Sitting on the waterfront of the Western shore of St. Croix, Frederiksted is popular among vacationers for a day trip. This historic town is home to beautiful Victorian-style architecture, which was built after a fire destroyed the existing buildings in the mid-1700’s. It was around this time that Frederiksted and Christiansted, the island’s sister city on the opposite shore, competed as hubs for trade. Eventually, Christiansted became the ruling capitol, but Frederiksted remained to establish itself as a historical site.
Whim Plantation Museum
The Whim Plantation Museum boasts the title of being the only plantation museum in the Virgin Islands. Situated about five minutes from downtown Frederiksted, this 12-acre site gathers thousands of visitors every year to dive into the estate’s rich history. Continually collecting and preserving artifacts of historic significance, visitors to the Whim Plantation Museum can always learn something new. From colonial sugar production to modern constructions, this site is loaded with local history and facts about the area.
Lawaetz Family Museum
Located just northeast of Frederiksted, the quaint and historic Lawaetz Family Museum harbors a history dating back to the early 1900’s. It’s operations are still family-owned to this day, just as they were when the house was built by the Lawaetz Family. The boutique-like feel of this historic house compliment the tropical setting in which it sits. Originally constructed to be a plantation, the family ended up turning it into a dairy farm at the end of the 19th century. Inside the house, visitors will be welcomed by vintage furnishings complete with photos, books, and a distinctive take on island living during previous eras.
Eliza James-McBean Clock Tower
Set along the Western shores of St. Croix, the Eliza James-McBean Clock Tower and Boardwalk is a place where visitors from all around can explore and enjoy the Caribbean culture of Frederiksted. This recent addition to the boardwalk commemorates Eliza James-McBean, whose contributions to local culture and traditions garnered critical acclaim in the region. Surrounding the clock tower, visitors can find pierside vendors selling an assortment of local goods. On all four sides of the tower, onlookers will find a clock face complete with Roman numerals.
Verne I. Richards Veteran Memorial Park
The Verne I Richards Veteran Memorial is a memorial dedicated to the men and women from the U.S. Virgin Islands whose lives were sacrificed in the line of duty beginning in WWI. Opened in 2009 by acting Governor Gregory Francis, this war memorial is the focal point of the vicinity in which it rests.
Estate Mount Washington Plantation
Stone, brick, and cut coral make up the beautifully restored mid-1700s estate that gathers guests and visitors from all around the world. Hailed as one of St. Croix’s most most beautiful historic site, The Mt. Washington Great House and Plantation is located amongst the plentiful citrus, banana, and avocado trees on the green hills of St. Croix’s northwestern fields. Visitors can learn about the lush history of the estate and surrounding ruins in a quick day trip.
Rust Op Twist Sugar Mill
Estate Rust Op Twist, meaning Rest After Work, is among the island’s most well-preserved sugar plantations from the 1700s. ALthough it is only one of three remaining sugar mills on the island, this site’s beauty can easily be admired, it’s location a tantalizing few hundred feet from the shore. The grounds are open to the public thanks to the generosity of the property owner, so take only photographs and leave only footprints. Also nestled among the rolling green hills of St. Croix’s western shore is a water mill located adjacent to Rust Op Twist Beach, just over 30 yards from the ocean.
St. George Village Botanical Gardens
Nestled away in the western hills of St. Croix rests St. George Village Botanical Garden, a non-profit organization that has been protecting the U.S. Virgin Islands’ unique botanical heritage. Established in 1972, this private non-profit has been educating visitors from around the globe of the VI’s rich cultural heritage through a botanical perspective. Visitors can enjoy the collection of over 1500 different species of native plants and other exotic varieties while pacing the restorations as well as the ruins of an original Danish sugar mill dating back to the 1700s.
During the late 1700s until about a century after, Christiansted was the capital of the Danish West Indies. A hub for trade and culture, this main town in St. Croix is still known today for its classical Danish architecture and historic sites. Visitors can wander from the seaside port of trade to the lush green hills, all while enjoying the delicious food, craft cocktails, and local shops that Christiansted has to offer. Among these historic sites, visitors can find historically significant buildings and other structures like Fort Christiansvaern, which is considered to be the best preserved Danish-built forts in the Caribbean. Inside the city one will find the 27-acre Christiansted National Historic site that walks visitors through the architectural and economic influence of St. Croix’s European predecessors, which is still maintained by the U.S National Park Service.
Columbus Landing Site
During his second visit to the New World, Christopher Columbus called upon a party of members from his crew to paddle ashore, a location which is now known as Columbus Landing. Visitors can view the site where this originally took place and learn about the expedition of Christopher Columbus as well as his dealings with and influence on the native people.
Salt River Bay National Historic Park
Salt River National historic Park is maintained by the U.S. National Park Service for its ecological and historical significance on the island. Originally known as Columbus Landing, Salt River winds from the Northern shore of St. Croix southwest through Concordia and Libanon Hill. Salt River Bay and Sugar Bay are perfect for those seeking a little adventure during their visit to the island. With the Virgin Kayak Tours agency at the mouth of the bay, visitors can learn all about the history of the area while enjoying a nice day floating the crystal clear Caribbean waters. Although Salt River is not a fresh water supply any more, its native tropical ecosystem is now a haven for endangered species. Open weekdays from November 1st through June 30th from 9am to 4pm, as well as the ‘summer season’ from July 1st through October 31st from 10am to 3pm.
Christiansted National Historic Site
Located along the Northern Shores of Gallows Bay, the Christiansted National Historic Site invites visitors to explore the the cultural, economic, and architectural influence of early European settlers. Peruse the 7-acre Fort Christiansvaern, where the original Danish colonial architecture provided protection against the likes of hurricanes, pirates, and slave revolts. Its visual appeal and historical significance make Christiansted National Historic Site a memorable Caribbean experience unlike any other in the Virgin Islands.
Originally erected in preparation for the 2000 New Year’s celebration, the Millennium Monument is the focal point of Point Udall. The sundial was built so that the sunrise’s first light of the new millennium in the U.S. could be viewed from this location. Visitors can appreciate the significance of the site being the Easternmost point of the United States, as well as the sundial’s stunning location overlooking the Atlantic. With no admission for entry, visitors can drive right up to the site and take in the breathtaking views that the location offers.
Buck Island Reef National Monument
The Buck Island Reef National Monument is administered by the U.S. Park Service for its ecological value and marine-biological significance. Boasting one of only three underwater trails in the United States, this monument is very popular among returning visitors to St. Croix. The National Park Service maintains the 4,000+ acres of the native tropical reefs and vegetation, which surround the island. Visitors can explore the natural beauty of the island itself or venture into the water for a unique view of tropical reefs along the underwater trail.