Buck Island Reef National Monument, Buck Island
U. S. Virgin Islands
Tel: 340 773 1460
Concierge.com's insider take:
Declared part of the National Park system by John F. Kennedy in 1961, this 176-acre island off St. Croix's northeastern coast is surrounded by nearly 20,000 acres of protected barrier reef, making it perhaps the best spot in the Virgin Islands to go snorkeling. To get there, climb aboard one of two catamarans operated by Big Beard's Adventure Tours (44A Queens Cross Street; 866-773-4482; www.bigbeards.com). All snorkeling gear is provided, and once underwater, you'll be treated to stunning views of brain and elkhorn coral, massive sea fans, and tropical fish of all kinds, including parrot fish, schools of blue tang, and more.