Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Describe St. Croix. What was it like?

St. Croix is the biggest island of the United States Virgin Islands. It’s a slice of paradise with an absolutely incredible coastline, which culminates at Point Udall, the easternmost point of the United States. From there, all you can see is miles and miles of ocean and you feel like you’re at the edge of the earth.

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

St. Croix is a beautiful island with an important history. What did you do while you were there?

We visited the city of Frederiksted and got to spend time in Fort Christiansvaern, originally built to protect the colony from the onslaught of pirates, hurricanes and slave revolts. Later, the fort became the island’s courthouse and prison. Today, as a national historic site, it functions simply as the Visitor’s Center. It is a wonderful example of Danish architecture and is the best-preserved of the five remaining Danish-built forts in the Virgin Islands.

We also toured an 18th century sugar mill and learned about the complex history of both the sugar and rum industries on the island. St. Croix was originally settled by Europeans who hoped for wealth in the “sugar islands” of the Caribbean. They enslaved Africans, who lived and worked on the sugar plantations. Today, the sugar mill is no longer in operation, but the restored buildings do operate as a museum. It is a testament to the skills and labor of those who worked tirelessly on the property. You can still see sugar cane growing nearby in one of the plantation gardens.

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Buck Island is a tiny island 1.5 miles off the coast of St. Croix. When we visited it, our first stop was National Geographic-ranked Turtle Beach, one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and definitely one of the most spectacular I have ever been to. The sand was fine and white and the water was unbelievably clear. We swam around for a while then went over to the Island Reef National Monument on the other side of the island to do some snorkeling. The monument has an underwater trail with informational plaques that explain the coral life and types of fish in the area, including parrot and trumpet fish and huge barracudas. It was fun to swim through the coral maze, which was by far my favorite activity of the trip.

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

What stands out to you from your experience in St. Croix now that you’re home?

The island culture of St. Croix is friendly and welcoming. The locals really love their food, too, which is delicious. It’s influenced by the cuisines of seven different countries – England, Spain, France, Malta, the Netherlands, and Denmark – but includes local twists and flavors. Some of my favorite dishes included fresh fish with Caribbean spices, goat stew, curried chicken, and friend pork chops. The locals truly pride themselves on their local recipes.

The Taste of St. Croix is an event held on the island once a year, and I’d definitely recommend traveling there during that time. The island’s best food comes together for a week-long celebration and local and celebrity chefs compete in various categories including beverage, appetizer, soup/stew, entrée, vegetarian, and desert. It’s totally decadent. My favorite item, without question, was the dulce de leche cheesecake.

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Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

Zach-Fackrell-St-Croix

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Not long ago, Zach Fackrell quit his desk job in order to spend more time traveling and making videos. Since then, he's adventured through North and South America and to Europe, Asia and West Africa as a full-time freelance videographer. See more of Zach's photos at zachfack.vsco.co and check out additional videos at vimeo.com/zachfackrellfilms. Follow Zach on Instagram @zachfack.

4 COMMENTS

  1. Great photos Zach! I lived on the island of St. John for three months a few years ago but never managed to make it to St. Croix. I hope one day!

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