Destinations

The beautiful US Virgin Islands are comprised of three main islands – St Croix, St John and St Thomas; and also, the smaller islands, Water Island and Great St James. It also has about 50 small islets and cays.

The islands offer a variety of attractions from elegant dining to beach bars; secluded beaches, water sports and pristine nature preserves. Vacationing in the US Virgin Islands will surely be an unforgettable experience!

St. Thomas

Charlotte Amalie

Charlotte Amalie surrounds Long Bay and is the capital of the US Virgin Islands. It’s considered the main “city area” and includes the cruise ship port and Yacht Haven Grande Marina with its many super yachts. There are also lots of shops and restaurants.

Trip Advisor’s Top Five Attractions in Charlotte Amalie:

  1. St Thomas Synagogue – The second oldest synagogue in the Western Hemisphere.
  2. 99 Steps – The steps were created from the bricks that comprised the ballasts of Danish ships in the 1600’s.
  3. Main Street – The oldest warehouse in Charlotte Amalie, made of all brick and stone.
  4. Fort Cristian – A 17 th century Danish fort.
  5. Blackbeard’s Castle – With its larger than life statutes of all the famous pirates that roamed the Caribbean.

Magens Bay Beach

Magens Bay is in the Northside region of St Thomas and is its most popular beach.

Many refer to this bay as one of the world’s most beautiful. The water is usually calm and great for swimming and relaxing. Snorkeling is possible along the coast, but Magens Bay is not known for good snorkeling.

Facilities include restaurants and bars, freshwater showers and life guards. You can rent kayaks, beach chairs, floats and snorkel gear.


Red Hook

A small but vibrant town on the far east end of the island. It’s known for its beautiful beaches, excellent watersport facilities and its lively night life.

You’ll find Red Hook Marina, fishing excursions, ferries, restaurants, bars and island-style shops. There is also kayaking and wind surfing in nearby Vessup Bay.

You can walk 20 minutes north from town and find Sapphire Beach with its white sand and coral reefs.

Water Island – Located in Charlette Amalie Harbor

The island is a little less than 500 acres in size and is primarily a residential island.

Main attractions are Honeymoon Beach, plantation ruins and Fort Segarra, an underground fort partially constructed by the U.S. during World War II.

Honeymoon Beach is a lovely place to spend the day swimming, snorkeling and just relaxing.

Dinghy’s Beach Bar is a fun place to enjoy lunch, snacks and drinks.


Lindberg Bay – Emerald Beach

Close to the airport and downtown Charlotte Amalie

There are several restaurants and watersport activities, including kayaks, snorkeling and windsurfers.

If the wind and seas are from the south, you will not want to anchor here.


Coki Point Beach

Located next to Coral World Marine Park.

This beach is relatively small, but it’s a lovely beach located on Coki Point. The water is crystal clear and usually very calm. There is a rocky reef area near shore where the snorkeling is fantastic.

This beach gets pretty crowded and more so when the cruise ships come in.

Facilities include umbrella rentals, several food and drink venders, chair rentals and venders selling a variety of wares.

Great St James

Christmas Cove

Located on the west end of Great St James Island – Christmas Cove is home to the World-famous Pizza Pi, a floating pizzeria. The snorkeling here is really great as well.

Good stop for the beginning or end of a charter as it’s close to pick-up and drop-off points.

St John

St John is a beautiful island, full of magnificent white sand beaches and crystal-clear turquoise water.

Over 60% of St John belongs to the US Virgin Islands National Park.

Great Cruz Bay

Anchoring and mooring in Cruz Bay is prohibited.

This is St John’s main town and port, so you’ll find plenty of restaurants and shops along the wharf and surrounding streets.

It is also where you could catch the ferry to St Thomas. The Virgin Islands National Park Visitors Center is a short walk from the ferry dock.


Hawsnest Bay Beach/Hawksnest Bay

Beautiful beach with plenty of shade under the sea grape trees. This beach is not as protected as some of the other beaches, so there will be a bit of surf.

This is not the best bay for snorkeling but look for the shallow reef just off the center of the beach and the waves breaking over the shallowest portion and snorkel to the right and left of the waves. There are a variety of corals and colorful fish including Parrotfish, Angelfish, Wrasses, French Striped Grunts, Atlantic Blue Tangs and sea turtles.


Cinnamon Bay Beach

Cinnamon Bay Beach is the longest beach on St John and is great for families with children.

This is truly a beautiful pristine beach with tall palm trees and plenty of sea grape trees for shade.

There is a small cay located less than 100 yards off the shoreline along the east end of the bay, which is great for snorkeling and has a nice shallow entry. You will find coral, sea grasses and sea life including turtles and stingrays.

The best snorkeling at Cinnamon Bay is off the eastern end of the beach (right as you face the water). About 40 ft. from where you’ll enter the water is a large plateau reef structure with lots of marine life and corals.

Facilities include camping, cottages, snack bar and grill, souvenir shop, showers, restrooms and watersport rentals.


Francis Bay – Awesome family beach

May be a little less crowded than some of the other beaches

White sand and excellent swimming and snorkeling!

Good snorkeling on both sides of the bay – the eastern side may offer slightly more diversity including schools of fish, Tangs, Parrot fish and Reef squid. The center of the bay is mostly sea grass beds and home to turtles, rays and sometimes gigantic manta rays!


Watermelon Cay – Leinster Bay

Ranked the #1 St John attraction on Trip Advisor.

Watermelon Cay can be subject to strong currents off the far side of the Cay, so be careful.

Watermelon Cay is a small cay surrounded by a reef located in Leinster Bay and is considered one of the best snorkeling spots on the island.

The water entry is at the small sandy beach just west of the Cay or at a pebble and boulder shoreline adjacent to the Cay. Once you’re in the water, head for the western edge of the Cay. It’s protected from wind and waves.

Honeymoon Beach in Caneel Bay

White sand and crystal-clear shallow water with easy access.

Facilities include, kayaks, paddle boards, beach chair rentals, changing rooms and rest rooms. You will also find Bikinis on the Beach Bar and Grill.

The reef on the west side of the beach between Honeymoon and Salomon beach has very good snorkeling. Since much of the reef is in fairly shallow water, you’ll see the fish, corals, turtles and rays up close!


Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay is named for the Leatherback turtles, which are endemic to the USVI and are locally known as trunks.

Trunk Bay’s famous beach is one of the most visited and photographed beaches in the USVIs. It’s over a quarter mile of beautiful white sand. It has also been voted one of the top ten beaches in the world by Conde Nast Traveler magazine!

You can enjoy the self-guided Underwater Snorkeling Trail (650 ft) with underwater information about coral formations and sea life.

Facilities include a snack bar/grill, snorkel gear rentals, beach chair rentals, showers, restrooms and lifeguards.


Maho Bay Beach – Great family beach

Another tourist favorite with beautiful white sand and shade from the coconut palms.

Maho Bay Beach has a light surf and the sandy bottom extends out about 20 yards making it perfect for swimming, snorkeling and playing in the water – it’s great for kids and adults alike!

Fantastic snorkeling for seeing sea turtles and rays that feed in the sea grasses just off the beach. You’ll also likely see pelicans, tarpon, rays and schools of bait fish.

The eastern shoreline runs out to the point separating Little Maho from Maho Bay Beach – the water is fairly shallow. You’ll find a variety of corals and fish including Damsel, Tangs, Parrot fish, Angelfish and maybe a Lionfish.

The western shoreline extends out about 400 yards to a point between Maho and Cinnamon Bay. The coral and fish are more plentiful the further you go from the beach; and it is also fairly shallow. You’ll likely find Atlantic Blue Tangs, several species of Wrasse (skinny colorful fish with a sharp nose), Grey and French Angelfish and several varieties of Damsel fish. You may see a Nurse shark, these are slow moving and not a threat, however you should not harass or try to touch them.

America Hill Great House Ruins is high up on the ridge to the west. This is a 19th century Caribbean house. You can hike to it via the Cinnamon Bay Trail. The America Hill Trail starts on the eastern end of Cinnamon Bay ruins, across from the entrance to Cinnamon Bay Beach. It’s a fairly short but steep hike.


Other Interests:

A fun hike through the Annaberg Plantation ruins, it’s a self-guided tour of the sugar mill ruins. it’s a flat walk along the shoreline for the most part.

St Croix

St Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands. Its two main towns are Christiansted and Frederiksted.

St Croix is well known for its diving sites.

Popular sites to see:

Christiansted National Historic Site

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve

Cruzan Rum Distillery

Whim Plantation, a restored and preserved sugar plantation

Note: Information provided by beachguide.com, Trip Advisor, VI Now and Wikipedia