1. Visitor Center.
Although small, temporary and lacking interpretive displays, this downtown Cruz Bay location immerses visitors in the island's colorful, laid-back ethos. Supplies are close at hand in nearby stores and dive shops. Rangers at the center can tell you what you'll need.
2. Hawksnest Bay.
Moving clockwise from town, this is the first north shore beach. The sand is white, the parking lot large and the picnic and changing areas adequate.
3. & 4. Trunk Bay.
A famously beautiful star beach attraction, it features tiny nearby islands, coral reefs and the Underwater Trail (4) where snorkelers can learn more about the finny creatures all around them. A snack bar, watersports outfitters, picnic tables, showers and changing areas complete the picture.
5. Cinnamon Bay.
The longest beach in the park fronts a small community of campsites, plus a lot of creature comforts: toilets, changing areas, showers, a grocery, a restaurant and beach shop.
6. Maho Bay.
An intimate little beach and shallow water make this a perfect quiet getaway.
7. Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.
Built in 1718, a well-preserved compound demonstrates how slave labor cut sugar cane on the steep hillsides, processed it and sent it off for the greater profit of Danish owners.
8. Waterlemon Cay.
Many residents claim this is the best snorkeling and diving area on the island. Because of the quarter-mile swim required to get out there, it's also uncrowded.
9. Salt Pond Bay.
At the park's southeastern extremity, temperatures are a bit higher and desert-like vegetation dominates. The beach offers fine snorkeling and -- usually -- solitude.
10. Petroglyph Trail.
A mile and a half down the Reef Bay Trail, a side path reveals carvings on the rocks beside a freshwater pool. No one has determined if the pictures and symbols were created by early Amerind inhabitants or African slaves.
11. Reef Bay Trail.
It descends 2.2 miles from Centerline Road to the Reef Bay valley, a drop of 937 feet through lush vegetation, past the aforementioned petroglyphs and around still more sugar plantation ruins.Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun