The idea was to put together and organize the information I’ve been collecting over the years from my books, St. John Off the Beaten Track (which has just past the 60,000 copies sold mark!) St. John Beach Guide, my website, SeeStJohn.com, my blog, St. John Life and my archived articles and photos. In addition to the physical aspects of St. John, that is the trails, beaches, snorkeling, attractions, etc., I wanted to offer a guide to the commercial aspects of the island, such as hotels, villas, inns, bars restaurants, activities and shopping. The goal of the endeavor was to present a complete, comprehensive and up to date St. John guide.
To accomplish this goal, I chose to present this information on a mobile app, the only media that is easily portable and interactive and which can be updated quickly to account for the ever-changing environment that we live in.
To guide the user along the islands many hiking trails, I used the indispensable 2014 Trail Bandit Map of St. John. The trails are exactly charted and with the interactive “my location” feature the hiker can see where just he or she is on the trail. No other map would do, not Google Earth, not Google Maps and certainly not Apple Maps, which are great for roads and satellite views, but only approximately define a few of the trails, which are hidden beneath a canopy of trees and vegetation,
For all other options, beaches, snorkeling, points of interest, overlooks, villas, hotels etc., I used Google Maps in the satellite view, which works wonderfully to help find these locations. The GPS enabled “my location” feature is available while viewing these options as well.
I have included hiking information and photos for 78 trails, including official Virgin Islands National Park Trails, unmaintained secondary trails running over old Danish roadways, shoreline scrambles and hikes along the paths streambeds locally called guts, with descriptions of the trail conditions, the natural environment you’ll be passing through and the history of ruins found along the way.
Here I present a guide to 34 of the best beaches on the island, with photos and information designed to help the user choose which beach will be the best for them that day. Beach information includes location, directions, beach facilities, snorkeling and watersports.
I have chosen my pick of the best snorkels around St. John, including coral reefs, undersea grasslands and mangroves with location, directions and level of difficulty.
Information, directions and photos of St. John’s attractions and points of interest the restored such as the many scenic overlooks, the Annaberg Sugar Mill, the Library and Museum, the National Park Visitors Center, the Archeological Museum at Cinnamon Bay and the fort where the 1733 slave rebellion began.
Bars and Restaurant
Direct connection phone numbers, (tap and call) locations, live music schedules, menus and pricing
Things to do
Activities available on St. John such as sailing and motor boat charters, diving and snorkeling tours, watersports rentals and lessons, guided hikes and horseback riding
Direct phone number, text and email connections, locations, website, photos and information for hotels, villas, small inns, bed and breakfasts and eco camps.
Shopping and services
St. John Off the Beaten Track is available on iPhone, iPad and Android Devices