Unforgettable Things to Do in the US Virgin Islands

The USVI consists of 3 main islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and around 50 smaller islets and cays. The best thing about the USVI is that each island offers something new and unique. St. Croix is the largest island, and yet the least popular tourist destination. It is known as a scuba diver’s paradise and is home to one of the only underwater national monuments in the US-Buck Island Reef National Park. St. Thomas is known for its history and adventure. It offers some of the most sought-after activities in the USVI. So, whether you are looking for relaxation and tranquility or some adventurous fun then St Thomas is the perfect spot for you. Last but certainly not least is St. John, which is the smallest of the main islands but is the best preserved. In the end, this particular destination is a traveler’s paradise because there are so many things to do in the US virgin islands. 

But, before we get into our guide of things to do in the US virgin islands (USVI), let’s look at some key information that you need to know before you go: 

  • You don’t need a passport to go to the USVI if you’re a US Citizen, resident, or green card holder.
  • The US Virgin Islands are one of the most COVID-friendly travel destinations for Americans. As the islands are part of the US, they have had the fewest entry restrictions throughout the pandemic, and are the least likely to impose new travel restrictions on US Citizens. You also don’t need a COVID test to go back to the mainland as you do with international travel. 
  • As a U.S. territory, the currency is the U.S. dollar. Automated teller machines (ATMs) can be found throughout all three islands
  • Calypso, Soca, and Reggae can all be heard (and danced to) in the USVI.
  • If you are looking for unique things to do in St Thomas, St. John, or St. Croix, then why not look into chartering a yacht in the US virgin islands? Paris Hilton celebrated NYE 2021 in the USVI on a private yacht
  • The islands are known for the Larimar stone, so make sure to pick up some jewelry with the stone at one of the local shops. 

How to Get to & Around the Islands 

When traveling to the USVI, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic travel, which include online check-in and a no passport requirement, although we do recommend bringing along some form of identification. This means that traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands has never been easier as airlines have direct flights from all major cities. There are two major airports in the Virgin Islands; the Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.

Another option whether you’re traveling to the islands or want to explore is chartering a yacht in the virgin islands. The islands have facilities that can accommodate various sizes of vessels for short and long-term visits. The island is also considered one of the best places to set sail in the world. They not only offer gorgeous sunny weather but beautiful landscapes, protected anchorage, short passages between islands, and dependable trade winds. Have you ever thought about chartering a yacht in the virgin islands? A charter vacation in the USVI perfectly combines the exclusive quality and service of a luxury resort and the unforgettable atmosphere of a Caribbean cruise. In short, it can be an experience that lasts a lifetime. Imagine this, a romantic honeymoon where you wake up to breathtaking sunrises, explore untouched beaches that are tucked away in hidden bays, jump headfirst into turquoise blue waters, and wind down with a delicious chef-prepared meal paired with a refreshing glass of champagne all the while watching the sunset in the distance. Is there anything more perfect? Learn more about chartering a yacht in the virgin islands here contact us!

Best Time to Visit 

The US Virgin Islands have a tropical climate, which means that they can be visited all year round. Nevertheless, the best time to visit the islands is from April to June, when the weather is not too hot and there is little to no rainfall. This is the perfect time to visit the Islands because there are fewer crowds and you end up avoiding the rain during the fall hurricane season. Carnival also happens in St. Thomas from mid-April to May, which is another reason why visiting during this time would be a great idea. 

The dry season is from December to May, while June is the start of the wet season. The Island’s peak season is between December and March and during this time the temperatures can range from the mid-70s to high-80s coupled with some cool breezy evenings. But it is important to note that even in the summer, the islands are not nearly as hot as mainland destinations because you don’t have all that land and pavement radiating heat like you in places such as Florida. September and October are peak hurricane seasons, so if you plan on coming during this time, make sure to also book some travel insurance. 

What to Pack

Island living has definitely influenced the way that people dress in the US Virgin Islands, but what exactly should you be packing if you are coming down to the USVI? Well, make sure that you pack the essentials, some casual clothing and maybe an extravagant piece or two for those romantic nights out underneath the stars. We recommend packing: 

  • T-shirt, shorts, skirts, dresses
  • Flip-flops
  • Swimwear 
  • Protection from the sun, including a hat, several sunglasses and some sunscreen
  • A light jacket for those breeze evenings
  • Bug Spray for those pesky critters
  • Waterproof case for your phone or camera to capture all of those underwater adventures

Things to Do in The Virgin Islands 

AS mentioned previously, the USVI consists of 3 main islands, St. Croix, St. Thomas, St. John, and some 50 smaller islets and cays. Even though you might be staying on one island, it is pretty easy to island-hop, either with a boat charter, yacht, ferry, or even a seaplane. So even though you might be staying on St. Thomas, there are still plenty of reasons that you should be exploring everything that the USVI has to offer. So what are some unique things to do in the virgin islands? Well, let’s look at each island separately. 

Things to do in St. John 

Remember that St. Croix is the only island of the three listed that doesn’t have an airport. This means that if you want to visit, you’ll probably have to take a boat. St John is right next to St Thomas and is mostly a national park. As a result, it’s more lush, green, and jungle-like than the other Virgin Islands. It has lots of hiking trails and also a lot of luxury resorts. You can easily get between St Thomas and St John with a ferry, which runs every hour and costs around USD 8.  

As mentioned, much of the island is designated as a national park, and as a result, this island has some of the world’s most beautiful beaches. When visiting, make sure to check out: 

  • Virgin Islands National Park: filled with beaches and hiking trails, this park also has several ranger-led programs included guided hikes and bird watching
  • Trunk Bay: known for its white sand and gorgeous blue water, visitors can either choose to swim in the crystal waters or rent out equipment like kayaks or a stand-up paddleboard 
  • Maho Bay Beach: the home of three species of turtle, including the Loggerhead, Leatherback, and the endangered Green turtle. 
  • Cinnamon Bay & Cinnamon Bay Trail: the longest beach on the island and a gorgeous hike for all ages

St. John is an outdoor enthusiast’s playground. So whether you love swimming, kayaking, hiking, or just laying on the beach then you will love this island. And when all is said and done, head on over to St. John Brewers. This island brewery and pub sells local craft beers, sodas, and a full lunch and dinner menu. 

Things to do in St Thomas 

Before we get started on things to do in St Thomas, it is important to note that this particular island is one of the most popular of the USVI, especially for international tourists and travelers. As a result, although the island is beautiful, it is also often more crowded than St. John and St. Croix.  

The island of St. Thomas is the USVI’s most cosmopolitan spot, yet it still has that distinct Caribbean vibe. The island has something for everyone. Whether you are a couple looking for a romantic getaway or on a family vacation—there are so many amazing and unique things to do in St. Thomas. When visiting, make sure to check out: 

  • Duty-free shopping: the island is known as the best shopping spot in the Caribbean and one of the top ten best shopping spots in the world. 
  • Scuba Diving/Snorkel: many shops will take you out on the water and you can even rent an underwater submersible scooter. 
  • Magens Bay Beach: make sure to spend the day at this stunning beach, which was named one of the most beautiful beaches by Conde Nast and National Geographic. 
  • 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie: one of the landmarks of the island, these step-streets were built by the Danes to solve the problem of getting around the hilly train around Charlotte Amalie. 
  • Coral World Ocean Park: explore the underwater world in this unique ocean park and undersea observatory
  • Drake’s Seat: visit the best viewpoint on the island including a panoramic view of Magens Bay
  • Tree Limin’ Extreme: take a zipline canopy tour
  • Skyride: a gondola ride that goes 700 ft. up to an observation area with scenic views of the bay & a restaurant/bar. 

And if you’re interested in culture and history, don’t miss seeing the second-oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere, the circa-1680 Fort Christian, or the childhood home of Camille Pissarro, one of the best-known French Impressionists.

Finally, there are too many restaurants to mention on this island, so instead, let’s talk about the types of dishes you should be trying when visiting the islands. Yes the USVI has a lot of sights, but it also has a lot of delicious dishes for you to try. When sitting down at a restaurant in St. Thomas try to order: 

  • Conch fritters: fishermen harvest the conch and then they are battered and fried. They are usually served with spicy and creamy ketchup-based sauce or a creole remoulade
  • Pates: similar to empanadas, they are deep-fried pastries that are stuffed with a variety of different ingredients like meats, salt fish, or vegetables
  • Rotis: burrito-like flaky flatbread wraps that are filled with either curried meats, seafood, or veggies. 
  • Rum: ok so this is technically not a dish, but the UVSI are known for Cruzan Rum, which is manufactured on St. Croix.

Things to do in St. Croix

St Croix is 30 miles to the southwest and is the least touristy destination out of the three main islands. You can sometimes sail over there, weather permitting, or you can fly there for the whole trip. The islands are known for their land and water activities, as well as their history and culture. When visiting, make sure to check out: 

The island is also home to the Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan Rum distillers, which both offer unique tours that end with rum tastings—that’s over 30 different types of rum for you to try. There are also some great restaurants on the island, including Savant, which serves fresh fish and lobster that they buy daily off the boats from the local fishermen. If you stop by, then make sure to try their rum cake. For lunch, pop into Polly’s at the Pier and try their grilled cheese sandwich. 

Finally, if you are looking for some adventure the island has many hiking trails and is known as a great scuba diving destination. You can also go horseback riding down the beach, through the rain forest, and into the sea with Cruzan Cowgirls

As you can see there are a lot of things to do in the US virgin islands and we haven’t even touched the 50 smaller islets and cays. The highlight of the USVI is that there are so many untouched and beautiful spots to uncover—but they are all a little far from each other. That’s why chartering a yacht in the virgin islands could be an excellent solution.

Chartering a Yacht In the Virgin Islands

AS you can imagine there are a variety of hotels, hostels and exclusive resorts that you can stay in during your trip to the USVI, however, let’s look at another option: chartering a yacht in the virgin islands. 

The US Virgin Islands are right next to the British Virgin Islands (BVI), and pre-covid these islands were the main sailing destination. But since the pandemic, the majority of charter yachts have moved over to the USVI. Now the USVI has more charter yachts than anywhere else in the Caribbean. A private yacht charter is one of the most social distance vacations you can go on. The best part? You can unpack your bags once and wake up somewhere new every day. How exciting is that? The yacht will bring you to secluded coves and anchorages to snorkel, swim, and even get up close and personal with some sea life, 

Many people think that chartering a yacht is out of their price range greatly depending on what you choose to book. A fully crewed yacht is the luxury way to go. You have a captain and cook and all your meals and drinks are included with an open bar. The yacht will be stocked with water toys like Stand Up Paddleboards, Kayaks, a dinghy that can tow for tubing, water skiing, and wakeboarding. Some yachts offer Scuba diving from the yacht. Other amenities that are less common but available on some yachts include an e-foil board, seabob, sea scooters, snuba which is sometimes called hooka diving, and kiteboarding. Or even a hot tub or Jet Ski if you get a big yacht. The chef will customize a menu based on your preferences and any food allergies or dietary restrictions can be accommodated. 

If you are interested in learning more about chartering a yacht in the virgin islands, let us know your dates, budget,  and the number of guests and we would be happy to walk you through the process.  A catamaran that sleeps 6 people and has a captain can be as low as $10,000 per week. When you add a captain and all meals and drinks to make it all-inclusive the rates start around 15k then go up to 50k or more depending on the degree of luxury you want. 

Are you ready to visit the USVI? There are so many things to do in the US virgin islands, so what are you waiting for? Come and visit these gorgeous islands and see them at their best while on your own private yacht. 

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