Updated: Aug 29
Why We Love the USVI's: A slice of paradise without the hassle of ever leaving the U.S.
Did you know? The US Virgin Islands are the only place in the USA where you drive on the left side of the road.
U.S. Virgin Islands
The United States Virgin Islands, officially the Virgin Islands of the United States, are a group of Caribbean islands and an unincorporated and organized territory of the United States. The islands are geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago and are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles to the east of Puerto Rico and west of the British Virgin Islands. The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of the main islands of Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas and 50 other surrounding minor islands and cays. The territory's capital is Charlotte Amalie on the island of St. Thomas.
Previously known as the Danish West Indies of the Kingdom of Denmark–Norway (from 1754 to 1814) and the independent Kingdom of Denmark (from 1814 to 1917), they were sold to the United States by Denmark in the 1917 Treaty of the Danish West Indies and have since been an organized, unincorporated United States territory.
"Sailors flock here for the cooling trade winds, perfect for yachting."
As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a passport for U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
Getting to the USVI is simple, either by air or sea. The Henry E. Rohlsen International Airport serves St.Croix and the Cyril E. King Airport serves St.Thomas and St.John. By sea ferries run between all three US Virgin Islands, as well as to and from the British Virgin Islands and, on a seasonal basis, Puerto Rico but, the best option is renting a yacht with BOATLIFEVIP saving you the hassle of logistics with a crewed vessel, provisions and water-toys.
The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only U.S. jurisdiction that drives on the left. The best way to get around any U.S. Virgin Island is in a car – either your own rental or a taxi. Tourism is the Islands' biggest industry; with 2.5–3 million annual visitors, the islands frequently are a starting point for private yacht charters to the neighboring British Virgin Islands.
From the moment you arrive, you’ll find yourself falling naturally in rhythm with the heartbeat of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The secluded, pearly white beaches of the USVI contrast starkly with the turquoise waters. Sailors flock here for the cooling trade winds, perfect for yachting. However, the best time to visit is from April to June, when the weather is mild, with little rainfall, and the rush of peak season (December to March) is over. July to October is hurricane season.
Which US Virgin Island is best for you entirely depends on what you’re interested in and how you travel. St. Thomas is the best US Virgin Island for families, boaters, and cruise passengers. St. John is the best US Virgin Island for adventure seekers, beachgoers, snorkelers, and hikers. And St. Croix is the best US Virgin Island for scuba divers, history buffs, and those looking for a relaxed atmosphere.
"The USVI’s are composed of three major islands, an epic National Park, and a handful of minor outlying islands."
Landmarks and Places of Interest:
St. Thomas – the most populated US Virgin Island is the territory’s economic hub and primary cruise port
St. Croix – diverse Caribbean culture encompasses the largest US Virgin Island
St. John – home to the Virgin Islands National Park and two small villages, Cruz Bay and Coral Bay
Virgin Islands National Park – tropical forests, hiking trails, sugar mill ruins, and secluded beaches are prominent in this unique US National Park
Water Island – home to a few hundred residents, the 4th US Virgin Island is a fun day trip from St. Thomas
Pristine beaches, vibrant sea life, remote islands, and untouched natural beauty await you in the USVIs:
Magens Bay on St. Thomas – this mile-long stretch of white sand is a must-see in the US Virgin Islands, and one of the best things to do in St. Thomas.
Buck Island near St. Croix – explore the vibrant reefs of the marine sanctuary before exploring the equally as stunning beach
Snorkeling on St. John – the beaches of St. John’s north shore feature crystal blue water and pristine coral reefs, making for one of the best things to do in St. John.
Hiking in Virgin Islands National Park – old forest roads wind through tropical forests before descending into secluded shores
Honeymoon Beach on Water Island – visit this stunning beach via boat on one of the many day charters departing St. Thomas
“From world-class diving to deep-sea fishing, the U.S. Virgin Islands is home to an abundance of exhilarating water activities. Sailing, snorkeling, kayaking and paddle boarding are popular ways to see the tropical beauty of the islands, while visitors seeking bigger thrills should try windsurfing or jet skiing. ”
Must see places in USVI:
Virgin Islands National Park
Mountain Top St. Thomas
Buck Island Reef National Monument
Coral World Ocean Park
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge
Christiansted National Historic Site
Sion Hill Distillery
The 99 Steps
If you and your friends or family are looking for a place where you can do it all like visit historical sites, enjoy the beaches, shop, and eat the most exotic and delicious food, then the USVI’s are the place for you. Make sure to visit our Destinations Blog for more tips about top places to visit and things to do in this fascinating world of boating in the Caribbean.