If you need a break from the hustle and bustle of city life, consider taking a trip to the United States Virgin Islands. This beautiful Caribbean destination is perfect for a relaxing vacation, and this list of the best places to visit in the Virgin Islands will show you why.
There are plenty of things to do on the islands, from lounging under palm trees on beautiful beaches to snorkeling in crystal-clear waters with sea turtles. Best of all, the Virgin Islands is home to some of the best rum in the world!
Read on to see our top 10+ picks for the best places to check out in this gorgeous Caribbean escape.
Best Places in St. John
St. John is the smallest of the three main islands in the US Virgin Islands at only 20 square miles, with 60% of its area a designated national park. Considered the “Love City” among the three islands, St. John is a tight-knit community of friendly locals. Here’s a rundown of the best places to visit when you’re in St. John:
1. Cruz Bay
Located on the outskirts of Cruz Bay, Elaine Ione Sprauve Public Library and the Museum of Cultural Arts are both a worthwhile visit. The museum is located on the old Enighed Estate, which is one of the many historic sugar plantations in the US Virgin Islands. Here, you can expect to learn about the history of St. John through photos, articles, and artifacts.
Also, Cruz Bay is the launching point if you want to go to Virgin Islands National Park.
2. Virgin Islands National Park
Virgin Islands National Park is a treat for nature lovers. The national park is filled with hiking trails, underwater sea gardens, historic ruins, petroglyphs, and protected bays. It also houses more than 800 species! Plus, you can snorkel and swim at Maho Bay and Cinnamon Bay here.
3. Trunk Bay Beach and Underwater Snorkel Trail
Trunk Bay Beach is one of the most popular tourist destinations in St. John because of its creamy white sand and turquoise waters. Additionally, the long and arching curve of the beach is so picturesque that it is one of the most photographed beaches in the world.
The Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail boasts coral reefs, marine life, and crystal-clear waters.
4. Reef Bay Sugar Mills Ruins
Reef Bay Sugar Mills Ruins offer a unique experience for visitors to St. John, as it’s home to some incredible ruins from when this was a big sugar plantation! Here, you’ll pass through old forests on your way down into valleys where you can witness Petroglyphs and well-preserved historic ruins. Afterward, we suggest going for a walk down Reef Bay Trail for even more breathtaking views, including beautiful waterfalls!
Related: How to Take Vacation as a Lawyer
Best Places to Visit in St. Thomas
What’s not to love about St Thomas? This island is a modern-day paradise for lovers of history and adventure alike. With cruise ships docking on beautiful harbors, Saint Thomas really is the perfect place for tourists! There are plenty of fun things to do here, from hiking through nature trails overlooking lush forests to driving your golf cart around the signature holes on the island.
5. Honeymoon Beach
Located on the west of Water Island and Druif Bay lies the famed Honeymoon Beach. Imagine watching the sun start as you sit on a white sand beach. Here, you can watch the waves stretch out into the endless Caribbean Sea. You can see yachts bobbing up and down in their protected bay or slip past palm trees that line this quaint shoreline. This paradise location is not commercialized, so expect to have all the privacy that you need while you’re exploring this beach!
6. Drake’s Seat
Drake’s Seat is named after Sir Francis Drake, an English explorer who circumnavigated the world in a single expedition. Legend says that he used to watch for the Spanish fleets carrying gold galleons here.
At this must-see spot, expect to see fantastic panoramic views of Magens Bay and the rest of the island here! And, if your next destinations are Mountain Top, Charlotte Amalie Lookout, or Magens Bay, then this is the perfect starting point for your day of exploring!
7. Magens Bay Beach
Magens Bay is simply the perfect place to unwind. Here, you can go for a day trip snorkeling, swimming, or even beach hopping. You could even go for a private nature and wildlife tour. Or, if you really want to experience the bay, consider renting a luxury yacht while you’re here!
8. Water Island
South of Charlotte Amalie harbor, Water Island is a must-see for any visitor to the USVI. With almost 500 acres of lush greenery and rich wildlife, it’s well worth it to hire either a golf cart or ATV for exploring! However, don’t expect to see any hotels here. The good news is that you can still go glamping or rent a quaint villa if you want to stay on this beautiful island.
9. Coral World Ocean Park & Coki Beach
Bring the kids here to Coral World Ocean Park for an exciting interactive marine experience! Here, you might even be lucky enough to see some of the wild iguanas that roam the place! You can also hand-feed stingrays and swim alongside dolphins and sea lions. Plus, there are also parasailing and helmet dive adventures here! Afterward, make sure you head on over to Coki Beach for some rum punch and shopping.
10. Charlotte Amelie
If you’re coming into Cyril E. King Airport, Charlotte Amelie is just about 4 km away. It’s the capital city of the U.S. Virgin Islands and the best place to get all your souvenir shopping done! It’s worth the time to spend an afternoon roaming around this beautiful city and also worth the effort to go to the Government House, even if just to get a photo of the intricate ironwork balconies. Fort Christian is another worthwhile visit in this city because it’s the island’s oldest standing structure.
Blackbeard’s Castle is a National Historic Landmark that also lives here, but it’s been closed since 2017 due to damages from Hurricane Irma. Still, it’s quite an experience to walk the “99 steps” (the actual count is 103) to the castle!
Best Places in St. Croix
St. Croix is the largest island of the three. It’s an eclectic mix that offers something new each time you visit. With world-class diving sites and plenty of cultures, this island has it all!
11. Christiansted National Historic Site
Not surprisingly, the best way to experience Saint Croix is by foot. Here, the Christiansted National Historic Site has five classic colonial buildings that are all worth visiting: Fort Christiansvaern, the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, the Danish Custom House, Steeple Building, and the Scale House.
Salt River Bay National Historic Park is also a great place to visit because aside from being an ecological reserve with kayak tours, it’s also where Christopher Columbus landed.
12. Buck Island Reef National Monument
The stunning Buck Island is one of the most visited attractions on St. Croix because of its magnificent surrounding sea gardens. U.S. President John F Kennedy even named it the first underwater national monument in 1961, which made it a protected area!
One of the best things to do in Buck Island Reef is to snorkel and try to learn about the many tropical fish along the marked trail. Plus, found off the north coast of the area are some fascinating wreck dives for the adventure seeker.
13. Heritage Trail
Have a self-drive tour on Heritage Trail’s 72-mile attraction filled with eye-popping scenery! Here, you can go to the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, St. George Village Botanical Garden, Fort Frederik, and many more!
So, if you’re looking for a Caribbean vacation that will offer beautiful scenery, plenty of activities, and stunning beaches, the US Virgin Islands should be at the top of your list.
With so many different places to visit on these islands, it can be hard to choose just one spot. That’s why we recommend booking a tour with Destination CLEs today. We can help you make the most of your time in this incredible corner of the world while also earning your needed CLE credits.
Have you been to the Virgin Islands yet? If so, what was your favorite part? Tell us in the comments below!
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