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
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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
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