Tourist Attractions in United States Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands is among the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean. The three main islands are St Thomas, St Croix, and St John, all of which offer something a little different in terms of a travel experience.
St Thomas is the most visited of the US Virgin Islands. It is generally considered the gateway to the rest of the islands and is also a major port of call for cruise ships. This is where visitors will find upper end stores and fine restaurants, but it also has lovely beaches and historical sites. Most of the action centers around Charlotte Amalie, the capital city, located on a well protected harbor, with white washed homes and lovely colonial architecture. The five story tower known as Blackbeard's Castle dates to 1678 is said to have been used by Blackbeard in the 1800s. Some of the other key sights in the city include the Grand Hotel, the staircase known as 99 Steps, the Government House, and the unique Frederik Lutheran Church. For those looking for a little sun and sand there are a number of beaches in the vicinity, with the most popular being at Bolongo Bay, Brewers Bay Beach, Lindbergh Bay, and Morningstar Bay.
Around St Thomas there are many places to escape the crowds. The North and West Coasts of the island are quieter and feature secluded beaches and undeveloped areas. Magens Bay is one of the most scenic locations with a nice beach for swimming, snorkeling, or kayaking. At the east end of St Thomas is Coral World Ocean Park, a very popular aquarium and marine park, where visitors can see marine life, or get up close with a guided underwater walk.
St Croix is the largest of the US Virgin Islands and is also a cruise ship destination. The port town of Christiansted is the main point of action on the island, with a large historic district showcasing the colonial history. Christiansted National Historic Site, which contains the well preserved 18th C Fort Christiansvaern is another of the town's prominent attractions. The town of Frederiksted, which is home to a number of colonial Victorian buildings, is a quieter destination on St Croix. There are some good restaurants, a couple of beaches, and a market. Other major points of interest around the island are Buck Island Reef National Monument on the East Coast, and the Estate Whim Plantation Museum, offering a glimpse into the days of sugar cane plantations, located along the West Coast.
The much smaller island of St John is a great spot for those who enjoy nature and want a quiet get away. The island has forty beaches, some of which are surely among the most beautiful in the Caribbean, many nature trails, and good locations for snorkeling. One of the great highlights is the Trunk Bay Beach & Underwater Snorkel Trail, with an underwater sign posted snorkeling route. Also of note around the island are the remains of former sugar mills.