Start Planning Your USVI Vacation
Visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands is like getting a three-for-one vacation deal. Each of the three islands that makes up this territory has its own particular personality, and at least one is sure to catch your fancy. If you're interested in outdoor adventure, you'll want to head to St. John. Although it's the smallest of the three islands, it's jampacked with exciting nature activities. You see, more than half of the island is a protected national park, so you'll get your fair share of nature reserves. If that's not really your thing, check out St. Thomas instead. It's very cosmopolitan and is constantly bustling with tourist activity. This is the place to go if you’re looking for nice hotels, yummy restaurants and fantastic shopping. Last, but not least, you've got St. Croix, the largest island and the most difficult to characterize—it’s something like a rich mix of historical sites and outdoor activity. Plenty of old forts and plantations are here to please the history buff. But you've also got the great outdoors to explore with great beaches and outdoor parks. So, whether you want an exciting nature adventure or a peaceful, secluded vacation, you can do it all and see it all, right on these three islands.
Other Destinations in USVI
Mapping Out the USVI
You’ve got three separate islands to explore within the U.S. Virgin Islands, each with its own distinct flavor.
St. John is the greenest island, full of nature preserves and pristine beaches. Two-thirds of this entire island is a National Park. Here, there's very limited development except for a few no-footprint, tent resorts.
St. Thomas, on the other hand, is a completely different vacation experience. Large resorts cater to the constant tourist flow while cruise-ship traffic makes for a bustling harbor and lots of shopping and activity.
Then there's St. Croix, the little island with just about everything. It’s got old forts and former sugar plantations, pristine rainforest land and world-class scuba diving opportunities. Between the three islands, you’ve got one amazing vacation!
Drink up at the Cruzan Rum Factory
Some say that the famous Virgin Islands rum is the best in the world. But you know what momma always says: Don't believe anything until you try it for yourself. With that said, you've got not other choice than to visit the Cruzan Rum Factory.
Once you arrive there, you'll take a guided tour of the grounds. During this tour, you'll get to witness firsthand just how this delicious drink is made. On a side note, you'll absolutely love seeing the factory’s quaint, old windmill!
Best of all, when the tour wraps up, you get a complimentary mixed drink. You might also want to stock up on several bottles to give to your friends as souvenirs. But we promise not to tell if you decide to keep them for yourself.
Jump Right in at Magen's Bay
If you can’t choose between the mountains or the sea, you can have them both at Magen’s Bay.
At Magen's Bay, you'll see breathtaking mountains roll right into the turquoise waters of the Caribbean Sea. No wonder National Geographic named this beach one of the world’s 10 most beautiful beaches!
The waters here are so clear that we consider this the perfect place for snorkeling and swimming. Watersports like kayaking are available too. However, if you’d rather just lie in the powdery white-sand and work on your tan all day, we completely understand.
Explore Fort Christiansted
Adventure through an old fort rich with tales of pirate attacks, hurricanes and slave revolts! If you're a history buff, you've got to check out Fort Christiansted (Christiansvaern) because there are only five remaining Danish forts left in the Virgin Islands, and this one is the best preserved.
When you walk onto the grounds of Fort Christiansted, the first thing you'll notice it that it's a gorgeous example of Danish colonial military architecture. It’s also an important national historic site!
As you tour the grounds, you'll learn that this fort was built almost 300 years ago, having weathered hurricane damage and armed conflict. At one time this fort was also an island courthouse and prison. And at another time, it was used for religious services. Definitely a sight to see!
Snorkel Like Never Before at Buck Island National Monument
So, you've probably seen at least one national monument in your lifetime, but have you ever seen one that's underwater? Well, here's your chance. There are only three underwater monuments in the entire United States, and Buck Island is one of them.
Take a boat ride out to Buck Island, which is surrounded by an incredible coral barrier reef. You've got to snorkel this reef. It's got everything, including an underwater trail.
If you're a beginner and have never snorkeled before, don't worry! Even beginners can snorkel this trail with a guide. Angel fish, crustaceans, colorful sea fans and even sea turtles await you. Once you experience this striking marine garden, you’ll understand why it’s an official national treasure.
Get Back To Nature with U.S. Virgin Islands National Park
You simply can’t visit St. John without running into the Virgin Islands National Park. This nature reserve covers more than half of the island, so you're sure to see at least parts of it!
Just like you'd expect from such a big area, this vast park offers plenty for you to do. If you’re looking for a little quiet time to connect with nature, then walk down the beautiful secluded beaches, take a hike to see the historic ruins or just wander the many hiking trails for hours of exploration.
If you want a little more activity, you can also try your hand at snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking or windsurfing. This is an adventure-lover's dream destination!
USVI Quick Facts
The electrical current in the Virgin Islands is the same as on the U.S. mainland and Canada, 110 to 120 volts AC (60 cycles).
There is no passport requirement for U.S. citizens for direct travel to the U.S.V.I. If you return to the mainland U.S. from the U.S.V.I through another country (Mexico or Bermuda, for example), you will need a passport.
Drink only bottled water
Eastern Standard Time (UTC/GMT -4 hours)
December to April