The Frederiksted Pier is one of St. Croix’s most iconic sites and an attraction that everyone visiting St. Croix should see. We know it’s not a beach, but we consider it worthy for inclusion in our beach guide. The Pier is located, where else, but in the heart of Frederiksted town on the West End. The town was settled in the late 1600s and has a fascinating history that has spanned seven governments, slavery and emancipation, fireburn, industrialization. The Frederiksted Pier as it stands now was constructed in the early 1900s. In early 2000s, a multi-million dollar revitalization of the waterfront park and pier transformed the historic Frederiksted waterfront and Pier into the charming port it is today.
Here are some great reasons to make The Frederiksted Pier a must on your visit to St. Croix:
Strolling (preferably at sunset)
Grab the hands of your loved ones and take a nice long stroll down the Frederiksted Pier. It’s scenic and fun any time of day, but especially romantic when you intentionally visit to watch the sun go down right in front of you, as the tip of the Pier is facing west, offering unobstructed views of the sea and sky as the sun sets in what seems like a performance just for you.
Speed walk, run, bike or even rollerblade your way down the pier and back for an energizing workout. Make it a family affair as a fun way to get a workout in with the kids.
Snorkeling and Scuba Diving
The snorkeling around the rocky foot of the pier is really very good, teeming with blue tang and other tropical reef fish and juveniles. The Frederiksted Pier’s biggest claim to fame is that it is considered one of the best micro-dive locations in the world. Simply put, the diving is incredible, day or night. You’ll see a lot of colorful fish, octopus, seahorses, squid, pufferfish, and other amazing creatures as you slowly drift between the pilings. Divers often do a ‘giant-stride’ off the Frederiksted Pier into 20 feet of water, but the very tip of the pier is as deep as 90 feet.
If you like to fish, you will be entirely frustrated by trying your luck here. You can see fish everywhere in the crystal clear water, the problem is that they are either too smart to bite the hook or, are too spoiled by being fed people food. Of course, this fact doesn’t stop me or the dozens other people who sit on the pier often, anxiously waiting for the fish to take the bait.
This is where cruise ships dock when they visit the port of St. Croix. It is the only port on St. Croix deep enough to birth the mega cruise ships. St. Croix averages approx 1-2 cruise ships per week during the peak winter season. On days when ships are in port, the Frederiksted Pier is closed to the public. Only passengers and crew on board, with proper ID, will be able to pass the security checkpoint. Cruise ship days are a great time to visit the area regardless of access to the pier. Streets are full of vendors selling local crafts, jewelry, and St. Croix souvenirs.
Jump off the Pier!
A favorite pastime of locals is jumping off the pier. This is one of the few places left that allows jumping off a pier. There is a designated area that is accessible to the public and has a ladder to make the ascent easier. You’ll be jumping approx 25 feet into water just as deep. It’s liberating, and a rite of passage for true St. Croix fans. Please be aware that conditions are usually flat and calm, but you are 100% on your own (no lifeguard, no rescue boat), so be safe and do not do this in conditions less than perfect. Children will love it with proper adult supervision and discretion.
The Pier fills with people on July 4th as St. Croix’s only fireworks display takes place over the west end. In April, the pier turns into a beautiful event space as the St. Croix Food and Wine Experience puts on the Sunset BBQ, an event where celebrity chefs, restaurant owners, and St. Croix’s culinary students all work together to showcase their talent.
While on the Pier, make sure you stop and take it in. Turn around and soak up the sight of the quaint historic town. You get a feeling, almost as if you were standing in a painting.
Watch this video about the Frederiksted Pier!
There are public restrooms located near the entrance of the pier. The Department of Tourism office is located on the pier, if you are looking for information. If you’re looking for food or beverages, there are several restaurants, bars and convenience stores in Frederiksted, all within walking distance of the pier.
Located in the heart of Frederiksted. There is parking on Strand Street and along most of the streets in town.
Access is restricted when there is a cruise ship in port, only ship passengers and crew are allowed onto the pier. Snorkeling, scuba diving, and swimming around the pier is not allowed when there is a ship docked both for your safety and for the security of the ship.