C R U Z A N A

St. Croix USVI Real Estate & Other Good Things

Month: March 2008

Creque Dam Farm

Today we traveled through the rainforest and followed the signs to Creque Dam Farm, home of the VI Sustainable Farm Institute. The long and winding dirt road lead to an agricultural oasis in the mountains of St. Croix. Fields with tidy rows of vegetables and picturesque vistas made for an enjoyable trip.

Once we parked, the main building took center stage. It’s a beautifully crafted tropical building with tin hip roofs, rich woods (harvested from sustainable forests), and local stone. Breezes blow through as the aroma of freshly harvested fruits, vegetables, flowers and herbs swirl. Inside is an open kitchen, tables of produce, books, t-shirts and a 1/2 dozen smiling “farm crew”.

We spent about 45 minutes looking around, petting baby goats, talking story, buying fresh produce, and snapping a few photos. It was amazing to see what can be created in only a few years time… off the grid systems, a successful organic farming institute, beautiful architecture, all run by a crew of happy people.

For more details please visit their website at…VI Sustainable Farm Institute

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A Trip to Cruzan Gardens

Cruzan Gardens is a fantastic nursery for finding just about any tropical plant one could imagine. From Christmas Palms to Heliconia, from Tamarind Trees to Bougainvillea chances are Cruzan Gardens has it.

Located on the North side of the island sits this fantastic local nursery and landscape company. Enter on a peastone driveway, walk through a circular pillar, cross the Koi pond and you’re in the main entry. In front of you is an orchid room, to your left is the store, out behind the main building are more plants, and if you cross the long wooden bridge you’ll find the larger species.

If you love gardening you could spend hours at Cruzan Gardens on St. Croix. For more information visit CruzanGardens.com

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Carambola Beach Resort

In my opinion Carambola Beach Resort is the jewel of St. Croix. The location is hands down the most amazing surprise… drive around a corner and all of a sudden you see azure blue water, a beach surrounded by steep lush mountains and the red roofs of tropical Carambola beach bungalows. If you’ve ever seen the Napili coast on Kauai Hawaii you might have a flashback.

Once you wind down the road and enter through the little guard gate the resort itself is architecturally polynesian/caribbean with stonework, hip roofs and open-air entryways. You tend to feel you’ve entered another world, one that’s laid back, relaxing and beach-centric. The landscaping plays a part too. There are plumeria, palms, and various tropical plantings. Walk left or right and the warm breezes blow off the ocean.

The whole resort is isolated from everything on St.Croix, which for some may be a problem, but if you’re just looking to relax on a pristine beach without distractions, this is the place. A large pool is in the center surrounded by tables for setting your Pain Killer on, the bar is not far away, and of course there’s the beach… Carambola Beach, which is historically called Davis Bay. It’s stunning with perfect sand, good waves and lounge chairs waiting.

Just 5 minutes from Carambola Beach Resort is Carambola Golf Resort with 5 clay tennis courts, more swimming pools and a Robert Trent Jones designed 18 hole golf course, which is said to be his crowning achievement. Travel another 20 minutes in either direction and find Christiansted or Frederiksted for shopping and nightlife.

Before you book a trip to stay at Carambola Beach Resort there are a few things it’s not… you won’t find Disneyland-type waterslides for kids, high-tech suites decked with flat screen tv’s, nor will you find every possible amenity “that other resort had”. This is old world luxury, down-to-earth Caribbean lifestyle, and St. Croix at it’s best. Check out the Carambola Beach website to make sure it meets your requirements. For us it just doesn’t get much better than Carambola.

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Golf Carambola Style

The Carambola Golf Course was designed by Robert Trent Jones Sr. This 18 hole golf course is located on the North Shore of St. Croix and was originally commissioned by Laurence Rockefeller. Having played at several top rated courses like Kapalua on Maui I’d say Carambola rates highly, although it’s not on the ocean. It is surrounded by undeveloped lush mountains on three sides and has numerous water holes. Expect to see tropical birds like blue herons, red-tailed hawks, pelicans and other species. You may also spot large colorful iguanas, deer and mongooses.

The grounds, fairways and greens are well maintained. Traffic on the course is minimal. There is a large pro shop, restaurant, bar, putting green and driving range. The club house complex is beautifully designed with a crows nest area to view the entire course. Next to the club house area are 5 well maintained clay tennis courts and an open air building in case of rain, and a favorite for kids is the “blue pool” next door.

I have not played the course yet, but it looks somewhat challenging with a few greens isolated by water. Greens fees are in the hundred dollar range, so I’ve heard. There are luxury golf villas for rent if you are planning to stay longer, with swimming pools nearby. And of course Carambola Beach Resort is just 5 minutes away. For more information visit… Carambolo Golf.

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Salt River Marina

This may be the sleepy tropical marina every boater pictures in their mind when they think about paradise. There are perhaps 30 to 50 slips, a restaurant, a kayak tour company, a dive operation, and various other facilities. Palm trees hang over the road, people live aboard their sailboats and motorboats, and the atmosphere is low key and welcoming. Another name the marina goes by is Columbus Cove Landing.

I have eaten at the restaurant and the food was good. It’s a very casual open-air atmosphere. Boaters, patrons and the owners dogs stroll in and out. The service was timely for us, unlike some places on the island where you may wait a long time to be served.

Just around the corner is Salt River Beach. It’s a great spot to see boats thread the needle in between the shoals as they enter and exit the bay. It’s a good location for swimming in the shallows and the waves are usually small due to the protecting reef. Sometimes fishermen dot the shoreline with their handlines.

Salt River Marina phone #: (340) 778-9650
More info about Salt River at Marina.com…

More great marinas and Boat Shows here…

Click photos below to enlarge…

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Oh Wow! House For Sale (SOLD)

Sorry, this house is NOW SALE PENDING. So our favorite home on the planet is for sale… the Oh Wow! house it’s called. The name comes from a small sign at the top of the driveway. Right after you get out of the car, you’ll walk over to this sign and see the most amazing view… and involuntarily say, “Oh Wow!”. Yes, that’s how beautiful it is.

The price is $1.75 million. The house is adorable. There’s a swimming pool. And the owners are the nicest people you could meet. This house will make some lucky family very happy.

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Become a Freelance Writer for Cruzana

0721desk.jpgCruzana is looking for a few freelance writers to write about “the good things” on St. Croix. If you’d like to write for a growing website, share your valuable island experiences, gain wider exposure for your writing abilities, or just have some fun then Cruzana is a great place to start! You might even decide to tell friends, “I’ve become a writer in a tropical paradise… just like Ernest Hemingway”.

We enable amateurs and professionals to market their writing skills, experience and education of St. Croix to our growing population of stateside and international readers, vacationers, and on-island residents. Events need publicity, businesses need exposure, historic attractions need tribute, and the simple everyday pleasures of island life need appreciation too.

Why not give it a try! Write from home and email-in your story. There is no cost, and no commitment required. Write one article or one hundred. The only thing you’ll need is a computer (and chances are, if you’re reading this you’ve already got one).

Here are a few benefits of freelance writing that you may have overlooked…

  • it’s a great way to practice your writing skills
  • you’ll gain a new appreciation for the island
  • you’ll feel good that you’re promoting “the good things”
  • you’ll get a free link to your website or blog (to help gain traffic)
  • you’ll gain exposure for your name, as writer
  • it’s a great excuse to explore the island
  • being “out and about” you’ll meet new people
  • you’ll be helping to publicize local business and events
  • you’ll be helping to preserve historic sites
  • you’ll have more time to practice your photography skills
  • you can write-off expenses for dinner or events on your taxes
  • and you’ll get a free Cruzana t-shirt (coming soon)

Freelance writers: Here’s you’re chance to see your name in lights. Email your article for consideration to info@cruzana.com. Thank you!

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