Thinking about getting away to sunny skies and warmer weather this winter? There is no better place to get your toes in the sand and relax than the U.S Virgin Islands. The U.S.V.I consist of three main islands, St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. They are comfortably set in the Atlantic ocean, east of Puerto Rico and west of the British Virgin Islands. Fun fact: All three islands combined are about twice the size of Washington, D.C! While each has their own unique tastes and cultures, they are all equally as beautiful.
Stunning beaches, friendly locals and average year-round temperatures of 80 degrees bring people from all over the world to these islands. I went to St. John with my family just last year and never wanted to leave. Here, I am going to give you the complete guide on what to do, where to stay and most importantly, what to eat! If you are looking for a romantic honeymoon get-away or just a tropical family vacation, the U.S. Virgin Islands have something to offer everyone. Yoga on the beach, anyone?
Where to Stay:
Image via Westin St. John
If you are looking to stay in an elegant and upscale type of place, this is the one for you. Sitting right on the edge of Cruz Bay on the southwest coast of St. John you will find breathtaking views, beautiful rooms, villas and some of the most friendly staff members you will ever meet at The Westin – not to mention the most delicious pool side beverages! This resort is a very popular place for destination weddings and honeymoons and you can see why. If you’re looking to stay fit on your getaway, not to fret. The Westin offers tennis, Yoga, Pilates, aerobics, and a gym for those solo workouts.
Cinnamon Bay Camp Ground
Image via TravelPod
More of the outdoorsy type? This is as close to sleeping on the beach as you can get. A much more affordable experience and part of the Virgin Islands National Park, you can choose to stay in a cottage or even a tent at the Cinnamon Bay Camp Ground just steps away from the beach! Each tent is made of quality canvas, with a solid floor and mosquito netting. Cots, picnic table, charcoal grill, propane gas stove and gas lantern, and cooking and eating utensils are all available to you. Don’t worry there are showers too!
What To Do:
There are endless amounts of beaches on every island. Whether you are staying right on the beach or need a rental car to get to different ones, they will all leave you speechless. Want to see all three islands in one day? Each one provides boat charter services and depending on how many are in your party you can spend the day out at sea in a boat or yacht (fancy, fancy) with your very own captain. Also do not miss out on some of the most beautiful snorkeling beaches in the world!
Trunk Bay (St. John)
Image via iStock
Pelican Cove Beach (St. Croix)
Image via iStock
Sapphire Beach (St. Thomas)
Image via iStock
With more than half of St. John island preserved and dedicated to the National Park, this is where to go! Get walking, trotting or running on more than two dozen well-maintained hiking trails all over the island. You will find yourself exploring old roads and plantations on seaside and cliffside trails. Seeing old salt mills, school houses and ancient ruins will make your experience truly unforgettable.
What To Eat:
There are endless options when it comes to eating on the islands. Why are the foods of the Virgin Islands so well-loved? Because the Caribbean cuisine is tasty and satisfying, of course! From fancy, expensive resort dining to beachside outposts, there is a wide variety in cuisine. You cannot go to the U.S.V.I without having freshly caught seafood and island grown produce such as coconut, limes, papaya and bananas (talk about knowing where your food is coming from). Foods are commonly prepared with Caribbean curries or jerk spices giving it that fresh island flavor.
Rhumb Lines (St. John)
Image via Rhumb Lines
This restaurant is tucked behind a convenience store, speakeasy style. Owned and operated by long time locals, the cool vibes and colorful candle lit tables will make you feel relaxed in no time. Cuisines include Asian fusion and Pacific rim. Many Rhumb Lines visitors say that you cannot get a bad meal here and I can attest to that!
The Deep End (St. Croix)
This has become the new hot spot to be on St Croix. Voted the Best Marina Bar And the Best Entertainment Bar for 2014. The “New” Deep End is a casual yet classy beach bar with a beautiful view of the turquoise ocean. Both locals and visitors alike enjoy the wonderful ambiance, live music and yummy food.
Havana Blue (St. Thomas)
Image via Havana Blue
Looking to splurge a little? This stylish, South Beach meets New York, restaurant will give you a romantic and elegant dining experience. Havana Blue is a highly recommended restaurant and offers an eclectic menu with a mixture of Latin American cuisine and Caribbean fish dishes. There is even a seven course tasting menu available for $125 per person if you’re looking to go a little crazy!
Go to one or go to all three: either way you are going to get an amazing relaxing experience when you visit the U.S Virgin Islands. Travel is quick and simple between the islands. St. John is 20 minutes from St. Thomas by ferry and there is a daily direct 25 minute flight by small plane between St. Croix and St. Thomas, its too easy! Enjoy long lazy mornings on the beach, explore the beautiful hiking trails in the afternoon, and get award winning restaurant cuisine at night. You will never be bored and I promise you will never want to leave.
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