In the mid 90s, my dad took my sister and I on a trip that included a stop at the Grand Canyon. While there he introduced us to the National Parks Passport Books. That simple act has led to years of me exploring national parks, historic sights, and battlefields across the country. Now my kids are involved too and love getting a new cancellation stamp each time. When I began researching destinations on our Disney Cruise, I quickly realized our stop in St Thomas would allow us to visit the Virgin Islands National Park. It was a must do.
Traveling with a 3 year old limited our cruise excursion options greatly at every port. Thankfully, visiting the park was easily attainable. We considered an option that included a bus tour, but I wasn’t sure about the kids sitting well for a long period. I knew they would want to get out and move so I booked the 4 of us on the ferry to St. John and then we explored on our own.
The ferry docks in Cruz Bay right next to the park Visitor Center. We started there talking to the Park Ranger and learning about the history of St. John. We took our time looking at the various exhibits around the room. Both kids found them interesting in their own ways. Our son took it more seriously as he completed the Junior Ranger program and earned another badge.
Before leaving the Visitor Center, we grabbed a park map and planned out a short hike on Lind Point Trail. The trail starts out very vertical – as in up a set of steps – and then keeps going up from there. It’s a bit more challenging than many of the hikes we’ve done with our kids in the past, but we had fun.
Credits: Clean Lined Pocket Templates No 2 by Sahlin Studio; Project Mouse Paradise and Wilderness bundles by Britt-ish Designs and Sahlin Studio; Map from Moon USA National Parks.
Our initial goal was to make the 1.1 mile trek to Honeymoon Beach. We probably made it about halfway. Between the sun, hot day, and 2 small children, we had to adjust. No regrets though. We all enjoyed our bit of exploration and the views were so worth it.
Tip: be sure to bring plenty of water and some snacks for your hike.
We ended our visit with a stroll around Cruz Bay. We visited a few local shops that were open and purchased souvenirs including a postcard. Years ago Trent and I started sending ourselves postcards home from vacations. It’s a little tradition we’ve continued with the kids. We found a smoothie stand across from the ferry dock. After ordering a couple of smoothies to share (they are huge and delicious!), we sat at the counter writing out a note and addressing the postcard to ourselves.
Before returning the the ferry, we walked down the street to the Post Office and mailed our postcard. It was a fun treat to receive in the mail about a week later.
Afterward we boarded the ferry for the ride back to St. Thomas and the Disney Fantasy. Both kids took a nap on the ride back. Happily exhausted from our little adventure.
Have you visited the Virgin Islands National Park or plan to in the future?