The Virgin Islands are a tropical treasure not far from the US continental coast. Just a quick jaunt from many major airports, it’s no wonder that Americans make the Virgin Islands an important summer holiday destination.
And bonus: to have fun in the US Virgin Islands, Americans don’t even need a passport! Of course, the British Virgin Islands are a different story, but each island is quick and easy to access nonetheless.
So now that you’re ready to add the Virgin Islands to your travel list, what do you need to know before arriving? There are a few steps required to navigating travel plans to the islands, such as choosing an island, booking accommodation, and planning activities. Let’s get started!
Choosing An Island
Each individual island has it’s own unique features to consider. The first step is deciding whether or not you care about needing a passport to enter the country. If you either don’t have a passport or aren’t interested in figuring it out, have no fear! There are several world-famous islands to consider. The largest US Virgin Island is St. Croix, where the population reaches almost 50,000. There’s even a university on the island! Alongside the pristine, sandy beaches, St. Croix offers luxury resorts, relaxing spas, and chic hotels to experience the beauty of the island. St. Thomas is a great choice for those who wish to explore a bit of city life, as the territory’s capital (and main port) of Charlotte Amalie is located on the island. There, you’ll be able to find delicious local cuisine and exciting historical sites… like Blackbeard’s (yes, the pirate!) Castle.
The British Virgin Islands are made up of Virgin Gorda, Jost Van Dyke, Anegada, and Tortola amongst fifty other small islands and cays. The largest and most populated island, Tortola, is popular with tourists because of it’s plethora of white sand beaches. Smuggler’s Cove, Cane Garden Bay, Brewer’s Bay, and Long Bay are a few of the island’s best beaches, all located on the northern coast. Anegada is the perfect place for scuba divers as it’s the home of Horseshoe Reef, the largest barrier reef in the entire Caribbean and the fourth largest on Earth.
Whether you’re interested in luxe amenities or a simple beachfront condo, there are plenty of options in the Virgin Islands. Finding a high end resort in St. Thomas or St. John is quick and easy through weholi, where several options like Ritz Carlton and Westin are available.
Many all-inclusive resorts are dotted along the sandy shores of the islands as well for those who desire a one-stop-shop experience. A favorite amongst visitors is Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove in St. Thomas, where the gorgeous pastel buildings offer exceptional views of the never-ending turquoise Caribbean Sea.
Just as the islands vary, the activities around the Virgin Islands are unique as well. A major attraction is the aforementioned Horseshoe Reef on Anegada. A popular spot for the yachting crowd are the sandy shores of Jost Van Dyke, where famous beach bars like Soggy Dollar Bar are open late. At Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay on the island of St. John, shopping is the main attraction. The center is full of local art, luxury clothing, and decadent restaurants to choose from.
Of course, the main attraction in the Virgin Islands is relaxing on the endless beaches. No matter what island you choose, you’re never far from a blissful experience of sun, sand, and see-through turquoise water.
Created by Mandy Burkholder