As of 1780, the Annaberg Sugar Plantation was one of 25 active sugar producing factories on St. John. One of the biggest plantations on St John, Annaberg also produced molasses and rum for export. Slave labor was used to clear densely forested hillsides and to terrace the slopes around Annaberg to make farming possible. Slave labor was also used to plant, harvest and process the sugarcane. When slavery was abolished, the 518 acres that were once Annaberg Plantation were divided into smaller farms.

Today the plantation ruins are protected by the Virgin Islands National Park. The extensive ruins include a windmill tower, factory, slave quarters and other structures associated with sugar production. Trees have reclaimed the hillsides which were once used for growing cane around Annaberg. A trail leads through factory ruins, slave quarters, windmill and other remains. Placards and signs along the trails describe how sugar was produced and discuss plantation life and the history behind sugar plantations on St. John.
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Reef Bay Trail is a 2.2 mile out-and-back trail located near Coral Bay. The trail is primarily for hiking and bird watching, and features some great trees, like a huge kapok tree. The trail goes through two forests and past the remains of deserted sugar mill. It ends at the beach. The trail is mostly downhill.

Because the trail is in the Virgin Islands National Park, park rangers lead hikes, providing interesting information about the flora and fauna and history. Visit Friends of Virgin Islands National Park for information about taking a guided hike.
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As part of the Reef Bay Trail hike, you will encounter a group of Taino petroglyph carvings. Some of the carvings are located above a reflection pool of water and were thought to be the symbols for "water". There is no exact way to confirm they are authentic Taíno carvings but the most popular theory is that they are from pre-Columbian inhabitants. The petroglyph symbol has come to be widely used in jewelry and other articles as the “symbol” of St. John.

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Mongoose Junction, located in Cruz Bay, is St John’s premier shopping area. This attractive, stone-and-mahogany center features…
  • Great restaurants (Sun Dog Café, Deli Grotto, St John Brewery, Greengo’s, Scoops)
  • Live music and performances several nights a week at the Sun Dog Café
  • The Bajo el Sol Performance Bar for treats, special art, and cultural presentations.
  • Numerous shops for those wanting something very special (island jewelry), something fun (t-shirts galore), souvenirs, clothes, elegant housewares
  • And more!
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St John is known for its glorious beaches, and many famous ones are along the North Shore in the National Park. Several are often found on lists of “the world’s most beautiful beaches!” These are a few of the North Shore beaches closest to Cruz Bay. Further along the North Shore Road you’ll find more great ones, such as Maho and Waterlemon Cay (out near Annaberg Plantation). Other parts of the island also have beaches you don’t want to miss.
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St John’s most famous beach is also one of the most photographed beaches. Over a quarter mile of beautiful white sand makes this the showpiece beach of the National Park Service. Enjoy a self-guided snorkel trail with underwater information about coral formations and sea life. Facilities include a snack bar/grill, souvenir shop, showers, restrooms, public telephones, and lifeguards. There is a small charge for entry.
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Cinnamon Bay beach is the longest beaches on St John. It has the same soft white sand, aqua water and small cay off the beach – just like Trunk Bay Beach. Currently the facilities are closed due to the hurricanes but the beach is not. Give it a try.
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Hawksnest Bay beach shares a cove with Oppenheimer Beach and Gibney Beach on the North Shore. The beach is narrow and long with plenty of spots to grab some shade under the seagrapes. Access is easy, with shallow water and sandy bottom. If you go early in the day, it is shady near the cliffs.  
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The beach was a best-kept-secret of island locals. The beach is small and gets lots of afternoon shade. Because of its position it is less protected than some of the other North Shore beaches – which means surf will likely be larger than other beaches. The relative seclusion and limited parking mean this beach sees fewer visitors.
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With soft white sand and majestic coconut palms it delivers that special, remote Caribbean tropical feel. To get there, take the Lind Point Trail from The VI National Park building. The trail leads to both Salomon and Honeymoon (further east).
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Honeymoon Beach is now quite popular because of its white sand, seagrapes and coconut palms and stunning aqua blue water. There is a Honeymoon Beach Watersports shack run by VI Ecotours where you can rent chairs, SUP, floats, kayaks and snorkeling gear to enjoy a day at the beach! Take the Lind Point Trail to get there. 
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Denis Bay Beach is a long stretch of white sand leading to beautiful aqua water. Snorkeling isn’t as good as some other locations; but this is definitely a must visit beach. Walk down the hill from Peace Hill to get there – it’s worth it!
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Virgin Islands National Park is more than just beautiful beaches. Hike to plantation ruins to learn about a time when sugar dominated the island. Visit the ancient petroglyphs carved by the Taino Indians. Come snorkel the coral reefs to discover hidden marine life.  Two-thirds of the island of St. John is national park, making it a unique destination for visitors from around the world.
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