One thing that distinguishes St. Croix from other islands, is it’s rich history and culture. Many interesting museums and cultural destinations are scattered across our island, and most are located within a 10 minute drive of Cottages by the Se. Below is a list of attractions that we highly suggest our guests visit:
- Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
- Whim Plantation Museum
- Carl and Marie Lawaetz Family Museum
- Fort Frederik/ Museum
- St. George Village Botanical Garden
- Cruzan Rum Factory
- Fort Christiansvern
- Columbus Landing at Salt River
- Sugarcane plantation ruins
Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts
Located on the waterfront in Frederiksted on Strand Street is the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts. Set in a beautifully restored, historic building, the museum has features rooms and rooms of local artwork and also houses a gift shop. Please visit their website for information on exhibits, community events, artists in residence, event hosting, museum news and hours of operation. Admission is free.
Whim Plantation Museum
Historic St. Croix at its finest, this 12-acre restored Danish, sugar plantation from the 1800’s features the original great house filled with antique, West Indian furniture, a restored windmill and ox mill, slave quarters, and a factory complex where the sugarcane was processed. Guided tours are available as well as a fabulous gift shop for browsing. Whim Plantation is on Centerline Road just minutes from downtown Frederiksted. Please visit their website or contact them for hours of operation.
Carl and Marie Lawaetz Family Museum
Located north of Frederiksted, at the foot of the rainforest, this museum showcases the Danish legacy on St. Croix through the story of the Lawaetz family who farmed Estate Little LaGrange for three generations. Its expansive grounds feature outstanding examples of native trees and plants, and the great house tells a unique story of how the early Danish settlers lived. Learn about the rural life ways and values during the first half of the twentieth century. Please visit their website for hours of operation and admission fees.
Fort Frederik / Museum
Located at the base of the pier in downtown Frederiksted, Fort Frederik, also known as Frederiksfort, is a US National Historic Landmark. Built in the 18th century by the Danish Government, this deep red rubble and masonry fort is typical of classic Danish military architecture of the period. Fort Frederik was the location of two important events in 1848 and 1878 that led to the freedom of the slaves in the Danish West Indies and therefore the fort and the city of Frederiksted is sometimes called “Freedom City” of which Virgin Islanders hold great pride.
St. George Village Botanical Garden
This 16-acre jewel, which is a mere 10-minute drive from Cottages by the Sea, features a botanical collection, museum, library, gift shop and event banquet space. This attraction truly offers a unique blend of St. Croix’s botanical, historical and cultural heritage. We highly recommend visiting these beautiful gardens!
Cruzan Rum Factory
The origins of “Cruzan Rum” can be traced to January, 1934 when “The Diamond Rum Company” was founded by our great Uncle, Malcolm M. Skeoch (his wife Annie was our Grandmother’ Genevieve’s sister) and other investors on St. Croix following the repeal of Prohibition. The company took its name from Estate Diamond, in Prince’s Quarter in St. Croix, which was purchased from a Mr. Hewitt in 1910 by Malcolm Skeoch to cultivate cane and manufacture sugar and rum, plus serve as the Skeoch family residence. The 1910 purchase, totaled 425 acres. It featured the customary Great House (planter’s residence, in this instance known familiarly as Diamond House); a “village” (laborers quarters); the remains of a windmill as well as a functioning steam mill (successive technologies used to crush sugar cane); and a “works” (boiling house). Although the Skeoch Family is no longer running the business of Cruzan Rum, the factory at Estate Diamond still exists and can be toured on a daily basis, with FREE samples of Cruzan Rum at the end of the tour.
for more information visit their website at www.cruzanrum.com
Located on the waterfront in Christiansted, this magnificent Fort is maintained by the National Parks Service and is a fabulous place to explore and learn about the use of the fort in ages past.
Columbus Landing at Salt River
On the north shore of St Croix, near the Salt River Marina, you can make your way to the place where Christopher Columbus first landed on the island he named Santa Cruz in the 1400’s. This spot is marked only by a sign, but it is still worth exploring.
Sugar Mill Ruins
Nestled across our island on hillsides, in valleys, and on old plantations, are the ruins of abandoned sugar mills that were used many years ago by farmers to process the sugar on their plantations. It’s always fun to rent a jeep and go on a driving exploration up through the rainforest, and to all of the nooks and crannies of our island to find and explore these picturesque old ruins.