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The Best 16 Things to See and Do in the Virgin Islands (2018 Edition)

The Best 16 Things to See and Do in the Virgin Islands (2018 Edition)

a beach in the Virgin Islands
Up to date: 7/30/18 | July 30th, 2018

Two of the most-visited locations in the Caribbean, the US and British Virgin Islands are what I anticipated them to be: white sand seashores, wonderful diving and snorkeling, turquoise crystal-clear water, scenic mountaineering, a lot of boating alternatives, and closely poured rum drinks.

I spent a month touring round the islands by boat. There’s a fascinating variety of issues to do on the islands — life right here isn’t all hammocks and piña coladas. From festivals to diving to strenuous climbing trails to hidden tide swimming pools, every of the islands in the space has a lot to supply to maintain you busy if a full day at the seashore isn’t your factor.

Make a journey to Buck Island

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
The solely marine nationwide park in the United States, Buck Island is a half-day journey from St. Croix (although full-day journeys that include meals and booze are additionally obtainable). Whereas the marine park and coral are barely lifeless after years of overfishing and coral bleaching, there’s a wonderful seashore on the island that couldn’t be extra quintessentially Caribbean: empty, large, and ringed with palm timber. The half-day journey is the biggest worth and one in every of the greatest issues to do on St. Croix. 

Really helpful Buck Island tiur corporations:

Loosen up in Jack Bay and Isaac Bay

the beach at jack bay, st. croix usvi
Situated on the easternmost level of the United States, these bays are two empty seashores on St. Croix. Troublesome to entry, after a steep hike down a really overgrown path, you’ll come across Isaac Bay (additionally house to nesting turtles), the place you’ll give you the option to take pleasure in a skinny slice of white sand, blue water, and snorkeling proper from the shore. Jack Bay is related by a poorly signed path at the finish of Isaac’s. The seashores aren’t maintained, however, whereas not the prettiest, they’re one in every of the few spots on the island you’ll be able to have to your self. Convey your personal water and meals as there are not any amenities in both bay.

Sit back at Cane Bay

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
That is my favourite bay on St. Croix, that includes a wonderful seashore, a scrumptious restaurant (Eat @ Cane Bay), and snorkeling inside swimming distance of the shore. Although the seashore isn’t very large and it’s situated proper close to a street, the chilled-out environment of the space, good snorkeling (there’s a steep dropoff out from shore, creating a whole lot of fish-viewing alternatives), and few crowds make it a spot value spending the day (and early night when the restaurant has completely happy hour). Cane Bay is situated on the north aspect of St. Croix.

Discover Jost Van Dyke

explore jost van dyke waterfront from above
The celebration island of the British Virgin Islands, Jost sees lots of day trippers from St. John and yachties coming into the harbor and making a beeline for the Soggy Greenback Bar to drink Painkillers (rum, pineapple and orange juice, and recent nutmeg), the bar’s well-known drink and one that everybody on the Virgin Islands drinks (the greatest one I had was at Rudy’s on Jost; Soggy Greenback is overrated). White Bay is the place all the motion is, however I beloved it early in the morning or late at night time when all the day trippers (drunks) have been gone and the in depth white sand seashore was abandoned. Be certain to go to the bubbly swimming pools on the different aspect of the island the place the incoming water dashing into this tiny tide pool creates a whirlpool impact.

Discover The Baths

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
At first, I couldn’t work out why everybody loves this spot on Virgin Gorda. The seashore was tiny, the water tough, and the crowds plentiful. Then I adopted the signal to the caves, and it turned clear why that is the most-visited spot in the Virgin Islands. After crawling by means of a tiny opening, you’re surrounded by gigantic granite boulders nestled on one another with streams of water flowing throughout them. It’s lovely. There are nooks and crannies to discover in all places. After wading via water and climbing over rocks, you end up in tide swimming pools that gather between the boulders in your approach to Lifeless Man’s Seashore. It prices $three USD to enter.

Take pleasure in paradise on Anegada

the empty beach on anegada, vi
Wanting to get away from the crowds? Anegada in the BVIs is a coral atoll with a couple of hundred individuals dwelling on it. Few ferries go to the island (solely three per week), and most individuals who rise up right here have a tendency to come by way of their very own boats. This retains the crowds down. You possibly can go hours with out seeing anybody on the seashores. The island is ringed by a reef, making it good for snorkeling proper from the shore (you’ll be able to see a variety of rays right here too!) The island is legendary for its lobster, and every restaurant has its personal signature dish (Neptune’s Treasure and Potters by the Sea have been my favorites). In the event you come in November, make sure to catch the lobster pageant that happens the final weekend of the month. It’s lobster heaven.

Take pleasure in the meals and music of Redhook

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
This port city on St. Thomas has a few of the higher eating places and bars on the island. You’ll discover vigorous music, a scrumptious beer and burger bar referred to as Faucet and Nonetheless, and energetic golf equipment. For those who’re on the island and wanting to have an evening out, that is the place to be. You can too get ferry service to/from Cruz Bay on St. John and to/from the British Virgin Islands.

Celebration on St. John

Need enjoyable? $1 joyful hour specials? Superb drinks? St. John is for you. With solely 2,000 individuals dwelling on the island, it has a small-town really feel, however it heaves with vacationers who need to escape the stuffy and costly costs of St. Thomas. Since the primary city of Cruz Bay is so small, bar hopping is very easy, and most bars function reside bands.

Observe: Hurricane Irma and Maria actually did a quantity on St. John and a lot of the island continues to be recovering. At the time of writing, the city was nonetheless rebuilding.

Go to Cinnamon Bay

the beach on cinnamon bay, usvi
This bay on St. John is house to the solely campground on the USVIs. It’s a large bay that stays fairly empty and calm, making it one in every of my favourite seashores on the island. 

Notice: Hurricane Irma and Maria actually did a quantity on St. John and a lot of the island continues to be recovering. At the time of writing, the campground on this seashore was nonetheless closed.

Hike the Reef Bay Path

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
Chopping by means of St. John, this path begins in the middle of the island and takes you thru the forest that includes previous sugar plantations, stone ruins, historic petroglyphs, and a abandoned sugar manufacturing unit by the water. It’s lovely, straightforward, and the seashore at the finish is an ideal place for a dip (you’re going to work up a sweat!). Mix it with Cinnamon Path that begins at Cinnamon Bay on the prime of the island, and you possibly can minimize throughout the whole width of the island in about 4 hours.

Get away from the crowd at Brewer’s Bay

Situated close to the airport on St. Thomas, this seashore is close to the USVI college and a locals-only seashore — for the sole cause vacationers simply don’t appear to ever make it right here. You’ll see native households BBQing, individuals exercising their canine, and planes coming to and going from the airport.

Wander the empty Salt Island

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
This tiny, abandoned, out-of-the-way island is crammed with once-important salt ponds. There’s snorkeling round the island, and you’ll be able to take a dinghy to go to the abandoned city close to the salt swimming pools. The island is owned by a household that pays an annual lease to the Queen of England of a single one-pound bag of salt. You’ll want to get right here with your personal boat; there are not any ferries. 

Dive/snorkel the RMS Rhone

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
Thought-about considered one of the most spectacular dive and snorkel websites in the world, the RMS Rhone was a mail ship that crashed in the close by reef and is now its personal synthetic reef, house to hundreds of various fish and coral. It’s a should for each diver. Most dive journeys depart from Tortola. You’ll give you the option to enter the wreck too.

Drink at Willy T’s

floating bar called willy t's in the virgin islands
Situated at its new residence on Peter Island, this previous boat turned floating bar is the place everybody goes wild in the British Virgin Islands. I’ve seen previous women doing physique photographs right here, whereas younger guys chug beer and leap off the boat bare. It’s all the time a wild day on Willy T’s. But when the water is calm on weekends, the place will get very busy as locals take boats over for some Sunday Funday. There isn’t a ferry service to this get together barge. You’ll both want your personal boat or pay to go together with the Dolphin Water Taxi.

Hob nob on Necker Island

the beach on buck island, st. croix usvi
Famously residence to Sir Richard Branson, you’ll be able to keep on this island for a cool $50,000 an evening. Don’t have that a lot cash? No drawback. You’ll be able to take a day journey with Gumption on the Sea It Clear Glass Backside Boat Tour. Excursions depart from the Bitter Finish resort on northern Virgin Gorda and function fish recognizing and a stroll round the island. Branson has been recognized to say hey.

Sail round the islands!

sunset with a boat sailing around the virgin islands
It might be costly, however you possibly can’t go to these islands and not sail round them. It might be a sin. Whether or not for at some point or a number of days, make sure to jet round the islands. It’s the solely method to see the extra distant islands that ferries don’t go to, get away from the crowds, and uncover your personal hidden snorkeling spots. Right here’s how one can sail round the islands on the low cost (or without spending a dime!)


Once I visited the islands, I imagined myself losing away the days on seashores and studying and writing at night time. It turned on the market was merely an excessive amount of to do on this space to “waste a day.” It doesn’t matter what island you find yourself on, there shall be dozens of choices to select from. This record of wonderful issues to do in the Virgin Islands may help information you, however don’t assume for a second that these islands are boring. Even non–seashore bums will fill their days.

Get the In-Depth Finances Information to The Virgin Islands!

nomadic matt virgin islands guidebook coverMy detailed, 60+ web page guidebook is made for finances vacationers such as you! It cuts out the fluff discovered in different guidebooks and will get straight to the sensible info you want to journey and get monetary savings whereas in the Virgin Islands, a rustic I loved touring by means of a lot. You’ll discover instructed itineraries, budgets, methods to get monetary savings, on and off the crushed path issues to see and do, non-touristy eating places, markets, and bars, and far more!! Click on right here to study extra and get began.

E-book Your Journey to the Virgin Islands: Logistical Ideas and Tips

Ebook Your Flight
Discover a low cost flight to the Virgin Islands through the use of Skyscanner or Momondo. They’re my two favourite search engines like google. Begin with Momondo.

Ebook Your Lodging
You’ll be able to guide your hostel in the Virgin Islands with Hostelworld. If you would like to keep elsewhere, use as they persistently return the least expensive charges. (Right here’s the proof.)

Don’t Overlook Journey Insurance coverage
Journey insurance coverage will shield you towards sickness, damage, theft, and cancellations. I by no means ever go on a visit with out it. I’ve been utilizing World Nomads for ten years. You must too.

Want Some Gear?
Take a look at our useful resource web page for the greatest corporations to use!

Need Extra Info on the Virgin Islands?
Be certain to go to our strong vacation spot information on the British Virgin Islands for much more planning ideas!