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Going Dutch In St. Croix (PHOTOS)

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tenhusa/Flickr
tenhusa/Flickr

The cruise ship-free island of St. Croix is a water lover's paradise offering great snorkeling, diving and sailing. Christiansted, the main town, has a Danish 18th century feel with it's brightly colored buildings and a large 18th century fort complete with cannons and artillery overlooking the harbor. The rich colonial history is felt throughout the island including driving on the left side of the road.

SLEEP : For longer stays or if you're with a group, rent a villa with Donna Ford, where you will find a great selection of properties. The best homes can be found on the north shore west of the Buccaneer or on Shoy beach. For a hotel stay, The Buccaneer is a throwback to the 17th century and sits atop a hill just minutes outside of Christiansted.

EAT & DRINK : The coolest restaurant on the island is Savant, offering a mix of French and local cuisine with an excellent wine list. Burger connoisseurs rave about the Australian Wagyu burger at Tavern 1844 and discerning palates flock to Bacchus. Stock your villa or pack a fabulous picnic with gourmet foods from Schooner Bay Market.

Drink with the locals at Comanche Mill Yacht-Less Club, a Stonehenge-esque building and converted sugar cane mill. Take your rum punch to go and stroll the town as there are no open carry laws. Late night debauchery can be found at Club 54 but be prepared for heavy drinking as the custom is for patrons to buy everyone at the bar rounds of shots.

PLAY : Sail to Buck Island and snorkel at the world class reef. Ask for Kara as your captain for your day's adventure. With visibility of over 50 feet in glass clear water, scuba enthusiasts will revel in the abundance of shipwrecks, marine life, and reefs to explore. Go the dive shop at Cane Bay where your gear rental will cost you less than $40 and you can walk into the ocean to swim to your dive.

Spend a day at the Tamarind Reef hotel where you'll find hammocks to lounge on and fully shaded huts that can be rented for just $10. You'll have company from a family of Iguana's that live on the beach. Stay above the water in a sea kayak and paddle out to Green Cay. Once back on St. Croix, enjoy a poolside lunch at the Deep End Restaurant. The kitchen and bar serve excellent food and drinks and the infinity pool overlooks the ocean and Green Cay.

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