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The U.S. Virgin Islands are among the most popular vacation destinations in the Caribbean. Beautiful beaches, incredible scenery, an amazing history, world-class cuisine, and duty-free shopping are just a few of the reasons tourists flock to these islands. However, this popularity means it can sometimes be difficult to find that secluded paradise many tourists seek. To resolve this problem, all one has to do is hop on over to St. John, and stay at the Cinnamon Bay Campground.

St. John is far less crowded than nearby St. Thomas. Not only is the population of St. John far less than St. Thomas, St. John doesn't have a cruise terminal or airport, so many tourists never even venture there. The Virgin Islands National Park covers over half of St. John, providing tourists the opportunity to experience the island's natural beauty, but this also means less space for hotels and resorts. Most visitors stay on St. Thomas, and only make day trips to St. John, but for those wanting to be close to nature, the eco-friendly Cinnamon Bay Campground is the perfect choice.

Cinnamon Bay Campground

The Cinnamon Bay Campground is located inside the Virgin Islands National Park, so it is as close to nature as you can get. Primitive campsites are available for those with a sense of adventure, and their own tent, but they also offer large raised-platform tents and small cottages. All of their sites are just a few steps away from beautiful Cinnamon Bay Beach, and Trunk Bay Beach, which is consistently ranked by Condé Nast Traveler as one of the top 10 beaches in the world, is right next door. So this clearly isn't your ordinary campground.

Trunk Bay

Because of its location right on the beach, water sports are a popular activity with guests. You can rent a sail board, sea kayak, snorkeling equipment, or even try your hand at sailing. And don't worry if you don't know how, they can teach you everything you need to know. Of course some people just want to lay on the beach and soak up the sun, and Cinnamon Bay Campground certainly has that covered. Hiking is another popular activity, and there are several trails in the area, including the Cinnamon Bay Loop Trail.

In addition to the natural beauty, there are many interesting archaeological sites at Cinnamon Bay. The campground itself even has an archaeology lab and museum, right on the beach. Under Danish rule, Cinnamon Bay served as a sugar cane plantation, and visitors can visit the ruins of the sugar mill and the bay rum still. As active archaeological sites, you might even find archaeologists digging up artifacts.

The Cinnamon Bay Campground has excellent facilities, so even those using the primitive campsites are not too far from civilization. The T'ree Lizard Restaurant is a bar and grill featuring Caribbean and American fare, including vegetarian selections. In keeping with the campground's theme, the restaurant is a tent-like structure, with a large open air terrace. So guests can enjoy the great outdoors while munching on Coconut Conch Fritters, Caribbean Jerk Chicken, or the fresh Catch of the Day. The T'ree Lizard Restaurant is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. You can view a sample menu here.

For those wanting to cook their own meals, all campsites have propane stoves and/or charcoal grills. The onsite General Store has a rather impressive selection of merchandise, including some items not typically found in a campground store like hummus, balsamic vinegar, and a nice selection of alcoholic beverages. You can view their shopping list here.

Another advantage of the Cinnamon Bay Campground is its price. Baresites start at only $32 per night, and while that might sound a bit expensive for a primitive campsite, this is one of the cheapest ways to stay on the island. Platform tents and cottages will obviously cost more, but they are still an excellent value considering the location. You can find more information on the Cinnamon Bay Campground website.

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