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24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History Geography & Maps attractions 2022

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

The United States Virgin Islands, often abbreviated USVI, is a group of islands and cays in the Caribbean to the east of Puerto Rico. Consisting of three larger islands plus fifty smaller islets and cays, it covers approximately 133 square miles.

one. Coral World Ocean Park

Coral World is considered one of the top family attractions in the US Virgin Islands. Much of this integrated marine park showcases the proper habitat of its subjects, with both indoor and outdoor viewing facilities intended to exemplify the diverse and abundant nature of marine life in the area. The park’s main attractions include a touch pool with hermit crabs, starfish, and sea cucumbers; nearly two dozen aquarium exhibits; and its 50,000-gallon Deep Reef tank, with some of Mother Nature’s deadliest carnivores, including moray eels, tarpon, and plenty of sharks.

Coral World Ocean Park: Tours & Tickets

two. Magens Bay

Nine tours and activities

Thanks to its curving arch of white sand and sparkling blue water, Magens Bay is the most popular beach on St. Thomas. Forests and palm trees surround the area, and the bay offers calm waves for swimming and kayaking. For stunning views of the bay’s unusual rectangular shape and mile-long beach, head to nearby Mountain Top Lookout.

Magens Bay: Tours & Tickets

3. honeymoon beach

Four tours and activities

Honeymoon Beach is convenient and secluded, a good option for those who want to avoid the crowds at places like Trunk Bay but still appreciate some on-site amenities. The beach is accessible by trails and serves as an area for water sports enthusiasts. Travelers can take a kayak to paddle along the shoreline before diving in to snorkel alongside tropical fish that cluster around the rocks.

Honeymoon Beach: Tours & Tickets

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

4 sapphire beach

One excursion or activity

With more than 40 major beaches along the shores of St. Thomas, how do you decide which one to visit?

One of the most popular is Sapphire Beach, located on the island’s eastern end. This area of ​​St Thomas is known for its relaxed atmosphere and is home to some of the best views of neighboring St John. With a mix of red-tiled-roof homes and commercial buildings, the area is anchored by Red Hook, a popular spot for boating enthusiasts and home to historic downtown Charlotte Amalie.

An ideal stopover for cruise ship passengers exploring St Thomas for a day, Sapphire Beach boasts approximately 35 acres of powdery white sand beaches and is also an excellent choice for families. The waters are calm and suitable for snorkeling, while the sea grape trees on the far right of the beach provide some shade for sunbathers. The left side, however, is ideal for sunbathing. Keep your eyes open for ducks and iguanas roaming the shorelines.

Visitors can rent loungers and snorkel gear at the nearby Sapphire Beach Resort or opt for other water activities, including windsurfing, kayaking, jet-skiing, and sailing.

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Sapphire Beach: Tours & Tickets

5 Trunk Bay

Eight tours and activities

The United States Postal Service put it on a stamp; Condé Nast Traveler called it one of the top 10 beaches globally; National Geographic declared it like Trunk Bay. The powder-soft sands, turquoise waters, and lush green backdrop of this earthly paradise inspire superlatives in all who see it. At the same time, its location within the Virgin Islands National Park ensures that it remains free of unfriendly developments.

Offshore, a marked underwater trail is a popular snorkeling spot, and you can rent gear if you don’t bring your own. In the late afternoon, as visitors drift away, stick around for a perfect tropical sunset.

Trunk Bay Tours & Tickets

6 Coki beach

Eight tours and activities

Coki Beach is considered the party beach of St. Thomas and is always packed with families, revelers, and vendors. Snorkelers and snorkelers love the crystal clear water and sea creatures here, while sunbathers enjoy the white sand, sunshine, and street vendors offering drinks and snacks, souvenirs, sunscreen, and hair braids.

Coki Beach: Tours & Tickets

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022
24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

7 Maho Bay

Five tours and activities

Located on the north shore of St John, Maho Bay attracts families and divers alike to its calm, shallow waters. It is easily accessible as you can drive to the beach and park on the side of a road lined with coconut groves.

Maho Bay is named after the Maho beach tree, which you can identify by its heart-shaped leaves and bright yellow flowers. The narrow beach fronts a sheltered, shallow bay, a popular anchorage for yachts. You may even see a sea turtle swimming among the seagrasses bobbing just below the surface. A coral reef off the south shore of the bay offers excellent snorkeling.

At the eastern end of the beach, hikers can stroll the Goat Trail, which leads to Maho Bay Eco-Camps, a pretty enclave of cabins. Here you can rent water sports equipment and have breakfast and dinner at the Pavilion restaurant.

Maho Bay: Tours & Tickets

8 Secret Harbor Beach Resort

Three tours and activities

Secret Harbor Beach Resort is located on the East End of St Thomas, Nazareth Bay, close to Red Hook and Vessup Bay beach.

The complex is located in a privileged island area with its beautiful coastline and crystal clear waters. Some visitors opt for various water sports and activities such as kayaking, paddle boarding, and snorkeling, while others choose to relax on the beach and take in the mesmerizing views. The secluded cove creates a haven that allows very calm waters to reach the seashore and makes the place safe for children. Secret Harbor also has an on-site PADI dive shop with rental equipment of all kinds.

The resort has several places to grab a drink or a bite to eat, including the ever-popular Cruzan Beach Club, which offers a variety of Caribbean-inspired cocktails and fusion cuisine. The tiki-style bar is casual and welcoming for visitors looking for that barefoot experience. A little more upscale is the Sunset Grille, an American-style restaurant featuring traditional culinary classics with a hint of Caribbean influence.

Those with the goal of not leaving their beach chair can order Cruzan Beach Club tropical drinks and some menu items right from their beach chair or hammock.

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Secret Harbor Beach Resort: Tours & Tickets

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022
24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

9 water island

One excursion or activity

Water Island is the smallest of the major US Virgin Islands, which gives it its charm. More than shops and restaurants, it’s the thatched-roof huts and laid-back atmosphere of idyllic beaches like Honeymoon Beach that are its main draw.

Away from the beach, you can tour the underground tunnels and watchtowers of Fort Segarra, built during World War II. It is highly recommended to move around the island by bicycle.

About 160 people are lucky enough to live on Water Island, but the volcanic island remains undeveloped. Facilities are limited to a few eating establishments, dive and charter shops, a beach bar, a fishing operator, and a ferry dock.

The so-called fourth island of the US Virgin Islands, Water Island, joined the group relatively recently, in 1996, and until now has maintained its low-key atmosphere and local character.

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Water Island: Tours & Tickets

10 Mountain summit

15 tours and activities

Perched on a set of cliffs overlooking the Caribbean waters, Mountain Top is considered the oldest and tallest attraction on the island. With an elevation of 2,100 feet above sea level, it offers visitors some of the best views on St. Thomas. More than 20 neighboring islands can be seen from the top.

The views from Mountain Top are so famous that National Geographic magazine lists it as one of the top 10 panoramic views in the world. However, the site was not always accessible; the United States occupied it during the 1940s as the location of a strategic communication called Signal Hill.

Today, the site is also considered a shopping mecca and is known as the birthplace of the banana daiquiri.

Still, it’s silly if visitors like site views or purchases more. A shopping mecca, this is where people come to see a variety of unique crafts and souvenirs. Stores selling everything from T-shirts to Cruzan Rum are at Mountain Top and international brands like Tommy Bahama, Reef, Guy Harvey, and Panama Jack.

If you’re a fan of banana daiquiris, Mountain Top is the place to be. As the self-proclaimed birthplace of the beloved tropical drink, Mountain Top legend has it that in 1953, a British sea captain named George Cole was sailing from his native Barbados, searching for the perfect Caribbean cocktail. He tried Guava Gimlets in Guadeloupe, Soursop Sodas in Saba, and Mango Margaritas in Martinique, but when he reached the highest mountain of St Thomas, he found the banana daiquiri.

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Top of the Mountain: Tours & Tickets

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022
24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

11. More activities in US Virgin Islands

Waterlemon Cay

The small island of Waterlemon Cay in St John is a favorite among divers. Leinster Bay’s sandy beach serves as a launching point for a 10-minute swim to Waterlemon Cay; it is less than a mile from the island and worth every stroke. The key is home to an abundance of coral and marine life, which ranks it so highly among travelers. Unfortunately, the island has experienced a recent decline in reef fish and corals, attributed to high erosion rates and runoff from local construction.

During the swim, keep an eye on the seagrass for the first glimpses of marine life in the area. It’s not uncommon to see turtles, stingrays, sea cucumbers, and giant starfish 20 feet below.

Los lados sur y este de Waterlemon Cay están bordeados por el arrecife marginal de la región, mientras que los lados oeste y norte son más profundos. El arrecife es el mejor lugar para buscar la principal abundancia de peces de colores y otras especies marinas; busque peces loro grandes y bancos de espigas azules brillantes. Algunos buceadores juran que pueden escuchar el crujido de los “dientes” de los peces loro mientras muelen sus picos contra las rocas y el coral muerto en la superficie. Resulta que los peces loro digieren los corales y las algas que finalmente se excretan como arena fina de coral, lo que ayuda a construir las playas que tanto amamos.

Divers will find an abundance of colorful coral, sea fans, sea pens, and other colorful fish on the deeper side of the reef. Keep an eye out for eels in the deep holes, and you might even get lucky and see an octopus or two.

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12. Virgin Islands National Park

Most of St. John is covered by the Virgin Islands National Park, a stretch of preserved wilderness that’s even more remarkable when you consider the part of the island that was once cleared for sugar plantations.

Make the most of this natural wonder on the hiking trails that criss-cross the island. None take more than two hours to complete, but they cover a surprising variety of topography and vegetation, as well as historic sites like the mysterious Annaberg plantation ruins. And there’s no better way to end your walk than with a swim at one of St. John’s magnificent beaches, like beautiful Trunk Bay in the northwest of the island.

The park also protects the island’s reef, with public access allowed in the mangrove bay of Hurricane Hole, east of Coral Bay. Snorkeling is a popular activity along the coast.

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13. Haven Large Yacht

Strolling through the Yacht Haven Grande Marina to marvel at some of the impressive mega yachts that call St Thomas home is an elite experience in itself. The nearly 50-slip marina is the primary facility for these beautiful boats, some over 450 feet long.

The area’s Yacht Haven Grande can also keep you busy with duty-free shopping and plenty of places to grab a bite to eat or kick back with a cocktail or two.

Las marcas de lujo abundan en Yacht Haven Grande, que fue calificado como “Mejor Compra” durante tres años por la Encuesta de lectores de noticias diarias de Virgin Island. Marcas internacionales reconocidas como Bebe, Bulgari, Coach, Ferragamo, Gucci y Louis Vuitton se encuentran entre las tiendas de diseñadores, y el sitio también tiene una gran cantidad de joyerías. Tiendas únicas que atienden a mascotas, artesanías caribeñas, puros y electrónicos también están en la lista.

Si está buscando opciones para cenar, considere Fat Turtle, un lugar de moda con sabores caribeños con un toque de diversión. ¿Cómo no sonreír con un patito de goma flotando en su cóctel? También está Grande Cru, un bar de vinos de lujo que ofrece vuelos de degustación e interesantes cócteles creados por mixólogos. Busque platos de tapas de inspiración mediterránea.

The marina also hosts several events throughout the year, including a local farmers market, performing arts, yoga, and more.

More information

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

14. drake’s seat

14 tours and activities

For one of the best views on St. Thomas, head to the top of the mountain at Drake’s Seat. Here you can watch over Magens Bay and the British Virgin Islands, just as Sir Francis Drake was said to do from this very spot to catch pirates, privateers, and invading naval ships approaching from the north through the Drake Passage, which also bears his name. Today, this viewpoint sports a stone platform with a bench on top and is a famous peak for tour groups. However, the crowds mainly disperse at night, making Drake’s Seat an ideal place to watch the sunset.

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15. Annaberg sugar plantation

Five tours and activities

In its heyday, the Annaberg Sugar Plantation was one of 25 facilities on the island that produced sugar, molasses, and rum. All that remains today are ruins, but they are an important reminder of San Juan’s past, and visitors can walk a trail that takes them past important structures like slave quarters, windmills, and factory remains.

Learn about 18th- and 19th-century sugar production and the importance of Annaberg, where enslaved people were brought in to clear the dense slopes and cover the hillsides, allowing for agriculture. Enslaved people also participated in the actual production of sugarcane, completing tasks such as planting, harvesting, and processing. When slavery was later abolished, the plantation was subdivided into small farms.

La evidencia sugiere que había al menos 16 cabañas de esclavos en Annaberg, cada una construida con ramas tejidas con una mezcla de barro, coral y cal llamada embadurnamiento. Los visitantes pueden ver carteles que representan las áreas donde alguna vez estuvieron estas cabañas de esclavos y también ver el molino de viento de Annaberg, una estructura clave del siglo XIX y uno de los molinos de viento más altos de St John con 38 pies de altura.

Several factors contributed to Annaberg’s eventual demise, including its steep and rugged terrain, which provided:

  • Only marginal growing conditions.
  • The introduction of sugar beets, which could be grown in many climates.
  • The end of slavery in the British West Indies.

The final nail in Annaberg’s coffin was the hurricane, earthquake, and tsunami of 1867.

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16. Caneel Bay

Four tours and activities

Caneel Bay is one of the first beaches you come to when driving up North Shore Road from St John’s main port, Cruz Bay. Much of the shoreline here is monopolized by a sprawling resort, but they guarantee access to Caneel Bay, and its beach-adjacent restaurants are also accessible.

The area was once a plantation, and the ruins of the old sugar factories make an atmospheric detour. The beach is a three-dimensional postcard, while divers will delight in rays, barracuda, and other marine life.

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24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

17. Hawksnest Bay

Hawksnest Bay, one of the most beautiful and convenient beaches on St John, is a favorite for families with children and visitors coming from the ferry docks in Cruz Bay. Swaying palm trees line the narrow beach with restrooms, grills, and a shaded picnic area.

Hawksnest Bay faces east and gets plenty of sun in the morning, with shade coming in earlier than other beaches on St John. For beginning divers, an offshore reef is just a short drive away, located in shallow water, where beginning divers can see an abundance of colorful fish, coral, and sea creatures. Ambitious divers will find much to discover further afield, where large orange elkhorn coral lights up the deeper waters.

If you want to get away from the crowd, head to Little Hawknest: a quiet stretch of white-sand beach, just west of the main beach.

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18. mangrove lagoon

St. John may have most of the natural attractions of the Virgin Islands. Still, the extraordinary concentration of flora and fauna in St. Thomas’ Mangrove Lagoon makes it a premier ecotourism destination.

Small kayak groups tour the lagoon’s tiny red mangrove islands, with guides pointing out the enormous diversity of birds they attract, including herons, egrets, and ducks.

The route takes you to the deserted island of Cas Cay, where hermit crabs move among the roots of the mangroves. On your smooth-paced trips, you’ll see young fish circling this natural breeding ground. Low-impact snorkeling will bring you even closer, and you’ll see rays, eels, and jellyfish, as well as an abundance of colorful tropical fish.

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19. Salt Pond Bay

Perched on the picturesque southeast shore of St John, Salt Pond Bay shimmers with crystal clear waters off a rocky white sand beach. Since Salt Pond Bay is a longer drive from busy Cruz Bay, you can get away from the crowds and enjoy some quiet time on the beach. And as the waves crash to the north, the beach offers a tranquil haven for those seeking calm waters.

A 10-minute walk downhill brings you to this idyllic tropical setting. The tide pools are filled with all sorts of sea creatures, and divers can find an abundance of underwater life swimming out to the reef in the middle of the bay. Shade is scarce on the beach, as most of the sand is lined with short bushes, so you may want to bring an umbrella for a reprieve from the sun.

Hikers can hike the Drunk Bay Trail, which leads to a nearby salt pond and spectacular views of Drunk Bay. The Ram Hill Trail also begins here, winding its way uphill for about a mile, rewarding the hiker with sweeping views of Salt Pond Bay.

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24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

20. strong Christian

Four tours and activities

A historic fortress built in the history-rich town of Charlotte Amalie on St Thomas, this Danish-built fortress has been a cultural highlight here since 1672. It thus acts as one of the best treasure troves of ancient artifacts in the long history of the tiny Caribbean island.

Fort Christian is a beautiful example of Dutch-Caribbean architecture, built in the Gothic Revival style. It once successfully repelled foreign invaders from a bygone era. Still, today, the fortress stands as a monument to colonialism. It showcases the history of the Caribbean from the Stone Age to the present while also providing an excellent display of dutch antiques.

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21. 99 steps

One excursion or activity

In the old days of Imperial Empires and the early colonization of the Caribbean, tall ships would ballast their ballast with huge stones and unload them when filled with spices and other exotic Caribbean products, leaving the stones as a reminder of their visit. Since then, the brave residents of Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas have decided to use these stones as a stairway to the city’s hills, reminding residents of their colonial roots.

What makes the 99 steps (there are 103; 99 steps sounds better) an attraction, however, is the lush foliage on each side of the staircase and the spectacular view from the top of the mountain once you climb up. At the top, you will see Black Beard’s Castle. Innovative explorers have learned that you can ride a taxi to the top to avoid climbing 103 stairs. However, it’s easy to take the 99 steps down at a leisurely pace.

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22. Buck Island Reef National Monument

One excursion or activity

Do you want to get away from it all? Once you get to Buck Island, there’s no more “everyone” to escape from; this is about as isolated as the Caribbean (assuming you don’t own your island).

The dazzling clear waters of Buck Island Reef National Monument’s protected area are teeming with tropical fish that swim around the colorful corals. Guided tours of the underwater trails mean that even novice divers will get the most out of this marine paradise.

And after that burst of activity, the soft, white sands of Turtle Beach, voted one of the best in the world by connoisseurs, invite you to kick back and do nothing.

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24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022
24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

23. Blackbeard’s Castle (Skytsborg Tower)

High above Charlotte Amalie is Skytsborg (“sky tower”), around a defensive tower built by the Danes in 1679 to watch out for enemy ships attacking Fort Christian and other port settlements. While an actual pirate named Blackbeard (Edward Teach) roamed the nearby waters, his association with the site is due more to lore than history.

And anyway, who needs a history lesson when you have one of the fantastic views of the Caribbean before you? The visual feast includes spectacular green slopes, floating yachts, colossal cruise ships, and outlying islands. On-site facilities include a swimming pool and snack bar.

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24. Skytsborg Historical Park

Six tours and activities

Also known as Blackbeard’s Castle, Skytsborg Historical Park is one of the most beautiful landmarks on St. Thomas. The park contains, along with life-size bronze pirate statues, some of the most beautiful architecture and sea views on the island. Scenically situated on top of a hill overlooking the harbor and surrounding sea, the

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Do you need a passport to go to U.S. Virgin Islands?

As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination

24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022
24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

What islands are part of the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The territory is composed of three large islands—St.Croix, St.John, and St.Thomas—and about 50 small islets and cays.

What country owns the U.S. Virgin Islands?

DenmarkThe United States Virgin Islands are a group of islands in the Caribbean Sea. They are currently owned and under the authority of the United States Government. They used to be owned by Denmark (and called Danish West Indies).

Which U.S. Virgin Island is the best?

St. CroixSt.Croix. St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the best Virgin Island to visit for snorkelers and divers.

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24 Best us virgin islands Islands History, Geography, & Maps attractions 2022

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