Exploring Paradise: Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands?
U.S. Virgin Islands, Here's what you should know
If you’re searching for paradise, look no further. Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands to stick your toes in the sand. Any American looking for a dreamy Caribbean Island, one is just the place. One will perfectly fit.
We will deep dive into the 3 main islands of USVI. Find out how each island is completely different.
Find Out which one is for you?
Read more to find out: Which island is for you and why so many people are choosing to travel to U.S. Virgin Islands as their wedding destination and why are so many people relocating here.
Favorite Tips / Facts about Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands
Tip about Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands:
Dress: Pack breathable clothing like cotton, linen or bamboo. Shoe should be comfortable for walking hills and uneven pavement. High heels are not a good idea.
Watch your toe: Iguanas go for red nail polish. Watch your toe, they can be painfully mistaken for cherries or possibly hibiscus flowers.
Currency: U.S. Dollar, there is no added headache or expense to exchange money. Do carry cash, not all places except credit card.
Credit Card: If you plan on possibly using a credit card always notify the credit card company ahead of time, otherwise for security purposes there is a good chance the card will be red flagged when you try to use it.
Best time to visit: December through April is the best time to avoid hurricane season.
Worst time to visit: June and October are the worst months because warm water temperatures and moist air brings hurricanes
Facts about Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands:
Be Informed: Except for pools and beach areas, it is illegal to not wear a cover-up over your bathing suit.
Passport: U.S. Citizens need ID but do NOT need a passport
Getting here: 2 million people Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands every year and it remains easy to get to with many direct flights going into 2 international airports and the 3 Cruise Ships docks:
- Direct Flights from 14 locations to (STT) Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas, and (STX) Christiansted, St Croix. Direct flights from Charlotte, Atlanta, Miami. Through multiple airlines:
- Cruise Ships dock in St Thomas and St Croix: Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Holland America, Celebrity, Norwegian
Weather: January through December the average temperature doesn’t fluctuate to much 80*f to 89*f
Summer Water Temperatures: 83*f
There are a total of 5 National Parks, Monuments, Historic Sites or Eco Preserve in U.S. Virgin Islands
Interesting Fact: There are actually 4 Islands that are now considered to be the main Islands (St Thomas, St John, St Croix, and Water Island) and approximately 40-50 smaller islands/Caye that make up the U. S. Virgin Islands.
Local Culture / Customs about Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands
Driving: USVI is the only place owned by the United States that drives on the left side of the road. Must be 25 to rent a car.
Local Dishes: Salt Fish, Okra cornmeal mashups, Deep Fried dough filled with pate style meat, fish or vegetables and then baked.
Local Music: Soca style=(So)uo of (Ca)lypso
Local Language: English mostly, some with a bit of Creole English sprinkled in.
Locals Love Large Carnival Style Festivals:
St Thomas largest Festival is called ‘IV Carnival’: The party goes on in the months of April and May. The event is carnival style with colorful performers, dance, music and a parade. A full month long hard partying. In a celebration of tradition and community brought here by ancestors that came from Europe and Africa.
St John largest Festival is called ‘St John Festival’ The party goes on from late June and runs through July 4th. It is a spirited festival full of fun & excitement. The festival is full of music, dancers, mocko jumbies (people masks and costumes on stilts), ending with a massive colorful parade and display of fireworks. A celebration of culture and history in honor of July 3, 1848 emancipation to USVI slavery. Location: Downtown Cruz Bay
St Croix largest Festival is called the Crucian Christmas Festival: The party runs between December and January. Celebrating Christmas and the New Year holiday that is transformed into a modern carnival, lasting for 4 weeks. There is traditional dancing, singing and music going door to door for rum and wine. Plus there is a colorful parade. The festival is to continue holiday traditions dating back to early 1800’s.
Read more to deep dive into American Paradise, Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands: Find out, Which Island is for you?
What is so Special About St Thomas: Travel to USVI
Nickname: ‘Rock City’
Is not the largest Island but it is the most visited and by far the busiest. This is where capitol ‘Charlotte Amalie’ of U.S. Virgin Islands is located. If you’re looking for the Island with the most people and entertainment then this is the island for you.
The popularity that St Thomas brings does require the need for an International Airport,[(STT) Cyril E. King Airport] and 2 ports to dock the cruise ships, Havensight and Crown Point Marina (once used as a naval base) both are located just outside of Charlotte Amalie.
Recommended Places to Stay Around St Thomas, USVI
Top of the Line: Ritz-Carlton, beachfront, 4 restaurants, plus tennis courts & outdoor pools. Location: Great Bay, St Thomas
Mid-range: Emerald Beach Resort, Location: Lindberg Bay, St Thomas
Budget Friendly: Bunker Hill Hotel, Location: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas
Places to Explore Around St Thomas, USVI
Historical Attractions Around St Thomas, USVI:
Historical Attraction: Take a walking tour of The Williamsburg Caribbean. It’s located of a hill top with beautiful views of the harbor. The manor houses and a hotel on the property, all are listed on the National Registry of Historic Places. This is where you’ll find Black Beard Castle, a real Pirate Tower. Originally the tower was named Skyborg: meaning protection castle. Location: On the High point of Charlotte Amalie.
Historical Attraction: ‘Fort Willoughby’ Built by the British. Their military used the fortress during The French Revolutionary War & Napoleonic Wars. It was then later used by the U.S. as a submarine base until 1966. Location: Hassel Island, in St Thomas harbor
Tours Around St Thomas, USVI:
Tour: St Thomas Butterfly Garden Exhibit: Walk around an enclosed garden design to attract butterflies and hummingbirds. It makes for a great picture when the butterflies land on you. Location: Close to Charlotte Amalie Pier
Unique Attraction: Coral World Ocean Park: An open-aired park that is fed naturally from the ocean. Location: east side of St Thomas
Water Activities Around St Thomas, USVI:
Water Activity: ’Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge’, A 45-acre migratory bird habitat is maintained by the U.S. Coast Guard. The shipwreck and coral reef makes this area is a favorite attraction for snorkeling, diving, and boating.
Water Activity: Jet Skiing, Location: Sapphire Beach Resort Marina, St Thomas
Hiking Around St Thomas, USVI:
Hiking Activity: Mermaid’s Chair Trail, 3.6 mile round trip-moderate level, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, USVI
Hiking Activity: Magen’s Bay Beach Trail, 2.1 mile-out and back, Charlotte Amalie, Saint Thomas, USVI
Golfing Around St Thomas, USVI
Golfing Activity: Mahogany Run Golf Course, Location: Ritz-Carlton
Fun Evening Activity Around St Thomas, USVI
PM Activity: Sunset Kayak Tour in St Thomas’ Mangrove Lagoon Wildlife Sanctuary & Marine Reserve, Vieco Tours Location: the Mangrove Lagoon, St Thomas
Photo Opportunities Around St Thomas, USVI
Photo Opportunity: Best View Point: ‘Drake Seat’ gorgeous panoramic views of Megan’s Bay, named after Sir Francis Scott Drake
Photo Opportunity: 99 Steps, popular photographed stairway with flowers on each side. The bricks were brought from Denmark in the mid 1700’s. Original name: Store Taarne: meaning Great Tower Street.
Quirky Note: There are really 103 Steps not 99 steps.
Highlights Around St Thomas, USVI
Top Tourist Destination Around St Thomas, USVI: MountainTop, the highest point on St Thomas. It has a gorgeous view and the claim to fame: Banana Daquiries, Location: St Peters Mountain, St Thomas
‘Best of Awards’ given to St Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
‘Beaches with the Clearest Waters, Lindquist Beach’ St Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands: Insider
‘Prettiest Beaches, Trunk Bay’ St Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands: National Geographic & Conde Nast Traveler
‘Resorts with Most Breath Taking Views, Ritz-Carlton’ St Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands: Travel Channel
What is so Special About St John: Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands
Nickname: ‘Emerald Isle’ and ‘Love City’
St John has 2 nicknames and is the smallest of the 3 main U.S. Virgin Islands. Being the smallest doesn’t make it any less special. You can still find beauty & entertainment. I’d say it’s more alluring toward the nature driven crowd. There is a massive amount of natural beauty on St John Island. It’s a good place to Hike, fish, water activities and all of the other outdoor activities.
The National Park Service most essential job is to preserve the natural and cultural resources to unique & special places. They hand-picked 60% of St John to be preserved as Virgin Island National Park. Now that should tell you right there how stunning St John is.
Recommended Places to Stay Around St John, USVI
Top of the Line: The Westin St John Resort Villas, Location: Cruz Bay, St John
Mid-Range: Mandavilla Rose Villa in Cruz Bay, Location: Cruz Bay, St John
Budget Friendly: No recommendations at this time around St John
Places to Explore Around St John, USVI
Historical Attractions Around St John, USVI
Historical Attraction: Annaberg Plantation: 300 year old windmill, open to the public. Once was part of a factory that produced sugar.
Historical Attraction: Catherineberg Ruins, a historic 18th century Sugar Mill / Rum Factory, Location: Virgin Islands National Park, St John
Tours Around St John, USVI
Tour: Private Two & a Half Hour Island Tour, by St John Land Tours Location: Trunk Bay, St John
Water Activities Around St John, USVI
Water Activity: One of the best snorkling in the Caribbean. Underwater trail with plaques to follow right off the beach. Location: Trunk Bay
Water Activity: Morningstar Sailing and Power Charters, Location, Cruz Bay, St John
Hiking Around St John, USVI
Hiking: ‘Cinnamon Bay Sugar Mill Ruins and loop trail’ This nature loop takes you by the Sugar factory and Rum Distillery ruins. Trail is accessible off the boardwalk. Trail Location: Across from Cinnamon Bay Resort and Campground.
Hiking: ‘The Reef Bay Trail’: Guided Hike
Golfing Around St John, USVI
Golfing Activity: None recommended
Fun Evening Activity Around St John, USVI
PM Activity: Group Sunset Sail St. John, Location: Cruz Bay, St John
Photo Opportunities Around St John, USVI
Photo Opportunity: ‘Gallows Point’ Beautiful views of Cruz Bay.
Bonus Tip: around Gallows Point this part of the peninsula you may be able to view peacocks wandering around. This area used to be the home of a colossal amount of peacocks.
Highlights Around St John, USVI
National Parks: [2 in St John] Virgin Islands National Park and Coral Reef National Monument
Top Tourist Destination Around St John, USVI: is Trunk Bay Beach, Location: Trunk Bay, St John
‘Best of Awards’ given to St John, U.S. Virgin Islands
‘Best Campsites in America, Cinnamon Bay Campground’ St john, U.S. Virgin Islands: Thrillist Media .
‘Prettiest Beaches, Trunk Bay’ St John U.S. Virgin Islands: National Geographic & Cond’e Nast
‘Top Caribbean Resort, Caneel Bay’ St John U.S. Virgin Islands: Travel Channel
‘Most Photogenic Beaches in the Caribbean, Trunk Bay’ St John U.S. Virgin Islands: Conde Nast Traveler
What is so Special About St Croix: Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands
Nickname: ‘Twin City’
St Croix got its nickname from having 2 main towns on one island. One on the East end and one on the West end. St Croix is the largest U.S. Virgin Islands and is the least populated island. Even though St Croix is only 28 miles long and only 45 minutes apart, often when people are speaking, it sounds like 2 separate islands.
The 2 main towns are located at both ends of this island are very different. Splitting the Island is Frederiksted on the west End has a tropical climate. Frederiksted is where Port Ann E. Abramson is located and where the Pier is that docks the Cruise ships. Christiansted on the East end has a desert climate, this is where the (STX) International airport is located.
Recommended Places to Stay Christiansted, St Croix USVI
Top of the Line: Hotel Buccaneer (As seen on The Bachelor), Location: Christiansted, St Croix
Mid-Range: Tamarind Reef Resort, Spa & Marina, Location: Christiansted, St Croix
Budget Friendly: Hotel on the Cay, Location: Christiansted, St Croix
Recommended Places to Stay Frederiksted, St Croix USVI
Top of the Line: Carambola Beach Resort, Location: Frederiksted, St. Croix
Mid-Range: Sand Castle on the Beach, Location: Frederiksted, St. Croix
Budget Friendly: None to recommend at this time, Location: Frederiksted
Places to Explore Around St Croix: Travel to U.S. Virgin Islands
Historical Attractions Around St Croix, USVI
Historical Attraction: ‘Whim Plantation Estate’ A 12-acre estate with a Plantation Museum that was originally built by the Dutch West India Company, in the 1700’s. The Grand House, Slave Quarters and Factory have been restored to replicate the buildings that once stood on these grounds.
Historical Attraction: ‘Columbus Landing Site’ part of Columbus 2nd journey to the Americas in 1493. Location: Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve.
Historical Attraction: ‘Red Fort National Monument’ Danish style Fort built to hold off pirates. View a cannon battery and the Commanders quarters. Location: Fort Frederick
Tours around St Croix, USVI
Tour: ‘St George Village Botanical Garden’, this botanical garden shows off plants found on St Croix. There are a variety of plants that can be found due to multiple climate zones of this island, from east end desert to west end Tropical.
Tour: Award winning ‘Cruzan Rum Distillery’ Walk through the popular rum company distilling houses and brewing rooms. End the tour with samples!
Water Activities Around St Croix, USVI
Water Attraction: Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge has scenes filmed here for Stephen King’s famous movie ‘Shawshank Redemption’. The beach is only open on weekends and is completely closed April-August for Turtle nesting. Location: West end of St Croix.
Water Activity: Diving ‘The Cane Bay Wall’ The most popular site for shore diving. Location: on the North Shores of St Croix’s, Cane Bay Beach.
Water Activity: ‘Buck Island Reef National Monument’ This is one of the top places for snorkeling and Scuba. On the east corner, there is an underwater marked trail and is a home to rare sea turtles call home. The area is dubbed “One of the finest marine gardens in the Caribbean Sea” by The National Park Serice. Location: 1.5 mile north of the northeast coast of St Croix.
Quirky Note: U.S. Virgin Islands has 2 Buck Islands! 1) ‘Buck Island Reef National Monument’, by St Croix and the 2) ‘Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge’, by St Thomas.
Hiking Around St Croix, USVI
Hiking: ‘Carambula Tide Pools’ This is a rugged rocky hike, not recommended for casual hiking or delicate people
Hiking/Snorkling: ‘Annaly Bay Tide Pools’ Trailhead starts at the Renaissance Beach Resort and Spa and is about 4 miles round trip. Note the trail is steep and rocky at times. Location: Northwest corner of St Croix
Golfing Around St Croix, USVI
Golfing Activity: ‘Carabola Golf & Country Club’ 72-par, GOLF magazine gave it a 4-star rating. Location: Northwest side of St Croix.
Fun Evening Activity Around St Croix, USVI
PM Activities: ‘The Wharf’ Featuring Caribbean Vibes and entertainment. Location: Downtown Christiansted
PM Activities: Salt River Bay: bioluminescent waters Location: Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve
Photo Opportunities Around St Croix, USVI
Photo Opportunity: Best View Point, ‘Point Udall’ also the location of a sundial called “The Millennium Monument” Built here to celebrate the sunrise of the new millennium January 1, 2000, Location: East end point of St Croix.
Bonus Tip: The Humpback Whale can be seen migrating through the North shore reef.
Highlights Around St Croix, USVI
National Parks [3 in St Croix] Buck Island Reef National Monument, Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve, and Christiansted Historic Site
Top Tourist Destination in St Croix, USVI: Buck Island is the #1 tourist attraction on St Croix
“Best of Awards” given to St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands
“Best Caribbean Beaches, Sandy Point Beach” St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: Forbes
“One of the World Most Beautiful Beaches, Turtle Beach” St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: National Geographic
“Best Resorts in The Caribbean, The Hotel Buccaneer” St Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands: Conde Nast Traveler
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