Unplug in the US Virgin Islands

Beyond its colonial history and luxe resorts, the US Virgin Islands are the perfect warm-weather destination for scuba diving, snorkeling, horseback riding and hiking. See our recommendations.
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Mountain Top (St. Thomas)

Planning a trip to the US Virgin Islands? Visit the Mountain Top for amazing views of the island from St. Peter Mountain, the highest peak in St. Thomas. Thousands of travelers flock to this popular attraction to sample the world-famous banana daiquiris served here.

Caneel Bay Resort (St. John)

Environmentalist Laurence Rockefeller discovered this hidden gem on a family cruise. Open since 1956, the luxurious Caneel Bay Resort is the perfect place to unplug with TV- and telephone-free rooms. Guests will enjoy the resort’s proximity to Virgin Islands National Park and 7 beaches, including Paradise Beach and Hawksnest Beach.

Coral World Ocean Park (St. Thomas)

Get up-close and personal with sharks, sea lions and turtles at Coral World Ocean Park in St. Thomas. The park has dozens of activities and exhibits to keep kids and adults occupied. See the predator tank and coral reef at the Undersea Observatory Tower; hold a hermit crab or sea star at the Touch Pool; and watch stingrays glide around in Stingray Lagoon.

Sailing on the Caribbean Sea

Enjoy the open sea! Set sail on a relaxing voyage around the US Virgin Islands. A few charter boat companies provide intimate trips for 2 or fun excursions with groups of 10 people or more.

Christiansted National Historic Site (St. Croix)

Step back in time and explore Christiansted National Historic Site. Its 18th- and 19th-century structures include the Danish West India & Guinea Co. warehouse, where the first US secretary of Treasury, Alexander Hamilton, worked as a young adult. This site was also where local sugar plantation owners would buy slaves arriving by ship from Africa.

Estate Whim Plantation (St. Croix)

Located near Frederiksted, the Estate Whim Plantation is just one of 300 plantations located on St. Croix. Get a sense of what life might have been like on a sugar plantation during the 18th century. Take a tour of the restored 12-acre estate to see the cookhouse, servants’ quarters, windmill (pictured) and more. We recommend visiting the on-site museum, which features historical artifacts, antiques, plantation tools and photos.

Mangrove Lagoon (St. Thomas)

Go on a guided kayak tour through Mangrove Lagoon, located on the southeast coast of St. Thomas, to explore the plant and marine life native to this wildlife sanctuary. Tropical reef fish, mangrove crabs, herons and white-crowned pigeons are just a small sample of what you can see during an excursion around this natural wonder.

Sprat Hall Plantation (St. Croix)

Go horseback riding in the lush rain forest and on the white-sand beach near St. Croix’s Sprat Hall Plantation. Paul and Jill’s Equestrian Stables provides guided nature tours around the island to see Danish ruins, wild bromeliads, gigantic termite nests, honeybee hives and more.

Snorkeling Around the Islands

Explore the marine life native to the US Virgin Islands. Go snorkeling! In St. John, Trunk Bay, Caneel Bay and Maho Bay are the best places to go because of the shallow entry and calm waters. It’s not uncommon to see turtles, stingrays and lots of fish at these spots. St. Thomas’ Coki Point Beach and St. Croix’s Buck Island are also popular places for snorkeling.

Mahogany Run Golf Course (St. Thomas)

Designed by American golfers and golf-course architects Tom and George Fazio, Mahogany Run Golf Course attracts thousands of visitors each year. The 3-hole stretch called the Devil’s Triangle is not only a challenge for amateur golfers, but it’s also a test for some of the best players. Guests can grab a sandwich at Coconuts Snack Shack or head to the Grille at Mahogany Run for a more hearty meal and extensive wine list.

Cruzan Rum Distillery (St. Croix)

Get in the spirit and take a tour of the Cruzan Rum Distillery. The owners, the Nelthropp family, provide visitors with a behind-the-scenes view of the distillery and show guests how St. Croix’s most popular rum is made.

Westin St. John Resort (St. John)

The Westin St. John Resort is the place to go for a relaxing getaway. This 47-acre, lush, luxe resort features a quarter-acre outdoor pool, a nearby 18-hole golf course overlooking the Caribbean Sea, and a 24-hour, full-service spa. The Westin Kids Club provides families with a wide array of activities and amenities, including arts and crafts, beach volleyball, movies, scavenger hunts, sand-castle contests, feeding the iguanas, board games and a Sony PlayStation.

Virgin Islands National Park (St. John)

Outdoor enthusiasts should visit Virgin Islands National Park, which covers the majority of the island of St. John and all of Hassel Island, near St. Thomas. More than 500,000 people visit the park each year because it’s a popular spot for scuba diving, snorkeling and hiking. There are more than 20 trails, but we recommend hiking the Reef Bay Trail to see petroglyphs and the Cinnamon Bay Trail to explore the archeological sites and historic ruins.

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