3 Beautiful Islands to Explore
The US Virgin Islands consist of 3 beautiful islands to explore: St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas. They are sister islands to the British Virgin Islands and the Spanish Virgin Islands. Explore and enjoy these beautiful islands on a US Virgin Islands Yacht Charter.
Explore the history & culture of St. Croix
Lying 35 miles south of the other Virgins, St. Croix is the largest island in the group, approximately 26 miles wide. It has retained more of its Danish character than the other US Virgin Islands, with many of the original great houses restored along with its historic sights.
St. Croix’s rich culture and history, along with its beautiful beaches and world-class recreational activities, create an experience unlike any other in the Caribbean. Since the day Christopher Columbus first arrived at Salt River on St. Croix more than 500 years ago, sugar and rum have shaped the island’s life and land. Fifty-four sugar mills, each with imposing windmill towers and factory chimneys, still rest in the shadows of stately eighteenth-century and nineteenth-century homes. Located on the west end of the island, Estate Whim Plantation is just one example of these “great-houses.”
With acres of rolling green hills, St.Croix’s plantation estates also bore crops of okra, cabbage, corn, and other vegetables still prominent in Caribbean cuisine. As the sugar industry declined after the 1960s, tourism became the most important industry on the island. Christiansted and Frederiksted,The two main towns of St. Croix, flourished as commercial ports during the eighteenth and nineteenth century. Distinct architecture reflects the seven flags–Spanish, Dutch, British, French, Knights of Malta, Danish, and American — that have flown over the island. Today, visitors to St. Croix can enjoy a number of indoor and outdoor activities, from fine dining, shopping, and a casino, to golf, scuba diving, and horseback riding.
Immerse yourself in the natural beauty of St. John
This is the gem of the US Virgin Islands, the smallest of the three islands. Today, two-thirds of St. John is part of the Virgin Islands National Park, featuring fascinating trails, secluded coves, and dazzling white beaches. The Reef Bay Trail takes hikers through dense forests, plantation ruins, and rock outcroppings marked by well-preserved petroglyphs. Trunk Bay, Hawksnest Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Maho Bay are just four of the dozens of beaches. Cruz Bay, the center of activity on St. John, contains colorful shops, lively bars, and fabulous restaurants. Its unspoiled forests and stunning beaches attracted the attention of wealthy families such as the Rockefellers, who sought privacy and tranquility on the island. In 1956, Laurance Rockefeller was so moved by the island that he bought and donated broad expanses of land to the National Park Service to keep St. John “a thing of joy forever.”
St. John offers visitors a different world. St. John’s most famous attraction, the Virgin Islands National Park, comprises about 9,500 acres of rolling green hills and an underwater reserve. Laurance Rockefeller’s vision for the island more than 40 years ago has shaped the tranquil, easygoing, and environmental consciousness the island is know for today.
Since more than one-third of the national parkland is underwater, snorkeling, scuba diving, and sailing are popular activities on St. John. An underwater trail at Trunk Bay provides some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean. The Reef Bay Trail in the national park offers hiking past natural beauty, plantation ruins, and well-preserved petroglyphs. For those less inclined to walk, tours by bus or by car are readily available. If you’re just looking for peace and quiet, you’ll find it on beaches including Hawksnest Bay, Trunk Bay, and Cinnamon Bay. Back in Cruz Bay, you can enjoy colorful shopping, excellent restaurants, and lively nightlife.
Recreate in elegance and style on St. Thomas
St. Thomas combines the natural beauty of the islands with a cosmopolitan atmosphere. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands, is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and the most visited port in the Caribbean. Elegant dining, exciting nightlife, and world-class duty-free shopping are abundant in Charlotte Amalie. The city’s reputation as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean draws visitors from all over the region and around the world.
A mountainous island, St. Thomas offers stunning vistas in almost every direction. While Charlotte Amalie is full of energy, St. Thomas also provides natural wonders such as the indescribably beautiful Magens Bay and stunning views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level. Drake’s Seat is particularly famous for its vistas.
Sports and activities are abundant on St. Thomas. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the George and Tom Fazio-designed Mahogany Run course. St. Thomas is also well known for its world-class yachting and sportfishing.
Virgin Islands Ecotours provides guided kayaking and snorkeling tours through St. Thomas’ Marine Sancturary and Mangrove Lagoon and along Magens Bay. Fishing charters are abundant, and for good reason: The International Game Fish Association reports 24 world-record catches from US Virgin Islands waters. Guests can even take a one-hour submarine voyage off St. Thomas to view the coral reefs and marine life of the island. For visitors who want to stay above water, Coral World Marine Park & Observatory, on the northeast shore at Coki Point, offers an underwater observatory tower, a tropical nature trail, a marine gardens aquarium, and an 80,000-gallon coral reef tank.
US Virgin Islands Yacht Charter – MAP
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