Major Tourist Attractions: Coral World Ocean Park, Blackbeards Castle, Hans Lollik Island, St. Thomas Synagogue, Thatch Cay
One is a tourist-friendly commercial cruise port, another is mostly a stunning national park, and the third one is an eco-friendly combination of the first two. This is how many people describe the three major islands of the United States Virgin Islands; St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. In recent years Water Island, located just off St. Thomas, has gained popularity with being called the fourth U.S. Virgin Island, but most still consider it just a part of St. Thomas.
If shopping, dining, and exploring charming streets is something you love while on vacation then St. Thomas is a perfect fit. Its main city, Charlotte Amalie, is a major cruise port, sometimes with as many as five cruise ships in the harbor. The downtown area is filled with cute shops and fun dining options. If you want to escape the crowds, grab a taxi and head to Magens Bay beach. Magens Bay has been called one of the best beaches in the Caribbean and is easily the most popular beach on the island.
Only a 25-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas, neighboring St. John is everything that St. Thomas isn’t. Two-thirds, or 5000 acres, of St. John is a national park donated by Lawrence Rockefeller in 1956. The park is home to stunning beaches on the north shore: beaches like Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay and more. There are dozens of trails for different skill levels that weave their way up and around the lush green hillsides. Cruz Bay is the main town located on the western side of the island where the ferries come in. Then you have sleepy Coral Bay on the East End.
The largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Croix, is an 84 square mile island is home to 53,000+ residents. The two main towns are Christiansted and Frederiksted. Resorts and condos are located mostly on the north shore and there are plenty of activities to do throughout the entire island. Two “must see” places on St. Croix are the Salt River National Park, which protects a diverse ecosystem in addition to pre-historic ruins, and Buck Island which is a stunning marine reserve located off the north shore.
If you’re visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands this list of activities will give you a great feeling for what the islands are all about.
- Spend the day at Trunk Bay on St. John. Trunk Bay is one of the most beautiful and most photographed beaches in all the Caribbean. Get there early to beat the crowds.
- Take a scenic tram to the top of Paradise Point on St. Thomas. There visitors enjoy spectacular views of the harbor, food, and local drinks.
- Hike the Reef Bay trail on St. John. Travelers will love the tropical forest, Indian petroglyphs, and sugar mill ruins all found on this three-mile downhill hike.
- Tour the Cruzan Rum Distillery in Frederiksted on St. Croix.
- Spend an afternoon shopping and snacking at charming outdoor cafes in Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas.
- Rent a Jeep on St. John. The best way to see St. John is by renting a Jeep Wrangler and exploring the easy-to-navigate streets. Just remember to drive on the left side of the road.
Address: Wildey Business Park
St. Michael BB 14006