Shimmering beaches framing unbelievably clear waters. Posh resorts and intimate villas. Wonderful restaurants serving foods from all over the world. Colorful underwater trails and coral reefs. Friendly people with their own unique music and West Indian cuisine. First-class sailing and challenging sportfishing. Where can you find all of this? In the United States Virgin Islands.
It's no wonder that millions of vacationers choose the islands of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas as their destination of choice, year after year. As an American territory, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers United States citizens significant advantages over other Caribbean vacation getaways. Even if you are an international traveler, you will find the American system of laws and customs under which the U.S. Virgin Islands operates to be convenient and trouble-free.
The United States Virgin Islands, located in the Lesser Antilles of the Caribbean, are easily reached by air and sea from any where in the world. The islands are a non-stop flight from Atlanta, Boston, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, Philadelphia and Washington DC. Several major airlines offer regularly scheduled flights to the U.S. Virgin Islands, and many smaller airlines also service the islands. Popular cruise lines visit the islands throughout the year. Caribbean cruises regularly run from Miami and San Juan to St. Thomas and St. Croix. Smaller ships are able to dock in St. John. Vacationers frequently visit all three islands during their stay. St. John is only 20 minutes away from St. Thomas by ferry, and frequent commuter plane service, sea-planes, charter boats, catamaran service link St. Thomas and St. Croix. The inter-island flight takes approximately 20 minutes. Helicopter service also connects the islands. Whether you arrive by air or sea, you may choose from among a wide range of beachfront, hillside or downtown accommodations.
Take advantage of the best shopping in the Caribbean (many say in the world) and make friends with some of the most gracious and hospitable people you'll ever meet. With average temperatures ranging from 77 degrees in winter to 82 degrees, with cooling trade winds in the summer, the U.S. Virgin Islands is an ideal destination any time of the year.
Getting around the islands is very easy for visitors. Taxis are one of the most convenient modes of transportation on the islands. Most taxi drivers are able to provide their passengers with comprehensive tours of the islands. Car and jeep rentals are available on St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas. Bus service is also available on St. Croix and St. Thomas. The U.S. Virgin Islands is located in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, one hour ahead of Eastern Standard Time except during Daylight Savings Time.
Restaurants in the U.S. Virgin Islands feature international cuisine, including French, Danish, Japanese, Italian and Chinese. Tourists are also encouraged to try a variety of West Indian specialties, especially those featuring fresh fish, fruits and Caribbean lobster. Local specialties such as fungi, kallaloo and conch are also popular in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Rich in history and culture, the U.S. Virgin Islands offers visitors many choices of sights to explore: historic forts and dungeons, restored colonial plantations, art galleries filled with local creations, ruins of sugar-cane mills, some of the oldest places of worship in the Western Hemisphere, a variety of museums and ancient pirate fortresses. Whatever your interests, the U.S. Virgin Islands is sure to please.
If you enjoy sports and recreation, you may choose from a variety of activities in these beautiful islands such as parasailing, beach volleyball, windsurfing, scuba diving, boat racing, horseback riding, snorkeling, jet sluing, hiking, sailing, tennis, sportfishing, golf you name it, we have it. Join in the celebrations of the islands with music, costumes, singing and dancing. Experience the excitement of lavish carnivals and parades with colorful stilt dancers known as Mocko Jumbies. Evening entertainment also includes music varieties such as quelbe, folk, calypso, reggae and rock at dance clubs or beachside restaurants.
With no customs duties on tourism-related items such as watches, cameras, perfume, fine jewelry, liquor, china and leather goods, this shopper's paradise is a duty-free port for visitors and there are no sales or luxury taxes. U.S. visitors are allowed a duty free shopping quota of $1,200, twice that of any other island in the Caribbean and three times that of European countries. In addition to this exemption, shoppers may also mail home to friends and relatives an unlimited number of gifts (other than perfume, liquor or tobacco) each worth $100 or less.
Accommodations on the islands range from luxurious suites in elegant hotels to scenic campsites near tropical rain forests. Campgrounds are abundant, some featuring rustic "eco-tents" one-room beach units with dining halls. Resorts, small inns, charter yachts, private villas and beachside condos are a few of the many choices available to overnight visitors. Don't be fooled by all the upscale amenities; the U.S. Virgin Islands is still a nature-lover's paradise. Visitors may end up sharing their little piece of heaven with rare sea turtles, frolicking sea horses, docile island donkeys, colorful fish, tame goats and exotic birds. The flowers, trees and other tropical plant life are also to be admired. Red bougainvillea, orange tiger claws, yellow cedar flowers and pink hibiscus are just a few of the exotic blossoms that grow on these pristine islands.
Travelers looking for a vacation on the water will want to try one of the many luxurious charter yachts that make the U.S. Virgin Islands one of the Caribbean's
busiest charter-yacht hubs. From intimate sails for two to group excursions across the Caribbean, the U.S. Virgin Islands has every type of yacht available for charter. The U.S. Virgin Islands can make weddings everything that a bride and groom have always dreamed it could be. Whatever couples wish, either outdoors or inside, on a sugar-sand beach or in botanical gardens, a formal church wedding or a casual civil ceremony, sunrise or sunset, on a boat or on a mountaintop, or even underwater, the islands will supply the desired setting. Because the U.S. Virgin Islands operate under the laws of the United States Government, couples are certain to have a hassle-free wedding. Experienced wedding consultants and planners are available to help arrange all the details of every couple's special day.
You'll find all the elements of paradise in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Come experience the majestic beauty and friendly warmth of these American treasures. The U.S. Virgin Islands. "America's Caribbean". Come and experience each one and you'll find yourself returning to the islands of Croix, St. John and St. Thomas again and again.