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Shorts, sundresses, sunburns, flip-flops—the Caribbean island of St John is a come-as-you-are kind of place. Heck, isn’t there a song to that effect by famous fan Kenny Chesney, the country singer who owns a home there? If not yet, there probably will be soon. The most pristine U.S. Virgin Island is two-thirds beachy national park preserve, the rest swimming with quirky bars and restaurants and colorful locals driving beat-up, sticker-covered Jeeps (a favorite reads “St John: the World’s Largest Open-Air Asylum”).
Though recently slammed by hurricanes, St John has been doggedly rebuilding. That includes its dressed-down-but-delicious restaurant scene, where favorite dining spots have reopened one by one. Taking advantage of its island location, food here runs toward seafood with lots of unexpected twists. Don’t skip the icy cocktails, either, especially local rum and blender specialties like the Bushwhacker and the Painkiller. Bottoms up!