Top 5 St. John Update
Well, it’s been a weird few weeks with things constantly changing, and a lot of you have been asking questions about St. John, what we’re doing to stay sane, what’s open, future trips, the BVI etc. so we figured now was a good time for a full update!
The National Park
We’re thrilled to announce our beaches are BACK OPEN! More importantly though, our trails are also back open, which is the main source of exercise for most people on Saint John since there are no gyms open.
We know how lucky we are to have the beaches available to us, and we feel for those of you up in the snow!
What’s Open, What’s Closed
As of March 24th, all non-essential businesses have been closed down until April 30th, and as of Monday the governor is extending this to May 15th. Hotels, Villas, and Air Bnb’s cannot take new reservations for that time period and cannot check in new guests. Airlines have minimized quite a bit, but the airport is still open, ferries are running on a limited schedule and taxis are running but trying to do private only. Updates are very fluid so things could be changed by the time you are reading this!
Restaurants are doing to-go food only and some have closed temporarily. We’ve been trying to do take out once a week to support our fellow small businesses and it’s been really excellent and a nice break from the dishes. Extra Virgin Bistro just shut down for a “break,” but they were doing an awesome brisket and fried chicken, Longboard is still open doing their staples which we love, Raw Sushi on Saint Thomas is delivering over here which is AMAZING, Sam and Jacks and North Shore Deli are both open and North Shore is even delivering. Ronnie’s pizza is open and delivering, Tap Room is open with their full menu and Growlers of beer, all to go. Skinny legs in Coral Bay is doing week day meals as of now, and Im sure I’m missing some, there are definitely some good options for locals!
A lot of you have asked about supplies and food. The funny thing is, Virgin Islanders know how to deal with crisis really well, we’ve been through a lot in the past years and it’s showing, in a good way. The stores are stocked as well as they normally are (it’s rare in normal times to go to the store and get everything you want anyways,) and there isn’t any hoarding going on. People have been really great, are following all the new protocols, and as always are taking things in stride.
What we’ve been up to!
If you’re on our mailing list, you’ve seen we’re doing merchandise deals weekly to try and move some of our brand new shirts, Yeti Tumblers, etc. and Katie is still doing Real Estate as much as possible from home.
Prior to the two week beach closure we were spending time knocking out projects for the business, working through the SBA programs, doing A LOT of hiking and really loving afternoons at the beach as a family. We’ve taken CatZilla out a couple times to keep her running and get a quick dip in the ocean, and we’re looking forward to the hikes and beaches once again.
One of my favorite and relatively easy hikes is the Johnny Horn trail up to the Murphy Great House. The views are gorgeous, most of the walk is along the shoreline and the Murphy Great House has a lot of history! (It’s a lot easier without carrying a 25lb. kiddo, but he did love it!)
The BVI is currently under strict lockdown and curfew, and they are taking some drastic measures to keep their numbers down. As of right now, they have sealed their borders and are not allowing anyone in or out. Phase 1 and 2 of their long term plan essentially lays out that visitors will not be allowed until sometime around September or October.
We don’t really know if this is going to be what actually happens or not, but right now that’s the official word. The majority of the citizens in the BVI work in the tourism sector, so we aren’t sure how this is all going to work out, and we feel for them and for the long term economic impact this will have for their territory.
What does this mean for future trips with us!
Right now, it means that we can’t wait for you all to return when the time is right and if you are able to return this summer, we are going to have to stay in US Waters UNLESS something changes with the BVI and their plan.
We hope that Lime Out and Pizza Pi can be back up and running by then, but if not we are going to amend our charter program to adapt to this new world we’re all living in. Saint John has many amazing restaurants and we will put something together to make a great lunch offering.
Personally, we’re really happy to keep money in our territory and help support US businesses who have suffered through all of this. But we also love our BVI neighbors and when the time is right, we will go visit and happily buy lunch and drinks wherever we can and we hope that you will too.