The Virgin Islands of the United States (aka US Virgin Islands or USVI) are a set of gorgeous tropical islands in the Caribbean (actually the Atlantic Ocean) that are officially an unincorporated US territory. They consist of four main islands (St. Croix, St. John, St. Thomas, and Water Island) as well as several dozen smaller islands, that are located just east of Puerto Rico. They share the same archipelago as the Spanish Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. The capital is Charlotte Amelie on St. Thomas, the USVI has a population of about 100,000, and the main economic activity is tourism (as well as rum). So come help out the economy, where if you’re an American you don’t even need a passport, and help out the rum industry while you’re here. The USVI is so blissful and vibrant and historic and wonderful that you’re basically guaranteed a phenomenally vacation.
The US Virgin Islands were once the Danish West Indies (after the Danish West India Company), and sold to the United States by Denmark in 1916. Way before that, Christopher Columbus originally set foot on the white sands in 1493, accidentally coughing on the natives, and naming the group of islands “Eleven Thousand Virgins” in honour of Saint Ursula and the number of virgins who were martyred with her. (Or so the story goes; maybe Chris was projecting his own complete sexual inexperience on the islands.) Either way, the Virgin Islands are known physically for their hilly volcanic landscape giving way to spectacular white sand beaches and out into breathtaking harbours and many acres of vibrant coral reefs.
St. Croix (Twin City)
The largest of the US Virgin Islands (yet feeling like a small town), St. Croix is a tranquil paradise rich in cultural diversity, vivid history, and world-class recreational activities. All year long you won’t be far from some sort of festival or cultural event, where the music like reggae and calypso and arts of the nation are on display. The pristine beaches are unreal, each one a unique experience; discover regal 18th century homes and Victorian architecture in Frederiksted; fine dining, casino and golf. The activities in the blissful waters is outstanding, where you can dive a wall, wreck, pier and reef all in one day. There are also two bioluminescent bays with their glowing water (of only seven in the entire Caribbean). Come soak up the good life in Twin City.
St. John (Love City)
Accessible only by boat, St. John is known for its well-preserved natural beauty (60% of the land a national park) and attractive beaches (such as Trunk Bay, consistently ranked in the Top 10 Beaches in the World). It’s home to Laurance Rockefeller’s former private island sanctuary luxury resort, Caneel Bay, where you can go for the perfect digital detox. St. John is incredibly romantic and the wealthiest of the Virgin Islands, known in some circles as the Beverly Hills of the Caribbean. It’s heaven on Earth here, and it can be yours.
St. Thomas (Rock City)
St. Thomas is the most cosmopolitan island, pulsing with vibrant energy in 32 square miles in size. Go shopping some wonderfully unique stores, enjoy spectacular dining and nightlife, or go sailing and snorkeling out into the sea. For a spectacular view of the island, take the Skyride gondola 700-feet above the city or climb the 99 Steps of Charlotte Amalie and behold the breathtaking vistas of the Caribbean.
Just a ten minute ferry ride south of St. Thomas, Water Island is of course home to phenomenal white sand postcard-perfect beaches (such as the dreamy Honeymoon Beach) as well as Fort Segarra, an American base from WWII that you can tour to explore the tunnels and underground rooms.
So come to the US Virgin Islands and make it an amazing vacation.