Explore the Sea in the US Virgin Islands
Located 1,770 kilometers from Miami, Florida and 2,655 kilometers from New York City, the U.S Virgin Islands are just a short flight from the continental United States. The dreamy land and seascapes have earned it the nickname “America’s Paradise.” A year-round destination that has no real “off” season with an average winter temperature of 28 degrees Celsius (slightly higher in the summer), here the weather is almost always beach perfect. The United States Virgin Islands is famous for its beautiful white sand beaches and turquoise waters. Spend the day sunbathing your cares away or relaxing in a beach chair or hammock at one of the islands’ beaches that are consistently ranked among the top 10 in the world.
If you want to kick it up a notch there is an abundance of exhilarating water activities, from world class diving, deep sea fishing, sailing, snorkeling, kayaking, and paddle boarding to windsurfing and jet skiing. Nowhere else in the Caribbean can you dive a wreck, wall, pier and reef all in one day! Whether you’re a newly certified diver or a more advanced one, there is much to see in the pristine waters, with more than 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral and hundreds of invertebrates inhabiting the sea. Land activities are sure to fascinate with lush landscapes and awe-inspiring vistas creating the perfect setting for horseback riding, hiking, biking, and entrancing eco tours.
The U.S. Virgin Islands has a rich cultural legacy that lives on today. The flags of seven different nations have flown over these islands, leaving their distinct imprint on the people, history, culture, architecture, art, music, and cuisine. Take a stroll back in time through one or all of the historic towns. Visit the 17th and 18th-century forts, museums and historic sites. Be immersed in the pulse of the local music and take part in the vibrant and colorful cultural displays during the annual carnivals and festivals. With a tapestry of West Indian, African, European, and American influences you’ll be sure to experience the diversity. You’ll taste it in the local fare and cuisine that spans the region and the globe. You’ll see it in the architecture and art. You’ll hear it in the captivating sounds of Quelbe music. You’ll feel the vibrant energy that permeates the spirit of all those that call these islands home.
All of your senses are sure to be awakened by the enchanting beauty of the United States Virgin Islands, a leader in sustainable tourism that protects and preserves the natural environment and cultural heritage. Each island has its unique character and charm. Here are just a few to send you on your way to paradise.
An island pulsing with energy
A modern paradise filled with colonial jewels, St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is both a historian’s and an adventure-seeker’s playground. The island boasts one of the most beautiful harbors in the world as well as some of the most popular activities in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Indulge in some of the world’s prettiest beaches. Re-discover history in storied museums, forts and historic houses. Hike, bike or take the sky tram. Play a round of golf. Attractions in St. Thomas appeal to both those seeking adventure and those looking for peaceful relaxation.
On any list of places to visit in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie rises to the top due to its combination of natural beauty and thriving city life. As the most-visited port in the Caribbean, it offers elegant dining, exciting nightlife, duty-free shopping and even submarine rides.
Family fun is afoot in St. Thomas. Coral World Ocean Park has long been a favorite among visitors and residents. Park goers can swim with sea lions, do a Sea Trek walk along the ocean floor, encounter turtles, sharks and stingrays, feed the lorikeets and more. Other highlights include the Undersea Observatory, built nine meters underwater, and the Marine Gardens gallery of 21 aquariums.
St. Thomas Skyride whisks visitors up more than 200 meters above the town of Charlotte Amalie for some of the most dramatic views in the Caribbean. Hike the Nature Trail and see parrots, goats, ducks, geese and other tropical birds. The Butterfly Garden is a beautiful oasis filled with colorful butterfly species from around the world.
Love golf? Play a round on the George and Tom Fazio-designed course, offering 18 challenging holes, culminating in the spectacular “Devil’s Triangle,” the world-renowned trio of signature holes on the Atlantic Ocean. And the beaches, oh the beaches. Magens Bay is St. Thomas’ most popular beach, a protected, heart-shaped bay stretching more than 1.5 kilometers and featuring sapphire-blue waters and white sand that feel like paradise. You’ll find the perfect beaches for fishing, snorkeling, water activities and even a little seclusion – whatever your heart desires.
The water activities on St. Thomas are incredible, too. Whether you’re newly certified or a more advanced diver, it’s possible to spot more than 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral and hundreds of invertebrates inhabiting the water. As the sun sets, octopi, seahorses and moray eels make their appearance. Lucky vacationers may even witness turtles hatching at one of the many turtle nesting grounds.
St. Thomas certainly has much to offer, but there’s even more to discover. Head to VisitUSVI.com to explore St. Thomas a little deeper as well as other destinations in the U.S. Virgin Islands, such as St. John and St. Croix. And see for yourself why the locals like to call our islands “so nice!”
The smallest of the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. John, enjoys a reputation as the most pristine. With a combination of natural beauty on land as well as in the water, this diverse member of the U.S. Virgin Islands offers travelers an abundance of opportunities for adventures. Trade winds keep the island warm and inviting, as do the friendly people.
“St. Johnians” are always eager to share the history of their communities and culture. The Annaberg Sugar Plantation hosts exhibitions, concerts, and arts and crafts fairs. The self-guided Annaberg Historic Trail takes visitors through restored ruins on the plantation grounds. Petroglyphs created by Arawak Indians can be found along the Reef Bay Trail in Virgin Islands National Park. Volunteers can join scientists at the Cinnamon Bay archaeological dig to help uncover 500 years of ceremonial activity of the Taino Indians.
The beaches of St. John are as breathtaking as they are diverse. Whatever you’re looking for, you’ll find one to your liking. Have a relaxing time in world-famous Trunk Bay. Enjoy the secluded Salt Pond Bay for a bit more privacy. For a more family-oriented atmosphere, check out Maho Bay, where waters are calm and shallow, perfect for the little ones. Be in the middle of the action in Cinnamon Bay, where snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking and proximity to land activities provide plenty to do.
The water activities on St. John are just as incredible as the white sandy beaches. Whether newly certified or a more advanced diver, it’s possible to encounter more than 500 species of fish, 40 types of coral and hundreds of invertebrates inhabiting the water. Vibrant blue tang, silvery horse-eye jacks, queen triggerfish, spiny lobster and cleaner gobies are just a sampling of the marine life populating the underwater terrain
REVITALIZE YOUR HEART WITH AN ESCAPE TO UTOPIA
St. Croix, the largest of our islands, is a tranquil tropical destination for honeymooners, culture seekers, scuba divers and more. Rich in cultural diversity, St. Croix has a fascinating history. Spain, Great Britain, the Netherlands, France, the Knights of Malta, Denmark and the United States all played a role in shaping St. Croix. Experience the unique culture of St. Croix through its arts, crafts, music and more during a variety of festivals and cultural events throughout the year.
But these are only a few of the things you can enjoy on the island. St. Croix provides gorgeous beaches, world-class recreational activities, fine dining, casino, and golf. Although only 22.7 miles long and 8 miles at its widest point, the landscape of St. Croix is surprisingly diverse. Visiting just the two main towns of St. Croix will give you a glimpse of the island’s incredible history—from regal 18th and 19th-century homes in Christiansted to a tropical rain forest in Frederiksted.