Beginner’s Guide to the US Virgin Islands – Part 2

Beginner’s Guide to the US Virgin Islands – Part 2
US Virgin Islands Are you heading to the US Virgin Islands for the first time and need some questions answered? The Beginner's Guide to the US Virgin Islands is a great place to start. In Part 1 of this two-part series we answered some of the most common questions that people have about this Caribbean destination – such as what side of the road you can drive on, if you can drink the water and whether you need to bring your passport. In Part 2 of the Beginner's Guide to the US Virgin Islands we will provide you with even more helpful information you should know when planning your USVI trip.

What language is spoken in the USVI?

The most widely spoken language in the US Virgin Islands is English. Sometimes the locals speak it quickly and with an accent, so it might be difficult to understand at first. There is also a Creole version of English that exists which also involves a unique vocabulary, different pronunciations and unique grammar rules. While English is the most common language on the islands, it is also common to hear Spanish and French Creole spoken as well. Immigrants from Santo Domingo and Puerto Rico speak Spanish and immigrants from St. Lucia, St. Barthelemy, St. Martin, Dominica, Guadeloupe, French Guyana, Martinique and Haiti speak French Creole. This is a big part of the islands culture and diversity

Do I need to rent a car in the USVI?

Renting a car while you visit the US Virgin Islands is not essential, but it can offer several advantages. A rental car can be handy, as it will give you the freedom to be able to explore the island on your own schedule and see some of the more off-the-beaten-track areas. There are several rental car companies on the island, including Thrifty, Avis and Hertz. If you choose to rent a car, it is important to learn the rules of the road first. Drive cautiously as the roads can be hilly and winding. Always beep your horn when going around blind corners and be aware of others who might not adhere to the speed limits. If you are uncomfortable driving on the left side of the road or with the speed of traffic, there are other transportation options available too. Getting around on foot, bike, shuttle, ferry and boat are other alternatives for traveling outside of your hotel or resort.

What is the drinking Age?bar-1135583_1920

Unlike the US mainland, the drinking age in the US Virgin Islands is 18 years old. There are several great drinking establishments on the islands thatare loved by visitors, including Duffy’s Love Shack, the Caribbean Saloon on St. Thomas and the Brew Pub in Christiansted on St. Croix. If you are of age, try some of the island specials.

What is There to Do Besides Relax on the Beach?

One of the main reasons to visit the US Virgin Islands is to enjoy the relaxing pleasure of stretching out on a beautiful beach and soaking up the sunshine. However, if you want to take a break from the beach, there are many other great things to do. Learn about history on a tour of Fort Christiansvaern or visit the Estate Whim Plantation Museum of St. Croix. Go on a nature trek in the Virgin Islands National Park. Go scuba diving at the amazing Buck Island Reef National Monument – one of the most diverse marine gardens in the Caribbean. You could even visit the Cruzan Rum Distillery to learn about how this drink is made. There’s much more to do in the USVI than just lounging on the beach, so get out there and explore! Part 1 and Part 2 of the Beginner's Guide to the US Virgin Islands should be a good introduction to the USVI. For even more information, visit our site.

4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands

4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands

usa-598261_1280If you find yourself spending 4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands you must make plans to celebrate the holiday with us! Here’s how 4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands is celebrated a little bit differently on St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.

4th of July in St. Croix:

The island of St. Croix generally celebrates on  the afternoon of July 4th from into the early morning of Sunday July 5th. Join revelers in Frederiksted, which is the heart of St. Croix, for music, food, fun and of course a stunning fireworks extravaganza.

4th of July in St. John:

4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands might be best spent in St. John. On the nearby island of St. John, the day is full of celebrations starting very early morning (Yes…VERY early a.m). Starting before the sun rises at Cruz Bay, J’ouvert is a large Carnival street party and parade that begins well before dawn on the morning of July 4th. The energetic celebration includes costumed dancers and calypso bands and dancing until the sun comes up!

Then in Cruz Bay is the biggest event of the St. John Festival – the parade! See mocko jumbies, carnival royalty, listen to steel drum bands play while colorfully dancing troupes dance along. Some troupes include masqueraders wearing from the smallest costumes of bikinis with beads to elaborate, large costumes that stretch the width of the parade route. The parade route starts at the National Park Visitor Center entrance and runs through Cruz Bay.

4th of July in St. Thomas:

St. Thomas has perhaps the milder of celebrations on the 4th of July in the U.S. Virgin Islands. While festivities are more minimal, you can still expect to cap off the day of celebration with a grand fireworks display over the magnificent Cruz Bay harbor.

The U.S. Virgin Islands takes pride in being connected with the U.S. and the celebrations show. Plan your July vacation in advance by booking your hotels and resorts today.

Best Snorkeling in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Best Snorkeling in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Stay cool and experience the underwater life this summer! St. John, St. Thomas and St. Croix all have wonderful spots that showcase the beautiful sea creatures, coral and more that live right underneath the ocean’s surface. Here is a list of the best snorkeling in the U.S. Virgin Islands:

Best Snorkeling in St. Croix:

  • Cane Bay
  • Buck Island

Best Snorkeling in St. John:

  • Hurricane Hole
  • Haulover Bay
  • Leinster Bay

Best Snorkeling in St. Thomas:

  • Coki Point Beach

For even more places to snorkel near the island, check out our snorkeling page. Have other spots you love that we left off our list? Please share with us on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram! We love learning (and seeing pictures of) new places and adding to our list of best snorkeling in the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Top Secluded and Secret Beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Top Secluded and Secret Beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Are you the type of vacationer that likes to go where the locals are? Do you want to look like you fit in and not like the typical tourist? There are some gorgeous, secluded beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands most people don’t even know about. But we’ll let you in the secret spots:

Top Beaches in St. Thomas:

  • Lindquist Bay: Lindquist Bay also known as Smith Bay Beach is on the east end of St. Thomas near Red Hook. With white sand beaches and crystal blue waters that the Caribbean is known for, this beach offers the perfect amount of privacy.

Top Beaches in St. John:

  • Salt Pond Bay Beach: Put on your hiking shoes! Salt Pond Bay Beach is a moderate hike from the road, but the trek is well worth it. After your short hike you will reach one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands with top snorkeling. Soak up the sun, feel the ocean breeze and enjoy the peaceful views.
  • Hansen’s Bay Beach: Another beach off the beaten path is St. John’s most secluded beach, Hansen’s Bay Beach. This is just off the main north shore drive near the town of Coral Bay. Did we mention there are some equally incredible places to eat nearby?

Top Beaches in St. Croix:

  • Grapetree Bay Beach: Grapetree Bay Beach is located on the east end of St. Croix near Divi Carina Bay Resort. Because this beach is in close proximity to residential area, it tends to be more quiet and peaceful. Locals do ask that if you enjoy this beach with them that you are respectful of their homes nearby.

Now that we shared our secret where the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands are, we expect you to come visit us! Plan your stay in St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix today!

Top 5 Beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Top 5 Beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands

Are you craving crystal clear water as blue as you’ve ever seen? Pair that with white, sandy beaches and a cool island drink, and you might as well be in St. Thomas, St. John or St. Croix. With so many world-renowned beaches open to the public, it is hard to pick an island favorite. Here’s a list of our top five best beaches in the U.S Virgin Islands:

Even better, all their beaches are open to the public with very few exceptions. Even private resorts are required to give access to their beaches.

1.) Magens Bay Beach in St. ThomasMagens Bay

Stretching over half a mile, Magens Bay Beach has picturesque soft sand and calm waters. Because of the two peninsulas protecting the shore from erosion and strong waves, this is a kid-friendly beach that is widely popular for swimming. Magens Bay Beach may even be the most popular beach on St. Thomas!

2.) Lindquist Beach in St. Thomas

Another St. Thomas beach that is a favorite by locals is Lindquist Beach. This is one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands because it is relatively undeveloped and only reachable by a dirt road—beautiful none-the-less. Lindquist Beach makes a great adventure on your next trip to USVI!

3.) Trunk Bay in St. John

Trunk Bay in St. John has consistently ranked as one of the top ten Caribbean beaches over the years. With great views and to-die-for snorkeling, Trunk Bay is a favorite among beach-goers, cruise ships and sailboats alike. Since this beach is protected by the U.S. National Park Service, St. John continues to preserve its beauty.

4.) Caneel Bay in St. John

Caneel Bay in St. John is unique because it strings together seven beaches. Perhaps, it is most famous for its Durloe Point to Hawksnest Caneel.

5.) Sandy Point in St. Croix

Last but definitely not least on our list is the biggest beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sandy Point in St. Croix. Not only does this beach have great size, but it also has great beauty. Sandy Point is another beach protected by the reserve and is a nesting spot for endangered sea turtles.

Ready to plan a relaxing vacation of a lifetime and visit one of these famous spots? Plan your stay at a hotel or resort near one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands.