visitor or new resident of the Virgin Islands, there are so many opportunities to get involved and be a part of the community that allows our islands to thrive! Whether it is volunteering with the Friends of the National Park, helping to walk dogs at the St. John Animal Care Center or St. Thomas Humane Society, pitching in for a beach cleanup or donating your time to help St. John Cancer Fund, there are countless ways to get involved!
Sea Glass recently donated a 3-night stay at Sirenusa for a 3 bedroom villa to St. John Animal Care Center for their online auction. Have a look now and bid on this incredible villa, along with restaurant gift certificates, boat trips and more! If you are on island Saturday January 24, attend the winter gala fundraiser, The Buccaneer Ball at Eden’s Whim from 6-9pm.
As you can see, the Virgin Islands community really comes together to give back, get involved and make these islands a special place to live and visit. What more reason do you need to come to the VI?
We are excited to share all the new features our new site has to offer our users! With new tools, including the Research tab, users are able to find out information about various neighborhoods on the islands. This allows users to learn about all the areas of the Islands.
- Enjoy automatically updated Market Statistics on the areas you research. These statistics will show you the listing inventory, units sold in the last 12 months and how many homes were sold that were priced over $1,00,000 in your selected area.
Informatiom on Buying in the Virgin Islands
As with any major purchase, the decision to buy a residence in the Virgin Islands is governed by a multitude of factors. While there may be practical reasons why you are looking to buy—for instance, as an investment—there is always a strong emotional component too.
Because we have served the high-end residential market, Sea Glass Properties is sensitive to subtle but critical issues, such as your individual taste and style, as well as more practical considerations such as proximity to beaches and shops. At the same time, our unrivaled knowledge of the market gives us special understanding of the relationship between price and value and its implications to you as a purchaser.
Our goal is to listen to your needs and then help locate for you a range of properties that meet your criteria and then help you find one residence that wins your heart. From there we will guide you through the complex process of negotiating and acquiring a property.
Sea Glass Properties has exceptional experience with, and knowledge of, the residential market. Our brokers are uniquely equipped to understand your lifestyle and your needs, beyond the size and features for which you are looking.
Our interactive user friendly maps make it easy to see all the homes in one area. It allows users to to customize search options giving them a research experience that is exceptionally unique. To learn more about exploring our site check out these helpful links!
- Enjoy exploring our new site!
We are THRILLED to finally introduce to you all our brand new website! We have been working hard with our design & development team up in the states, as well as our dedicated team in St. Thomas to get this site to our very highest standards.
We focused on friendly user interface, gorgeous design, photos, unique content from experts in all things real estate and Island Living, and of course loads of stunning properties in the U.S. Virgin Islands, real estate information, and Island Living information. Our purpose of reinventing our site is for it to serve as your all-in-one resource guide to buying property,
Just as importantly, we wanted to help our clients get to know us better. There are numerous new additions! Including our Research Area, our top of the line Mortgage Calculator, Buyer Services as well as a Seller Services Section. We also integrated our sister-company Sea Glass Vacations, so you can now search Vacation Rentals and Caribbean getaways straight on our site! Many of our vacation rentals are available as “Try Before you Buy” and are also on the market for sale so you can get a taste of what Caribbean living is before you take the plunge. Stay tuned for even MORE content, downloads, and blog posts to satisfy your luxury properties, commercial spaces, vacation information and general lifestyle living!
We truly hope you enjoy it just as much as we do!
-Alison & Sarah
New on St. John
New Restaurant Coming Early January 2015 and North Shore Deli Opens in Mongoose Junction. Joe’s Diner is closed and the renovations for the new restaurant are in full swing. The Longboard will be making it’s debut early 2015, It is expected to have a costal cantina feel and a welcoming bar atmosphere.
The Longboard will be here soon! Longboard owners have said “We are excited to be down here, and we are happy to remodel an old institution, which is a completely new project for us. This “Longboard” is its own unique brand, and there has been plenty of detailed focus on the interior, logos, and overall designs. We hope to be a part of the St. John community for years to come (public willing), and after the few setbacks that we have already endured, we are definitely adapting to “island time”. Check out the Longboard website to learn more!
Deli Grotto has closed its doors and the new spot is called North Shore Deli. Some of our favorite Deli Grotto treats are still here and new ones too! Our favorites so far have been the Greek Flatbreads with juicy & tender chicken. They have added a variety of specialty drinks on the menu including the islands favorites Bushwacker and Painkiller.
Check out our blog weekly to find out what is new on St. John! Have a great weekend!
Planning a Vacation? Sea Glass Vacations Can Help! While Sea Glass Properties helps you find your perfect home or property in the Caribbean, but our sister company, Sea Glass Vacations, will work with you to find a perfect villa rental! Whether you plan to visit the Virgin Islands for the first time, come often and are looking for a new villa to stay in, or want to try out island living before you buy a property, we can help! With a portfolio of stunning homes and rentals in the Caribbean, Sea Glass Vacations can assist you every step of the way in order to have a perfect, stress-free vacation. From helping you find the right villa, to setting up airport transportation, provisioning, car rental and more, Sea Glass Vacations can assist with every aspect of your vacation! Our on-call concierge is even available to make restaurant reservations, book day trips, activities and excursions or give recommendations on great things to do during your stay. The Sea Glass Vacations blog is also a great resource for tips on where to dine, shop and a local look at favorite activities and things to do in the Virgin Islands.
Check out some of the festivities in St. John this Halloween
- The Mongoose Monster Ball
- Best costume wins a weekend trip to Miami
- Skinny Legs Annual Halloween Bash
- Come check out the costume contest at 10:00pm
- Montu’s Heroes versus Villains Halloween
- Dress as your favorite hero or villain and try a seasonal flavored Pumpkin drink
Hope everyone enjoys some Trick-Or-Treating & Pumpkin Carving!
This weeks featured small business is St. John's Carolina Corral. Enjoy scenic horseback riding trails or go on a donkey drawn wagon ride. Every animal who calls Carolina Corral home has a special story of how they ended up there.
Photo Credits | Carolina Corral
Come & meet Rodney! He was born in the wild where his mother was hit by a car when he was only 4 months old. He is very friendly.
The owner, Dana Bartlett tell us about herself on the website for Carolina Corral "I made the move here from Akron, Ohio in the fall of 1993. Originally from Creston located about an hour south of Cleveland, pop. 24,000. My family has always had animals with both parents having grown up on dairy farms. I was one of those lucky girls who got to have a pony at 9 years old. Ten years of 4-H helped me learn about their proper care, the islands have taught me to persevere. I had never handled a donkey before moving here and now can capture one out of the wild if need be and train it. Other animals have rounded out my scope of animal husbandry like deer, sheep, goats, iguanas, land crabs, ducks, my chickens and a tortoise. Best part about this endeavor, besides the animals themselves, has been meeting everybody from every walk of life who love them like I do!"The Carolina Corral website also shares how it all began "The Carolina Corral began with two native donkeys out of the wild in 1993. Donkeys had been running free since the plantation days and were still used regularly until the 1970s for hauling water, wood and charcoal and for taking local children to school. Since then, Carolina Corral has had many new additions, including goats, horses, cats and dogs. Every animal at the Carolina Corral was in need of a better home prior to coming here and all are happy to work for their living. The horses and most of the other animals were rescues and no longer wanted by their owners, and they are now provided with a good home. Come learn their names and take home a memory of these special animals."
Carolina Corral | 340.693.5778 | Info@HorsesStJohn.com | For more information visit the Carolina Corral Website . Happy Trails Y’all – Sarah
With so much to do in the Virgin Islands (we will cover this throughout the blog)it is hard to get bored, and as a vacationer–I’d say it’s impossible. However, despite all of the excitement and beauty (no, we never get tired of the beauty), when you live here full-time –sometimes a change of scenery is, yes a luxury, but also much needed. Some people blame this on a conundrum they like to call “rock fever”. I’ve been here a little over a year and have yet to experience this query–knock on wood– but I’m still considered green. My reason is that with so many islands and cays nearby it’s so easy, so why not? We are all about adventure over here. Anyways, I digress, and as noted above, don’t worry–we have plenty of time to get to the meat and bones of everything you can do on your vacation in the Virgin Islands and what the islands have to offer.
Last week I decided to hop a plane with a co-worker and take a quick (20 minute flight!) trip to Old San Juan, Puerto Rico for a day and a half. Although we were there for such a short amount of time, we were able to pack in a lot of fun activities and had barely any down-time. Before I was approached with this trip, I was fully prepared to have a weekend strictly dedicated to R&R, errands, and work. Turned out, I was pleasantly surprised with this action packed, go-go-go weekend.
A couple San Juan “musts” if you are in the area.
1.) Castillo Del Moro
Located in San Juan, overlooking the entrance to San Juan Bay, you will find the Castillo Del Morro. The six level fort was built in 1539 and named after Spain’s King Philip II. Walking around this marvel and learning all about it’s history is a must!
2.) Nuyorican Cafe-Old San Juan
After a nice dinner on Fortaleza Street, the Nuyorican Cafe is a great stop. It’s near all the action, has a great vibe, and live music almost every night. We were able to watch some traditional salsa dancing which was impressive to say the least.
3.) Zip-lining in Orocovis at Toro Verde Nature Adventure Park
This was exhilarating for someone who is somewhat scared of heights. Let’s just say that my main piece of advice is that on the 8th zip, pay special attention to the instructors and take them very seriously when they ask you to “scrunch up into a ball shape”. Otherwise, you will get stuck hundreds of feet out…. like me. Terrifying. Otherwise, you may need to take advantage of the restaurant/bar post the adrenaline rush of your life, and try one of their coconut mojitos to chill you out.
4.) Plaza Las Americas
Abercrombie & Fitch, Abercrombie Kids, Adidas, Aerie, Aéropostale, Aldo Collection, Amado, Amado Salon & Body, American Eagle Outfitters, Ancestros, Ann Taylor, Antiques, Applebee’s, Arte Arte Arte, Madera y Cristal, Arte Religioso, Arts & Crafts, Atención Atención, A|X, Armani Exchange, Baby Gap, Bakers, Banana Republic, Banco Popular, Bared, Bath & Body Works, BCBG Maxazria, BCBGeneration, Bebe, Bellapierre Cosmetics, Bora Bora, Bose, Bostonian, Brooks Brothers, Brookstone, Brush Collection, Build-A-Bear Workshop, Burger King, Burritos, Caché, Candy Planet, Candy Planet, Caribbean Cinemas, Carla’s, Sweets, Carolina Herrera, Champs Sports, Charley’s Grilled Subs, Charlotte Russe, Chico’s, Chili’s, China Imperial, Chiquitín, Church’s Chicken, Claire’s, Clarks, ClaroClaroClaro, Coach, Cohen’s Fashion Optical, Colaito, Collector House, Disney Store, Eclectic El Botin del Coleccionista El Mesón, Everything But Water, Exentrix Jewels, Express, Express Men, First Bank, Foot Locker, Forever 21, Forever Crystals, Game Stop, Game Stop, Gap, Gap Body, Gap Kids, GNC, Godiva Chocolatier, Gordon’s Gravity, Guess, Gymboree, Hot Topic, Hugo Boss, Pollock, JCPenney, Journeys, Journeys Kidz, Karen Millen, Kelly’s Cajun & Grill, KFC, Kiehl’s, L’Occitane, La Favorita, La Fonda, La Gran Via La Parrilla Argentina, La Patisserie de France, La Placita en PLAZA, Lacoste, Las Corbatas, Le Petit Bistro Cafe, Lenscrafters, Lido Lids, Link Collection, Lucky Brand Jeans, Lugano Lunanativa, M.A.C, M.Q.Mundillo de Moca, Macy’s, Magritte Chocolatier, Mango, Manicurissima, Marciano Marki, Massimo Dutti, McDonald’s, Michael Kors, Microsoft, Mobi Gear, Modérnica (Apple), Mother Earth Spot, Motherhood Maternity, Mr. Pretzels Names & Plates, Naturalizer, Nine West, Novus Novus, Oakley, Obey Your Body, Obey Your Body II, Old Navy, Ondademar, Open Mobile, Oriental Palace, Origami Sushi Coming Soon!, Orogold coming soon!, Pac Sun, Pandora, Pasaportes y Servicios, Paseo Cultural Ricardo Alegría, Pashminas Pashminas, Payless Shoe source, Pearle Vision, Pequeña Ola, Perfumania, Pizza Hut, Playero Ponte Fresco, Pozzazz Preciosa, Pretty Girl, Puma, Qué Pasta, Radio Shack, Reinhold Reinhold, David Yurman, Relojes y Relojes, Rodeo, Romano’s Macaroni Grill, Santander, Sbarro, Scotiabank, Sears, Sears Automotriz, Sears Home Improvement, Security Shop, Sephora, Seven by lu, Shampoo Shop & Beauty Factory, Simply Nuts, Sony Spec’s, Sports Authority, Spy Gallery, Starbucks, Subway, Sunglass Hut, Sunglass Station, Sunny Planet, Sweet Talk, Sweet World, T-Mobile, Taco Bell, Taco Maker, The Cheesecake Factory®, The Children’s Place, The Hot Potato, The Pen Shoppe Company, The Shampoo Store, Ticket Center, Tierra del Fuego/Fueguito, Tobacco Shop, Torrid Totto Tous, Treats Triple, Valija, Victoria’s Secret, Vitamin World, Walgreens, West Elm, Wet Seal, Wet Seal Plus, White House/Black Market, YES YOU CAN Diet, by Alejandro Chabán, ZaraZen Spa.
There are almost too many to name and this list sounds borderline ridiculous, but even if you aren’t a big shopper, it’s a must-see. We ran out of time to stop in, but did get to run into the Premier Outlets in Barceloneta. Much smaller scale–but a nice variety!
Today marks the last blog post of September, and that means our blog theme of the month -community involvement- is coming to a wrap. We hope you guys have learned a little bit about ways to give back to the USVI community. If you find that you are interested in giving, but you aren’t sure where to start, please visit our website at www.seaglasscares.org and learn a little bit about some of the efforts we are involved with. If you find that you like what we are doing, please let us know by sending us an email.
For those of you who work for an EDC (Economic Development Company) in the Virgin Islands, you are probably aware that the company has donation requirements that need to be met. Whether your company would like to set up a fund of it’s own, or you like what funds such as Sea Glass Cares are doing, you have options. With SGC you have the ability to put the entire process in our hands while being rest assured that your dollars are going exactly where you want them to go. You can even set up a fund of your own through the CFVI! To learn more about community involvment and how to start your own fund please visit: http://www.cfvi.net/donate/establish-fund.php