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U.S. Virgin Islands

Trip Planner Caribbean  /  U.S. Virgin Islands
(32,000+ reviews from top 30 attractions)
Adventure Nature Beaches

America's Paradise

Three main and a number of minor islands that make up U.S. Virgin Islands treat visitors to a blend of historical sites and picture-perfect beaches. Though officially American territory--nicknamed "America's Paradise"--these islands boast a mix of cultures that make for culturally enriching vacations. A no-passport-required status makes holidays in U.S. Virgin Islands extremely popular with American tourists, who flock to this tropical heaven to enjoy scenic beaches, outdoor activities, and tasty local food. The islands are also a duty-free shopping destination, which also makes them appealing to shopaholics from across the world. Plan your holiday in U.S. Virgin Islands and other destinations, from the rural, to the urban, and everything in between, using our U.S. Virgin Islands trip planner.
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Visit top cities in U.S. Virgin Islands:
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Recently planned trips to U.S. Virgin Islands

6 days in St. John BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: July, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 13 days in Caribbean BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES December, kids, slow & easy, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: December, kids ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Slow & easy 3 days in St. Croix BY A USER FROM BRITISH VIRGIN ISLANDS May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in St. Thomas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: June, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 6 days in St. Thomas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: June, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in U.S. Virgin Islands BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: September, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in St. Lucia, St. Croix & St. Thomas BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: May, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Charlotte Amalie BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, popular PREFERENCES: July ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 9 days in U.S. Virgin Islands BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES January, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: January, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 32 days in Caribbean BY A USER FROM ROMANIA September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, popular PREFERENCES: September, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 14 days in Caribbean BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES July, teens, popular PREFERENCES: July, teens ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 5 days in St. Croix BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES May, popular PREFERENCES: May ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium
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U.S. Virgin Islands Holiday Planning Guide

Three main and a number of minor islands that make up U.S. Virgin Islands treat visitors to a blend of historical sites and picture-perfect beaches. Though officially American territory--nicknamed "America's Paradise"--these islands boast a mix of cultures that make for culturally enriching vacations. A no-passport-required status makes holidays in U.S. Virgin Islands extremely popular with American tourists, who flock to this tropical heaven to enjoy scenic beaches, outdoor activities, and tasty local food. The islands are also a duty-free shopping destination, which also makes them appealing to shopaholics from across the world.

Places to Visit in U.S. Virgin Islands

Islands of U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas: The starting point of most U.S. Virgin Island itineraries, the isle of St. Thomas is also the archipelago's most built-up and most heavily visited, with plenty of luxury resorts and cruise ship traffic.

St. John: Home to a lush national park and much quieter than its more populous neighbor, St. John offers some of the best opportunities for adventure/outdoor tourism in U.S. Virgin Islands, with plenty of jungle to explore and beaches to relax on.

St. Croix: Larger than the other two main islands but less busy because of its remoteness, paradise-like St. Croix has hosted famous historical figures--including Christopher Columbus and Alexander Hamilton--throughout its surprisingly eventful history.

Cities in U.S. Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie: The capital of the archipelago, Charlotte Amalie has a population of only around 20,000, but with so many visitors arriving by cruise ship and airplane, feels much more energetic.

Christiansted: History prevails in the largest town on St. Croix, Christiansted, which has seen indigenous habitation, colonial conquest, and growing popularity among tourists throughout its storied history.

Popular U.S. Virgin Islands Tourist Attractions

Magens Bay: Likely a highlight of your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation, this picturesque cove ranks among the world's best beaches, with all the facilities you could need just a stone's throw away.

Coki Point Beach: Known in particular for its excellent snorkeling, this beach offers azure waters and pristine sand--prepare for a big crowd of tourists looking to enjoy the coastline's many charms.

Trunk Bay: Blending a scenic, rocky coastline with the vibrant colors of the underwater world, this curved beach offers some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean.

Coral World Ocean Park: Observe the vibrant, colorful marine life of a coral reef without having to immerse yourself in the water at this eco-tourism complex, which also offers a butterfly garden, dining options, and areas for private events and weddings.

Sapphire Beach: Try your hand at water sports--including kayaking, parasailing, and jet skiing--at this white-sand beach, found on many U.S. Virgin Islands itineraries.

Maho Beach: Set against the backdrop of jungle-covered green hills, this serene beach offers the perfect combination for a relaxing afternoon, with easy access but relatively small crowds.

Cinnamon Bay Beach: A scuba diver's delight, this scenic beach serves as a hub for visitors to the expansive national park that surrounds it.

Waterlemon Cay: Swim out through warm waters to reach this impressive, lively coral formation, which serves as one of the most distinctive attractions in U.S. Virgin Islands.

Mountain Top: The highest point on St. Thomas, this tacky but entertaining tourist destination offers some of the best views over the island and the azure waters that surround it.

Lindquist Beach: Patrolled by lifeguards, this picturesque stretch of soft sand sits in a protected zone on St. Thomas and serves as the perfect spot to relax with friends or family.

Planning a U.S. Virgin Islands Vacation with Kids

Places to Visit in U.S. Virgin Islands with Kids

With no shortage of beaches and excellent tourist infrastructure, the kids will love your family's U.S. Virgin Islands vacation.

Start in Charlotte Amalie, where the kids can choose to explore the town by bicycle or simply splash around at the multitude of beaches.

There's plenty more snorkeling, swimming, and hiking for the little ones to burn off their energy across the islands, with St. John and St. Croix offering equally pleasant settings.

Things to Do in U.S. Virgin Islands with Kids

Not surprisingly, outdoor activities remain among the best things to do in U.S. Virgin Islands for those traveling with children.

Introduce your kids to the wonders of the underwater world by visiting Coral World Ocean Park, where they can learn about and observe the colorful marine life without getting wet.

When they're ready to explore a wider and deeper marine environment, visit Coki Point Beach or Waterlemon Cay, where the little ones can have a go at snorkeling in perfect conditions.

If swimming isn't high on your kids' list of priorities, take them for a pleasant walk up to Mountain Top, where they can survey the scenery below or snap a few photos.

Tips for a Family Vacation in U.S. Virgin Islands

You shouldn't have any trouble navigating your U.S. Virgin Islands itinerary as a family--the archipelago's well-established tourist infrastructure takes the stress out of the planning process.

Despite this, you'll still have to contend with the often rugged environment surrounding you, so bring plenty of sunscreen and insect repellent to protect the little ones from sunburn and unpleasant bug bites.

Reserve your accommodations in advance--most resorts offer a range of family rooms, but these can be difficult to get at the peak of the season.

Dining and Shopping on Holiday in U.S. Virgin Islands

Cuisine of U.S. Virgin Islands

Food prepared using locally sourced ingredients stands out as a highlight of any U.S. Virgin Islands vacation, a great opportunity to try typical Caribbean dishes, such as fish soups and spicy grilled meats, as well as Indian-influenced meals like "roti," a spicy curry wrapped in thin bread.

If you're not into meat dishes, try "callaloo," a thick vegetarian stew made from native plants, or "fungi," a cornmeal dish eaten with boiled fish.

Shopping in U.S. Virgin Islands

Many people take a trip to U.S. Virgin Islands intending to take advantage of the archipelago's low alcohol prices. You can take up to six bottles of alcohol back to the U.S. mainland, so consider picking up some of the archipelago's signature rum.

Explore Charlotte Amalie to find the best range of shops and malls, which tend to offer lower prices than the mainland on electronics, tobacco, perfume, and jewelry.

Know Before You Go on a Trip to U.S. Virgin Islands

Interesting Facts About U.S. Virgin Islands

● Unlike other American territories, U.S. Virgin Islands observe the left-hand traffic rules

St. Thomas is home to the Western Hemisphere's second-oldest synagogue, dating back to the 11th century

● Christopher Columbus visited U.S. Virgin Islands in 1493

● The archipelago boasts the Caribbean's oldest baobab tree, brought across from southern Africa

Things You Should NOT Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

Despite the growing popularity of U.S. Virgin Islands vacations, which bring many foreigners to the archipelago, most locals remain quite conservative when it comes to behavior and dress code.

If your itinerary takes you away from popular resort hubs like Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, avoid walking around in revealing swimwear and dress appropriately for the street when you leave the beach.

People might consider you rude if you don't acknowledge them as you pass--a friendly smile and a hello should do the trick.

Holidays & Festivals in U.S. Virgin Islands

As an official territory of the United States, U.S. Virgin Islands share most of the mainland's major public holidays, including Independence Day (July 4), Thanksgiving (fourth Thursday in November), and Veterans Day (November 11).

The archipelago also has a few of its own events, such as Transfer Day (March 31), the celebration of the islands' move from Danish to American rule, and Liberty Day (November 1), held in honor of local workers' rights campaigner D. Hamilton Jackson.

If you vacation in U.S. Virgin Islands during Carnival time (April/May in St. Thomas, and later in the year in other destinations across the archipelago), you can partake in festivities and feasts on the street--a great way to meet the locals, try their food, and make new friends.

Useful U.S. Virgin Islands Travel Tips

Common Greetings in U.S. Virgin Islands

One of the first things you'll notice on your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation is how friendly local people are, towards each other and foreign visitors.

You should repay this hospitality by greeting people you pass by offering a friendly smile and saying hello, then asking how the other person is. Expect to hear some exuberant responses, accompanied by big smiles.

Formality holds little sway in this warm tropical environment--instead of a straightforward handshake, you'll be better off clasping the other person's hands, offering a brief hug, or simply going for a fist-bump.

Climate of U.S. Virgin Islands

No matter what time of year you choose for your U.S. Virgin Islands holiday, you can expect hot and humid tropical weather, with little variation between seasons and islands.

Average high temperatures hover between 29 C and 32 C (85 F and 90 F), with the mercury rarely dipping below 20 C (68 F).

Rain and thunderstorms are common year round, especially between May and October, which is also the sunniest time of the year.

Check the conditions if planning your U.S. Virgin Islands vacation between June and November--the archipelago has a long history of damage from hurricanes, most common during these months.

Transportation in U.S. Virgin Islands

Shared taxis and so-called "dollar buses" represent the best ways to get around during your U.S. Virgin Islands holiday. You can catch the buses for rides between major towns, while shared taxis tend to go to the more popular tourist spots.

Prepare for a bumpy ride, though, as most local roads remain unpaved and include some hairy turns. If driving a rented car, remember to stick to the left-hand side of the road.

Larger towns, such as Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted, have busy ports, with an abundance of cruise ships offering transport between islands.

Tipping in U.S. Virgin Islands

Tip at least 15 percent at full-service restaurants, as service charges usually aren't included and serving staff rely on this income to get by.

At hotels, tip porters a small amount per bag, and offer a tip to concierges and valets if they've provided good service.

Taxi drivers also expect an extra 15 percent gratuity on top of the standard fare.