10 Surprising Facts You Never Knew About St.
April 15, 2023 by Chip Engelhard
Here’s a list of 10 interesting facts about St. Croix.
St. Croix is the largest of the three main islands that make up the US Virgin Islands, with a 28-mile length and a width of 7 miles totaling 82 square miles.
The island has a rich history dating back thousands of years when native communities like the Carib and Taino (Arawaks) lived on the island. Saint Croix has flown seven different flags. It has been colonized by Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta, and Denmark before being sold to the United States.
The largest landholder and employer on St. Croix was once the sugar industry. Historically there were over 200 sugar mills on the island of St Croix. Today they serve as landmarks of significant history, but sometimes painful reminders of slave trade so prominent during those times.
St. Croix is also home to the renowned Cruzan Rum Distillery, which is one of the oldest in the Caribbean and offers a wide range of delicious rums for visitors to try. Captain Morgan Distillery also resides on the island.
Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix is home to an Arawak settlement dating back over 1,000 years, as well as the only location where Christopher Columbus came ashore in what is modern-day America.
A popular attraction on St. Croix is its bioluminescent bay, which is one of just a few in the world and offers visitors the opportunity to see beautiful glowing blue waters up close.
The Buck Island Reef National Monument is home to an impressive array of coral and marine life, making it a top destination for snorkeling and diving. In 1961, it was designated a National Monument by presidential proclamation. Then, in 2001, it expanded to safeguard “one of the most exceptional marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea.”
Each year, St. Croix hosts a carnival celebration known as the Crucian Christmas Festival (Carnival), full of steelpan music, food fairs, and cultural events. Events include calypso shows, music venues, food fairs, horse races, parades, Moko Jumbies, and other cultural dancing. Most of the Carnival action happens in Frederiksted, but the events are held island-wide.
St. Croix is recognized for its unique cuisine that combines African, French, and Caribbean elements to produce a diverse range of dishes, such as Conch fritters, seafood gumbo, and Johnnycakes.
The island’s natural beauty, history, and rum-making traditions have inspired some Hollywood films, with movies like Shawshank Redemption and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button filmed on location in parts of St. Croix.
St. Croix is a fascinating island with a rich history, unique culture, and amazing natural beauty. Whether you’re interested in learning about its history, exploring its pristine beaches, diving into its delicious cuisine, or just taking in all its sights and sounds, St. Croix is sure to leave you with memories.