After Coral Bay got national attention by The New York Times as one of the top recommended spots to go in 2016, Vogue Magazine jumped on the bandwagon.
In its “5 Hottest Winter Escapes,” the magazine listed alternatives to popular winter vacation spots. It said that instead of going to St. Barths, head to St. John and, in particular, to Coral Bay.
“St. Barth’s has long been the It destination for East Coasters in the winter because of its relatively close proximity and posh hotels. If you aren’t looking to see and be seen while on vacation this time around, but still want stunning beaches and sunshine, try St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands,” the magazine advised.
Vogue suggested “spending plenty of time in Coral Bay on the eastern side of the island, which is more laid-back and less commercial. A few days here and you’ll forget what snow even feels like. Well, almost . . .”
That said, according to the magazine, you’ll have to leave Coral Bay to sleep. It recommends “the romantic Caneel Bay resort, which it called an old-school property that’s “the” place to stay on St. John.
You won’t have to leave the Coral Bay area to eat, however. Skinny Legs Restaurant and Bar got kudos for its “mouthwatering burgers,” Shipwreck Landing for its curry nut-crusted grouper, and Vie’s Snack Shack for its rice and beans.
As for what to do, Vogue suggests heading to Miss Lucy’s restaurant’s regular full moon parties to listen to live music by local bands and watch the full moon over Coral Bay.
“During the day, book a boating excursion to sail and snorkel around the crystalline waters of Coral Bay. Kekoa, Palm Tree Charters and Lion In Da Sun all lead excellent excursions. If you are a hiker, take a drive to the Cinnamon Bay trail, where you’ll come across ruins of a sugarcane factory, wildlife and Danish burial crypts,” Vogue wrote.
Coral Bay Community Council President Sharon Coldren suggested that with all this attention, Coral Bay needs to put together a brochure telling day tourists where to go and what to see.
“It’s a different world. People who come here need to ask residents because it isn’t obvious,” she said.
Coldren said she recently encountered a couple of tourists wandering around near the Coral Bay dinghy dock who had seen The New York Times article. They were looking in the heart of Coral Bay for beaches. Coldren said she sent them to Haulover, which is a good 10-minute drive out of Coral Bay proper.
Coral Bay is spread out, with different areas having different names. However, for tourism purposes, the area from far out on the northeast end of St. John called East End to Salt Pond, on the southeast end, are lumped together as Coral Bay.
Coldren said that most people visiting Coral Bay stay in a vacation villa because they enjoy the fabulous views.
According to Coldren, there is a lot to do, particularly when it comes to shopping.
“Jewelry, pottery, woodworking, painting – it’s all made here and incredibly beautiful and unique works of art,” she said.
The Vogue article also suggested that instead of Miami, head to Islamorada in the Florida Keys and, instead of Kauai, try another Hawaiian island, Lanai. Readers who want Mexico should try Isla Holbox instead of Tulum, they recommended. Additionally, they should head to Cuba instead of Jamaica.
“Why not be the first to ‘discover’ the new spot all of your friends will be talking about in 2016? Here, five unique, off-the-radar alternatives to well-trod destinations and exactly where to stay, play, eat and—of course—relax once you’re there,” the article began.