The US Virgin islands are arguably the most popular Caribbean destination for travelers. And as soon as you set foot on these beautiful islands, you’ll quickly see why that is. Of course there are the amazing beaches and pristine seas. So beach bums will definitely love the U.S. Virgin Islands. But there are plenty of other exciting things to discover too. Tropical forests, rocky coves, and lush mountains are just a few more of the alluring draws to these virgin isles.
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are located between the North Atlantic and the Caribbean Sea. Three main islands comprise the USVI archipelago: St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix. Of the three, St. Thomas is the most visited island. And it’s also the gateway to the rest of the archipelago. St. Croix is less tourist-driven for those looking for a less crowded Caribbean vacation. And nature lovers will definitely fall in love with St. John. Two-thirds of it is designated as a protected national park.
There are definitely plenty of things to do in the US Virgin Islands. Snorkeling, diving, hiking, fishing, and swimming in the clear blue waters are just a few of the many options. The USVI are also a great destination for avid sailors and yachters to explore as well. So let’s take a look at some of the top things to do during a visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands.
It’s the capital of the US Virgin Islands and a popular Caribbean cruise port. You’ll find Charlotte Amalie (named after a Danish queen) on the south shores of St. Thomas. The city has some great shopping options. Here you’ll find a number of unique boutiques and great jewelry shops. There are some lovely beaches for swimming and snorkeling too.
One of the big draws in Charlotte Amalie is Blackbeard’s Castle. You’ll also find Fort Christian here…the island’s oldest structure.
VIRGIN ISLANDS NATIONAL PARK
It covers over two-thirds of St. John island and is the most visited place in the US Virgin Islands. This national park offers some amazing outdoor activities. Aside from the awesome hiking trails with breathtaking views, there are plenty of protected bays, stunning beaches, and historic sugar mill ruins to discover. Nature lovers will be amazed by the amount of flora and fauna in the park. And there are excellent snorkeling and diving opportunities as well.
TRUNK BAY BEACH & UNDERWATER SNORKEL TRAIL
Trunk Bay Beach is St. John’s most photographed beach. The powdery white sands and turquoise waters are definitely a draw to this popular Virgin Island destination. Trunk Bay Beach also frequently makes the top of list when it comes to the most beautiful beaches in the world. Just offshore of Trunk Bay Beach is the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail. And snorkeling here is definitely a memorable experience with crystal clear seas and over thirty different species of fish to spot.
BUCK ISLAND REEF NATIONAL MONUMENT
This area is one of the most visited attractions on the St. Croix Island. The Buck Island Reef was the first to be declared an underwater monument in 1961. It’s also one of the best dive sites of the US Virgin Islands. Divers can find shipwrecks to explore off the north coast of Buck Island. The island also offers plenty of hiking trails, protected beaches, and picnic sites.
This quiet town is located on St. John Island. Those looking for a break from exploring the island will find this quaint town a welcoming place. Here you’ll find colorful pastel houses and plenty of shopping and dining options. The town also has a great museum and a restored plantation great house to visit. It’s a great way to get a sense of US Virgin Island culture. Nearby Maho Bay and Hawksnest Beach offer great snorkeling spots as well.
This St. Thomas beach is another one that often tops lists of the world’s most beautiful beaches. The sea is calm here along the horseshoe-shaped bay. This makes it the perfect spot for snorkeling, kayaking, and swimming. Magens Bay also offers the Tropical Discovery Hike. This unique hike winds its way through diverse island habitats from dry forest hilltops to mangroves.
CORAL WORLD OCEAN PARK
This is a great way to learn about the local marine life of the US Virgin Islands. The Coral World Ocean Park gives visitors an interactive look at local marine life. The park has a coral reef tank, and underwater observatory, and a tropical nature trail. Nature lovers will definitely have fun here. Visitors can interact with turtles, sea lions, and stingrays. And be on the lookout for the wild iguanas that roam the park as well!
For US virgin Islands nightlife click HERE!
More great Caribbean destinations HERE!