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Caribbean Islands > U.S. Virgin Islands

 
Saint Croix, Virgin Islands Weather Forecast
Language: English
Currency: U.S. dollar
Temperature: Average 82°F summer, 78° winter
Square Miles: St Croix: 84; St John: 19; St Thomas: 32
Approx Population: 108,600

The three US Virgin Islands, St Croix, St John, and St Thomas, are located at the top of the Lesser Antilles chain.  Since the 1960s, these islands have been developed to attract tourists.  Visitors may arrive by scheduled airline, cruise ship, or under their own sail.  These islands have fine white sand beaches that are mostly accessible to the public.  The US Virgin Islands have a bustling atmosphere with American conveniences and comforts, whereas the British Virgin Islands are more laid back and quiet.  The US Virgin Islands were owned by Denmark for centuries until the United States purchased them in 1917.

The US Virgin Islands offer traditional Caribbean beauty, shopping, and history.  On all three islands, driving is on the left side of the road, and two of the islands, St John and St Thomas, share the Virgin Islands National Park.  Visitors can explore the park's underwater coral gardens and seascapes by scuba diving.  And, of course, each island features its own unique attractions!

United States Virgin Islands Map

united states virgin islands - usvi map
Click map to enlarge.

U.S. Virgin Islands Links

  • St. Croix

    St Croix is the largest and most highly developed of the US Virgin Islands.  It is rich with history from the slave era, including cotton and sugar plantations, colonial and Victorian architecture, and historic seaports.  The terrain of the island varies from low, seaside hills in the east to rainforest in the west, and the island boasts a wide spectrum of beach accommodations and restaurants.  St. Croix's primary towns, Christiansted in the northeast and Fredriksted on the west coast, both have a Danish influence.  Christiansted's harbor front has restored historic houses — red-roofed buildings built of bricks by Danish merchants from days of yore.  Fredriksted is a small town with shops and a modern dock.  Both towns are frequented by cruise ship passengers looking for duty-free goods.

    Hikers can follow the Heritage Trail, golfers can play at the Carambola Golf Club or at The Buccaneer, kayakers can explore the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, and snorkelers and scuba divers can swim at the Buck Island Reef National Monument.  Other attractions include the St. George Village Botanical Garden and the St Croix lighthouse.

  • St. John
    sailing ship - st john coast, us virgin islands

    St John is the most pristine, and least crowded, of the three islands.  Two-thirds of St. John are dedicated to the Virgin Islands National Park, contributing to the island's natural beauty, which lures plant lovers and bird-watchers alike.  About forty white-sand beaches, including the popular Trunk Bay, attract swimmers and water sports enthusiasts, and 1,277-ft Bordeaux Mountain provides views of the whole island.  For an insight into history, tour the Annaberg Sugar Plantation.  Visitors to St. John will also enjoy Cruz Bay, a small town where the ferries come in from St. Thomas.  Cruz Bay reminds one of a Cape Cod village, with its town square, retail shops, and restaurants.  Lodgings in the area range from small inns to luxury resorts.

  • St. Thomas

    St Thomas is the most developed island of the US Virgin Islands.  At times, it can even feel crowded.  The capital and major shopping destination city, Charlotte Amalie, thrives on St Thomas.  Built by Danes and located on St Thomas' south coast, Charlotte Amalie features Danish street names, duty-free shops, and the sizeable Havensight Mall.  Ferries to St John leave from the city's harbor, which is usually jammed with cruise ships, yachts and sailboats.  Fort Christian, built in 1672 by Dutch settlers, offers panoramic views of the harbor.

    Outside of Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas offers twisty roads to tourist sites and beaches, where inns and resorts offer accommodation to visitors.  On the north side of the island lies Magens Bay, one of the island's most popular tourist destinations.  Magens Bay is surrounded by beautiful beaches, and hikers can explore the Magens Bay Nature Preserve on a guided tour.  St Thomas provides a unique way to see underwater life in the Coral World Ocean Park.  Golfers may enjoy the Mahogany Run Golf Course, while others can ride on the St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point and enjoy breathtaking views.


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US Virgin Islands