St. Croix Island – US Virgin Islands
St Croix, Virgin Islands, is rich in history and physical charm and beauty, offering world class scuba diving and snorkeling in some of the clearest water in the Caribbean, a Trent Jones Golf course (as well as two others), a fabulous botanical garden and many historical buildings and ruins, including the many sugar plantation ruins perched on hills and hidden in deep tropical forests.
Gentle Winds is located on the North Shore of St Croix adjacent to the Salt River, an estuary where Christopher Columbus landed in one of his voyages to the New World. It is also minutes away from the picturesque Danish Caribbean town of Christiansted, once the capital of the Virgin Islands and Fredricksted, also called the Freedom City on the sunset West Coast of the island.
St Croix is a pleasant blend of busy activity of St Thomas and the tranquility of St John. There is plenty to do with three golf courses, a casino, excellent diving, first class restaurants and secluded sandy beaches. Plus, you can explore our meticulously maintained botanical gardens, the museum at Whim Plantation and go horseback riding in the rain forest. The options are endless.
Perfect for divers, snorkelers, beach combers, sun lovers and history buffs. The beach at Gentle Winds is among the finest beaches in the Virgin Islands. If you are looking for variety St Croix offers other north coast beaches at Cane Bay as well as Kramer Park near Point Udahl, the eastern most point of the United States and the site of a prize winning Millennium monument. Just around the bend to the south is the Divi Carina Bay Casino and hotel. Halfpenny beach on the southeastern part of the island is enjoyed year round as are the sunset beaches on St Croix’s west coast. If you come in the spring and inquire in advance, it may be possible to arrange a turtle watch through the US Fish and Wildlife Service at the several nesting sites where turtles return to St Croix to lay and tend to their eggs. We have witnessed this on our own beach at Gentle Winds, although that is much less predictable.
The cultural life of St Croix is not limited to viewing historical sites and viewing historical reenactments. There is an art museum in Fredricksted, several first rate galleries, frequent art exhibitions at a variety of venues including the annual Starving Artists Festival at the Whim Museum, a fully restored sugar plantation.
St Croix is gifted with world class musicians who play free concerts in the third Friday and first Saturday of every month. There are a half dozen venues for Jazz, blues, and vocals of every kind as well as two dance companies and a variety of visiting artists at the Whim Museum’s candlelit concert series at the Island Center for the Performing Arts.
The Henry E. Rohlsen Airport (HERA) is located about six miles southwest of Christiansted on St. Croix. HERA is served by two major domestic carriers, and also receives daily inter-island flights as well as cargo and military aircraft.
The airport terminal is open from 5:30 a.m. to 11 p.m. Aircraft, rescue and firefighting services are available during that time. The Air Traffic Control Tower operates from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. The runway is open 24 hours.
The two-story terminal is 181,000 square feet and has 10 gates. The airport encompasses 1,455 acres which includes an asphalt runway measuring 10,004 x 150 feet. Construction of the present terminal and expansion of the runway from 7,600 to 10,000 feet were completed in 2002.