Which Caribbean Island is Best for Your Vacation?
BEST FOR HIKERS AND OTHER NATURE BUFFS: ST. JOHN
Uninterrupted nature is a given on St. John, in the U.S. Virgin Islands. More than half the island lies within the protected Virgin Islands National Park. Twenty-two trails lace the island, climbing from arid plains to panoramic forested peaks, and ranging from mangrove swamps to rocky coves and deserted beaches. Some even lead to ancient petroglyphs etched on cliffs, or ruined 17th-century manor houses.
BEST FOR GOURMETS: GRAND CAYMAN
Such celebrity chefs as New York City’s Eric Ripert and Miami’s Michael Schwartz have multistarred restaurants on Grand Cayman, largest of the Cayman Islands. The local food here is also delish, featuring conch, spiny lobster, sea turtle (from a local, legal farm), mahi mahi and other seafood treats.
BEST FOR CELEBRITY SPOTTING: ST BARTHELMY (AKA ST. BARTS)
Madonna, David Letterman, Penelope Cruz, Kathie Lee Gifford, Derek Jeter, Uma Thurman, Beyonce — that’s just a short list of the stars who have suntanned in Saint Barthélemy (aka St. Barts). Why do they pick it? Reasons include lovely beaches and luxury shopping — plus, celebrities can afford the $700/night and up that the resorts charge in high season.