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U.S. Virgin Islands see + do

Activities in the U.S. Virgin Islands usually focus on the white-sand beaches and the transfixing turquoise waters. But everyone has to take a break from swimming at some point, and the islands offer more than enough reasons to do so. St. Thomas's status as a tourist hub and cruise port makes for an abundance of dining and shopping options, as well as family-friendly activities, such as Coral World Ocean Park and Undersea Observatory. Expect a slower pace and outdoor activities on St. John, which has dozens of well-manicured hiking trails. St. Croix, the largest of the islands, draws history buffs with its 18th-century architectural ruins. You don't have to limit yourself to one island: St. Thomas and St. John are just a short ferry ride apart, and St. Croix is a half-hour seaplane flight away.

There are postcard-perfect beaches on all three of the U.S.V.I'.s main islands—plus a handful on offshore cays. So, where to spread out your towel? It's hard not to find a pristine stretch of sand on St. John, where two thirds of the island is national park land. St. Thomas boasts top-notch snorkeling, especially at Coki Point Beach. And in addition to featuring world-class diving, St. Croix is home to one of the few underwater national monuments in the United States.

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Whim Plantation Museum, Frederiksted, St. Croix

This restored sugar estate lets visitors peek into St. Croix plantation life during the 18th century. Stretching across 12 acres, the grounds encompass an...more

Editors' Pick
Virgin Islands National Park Tour, St. John

Though we're not generally fans of vehicular tours, it's worth getting to see large stretches of St. John, which is two-thirds national parkland—and...more

Editors' Pick
St. George Village Botanical Garden, Frederiksted, St. Croix

More than 1,500 native and introduced species flourish here amid the well-preserved ruins of a 19th-century slave village. There's also an orchid greenhouse and...more

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Snorkeling on St. John, St. John

Nearly half of St. John's Virgin Islands National Park is underwater, and coral reefs can be found just offshore along much of the coastline. Without a doubt...more

Editors' Pick
Paradise Point St. Thomas Skyride, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

Located just across the street from Havensight, the cruise-ship port area of Charlotte Amalie, this Swiss-built lift is a popular shore excursion for cruise...more

Editors' Pick
Horseback Riding, Cane Bay, St. Croix

With his 15 surefooted horses, Stephen O'Dea leads riders of all skill levels around St. Croix's north shore. Depending on his mood, you may be climbing an...more

Editors' Pick
Hotel Photo
Hiking on St. John, St. John

There are more than 20 worthy trails within Virgin Islands National Park, all easily tackled in a half-day or less, but no serious eco-adventurer should miss...more

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Diving on St. Croix

While the islands of Bonaire and Little Cayman are justifiably famous for their underwater attractions, St. Croix is finally getting some love from the scuba...more

Editors' Pick
Christiansted, Christiansted, St. Croix

St. Croix's commercial heart—and the former capital city—was once a Danish trading center, and still has the colorful 18th-century buildings...more

Editors' Pick
Charlotte Amalie, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas

With restaurants, dozens of shops, and enough bars to keep you busy every night of the week, it's not hard to see why the U.S. Virgin Islands' capital city is...more

Editors' Pick
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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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