America’s Caribbean Paradise: The US Virgin Islands
A U.S. territory since 1917, this exotic island group is a top tourist destination that allows visitors a taste of paradise—and for U.S. citizens, a way to experience the best of island life, all without having to score a passport. Just a short flight away from the continental United States, the islands are a year-round destination where the temps stay warm, and the white sand beaches are always welcoming.
Made up of three main islands—St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas—the U.S. Virgin Islands offer travelers a chance to have a unique experience while visiting each one. And while every island is a stunning example of the best the Caribbean has to offer, all have their own distinctive blend of activities—from maxing and relaxing to water sports and eclectic local culture, there’s something for everyone looking for a tropical escape and an unforgettable adventure in the Caribbean.
Three unique islands: St. Thomas, St. John’s, and St. Croix
Each of the principal U.S. Virgin Islands has its own personality: St. Thomas, also called ‘Rock City’ for its mountains abundant throughout the surrounding green hills, is an all-around favorite and perhaps the most visited (and liveliest) island; St. John’s is made for nature lovers with its designated parkland and eco-friendly activities; and St. Croix is the largest, most diverse island and the place to be for history and culture. However, what the islands do have in common is their stunning beaches that offer travelers the chance to soak up the sun in style.
The place to be for both adventure and relaxation—popular activities, historical attractions, and outdoor activities, all set among a backdrop of indescribable beauty, St. Thomas is also home to Charlotte Amalie, the USVI’s capital and largest city. A riotous mix of bustling city life and relaxed island paradise, St. Thomas is the place to be for vacationers who want to see—and do—it all on their USVI getaway.
Perhaps one of the most popular activities on St. Thomas is spending time on one of its pristine powdery white sand beaches. And with over 40 to choose from, all with crystal-clear blue water and dotted with the island’s signature coves, it’s easy to find a spot to hit the beach and while away the hours (or days) among some of the most beautiful scenery in the USVI. One of the most popular and picturesque beaches on St. Thomas, Magens Bay Beach has a stunning backdrop of lush, green mountains that complement its white sand and blue waters perfectly. Great for swimmers and other water sports, Magens is often a hive of activity because of its location—it’s a popular stop for cruise ships. A snorkeler’s paradise due to its abundance of colorful reefs, Sapphire Beach is also a great spot to simply stroll along the sand and people-watch among the bright, Caribbean flora. Located on the East End of St. Thomas, Sapphire beach is a fabulous all-around beach for experiencing some of the island’s most popular activities, looking for less hustle and bustle and more peace and quiet? Then check out one of St. Thomas’ smaller beaches. A little less touristy and often a lot smaller, beaches like Dorothea Bay, Limetree Beach, and Vessup Bay are perfect for relaxing, taking a stroll, or having a dip.
Originally written by Lisa Wright, Places.Travel