Step Back in Time: Exploring Historical Sites on St. John, USVI

St. John, in the US Virgin Islands, is not only known for its pristine beaches and natural beauty but also for its rich historical heritage. The island is home to several captivating historical sites that offer a glimpse into its past. From colonial ruins to ancient petroglyphs, embark on a journey to discover the unique history of St. John. Here is a curated list of must-visit historical sites and a suggested self-made tour to help you explore them.


Annaberg Plantation

Annaberg Plantation was once a thriving sugar plantation during the 18th and 19th centuries. Today, visitors can explore the well-preserved ruins, including a windmill, slave quarters, and a factory. Interpretive signs provide insight into the plantation’s history.

Annaberg Plantation

Accessibility: Open to the public.

Address: North Shore Road, Leinster Bay, St. John, USVI.


Cinnamon Bay Archaeological Site

Cinnamon Bay Archaeological Site showcases the remains of a pre-Columbian village that dates back to 900 AD. Visitors can see stone and shell artifacts, as well as the foundation of ancient structures.

Cinnamon Bay

Accessibility: Open to the public.

Address: Cinnamon Bay, St. John, USVI.


Reef Bay Sugar Factory

The Reef Bay Sugar Factory represents the island’s sugar production history. It features a well-preserved windmill and ruins of the factory. Hiking the Reef Bay Trail will lead you to this historical gem.

Reef Bay

Accessibility: Accessible via the Reef Bay Trail.

Address: Reef Bay Trail, St. John, USVI.\


Petroglyphs at Reef Bay

Located along the Reef Bay Trail, the petroglyphs are ancient rock carvings made by the Taino Indians. The symbols provide insights into the indigenous people’s culture and beliefs.


Accessibility: Accessible via the Reef Bay Trail.

Address: Reef Bay Trail, St. John, USVI.


Emmaus Moravian Church

The Emmaus Moravian Church is a historic church built in 1750. It’s simple yet charming architecture and serene surroundings make it worth a visit.

Accessibility: Open to the public.

Address: Centerline Road, Emmaus, St. John, USVI.

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Virgin Islands Retreats Self-Guided Tour

  1. Start your historical tour at Annaberg Plantation. Explore the ruins and learn about the island’s sugar production history.
  2. Head to Cinnamon Bay Archaeological Site to witness the remnants of an ancient village and discover the island’s pre-Columbian heritage.
  3. Continue your journey to the Reef Bay Sugar Factory. Hike the Reef Bay Trail and marvel at the well-preserved windmill and factory ruins.
  4. Along the Reef Bay Trail, take a detour to discover the mesmerizing Petroglyphs at Reef Bay. Take your time to appreciate these ancient rock carvings.
  5. Wrap up your historical tour at Emmaus Moravian Church. Admire the church’s architecture and soak in the peaceful ambiance.

As you embark on this self-made tour, remember to bring water, wear comfortable walking shoes, and pack sunscreen. Immerse yourself in the stories of the past, as you explore St. John’s historical sites and embrace the island’s rich cultural heritage.

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