The Caribbean, with beautiful white sand beaches set against translucent turquoise waters, is one of the most beautiful vacation destinations in the world.
There is nothing more relaxing than lounging on the beach and soaking in the sun. Once your beach body is perfectly bronzed and you are rested and relaxed, the U.S. Virgin Islands has plenty of activities and attractions to fill your days and nights for a truly unforgettable experience.
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of three distinct islands: St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas—each with its own style and flavor. When visiting the Virgin Islands, you will want to make it a point to spend time on each island.
Here are ten things you must do on your vacation, grouped by island.
This island has earned a reputation for luxury and lavishness. On Main Street, you can browse upscale stores such as Tiffany & Co. or Nicole Miller. Islanders dress conservative, yet casual so you do not want to get caught walking around wearing a bathing suit unless you are on a yacht or at the beach.
1. Magens Bay
You will definitely want to carve out a few hours to visit one of the most photographed beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands, set against a lush green mountainous backdrop. The warm, tranquil waters have been compared to those in a deep soaking tub, making it one of the most swimmable beaches as well.
2. Main Street
The shopping on Main Street is fabulous—not to mention duty free! There are over 300 stores in the area, some of which are located in former pirate warehouses. The best buys here include:
- Haitian art
3. Mahogany Run Golf Course
You would expect nothing less from a world-class vacation destination such as St. Thomas than the challenging greens found at Mahogany Run Golf Course. It is the only golf course on the island and is located on the northeast side.
Located just east of St. Thomas, St. John is less commercialized than the other islands. In addition to its romantic beaches, the island also boasts over 7,000 acres of pristine parklands.
1. Virgin Islands National Park
Outdoor enthusiasts will enjoy hiking on any of the 22 trails located within this tropical paradise. There are over 800 species of plants located in the park, as well as 50 species of tropical birds, making bird watching a popular pastime as well. Other activities include:
- Beach camping
- Scuba diving
Children can also participate in the park’s Junior Ranger Program.
2. Caneel Bay
This is one of the less populated beaches in the Virgin Islands—and one of the most romantic! There is no fee to enjoy the beach. Those who are strong swimmers can also swim over to Honeymoon Beach, an even more isolated beach.
3. Trunk Bay
Trunk Bay is home to the Underwater Trail—a snorkeling path in calm waters with colorful coral, tropical fish and underwater plaques. If you aren’t up for an underwater adventure, you can simply dig your toes into the pearl-like sand and bask in the breathtaking beauty of your surroundings.
4. Annaberg Plantation
Beachcombing, basket weaving and bread baking—oh, my! You can try any one of these things at the Annaberg Plantation, as well as learn about sugar production during the 18th and 19th centuries.
No vacation is complete without immersing yourself in the history and culture of your destination. This is probably the least visited of the U.S. Virgin Islands, but it offers some of the richest experiences.
1. Estate Whim Plantation Museum
The Estate Whim Plantation Museum offers an incredible glimpse into the lives of the 18th century Cruzans and the island’s sugar cane production.
2. Cruzan Rum Distillery
A quick 20 minute tour of the Cruzan Rum Distillery is also a must when visiting the Virgin Islands. You will learn about the origins of the distillery, its bottling process and get to sample a few of the best cocktails. After that, you may want to stick around and enjoy more authentic rum at the bar.
3. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge
This 2-mile stretch of beach is located on the south side of St. Croix. It is a natural refuge for leatherback sea turtles.