US Virgin Islands General Information
Where are the US Virgin Islands?
The US Virgin Islands are located in the eastern Caribbean, just 1,100 miles southeast of Miami. The average temperature ranges from 77ºF in the winter to 83ºF in the summer. Rainfall averages 40-44 inches per year. In May and June, the Sahara Dust comes through making hazy days and marvelous sunsets. The end of the summer is hurricane season. For more information on weather patterns contact the Weather Channel Connection (900) 932-8437.
St. Croix’s Danish influence is perfect for visitors who prefer a laid-back experience. The historic towns of Frederiksted and Christiansted offer quaint shops, charming pastel buildings, and stimulating cultural diversity. Fromhorseback riding near eighteenth-century sugar mills to playing golf on one of the island’s three scenic golf courses, you’re sure to find something to suit your tastes.
St. John is two-thirds national park. Its comfortable pace is perfect for enjoying the island’s striking beaches such as Trunk Bay, Cinnamon Bay, and Salt Pond Bay. If you love nature you’ll love St. John. This island offers hiking, camping, specialty shopping, and breathtaking views. If you take just a few hours to visit this island, you’ll find it well worth the trip.
St. Thomas is home to one of the most beautiful harbors in the world. As the most visited port in the Caribbean, downtown Charlotte Amalie offers elegant dining, exciting nightlife, world-class, duty-free shopping, and even submarine rides. This island also possesses numerous natural splendors, such as stunning views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level.
US Virgin Island History
The history of the US Virgin Islands is as diverse as its people. Columbus discovered the United States Virgin Islands on his second voyage to the New World in 1493. In the centuries that followed, the English, Dutch, French, Spanish, Knights of Malta, and Danes ruled the islands. During World War One, the United States bought the islands from Denmark for $25,000,000 in gold, a small price to pay for this beautiful wonder.
Information About The Land
- St. Croix: The island of St. Croix is the largest and most fertile of the three islands. St. Croix is 24 miles long by 6 miles wide. It consists of small rainforests and scenic landscapes.
- St. John: The island of St. John has a very diverse topography. St. John consists of million year old rock formations, ridges, peaks, and tropical forests.
- St. Thomas: The island of St. Thomas is a 33 square mile island with more buildings than forests. Most of the land is bare with steep roads and passages.
About the Capital City
The capital of The US Virgin Islands is Charlotte Amalie. The town is a “cruise ship” town where large ships port. It is home to museums, old homes, gems, art galleries, coffee shops, and outdoor activities. Two popular attractions are Coral World and Magens Bay. Coral World is an underwater observation tower. It is located near Coki Beach and consists of an aquarium/ marine zoo with two restaurants and two gift shops. Magens Bay is considered one of the best beaches in the world. The beach is in the shape of a horseshoe, surrounded by fancy villas and palm groves. It is the only known beach that charges admission ($3.00 per person).
US Virgin Islands Travel Information
- Travel by Air: There are two major airports in the Virgin Islands. The Cyril E. King Airport on St. Thomas and the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport on St. Croix.
- Travel by Boat: There are many ferries on each island. Depending on where you need to go, there is a ferry waiting for you. For more information call Smith’s Ferry Service (340) 775-7592.
- Travel by Auto: There are many means of transportation on the islands themselves. You will find car rental facilities, bus services, and taxi services. For more information call (340) 774-0688.
Keep in mind, the high season is from December 15th through the last week in April. There is more entertainment, prices are higher, and it is more popular to visit during this time. Prices drop about 20% after April 15th on hotels, airlines, and cruises. The summer time is the more beautiful time of year and everything is at a slower pace.
- Currency: The US Dollar is accepted in the US Virgin Islands as well as all major credit cards.
- Passports and Visas: If you are not a US Citizen, a passport or Visa is required.