Protect Your Trip »

Protect Your Trip » Search, compare and buy the best travel insurance for the lowest price

Free Things To Do in U.S. Virgin Islands

If you have extra time, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (St. Croix) is worthwhile.
  • #1
    View all Photos
    #1 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Natural Wonders, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Natural Wonders, Free, Neighborhood/Area
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    If you're on St. John during your Virgin Islands vacation, you're likely right on the edge of Virgin Islands National Park. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions, such as Annaberg Plantation and Trunk Bay Beach, are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers and families alike have their choice of more than 20 trails to hike.

    Some sections of the park, such as popular Cinnamon Bay Resort and its campgrounds, are still undergoing repair and revitalization following the 2017 hurricanes. But travelers agreed that there's still plenty to do at the park, enjoying the different beaches and hiking trails it offers, not to mention the water activities, such as boating and snorkeling.

    If you're on St. John during your Virgin Islands vacation, you're likely right on the edge of Virgin Islands National Park. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions, such as Annaberg Plantation and Trunk Bay Beach, are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers and families alike have their choice of more than 20 trails to hike.

    Some sections of the park, such as popular Cinnamon Bay Resort and its campgrounds, are still undergoing repair and revitalization following the 2017 hurricanes. But travelers agreed that there's still plenty to do at the park, enjoying the different beaches and hiking trails it offers, not to mention the water activities, such as boating and snorkeling.

  • #4
    View all Photos
    #4 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Museums, Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Museums, Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Annaberg Plantation was established in the late 1700s by Danish colonists. Enslaved workers farmed 1,300 acres of sugar cane and produced 100,000 tons of sugar a year. The site also produced molasses and rum. Today, Annaberg provides an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the plantation's role in the African slave trade as well as how it produced its goods. The plantation and its mill are in slight ruin, but some parts have been restored. You'll be able to see the enslaved peoples' quarters, their work sites and the guardhouse that prevented them from escaping. Depending on the day, you may also be able to watch a demonstration on basket weaving or bread baking.

    Travelers enjoyed their visits to the ruins. While they appreciated both the ruins and the spectacular views from the site, visitors were particularly fond of the knowledgeable employees. They also warned that those with mobility issues may have trouble navigating some of the steps on-site.

    Annaberg Plantation was established in the late 1700s by Danish colonists. Enslaved workers farmed 1,300 acres of sugar cane and produced 100,000 tons of sugar a year. The site also produced molasses and rum. Today, Annaberg provides an opportunity for visitors to learn more about the plantation's role in the African slave trade as well as how it produced its goods. The plantation and its mill are in slight ruin, but some parts have been restored. You'll be able to see the enslaved peoples' quarters, their work sites and the guardhouse that prevented them from escaping. Depending on the day, you may also be able to watch a demonstration on basket weaving or bread baking.

    Travelers enjoyed their visits to the ruins. While they appreciated both the ruins and the spectacular views from the site, visitors were particularly fond of the knowledgeable employees. They also warned that those with mobility issues may have trouble navigating some of the steps on-site.

  • #5
    View all Photos
    #5 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Beaches, Free, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free, Parks and Gardens
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Sandy Point is a beach on the southwestern tip of St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and nearly 400-acre natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. 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. 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.

    Reviewers raved about the beach, saying it is pristine and well worth a visit. The trade-off, they warned, is that you will find no restrooms or other amenities as well as few opportunities for shade. Also, know that there are just a few parking lots and the beach is at the end of a long unpaved road.

    Sandy Point is a beach on the southwestern tip of St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and nearly 400-acre natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. 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. 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.

    Reviewers raved about the beach, saying it is pristine and well worth a visit. The trade-off, they warned, is that you will find no restrooms or other amenities as well as few opportunities for shade. Also, know that there are just a few parking lots and the beach is at the end of a long unpaved road.

  • #7
    View all Photos
    #7 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Natural Wonders, Free
    TYPE
    2 hours to Half Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Located about 1 1/2 miles off the coast of St. Croix, Buck Island is the go-to spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. Managed by the National Park Service, the island is fringed with a barrier reef chock full of tropical fish and elkhorn coral. On land, you'll find a subtropical dry forest. A few trails weave through the island, which are perfect for a post-snorkel stroll or hike. There are picnic spots and restrooms on one side of the island, but you'll need to pack your own refreshments.

    Those who've made a recent excursion to Buck Island reiterated that this is the spot to snorkel, but note that the coral isn't worth the hype. Due to environmental damage, several travelers noted the coral lacks vibrancy. Nevertheless, they encouraged future travelers to add a stop to Buck Island to their itineraries, saying not to miss the island's forest.

    Located about 1 1/2 miles off the coast of St. Croix, Buck Island is the go-to spot for scuba diving or snorkeling. Managed by the National Park Service, the island is fringed with a barrier reef chock full of tropical fish and elkhorn coral. On land, you'll find a subtropical dry forest. A few trails weave through the island, which are perfect for a post-snorkel stroll or hike. There are picnic spots and restrooms on one side of the island, but you'll need to pack your own refreshments.

    Those who've made a recent excursion to Buck Island reiterated that this is the spot to snorkel, but note that the coral isn't worth the hype. Due to environmental damage, several travelers noted the coral lacks vibrancy. Nevertheless, they encouraged future travelers to add a stop to Buck Island to their itineraries, saying not to miss the island's forest.

  • #10
    View all Photos
    #10 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Neighborhood/Area, Shopping
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    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 online and heard from friends, it's all duty-free.

    But if you're not in the mood to shop, stay away, particularly in the late morning and early afternoon. Narrow Main Street is an assault to the senses, filled with vacationers straight from the cruise dock and plenty of solicitors beseeching you to visit their stores. The surrounding area of Charlotte Amalie is clogged with tourist taxis trying to drop visitors off as close to the shops as possible.

    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 online and heard from friends, it's all duty-free.

    But if you're not in the mood to shop, stay away, particularly in the late morning and early afternoon. Narrow Main Street is an assault to the senses, filled with vacationers straight from the cruise dock and plenty of solicitors beseeching you to visit their stores. The surrounding area of Charlotte Amalie is clogged with tourist taxis trying to drop visitors off as close to the shops as possible.

  • #13
    View all Photos
    #13 in U.S. Virgin Islands
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    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 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 drinks to jewelry to food), and the translucent waters (which travelers consistently report as having stellar visibility) are full of tropical fish. 

    Beachgoers applaud Coki Beach's lively atmosphere, particularly enjoying the music played nearby. Others are fond of the ample amenities, such as snorkeling equipment rentals and bathrooms. However, travelers warned that these ideal conditions come at a cost: crowds. Coki Beach draws a number of cruise ship passengers. Be prepared to share your paradise with others if you visit when a ship is docked.

    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 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 drinks to jewelry to food), and the translucent waters (which travelers consistently report as having stellar visibility) are full of tropical fish. 

    Beachgoers applaud Coki Beach's lively atmosphere, particularly enjoying the music played nearby. Others are fond of the ample amenities, such as snorkeling equipment rentals and bathrooms. However, travelers warned that these ideal conditions come at a cost: crowds. Coki Beach draws a number of cruise ship passengers. Be prepared to share your paradise with others if you visit when a ship is docked.

  • View all Photos
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Sightseeing
    TYPE
    Less than 1 hour
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • View all Photos
    Free, Churches/Religious Sites
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND
    Free, Churches/Religious Sites
    TYPE
    1 to 2 hours
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

  • View all Photos
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND
    Beaches, Free
    TYPE
    Half Day to Full Day
    TIME TO SPEND

    Read More »

Explore More of U.S. Virgin Islands

If you make a purchase from our site, we may earn a commission. This does not affect the quality or independence of our editorial content.

Recommended