Planning Your Trip To The Virgin Islands

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If you are desperate to escape the hustle and bustle of city life, the Virgin Islands might be your perfect escape. Being United States territories, you don’t need a passport to visit and the island locals speak fluent English. The Virgin Islands are made up of three islands, St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. All three offer beautiful views of the ocean and nature, but there are also many things on the island that every visitor should experience. However, the first thing you need to consider prior to your trip, is how you will get there.

By Plane or Boat

There are two ways to get to the Virgin Islands. The first is to fly. This is convenient, quick, but usually more expensive. It gives you the flexibility of choosing your own schedule and might be a good option if you have been to the Virgin Islands before. However, if you have never been to the islands, you should consider taking a cruise to St Thomas. Cruise ships will plan out your stay and can even offer activities and things to do once you get to the island. You will also be able to meet other people while onboard and begin enjoying island life even before leaving the port. By taking a ship, you will be giving up some freedoms, but as a first time visitor to the Virgin Islands, it will also give you new contacts, ideas, and experiences that you cannot get on a plane.

What to Do in St. Thomas

Known for being the most visited of the islands, St. Thomas is where many tourists and visitors first land. Assuming this is where your plane or ship will land, your next step in planning your trip is figuring out your activities. Beginning with St. Thomas, there are many things you can do besides lay on the beach. The first thing to check out in St. Thomas is the unofficial capital city of the islands, Charlotte Amalie. This city is home to many stores and people, both locals and tourists, flock to this area for food and wares. Here you can find a meal or do some shopping before hopping in a car and exploring the island.

The best way to get out and explore St. Thomas is by car. If you can hire a local guide or driver, you will get unique stories and information from a local. Try to go to Paradise Point or Drake’s Seat for beautiful views. Both locations are perfect for taking pictures and can make an amateur photographer look like a professional. You can opt to view more nature by visiting the Coral World Ocean Park and Undersea Observatory or the Virgin Islands Ecotours. At the ocean park, you can see local marine life without needing to rent a boat or even get in the water. However, if you are looking for something a little more interactive, the ecotours allow you to choose the kind of adventure you want and will get you right into the water.

What to Do in St. John

If you have several days to spend in the Virgin Islands, you should check out the other two islands as well. St. John is a smaller island than St. Thomas, but it has just as much to offer. Being farther from the tourists, St. John has a strong focus on nature and history. St. John offers above ground and underwater trails for you to explore. Home to a national park, you can head to the visitor center and meet up with a local guide to take you on the famous Reef Bay Trail. This trail features a historic sugar mill and ancient petroglyphs. The underwater trail, on the other hand, is 225 yards long and is a snorkeling trail. It is located off of Trunk Bay beach, one of the most popular beaches in the world. However, nature isn’t all that St. John is known for.

The island of St. John also has a thriving local art scene. Specifically, you should check out Mongoose Junction. This area provides many colorful, local stores where you can purchase art, jewelry, and even clothing. This shopping extravaganza can easily take up a day as there are many delicious restaurants located nearby.

What to Do in St. Croix

If you are looking to explore more of the culture and island life of the Virgin Islands, make sure to stop by St. Croix. Here you can tour a plantation, explore one of several museums, or take a historic tour around the island. Taking a break from all of that island history, you can also tour a rum distillery. Known for producing Captain Morgan, St. Croix is home to their visitor center and rum distillery.

There are countless things to do while in the Virgin Islands. Take a trip for yourself and explore the islands and all they have to offer.