Spending time in the U.S Virgin Islands is a dream come true for many people. Having an idea of some of the top spots to visit is always helpful for your first visit, and you can experience a wide range of the sites and activities of this tropical paradise.
With your next visit, you can spend more time in the area of interest or perhaps focus visits on different areas of the U.S Virgin Islands. This allows you to get a true sense of the culture, the natural beauty and the activities that make this one of the most popular of travel destinations.
A Quick Overview
It wouldn’t be right to start our U.S Virgin Islands travel guide without providing some information about the geographic boundaries. The U.S Virgin Islands are a cluster of islands in the Caribbean in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles.
There are three main or big islands that make up the U.S Virgin Islands. The three islands include Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix. The territory capital is located on Saint Thomas, and Charlotte Amalie is one of our must-see places in this guide.
The temperature on the Islands and in the surrounding areas absolutely beautiful all year round. The average annual temperature is 87.7 °F with the hottest months of the year between June and September, but this is still a pleasant average of 90°F with the breezes from the ocean providing a cooling effect.
You will find that on each of the islands there are more upscale and very modern events, activities and accommodations, while one the same island you will also find places just to sit on the amazing beaches and take in the tropical lifestyle. There outdoor activities, fishing, shopping, museums, art exhibitions, fine dining and evening entertainment to round out a day of sightseeing and immersing yourself in the culture.
To help you with this U.S Virgin Islands travel guide, we have divided the must see and do activities with respect to the island. Chartering one of our luxury yachts from St. John can allow you to travel in style between the islands or even take you on overnight adventures to any local destination.
Perhaps the most well-known of the U.S Virgin Islands, St. Croix is famous for its beautiful white beaches and azure waters. While some beaches such as Cane Bay Beach are right along the strip with all the hotels, dive shops and restaurants, there are other more remote beaches that you will have to hike into to spend some time. These beaches, including Annaly Bay, Isaac’s Bay and Jack’s Bay, you will spot unique birds, turtles and marine life, and have a very private location to snorkel, swim or just sit back and watch the world go by.
You will find the locals are very helpful in suggesting beaches based on what you want to see and do. Some areas, such as Monk’s Bath, Hibiscus Beach and Judith’s Fancy are while Frederiksted Beach is a great place to watch a tropical sunset.
The historical sites to take in could take weeks to see. One must see location is Buck Island, one of only three underwater national monuments in the entire United States. This is also a must see location for the amazing coral reef and underwater animal and plant life.
For those that love history, make sure to visit Point Udall, the most easterly point of the United States. Take a walk up to the Millennium Monument for a terrific view. Other historical sites and museums to visit on the island include the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts, the Estate Whim Plantation Museum and Forts Frederik and Christiansvaern.
St. Thomas, like St. Croix, has some truly amazing beaches. Magen’s Bay is the most popular beach, but if you want to get away from the crowds try Lindberg Bay, Sapphire Beach or Secret Harbor Beach. For those that love to surf many of the different beaches on the island are good options, but Hull Bay is considered the best.
Charlotte Amalie offers amazing shopping on Main Street, and you will find everything from designer boutiques to upscale dining and everything in between. You will also not want to miss Blackbeard’s Castle, Fort Christian and Bluebeard’s Castle, and take in Drake’s Seat where you can look over to the British Virgin Islands.
For art lovers, visit Camille Pissarro Gallery, and just stroll the various art shops and boutiques in and around Charlotte Amalie. Kids will love a visit to the Butterfly Garden and the Magic Ice Gallery along with Coral World Ocean Park, a must see location for every visit.
There are many different things to see and do on St. John, which is why it is hard to narrow it down in our U.S Virgin Islands travel guide. This island is known for its salt ponds, so be sure to visit Salt Pond Bay and hike to the interior pond. Hawksnest Beach offers great family fun and snorkeling while Cinnamon Bay has a self-guided short hike on a trail around the bay as well as all the watersports you can imagine. To take an underwater snorkeling trail visit Trunk Bay, which is also a wonderful beach to catch up on a tan.
This island is home to a miniature golf course and putting greens at Pastory Gardens, and you should also plan to take in the Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins which are located in the Virgin Islands National Park. While in the park take the Reef Bay Trail and see the petroglyphs and what is left of different sugar estates over the trail. This is a great walk on a hot afternoon as you will be walking into a shaded forest, which is also full of amazing birds, wildlife and tropical plants.
Each of the Islands also has both the Caribbean and international restaurants, just ask our staff and guides for recommendations and you will find just the food, entertainment or special events that will make your travels memorable.