The island of St. Croix in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a quick escape for those looking for beach, sun, and anonymity. At first glance, the former volcanic island may look like a quiet town with neglected neighborhoods and abandoned buildings (mainly due to frequent hurricanes and closing of the Hovensa oil refinery). But as you drive past the flatlands into the two main cities of Christiansted and Frederiksted, the scenery changes to colorful Danish-style buildings, narrow cobblestone streets, art galleries, and fine boutiques selling handmade jewelry and duty-free products.

Celebrity sightings on St. Croix island are practically a daily affair. Vice President Joe Biden and celebrity chef Digby Stridiron have second homes here, while a long list of actors, musicians, athletes, and politicians have also been seen vacationing on the island.

What makes St. Croix so attractive for celebrities?

The western side of the island offers blue-green Caribbean waters, picture perfect sunsets, and plenty of beach bars where you can take sips of the local Cruzan Rum between your swims and snorkel breaks.

Buck Island in St. Croix

Image via Sucheta Rawal/goeatgive.com

Most celebrities have luxurious second homes on hilltops with unobstructed ocean views, located in the East End. If you’re willing to pay top dollar, you can rent one of these villas for about $1,000 a night.

If you want to relive a romantic scene from the hit television show The Bachelor, get a room at the Buccaneer Hotel. A historic sugar mill on the hotel property and the private Whistle Beach were featured on the show as hot dinner dating spots. Notable guests who have stayed at the Buccaneer over the years include Johnny Carson, Michael Jackson, Lance Armstrong, R.L. Stein (famed Goosebumps author), and Bill O’Reilly.

Buccaneer Hotel on St. Croix, Virgin Islands

Image via Sucheta Rawal/goeatgive.com

Drive or bike to Point Udall to see a picture-perfect sunrise at the easternmost point of the U.S. Then proceed to the St. Georgia Village Botanical Gardens for a stroll through courtyards and gardens in the remains of an old sugar factory — a popular spot for weddings and private events.

Buck Island Reef National Monument has some of the richest protected coral reef in the Caribbean, making it the perfect place to swim, snorkel, and see marine plants and animals.

Frederiksted, also known as “the freedom city”, is a good place to learn about the history of the island. With a backdrop of cruise ships, Moko Jumbie stilts walkers, and carnival dancers, a small museum in Fort Frederik talks about Danish governors, sugar plantations, and the emancipation of slaves.

Frederiksted on St. Croix Island

Image via Sucheta Rawal/goeatgive.com

In Christiansted, you can take a walking tour to trace the life of Alexander Hamilton, who lived and worked in St Croix from 1765 to 1772.

It’s a good idea to try and find flight deals for a visit during the annual St. Croix Food and Wine Experience in April. The week-long series of events attract expats, residents, and celebrities, and includes fundraising dinners at millionaire mansions, wine tastings at the airport hangar, and dinners with celebrity chefs. In 2018, Chefs Julius Jackson, Michael Ferraro, Negust Kaza, and Robyn Almodovar prepared a 5-course wine-paired dinner at a private home for 36 guests at $750 per person. Funds raised benefit the St. Croix Foundation for Community Development that provides aid to local communities that need assistance with housing, education, employment, and economic disasters.

One last thing: Americans don’t need a passport or translator to travel to St. Croix (although you will need a REAL ID-compliant form of identification after October 1, 2020).

RELATED: Countdown to Real ID: Dates, Deadlines and Domestic Travel Rules You Should Know! 

With American infrastructure, West Indian culture, and Cruzan hospitality, St. Croix makes for an easy and affordable getaway.

Editor’s note: The author of this post may either have a relationship with or received other compensation from the product or service providers that are featured in this writing.

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Sucheta is an award winning food and travel writer who has traveled to 70+ countries and is on a mission to see the entire world. She is also the founder of the nonprofit organization, Go Eat Give, which promotes cultural awareness through food, travel and volunteering. Sucheta is the author of a series of children's books on travel, "Beato Goes To" that teach kids about different countries and cultures.