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Caribbean Culture on St. Croix

Aug 18, 2007
On St. Croix you can still see 54 sugar mills, each with its towers and windmills and the chimneys of its factories looming over the magnificent homes of the 1700s and 1800s. St. Croix is famous for top notch recreation and gorgeous beaches. Rum and sugar shaped the Caribbean culture and lifestyle here from the time five centuries ago when Christopher Columbus first landed.

Estate Whim Plantation on the island's west end is a popular piece of the island's history and Caribbean culture. Called a great house, the plantation has many acres of green and rolling hills, on which not only sugar cane but cabbage, corn and okra grew in abundance. Sugar was the primary product however and as its prominence as a household staple decreased and people turned more and more to substitutes the plantations died out after the 1960's.

Also on the west end is historic Fort Frederik, home of the only lighthouse on St. Croix. Built at the end of the 19th century, the Fort Frederik lighthouse overlooks the Frederiksted port from the Ham's Bluff cliffs.

Now tourism is the primary industry on this historic piece of USVI real estate known as St. Croix Island. The island's Heritage Trail takes visitors the entire length of the 28 mile St. Croix. Walking or biking its path you can view several cultural landmarks, historic attractions and scenic overlooks. A trail map indicates various road signs and is designed as a superb self guided visitor driving, walking or biking tour.

The two main towns on the island are Frederiksted and Christiansted. Thriving commercial ports in 1700s and 1800s, the architecture tells the story of its changeable history. Here you'll see flags and real estate whose looks are sometimes Spanish, sometimes Dutch, often British or American, but also might have the look and design of the French, Knights of Malta or Danes.

As each USVI island has its own variation on Caribbean culture, no decision on USVI real estate would be complete without a look at St. Croix.

For those enamored of snorkeling and underwater beauty, there is no better piece of USVI real estate than the St. Croix island's Buck Island National Reef Monument. This fabulous 880-acre nature preserve includes a magnificent underwater trail for snorkeling. One of the most popular tourist spots on all of the U.S. Virgin Islands, visitors take the ferry to the tiny island one mile from St. Croix. Here they can revel in a stunning display of coral and various sea creatures that are a natural part of the local Caribbean culture.

There's almost no end to the fun and interesting activities that can be found on St. Croix island. Besides the swimming, sun bathing, snorkeling, boating and scuba diving you can enjoy on its gorgeous white sand beaches, and the historical tours of early Caribbean culture, you can as well enjoy shopping, fine dining, games of chance at the local casino, golfing and horseback riding.
About the Author
Garland Choate (GR) is a retired Airline Captain who now publishes articles from the USVI. Find many great articles about Caribbean Living and great luxury homes in paradise at http://www.StThomasLuxuryHomes.com
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