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Although the U.S. Virgin Island of St. Croix is filled with 22.7 miles of lovely 17th-century architecture, a thriving culture and a sophisticated foodie scene, it frequently gets overshadowed by its flashier sister island of St. Thomas. But savvy travelers know to head to St. Croix to tap into the essence of U.S.V.I. history and culture. Check out these spots to experience a warm dose of Crucian culture:

Estate Whim Museum

Explore the Whim Museum | Photo courtesy of the author

Estate Whim Museum

Stroll through a restored 18th-century sugar plantation estate and experience interactive history at the 12-acre Estate Whim Museum. Local guides lead guests through the Great House, mill and factory complex while supplying stories about the estate and the people who lived there. On designated days, artisans demonstrate traditional crafts including candy-making and basket weaving, while musicians perform ancient rhythms.

Dine at Harvey's Restaurant

Dine at Harvey’s Restaurant | Photo courtesy of author

Harvey’s Restaurant

Food is a significant part of St. Croix culture and there’s no place more beloved for hearty local fare than the family-owned Harvey’s Restaurant. Sample island staples like saltfish and fungi, a cornmeal and okra pudding, stewed conch or stewed goat served with mounds of rice and peas, plantains and sprinkles of homemade pepper sauce that decorate every table. NBA star Tim Duncan grew up on Mrs. Harvey’s cooking and tributes to his achievements adorn the restaurant’s walls.

Sonya Ltd bracelets

Abracelet makes for a nice keepsake | Photo courtesy of Sonya Ltd.

Sonya Ltd.

Authentic St.Croix style is defined by the iconic hook bracelet. The simple horseshoe design was created by Sonya almost 50 years ago and the hand-crafted accessory jangles on the wrists of nearly every Crucian, often in stacks. Sonya Ltd, is a closet-sized store that sells the original hook bracelet. You’ll spot knock offs all over the island and the world, but Sonya’s is the place to go for the real deal. Local lore makes it even more fun: wearing the hook up means your heart is taken while down signals that you’re open to new love.

Enjoy thecourtyard, drinks in tow

Enjoy the courtyard, drinks in tow | Photo courtesy of Nicole Canegata Photography

Zion Modern Kitchen

Locally sourced dishes and cocktails are just two of the attractions at bustling Zion Modern Kitchen. The others are a stylish courtyard, popular for late night gathering, and a welcoming, home-like vibe that draws natives and visitors alike. Lounge at the bar and snack on curried calamari or conjure up bespoke drink ideas for mixmaster Frank, he likes to be challenged.

Look up at the mocko jumbies

Look up at the mocko jumbies | Photo courtesy of author

Jump Up St. Croix

A jump up is a lively street party and St. Croix hosts the cultural party every few months along the boardwalk in Christiansted. Live music, food and vendors are all a part of Jump Up St. Croix, but the highlights are the steel pan musicians and the mocko jumbies-stilt walkers who dance and sway to the rhythms. Mocko jumbies have been a St. Croix hallmark for over 200 years and watching their colorful antics brings the island’s culture to life.

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Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

Rosalind is a writer/author/blogger/teacher based in Chicago. She covers travel, lifestyle and arts topics and her credits include Salon, Hemispheres, Miami Herald, Woman's Day, Brides, Midwest Living, Go Magazine, Bravo Jet Set and The Rough Guide to Women Travel. Follow her hyphenated adventures with her blog, Farsighted Fly Girl, as well as on Twitter and Instagram @FarsightedGirl.
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

@farsightedgirl

Journalist, author & blogger of #travel, culture, #music & fashion.#binder Lover of passion fruit. Climber of volcanoes. Teacher of #journalism. SATW Member
@businesstravel @Uber @Uber_CHI Not good☹ #uberfail - 9 hours ago
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates
Rosalind Cummings-Yeates

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