Ready to set sail for the ultimate Caribbean adventure? A trip to the US Virgin Islands has all the makings of the perfect Caribbean getaway! Sun-soaked beaches, amazing seafood, and jaw-dropping scenery await you in this overseas US territory.
In this guide, we’ll go over everything you need to know before departing so you can plan the perfect trip. What’s more, we’ll highlight some top individual destinations in the US Virgin Islands so your itinerary leaves no stones unturned.
Keep reading to find out more about this amazing Caribbean destination!
US Virgin Islands Overview
Let’s start by examining some must-know facts about the US Virgin Islands. Below, we’ll answer some simple questions and go over some fundamental information regarding the territory.
What Are the Three US Virgin Islands?
In total, there are three main US Virgin Islands: St Thomas (where the capital, Charlotte, is located), St Croix, and St John. Each island contains its own set of advantages, so it’s important to learn as much as you can about them before you set out on your trip.
How to get from one US Virgin Island to Another
Due to their close proximity, the US Virgin Islands are ripe for island hopping. In fact, most tourists don’t travel to just one island since the whole ring of islands in the nearby vicinity. This means that you should plan your trip based around multiple destinations. Each of the three islands offers multiple ferries throughout the day to get you from one island to another.
Best Time to Visit US Virgin Islands
The best time to visit the US Virgin Islands is April , May, and June, when rainfall is at its lowest and temperatures stay relatively mild. This time also allows you to avoid the hurricane season, which generally lasts from the end of June to the end of November. Of course you can travel anytime of the year as the weather is relatively warm year-round. Keeping the best times to travel to St Thomas, St Croix, and St. John in mind can help you maximize your fun and safety during your next vacation.
Flag of US Virgin Islands
The flag of the US Virgin Islands depicts a version of the US coat of arms sandwiched between the letters V and I (for Virgin Islands). The flag represents the people and territory of all 112 US Virgin Islands.
Map of US Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands are located in the Caribbean and are part of the Lesser Antilles. Nearby are the British Virgin Islands. To get a better idea of regional geography, be sure to look at the US Virgin Islands map provided here.
Things to do in St Croix, US Virgin Islands
With all this being said, it’s time to take a look at some of the best things to do in St Croix. The largest of the US Virgin Islands, St Croix boasts an interesting culture and several sites that you won’t want to leave off your itinerary.
1) Witness History at Point Udall
Located toward the eastern side of the island (which is the easternmost portion of the United States), Point Udall overlooks a gorgeous landscape of rolling green hills and crystal-blue water striking a rocky coastline. Breaking this scenery are a narrow road and a manmade sundial created to commemorate the first American sunrise of the new millennium. View the sundial yourself and go back two decades to when the sun first rose over American soil.
2) Kayak at Salt River Bay National Historical Park
This nature reserve offers fantastic opportunities for tranquil kayaking or simple nature observation. The Salt River Bay National Historical Park also serves as a conservatory and is home to a number of gorgeous and important flora and fauna that are sure to leave an impression on you.
3) Visit Fort Christiansvaerd
Keeping watch over the entrance to Christiansted Harbor, Fort Christiansvaerd is a remnant of the island’s European past. Today, visitors can take self-guided tours through the fort, which also doubles as a museum. The location is a fantastic spot to learn more about the history of the island and presents incredible selfie opportunities.
Things to do in St Thomas, US Virgin Islands
When you’re done traveling St Croix, you’ll want to check out St Thomas. Site to the US Virgin Islands’ capital, there’s always something going on this lively island. Specifically, you can:
1) Tour Blackbeard’s Castle
Shiver your timbers at Blackbeard’s Castle in Charlotte Amalie! This National Historic Landmark was originally built by the Danes in 1679 to serve as a watchtower for incoming enemy vessels. At some point during its history, however, it gained association with infamous swashbuckler Blackbeard, who terrorized the Caribbean Sea throughout the early part of the eighteenth century. Legend has it that Blackbeard himself commandeered the castle to gain a better vantage point on his rivals. Whatever the case, Blackbeard’s Castle is a one-of-a-kind destination that you don’t want to miss out on while in the US Virgin Islands.
2) Snorkel at Coki Point Beach
Dive underwater to take your next adventure below sea level. Coki Point Beach offers terrific snorkeling opportunities that get you up close to some of the most stunning marine organisms you’ll ever see. Even if you don’t feel like getting wet, the golden shoreline of this picturesque location is well-worth a visit. Fun for both solo travelers and families, Coki Point Beach should be on anyone’s St Thomas itinerary!
3) See the Sights at Coral World Ocean Park
Bounce from Coki Point Beach to nearby Coral World Ocean Park. This park allows you to see coral reefs and other underwater marvels firsthand. Swim with the dolphins and meet your first sea lion at this incredible park!
Coral World Ocean Park is a great way to learn more about the marine environment of St Thomas while having the time of your life!
Things to do in St John, US Virgin Islands
Of course, no trip to the US Virgin Islands would be complete without an excursion to St John. The smallest of the Virgin Islands, St John nevertheless has tons to offer you when it comes to that unforgettable vacation.
To get the most out of your trip:
1) Stop by Virgin Islands National Park
Just how large is the Virgin Islands National Park? Spanning more than half the island, it’s one of the largest natural parks in the region. There you will find tons of tropical plants and incredible birds such as warblers and cuckoos. Of course, a number of incredible beaches also dot the shorelines of this famous park, making it a great place to soak up the waves.
But that’s not all. The park also allows you to tour old-time sugar plantations to get a feel for the history and culture of the region. Go back in time to see how life on the island used to be and get a sense of just how important sugar was to the people of the area.
2) Spend a Day at Trunk Bay
Technically, Trunk Bay is part of Virgin Islands National Park, but it’s incredible beauty and the variety it offers warrant it entry on this list. Trunk Bay is the most famous, and the most photographed beach on the island and boasts dazzling white sand beaches that are the perfect place to relax or play. The water itself is a deep blue and presents its own opportunities for a bit of unique fun.
Underwater trails are provided for next-level snorkeling, giving you the opportunity to view some incredible marine life up close and personal.
Without a doubt, Trunk Bay is among the top destinations not just in St John but in the entire US Virgin Islands. For this reason, be sure to include it in your travel plans!
3) Hike Reef Bay Trail
Get your walking boots on and prepare for the hike of a lifetime! Reef Bay Trail takes you on one of the most scenic routes in the Caribbean. Traverse through both moist and dry forest before crossing through the ruins of four bygone sugar mills. Reef Bay Trail allows you to soak up the history of the island like a sea sponge and also takes you to see some pre-Columbian petroglyphs for an even more immersive historical experience.
The best part? Reef Bay Trail dead-ends at a remote and beautiful beach that’s perfect for a day of tropical relaxation. Enjoy both the golden sands and the crystal-clear waters before heading back down the trail one more time!
The Bottom Line
The US Virgin Islands promise the vacation of a lifetime. Despite their relatively small size, these islands boast an incredible number of activities that are sure to keep you engaged. Knowing this, it’s time to shed the worries of your day-to-day life with a trip to one of the most beautiful regions of the world! In this guide, we’ve covered everything you need to know to plan your Virgin Islands vacation. Using the information contained here, you’ll be able to put together an unbeatable itinerary.
So don’t wait! Your perfect vacation is just around the corner!