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Best Things To Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

For duty-free deals on high-end merchandise, exercise the plastic along Main Street in St. Thomas; for a walk through the past, tour Fort Christiansvaern or the Estate Whim Plantation Museum of St. Croix; for a taste of nature, try hiking, swimming or scuba diving in the Virgin Islands National Park of St. John. 

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
You don't have to make a special effort to visit the Virgin Islands National Park; if you're on St. John, you're probably standing right on the edge of it. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions — Annaberg Plantation, Caneel Bay and Trunk Bay — are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers should hike at least one of the 22 trails, while families will enjoy camping overnight on the beach.
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Natural Wonders Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Virgin Islands National Park (St. John)
You don't have to make a special effort to visit the Virgin Islands National Park; if you're on St. John, you're probably standing right on the edge of it. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions — Annaberg Plantation, Caneel Bay and Trunk Bay — are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers should hike at least one of the 22 trails, while families will enjoy camping overnight on the beach.
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#2

#2 in U.S. Virgin Islands

To some, Trunk Bay is the Mecca of beaches. You'll be hard-pressed to find another Caribbean beach with sand quite so pearly or water so aquamarine. And as it's cocooned by the Virgin Islands National Park, Trunk Bay still maintains its otherworldly serenity despite its constant barrage of tourists. "I recommend going early in the morning. Several years ago we arrived around 7 in the morning and we were able to get some photos of empty beaches and had the snorkeling all to ourselves," one TripAdvisor user noted about avoiding crowds.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Trunk Bay (St. John)
To some, Trunk Bay is the Mecca of beaches. You'll be hard-pressed to find another Caribbean beach with sand quite so pearly or water so aquamarine. And as it's cocooned by the Virgin Islands National Park, Trunk Bay still maintains its otherworldly serenity despite its constant barrage of tourists. "I recommend going early in the morning. Several years ago we arrived around 7 in the morning and we were able to get some photos of empty beaches and had the snorkeling all to ourselves," one TripAdvisor user noted about avoiding crowds.
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#3

#3 in U.S. Virgin Islands

There's no beach on St. Thomas (or maybe even the entire Virgin Islands archipelago) that's as celebrated as Magens Bay. So let us add our own poetic schpeel: This north coast beach could potentially be the most photogenic and swimmable shore of the Virgin Islands. But years of positive reinforcement has led to an intense popularity with tourists who are all too willing to pay the entry fee to enjoy Magens' charms.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Magens Bay (St. Thomas)
There's no beach on St. Thomas (or maybe even the entire Virgin Islands archipelago) that's as celebrated as Magens Bay. So let us add our own poetic schpeel: This north coast beach could potentially be the most photogenic and swimmable shore of the Virgin Islands. But years of positive reinforcement has led to an intense popularity with tourists who are all too willing to pay the entry fee to enjoy Magens' charms.
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#4

#4 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
The Estate Whim Plantation Museum chronicles the 18th century life of Cruzans, especially those involved in the production of sugar cane. You can tour the great house of this Frederiksted museum and stroll through the windmill and bath house.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Estate Whim Plantation Museum (St. Croix)
The Estate Whim Plantation Museum chronicles the 18th century life of Cruzans, especially those involved in the production of sugar cane. You can tour the great house of this Frederiksted museum and stroll through the windmill and bath house.
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#5

#5 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
Caneel Bay is adjacent to the Caneel Bay Resort, but it's free for everyone to enjoy. And according to travelers, you should definitely take advantage. Very few tourists who aren't guests of the hotel ever venture to this northwest St. John beach, and as a result, it's one of the more romantic spots on the island. Settle into the hotel's top-notch restaurant for a leisurely lunch or dinner. Or for something more active, swim the 0.3-mile distance from the coast of Caneel to the even more isolated Honeymoon Beach. 
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Caneel Bay (St. John)
Caneel Bay is adjacent to the Caneel Bay Resort, but it's free for everyone to enjoy. And according to travelers, you should definitely take advantage. Very few tourists who aren't guests of the hotel ever venture to this northwest St. John beach, and as a result, it's one of the more romantic spots on the island. Settle into the hotel's top-notch restaurant for a leisurely lunch or dinner. Or for something more active, swim the 0.3-mile distance from the coast of Caneel to the even more isolated Honeymoon Beach. 
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#6

#6 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Most Virgin Islands vacationers love the chance to sample Cruzan Rum on its island of origin, and you should do the same at Frederiksted's rum distillery. Tour guides at the rum headquarters will teach you about the distilling and bottling processes. Most visitors note that while informative, the experience is quick. When the tour is complete, guides will mix you up a sample of some of the best cocktails. Favorites include the "Cruzan Sunset," the "Rum Cream" and the "Rush Hour." One TripAdvisor reviewer who has experienced the end-of-tour treat advises: "The tasting afterward was great, but make sure you go with a full stomach because I ended up a little drunk! You can buy bottles in a box and check it at the airport for free, so it makes a great souvenir to take home!"
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Wineries/Breweries Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Cruzan Rum Distillery (St. Croix)
Most Virgin Islands vacationers love the chance to sample Cruzan Rum on its island of origin, and you should do the same at Frederiksted's rum distillery. Tour guides at the rum headquarters will teach you about the distilling and bottling processes. Most visitors note that while informative, the experience is quick. When the tour is complete, guides will mix you up a sample of some of the best cocktails. Favorites include the "Cruzan Sunset," the "Rum Cream" and the "Rush Hour." One TripAdvisor reviewer who has experienced the end-of-tour treat advises: "The tasting afterward was great, but make sure you go with a full stomach because I ended up a little drunk! You can buy bottles in a box and check it at the airport for free, so it makes a great souvenir to take home!"
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#7

#7 in U.S. Virgin Islands

If you love to shop, dive in: St. Thomas has the best shopping plaza in the Caribbean. Dazzling diamonds, fragrant perfume, designer duds, shiny electronics and potent liquor stream from the cobblestones of Main Street (also known by its Danish name, Dronningens Gade) in Charlotte Amalie. And just like you've read in travel book after travel book, it's all duty-free.
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Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Main Street (St. Thomas)
If you love to shop, dive in: St. Thomas has the best shopping plaza in the Caribbean. Dazzling diamonds, fragrant perfume, designer duds, shiny electronics and potent liquor stream from the cobblestones of Main Street (also known by its Danish name, Dronningens Gade) in Charlotte Amalie. And just like you've read in travel book after travel book, it's all duty-free.
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#8

#8 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
Sandy Point is a southern beach in St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. During the day, you can swim in the shallow waters or sunbathe along the buff-colored sand. If you're lucky you might catch some turtles nesting their eggs in Sandy Point's 2-mile stretch. One TripAdvisor reviewer notes that this off-the-beaten path locale can be a bit of a challange to get to: "Once you enter the park, follow the gravel road ... to the end. [G]o slow, it is a single lane with one or two turnouts for traffic coming the opposite direction." When you finally arrive, you may recognize the setting from the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption." The spot was said to be Mexico in the flick, but the final scene was actually filmed right on Sandy Point's beach. 
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1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (St. Croix)
Sandy Point is a southern beach in St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. During the day, you can swim in the shallow waters or sunbathe along the buff-colored sand. If you're lucky you might catch some turtles nesting their eggs in Sandy Point's 2-mile stretch. One TripAdvisor reviewer notes that this off-the-beaten path locale can be a bit of a challange to get to: "Once you enter the park, follow the gravel road ... to the end. [G]o slow, it is a single lane with one or two turnouts for traffic coming the opposite direction." When you finally arrive, you may recognize the setting from the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption." The spot was said to be Mexico in the flick, but the final scene was actually filmed right on Sandy Point's beach. 
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#9

#9 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
In its heyday, the Annaberg Plantation produced sugar, molasses and rum. Now, if you swing by this ruined (but partially restored) plantation and mill, you can learn about sugar production in the 18th and 19th centuries. And depending on the day, participate in a demonstration on basket weaving or bread baking. One TripAdvisor reviewer valued the chance to inject some history into a beach vacation: "The ruins are fairly extensive and well-preserved ... the signage is great and explains what you are looking at and some background on the sugar plantations and the slaves the plantations depended on." Down the hill from Annaberg is Leinster Bay, a perfect spot for some impromptu beachcombing.
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Museums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Annaberg Plantation (St. John)
In its heyday, the Annaberg Plantation produced sugar, molasses and rum. Now, if you swing by this ruined (but partially restored) plantation and mill, you can learn about sugar production in the 18th and 19th centuries. And depending on the day, participate in a demonstration on basket weaving or bread baking. One TripAdvisor reviewer valued the chance to inject some history into a beach vacation: "The ruins are fairly extensive and well-preserved ... the signage is great and explains what you are looking at and some background on the sugar plantations and the slaves the plantations depended on." Down the hill from Annaberg is Leinster Bay, a perfect spot for some impromptu beachcombing.
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#10

#10 in U.S. Virgin Islands

You only have one place to play golf on St. Thomas, and reviewers insist it's an excellent course. The Mahogany Run Golf Course, located on the island's northeast side, features 18 holes sprawled across 6,022 yards. The par-70 course was designed by George and Tom Fazio, who particularly exerted themselves on holes 13, 14 and 15 — known as the the Devil's Triangle. "The round is only worth playing because of the Devils Triangle. These three holes have great views of the ocean and present quite a challenge," one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
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Half Day to Full Day Time to Spend
Mahogany Run Golf Course (St. Thomas)
You only have one place to play golf on St. Thomas, and reviewers insist it's an excellent course. The Mahogany Run Golf Course, located on the island's northeast side, features 18 holes sprawled across 6,022 yards. The par-70 course was designed by George and Tom Fazio, who particularly exerted themselves on holes 13, 14 and 15 — known as the the Devil's Triangle. "The round is only worth playing because of the Devils Triangle. These three holes have great views of the ocean and present quite a challenge," one TripAdvisor reviewer wrote.
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#11

#11 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Originally built to protect the Virgin Islands from piracy, Fort Frederik (also called Frederiksfort) was the site of a different sort of historic stampede. In 1848, some 8,000 slaves marched through the streets of Frederiksted to this fort in order to demand their freedom. During your visit to this historical site, you can learn more about the emancipation rally and the "Triangle Trade," a slave ship route between Europe, Africa and St. Croix. Despite offering tons of information on these subjects, the fort is met with mixed reviews. One TripAdvisor reviewer suggests that the property is not living up to its potential, saying that "a visit to the museum inside rather disappointing, as there is so much more that could be done with it. I found it rather dreary."
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Museums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Fort Frederik (St. Croix)
Originally built to protect the Virgin Islands from piracy, Fort Frederik (also called Frederiksfort) was the site of a different sort of historic stampede. In 1848, some 8,000 slaves marched through the streets of Frederiksted to this fort in order to demand their freedom. During your visit to this historical site, you can learn more about the emancipation rally and the "Triangle Trade," a slave ship route between Europe, Africa and St. Croix. Despite offering tons of information on these subjects, the fort is met with mixed reviews. One TripAdvisor reviewer suggests that the property is not living up to its potential, saying that "a visit to the museum inside rather disappointing, as there is so much more that could be done with it. I found it rather dreary."
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#12

#12 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Lemon-colored Fort Christiansvaern is a well-preserved stronghold on the waterfront overlooking a northern edge of St. Croix. The building is located on the grounds of the Christiansted National Historic Site, and previous visitors say the best way to experience Christiansvaern is with a walking or driving tour. Exploring the fort's exterior and perimeter should only take 30 minutes tops, but as long as you're here, you should also stop by the Danish Custom House, the Scale House and the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, where former St. Croix resident and founding father Alexander Hamilton worked as a young man. One TripAdvisor user conisders it a must-see: "The fort is very worth a visit when in Christiansted. It provides a concentrated insight to the history of the island — its settlement, slavery, emancipation, and eventual turnover to [the] U.S."
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Museums Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Fort Christiansvaern (St. Croix)
Lemon-colored Fort Christiansvaern is a well-preserved stronghold on the waterfront overlooking a northern edge of St. Croix. The building is located on the grounds of the Christiansted National Historic Site, and previous visitors say the best way to experience Christiansvaern is with a walking or driving tour. Exploring the fort's exterior and perimeter should only take 30 minutes tops, but as long as you're here, you should also stop by the Danish Custom House, the Scale House and the Danish West India & Guinea Company Warehouse, where former St. Croix resident and founding father Alexander Hamilton worked as a young man. One TripAdvisor user conisders it a must-see: "The fort is very worth a visit when in Christiansted. It provides a concentrated insight to the history of the island — its settlement, slavery, emancipation, and eventual turnover to [the] U.S."
... more

#13

#13 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
If you want to recline in the sun; choose Magens Bay or one of the more peaceful shores of St. Thomas' southern coast. But if you want to literally swim with the fishes, there's no better spot on the Rock than Coki Beach, located next to Coral World Ocean Park on the northeast shore. The beach is lined with vendors selling quite the variety of goods and services (from hair braiding to meat pies to marijuana), but the translucent waters (some report visibility of up to 100 feet!) are full of tropical fish. 
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Coki Beach (St. Thomas)
If you want to recline in the sun; choose Magens Bay or one of the more peaceful shores of St. Thomas' southern coast. But if you want to literally swim with the fishes, there's no better spot on the Rock than Coki Beach, located next to Coral World Ocean Park on the northeast shore. The beach is lined with vendors selling quite the variety of goods and services (from hair braiding to meat pies to marijuana), but the translucent waters (some report visibility of up to 100 feet!) are full of tropical fish. 
... more
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#14

#14 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Free
If you've got that gambling itch, book a hotel on (or take a day trip to) St. Croix. The U.S. Virgin Islands' only full-service casino is located in the town of Christiansted on the grounds of the Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort. The casino is small by big-city standards but according to TripAdvisor users, it will appease any visitors who love trying Lady Luck. In addition to video poker machines, Divi Carina Bay has more than 300 slots as well as live-action table games like blackjack, craps and Caribbean stud poker. One TripAdvisor user described the casino as "clean, modern, safe. All the usual games and gimmicks on a very small scale — snack bar (very basic), players club, bells, whistles and no natural light."
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Casinos Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Divi Carina Bay Casino (St. Croix)
If you've got that gambling itch, book a hotel on (or take a day trip to) St. Croix. The U.S. Virgin Islands' only full-service casino is located in the town of Christiansted on the grounds of the Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort. The casino is small by big-city standards but according to TripAdvisor users, it will appease any visitors who love trying Lady Luck. In addition to video poker machines, Divi Carina Bay has more than 300 slots as well as live-action table games like blackjack, craps and Caribbean stud poker. One TripAdvisor user described the casino as "clean, modern, safe. All the usual games and gimmicks on a very small scale — snack bar (very basic), players club, bells, whistles and no natural light."
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#15

#15 in U.S. Virgin Islands

One of St. Thomas' most visited tourist attractions is an indoor-outdoor aquarium filled with baby sharks, stingrays and touch starfish. Located on the northeast coast of St. Thomas, Coral World also has as walk-through aviary and an offshore underwater observatory with an 80,000-gallon coral reef exhibit.
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Zoos and Aquariums Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Coral World Ocean Park (St. Thomas)
One of St. Thomas' most visited tourist attractions is an indoor-outdoor aquarium filled with baby sharks, stingrays and touch starfish. Located on the northeast coast of St. Thomas, Coral World also has as walk-through aviary and an offshore underwater observatory with an 80,000-gallon coral reef exhibit.
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#16

#16 in U.S. Virgin Islands

One of the best views of the Charlotte Amalie harbor, Water Island and Puerto Rico awaits you atop Paradise Point, an overlook that's coupled with an on-site restaurant and gift shop. Vacationers are wowed by the spectacular panorama, but are less than impressed by the average food and the overpriced souvenirs. 
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Shopping Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Paradise Point (St. Thomas)
One of the best views of the Charlotte Amalie harbor, Water Island and Puerto Rico awaits you atop Paradise Point, an overlook that's coupled with an on-site restaurant and gift shop. Vacationers are wowed by the spectacular panorama, but are less than impressed by the average food and the overpriced souvenirs. 
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#17

#17 in U.S. Virgin Islands

Located about 2 miles off the coast of Christiansted, Buck Island is St. Croix's go-to spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. The 176-acre island is fringed with a barrier reef chock full of tropical fish and elkhorn coral. On land you just might spot a hawksbill turtle or brown pelican. There are picnic spots and restrooms on one side of the island, but you'll need to pack your own refreshments.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Buck Island National Monument (St. Croix)
Located about 2 miles off the coast of Christiansted, Buck Island is St. Croix's go-to spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. The 176-acre island is fringed with a barrier reef chock full of tropical fish and elkhorn coral. On land you just might spot a hawksbill turtle or brown pelican. There are picnic spots and restrooms on one side of the island, but you'll need to pack your own refreshments.
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