It is not difficult to understand why more than 2 million people travel to the United States Virgin Islands each year; the islands are home to some of the world’s most breathtaking beaches.
The islands are a genuine tropical paradise since the water is crystal blue and the shoreline is dotted with palm trees, which attract both first-time visitors and those who have lived there for years. On St. John, you should make the most of the sun and the beach.
The Virgin Islands National Park encompasses approximately two-thirds of the island and is home to numerous beautiful beaches as well as undeveloped tropical forests.
Why Are the Virgin Islands So Well-known?
The United States Virgin Islands are famous for their beaches with white sand, such as Magens Bay and Trunk Bay, as well as their deepwater harbors in the Anegada Passage, such as Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted.
The Best Places to Visit in the Virgin Islands
Eco-travelers will find an oasis on St. John, where two-thirds of the island is designated as the Virgin Islands National Park. Hiking, diving, snorkeling, fishing, and kayaking, are popular things to do here.
Plan your sightseeing with our list of the top attractions and places to visit in the US Virgin Islands.
1. St. John, Virgin Islands National Park
The Virgin Islands National Park is a crown jewel of the Caribbean that receives more than one million tourists annually, making it the most popular tourist destination in the entire archipelago. If it’s at all possible, you should definitely make this one of the top stops on your tour of the US Virgin Islands.
In 1956, Laurence Rockefeller made a contribution to the National Park System consisting of 5,000 acres of property. Today, the park encompasses two-thirds of the emerald island of St. John and features a variety of attractions, such as hiking paths, protected bays, magnificent beaches, underwater sea gardens, petroglyphs, and the remnants of historic sugar mills.
2. The Island of St. John’s Trunk Bay Beach and Underwater Snorkel Trail
Trunk Bay is the beach on St. John that receives the most photographs due to its long and arching curve of creamy sand and blue sea. The beach is located inside the Virgin Islands National Park. This is also considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean, with sea grapes and coconut trees lining the shore.
A portion of the Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkeling Trail can be found right offshore from the land spit that juts out into the bay. There are up to 30 different kinds of fish that may be seen swimming around in these waters, which are exceptionally clean. Throughout the coral reef, there are important landmarks that are marked with underwater signposts.
3. St. Croix’s Buck Island Reef National Monument is a protected Reef Area
One of the most popular destinations on St. Croix, Buck Island is known for its stunning natural beauty and the lush marine plants that surround it.
When Buck Island Reef, which is located about two and a half kilometers northeast of the coast of St. Croix and in the middle of a massive marine sanctuary, was designated as the first United States underwater national monument in 1961 by President John F. Kennedy, it became protected under federal law.
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Elkhorn coral grottoes may be found here on the reef, which is known as one of the top diving destinations in the United States Virgin Islands.
4. Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas
One of the busiest and most visited cruise ports in the Caribbean is Charlotte Amalie, which also happens to be the capital of the United States Virgin Islands. It was named for the queen of Denmark and is located in the middle of the island on the south side of St. Thomas. There, charming pastel villas with red roofs are scattered among the steep green slopes.
In addition to its extensive selection of restaurants and other forms of entertainment, Charlotte Amalie is home to the highest concentration of boutiques and jewelry stores found anywhere in the Caribbean. The city also features a variety of beautiful beaches that are ideal for swimming and snorkeling.
5. Magens Bay, Saint Thomas
Magens Bay, which is usually included on lists of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is surrounded on all sides by lush hills and palm trees. The waters around this horseshoe-shaped bay are normally very quiet, making it an ideal location for a variety of water sports such as swimming, snorkeling, and kayaking.
The Tropical Discovery Hike takes participants through a 75-acre preserve that belongs to the Nature Conservancy and is also in the Magens Bay watershed. This unique area includes diverse habitats, ranging from dry forest hilltops to mangrove wetlands, with numerous native and migratory bird species.
6. Cruz Bay, St. John
Cruz Bay is St. John’s “downtown,” with a yacht-filled harbor and steep hills in the background. Until the 1970s, Cruz Bay was a quiet customs port without much activity. Today, the small town of around 3,000 people has evolved into a hip center, acquiring the nickname “Love City.”
Many options for shopping and dining are found among the pastel-colored houses dotting the hills on the outskirts of the village, and the town is a launching point for excursions to Virgin Islands National Park.
7. Cinnamon Bay, St. John
Cinnamon Bay Beach, in the beautiful Virgin Islands National Park, is the longest beach on St. John. It offers a half-mile of powdery white sand that leaves tourists plenty of room to spread out and enjoy the water.
The cay at Cinnamon Beach is an excellent spot for snorkeling, with a protected reef on the shore. It’s only about 40 feet from the entry point on the beach, and this area is great for beginners, offering plenty of coral and fish to explore in shallow waters.
8. Coral World Ocean Park, St. Thomas
Looking for somewhere fun for the whole family? Coral World Ocean Park offers an interactive marine experience that everyone will love. The park features an underwater observatory, a tropical nature trail, the Marine Gardens Aquarium, and a huge glass-enclosed coral reef tank.
Animal lovers can get up close with turtles, sea lions, dolphins, and sharks. You can hand-feed a stingray, swim with dolphins and sea lions, and come face-to-face with rainbow lorikeets.
9. Heritage Trail, St. Croix
The St. Croix Heritage Trail is a 72-mile self-guided driving tour of the island’s historical and natural attractions. Road signs guide you along the route between Frederiksted and Christiansted, north to Hamm’s Bay in the west, and to Point Udall, the easternmost point in the United States.
The Heritage Trail winds along the scenic coastline, through tropical forests, cattle country, and historic seaport towns.
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This is a great way to independently experience some of St. Croix’s most popular attractions, including the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, the lush St. George Village Botanical Garden, and Fort Frederik.
10. Christiansted, St. Croix
St. Croix’s largest town, Christiansted, lies on the north coast of the island between steep hills and a reef-protected, shallow harbor.
At one point, the bustling port of Christiansted was the capital of the territory under Danish rule, and the attractive, six-block historic district reflects the glory days of Danish prosperity.
Designed using Norway’s town of Christiania (now Oslo) as a model, the town features elegant pink and gold Neoclassical buildings and offers a broad range of accommodation, dining, and entertainment.
The United States Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands, which are two of the most popular tourist destinations in the Caribbean, lived up to my expectations in every way: they had powdery white sand beaches, fantastic options for scuba diving and snorkeling, turquoise water that was incredibly clear, beautiful hiking trails, a wide variety of boating activities, and copious amounts of rum in their drinks.