Some of the Best Activities When Visiting the US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are a wonderful destination, for any individual or group seeking to explore island life, beautiful beaches, and interesting history and culture. The US Virgin Islands are composed of three larger islands (St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix) and several minor islands including Water Island. Each of the larger islands has its own variety of activities, places to eat, and places sites to see, so be sure to visit as many as possible!
St. John is known for some of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and for the Virgin Island National Park which takes up most of the interior of the island, offering pristine nature hikes. Trunk Bay is probably the most popular beach on the St. John. Arriving for an early morning snorkel can be a fantastic way of enjoying aquatic nature before many other visitors arrive. While on the North Shore seeing Trunk Bay, also make sure to visit Maho Bay Beach, a beach where you can find many locals during the weekends. For the best snorkeling at Maho, head to the rocky edge to see beautiful sea life, including the occasional sea turtle. Many diving and scuba companies operate on St. John, which can take visitors out to snorkel and scuba dive in more remote, but even more dazzling sites, including the underwater tunnels, ledges and the shipwreck of General Rogers. Some companies will even offer night dives, an exciting and adventurous variation to daytime scuba diving!
St. Croix has a large amount of island history and offers many historical sites for visitors to explore. In the town of Christiansted, visitors can see the Scale House, a building where all incoming goods were weighed and inspected before allowed entrance on the island. In the other main town of Frederisksted, visitors should stop in at Fort Frederisksted to learn about the roles slavery and emancipation played on the island; or stop by the Estate Mount Washington Plantation for a self guided tour through the remains of the sugar plantation (hailed by many visitors as one of the most beautiful spots to see while on the islands). When visiting beaches on St. Croix, Sandy Point can’t be missed. It is the biggest beach in the US Virgin Islands, and also serves as a reserve and nesting point for sea turtles; make sure to check when it is open to the public, as the hours can change according to turtle mating schedule. After the daytime adventures, good nightlife can be found at either at The Buccaneer, a hotel offering some of the best night activities from limbo to live bands, or at Divi Carina Bay Casino, where locals and tourists go to have fun. If you are looking for something that a little off the beaten path, there are several bars with good local nightlife on Thursdays and Fridays.
Unlike the other US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas developed due to a thriving seaport established in the 1600s. St. Thomas is home to a wealth of religious sites, such as the Cathedral of St. Peter & St. Paul, the Frederick Lutheran Church, or the Synagogue of Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim, all of which are located in the main town of Charlotte Amalie. For visitors looking for a day with animals, visit the Coral World Ocean Park to pet baby sharks, swim with a sea lion, or touch a starfish. St. Thomas is also the island for shoppers with high quality liquor, jewelry, and local craft, all of which is duty-free. To refuel after a morning of aquatic life or shopping, head to Glady’s café for lunch, to nosh on local specialties, like jerk chicken, or conch in butter sauce. The nightlife in St. Thomas is a bit more cultural than St. Johns, with steel-pan bands, broken-bottle dancing, jazz and other fun activities at the myriad of bars. Head to the Turtle Rock Bar for an excellent burger and some local music, or take in a show at Reichhold Center for the Arts, offering some of the finest art in the Caribbean.
The US Virgin Islands has something for everyone, from the beautiful beaches and nature of St. John, to the party scene at St. Croix, to the cultural treasurers of St. Thomas. A variety of transportation options allow visitors to travel between islands, and make the most of their visit to these beautiful islands.