ST. THOMAS

Legend has it that Sir Francis Drake stood at a lookout point perched on a St. Thomas mountaintop to spy on enemy ships approaching the island. Today, visitors flock to Drake’s Seat for its stunning panoramic views. A green bench, added in the 1930s, is a popular prop and can fit up to four people for a sweet family or friends photo. Arrive before dawn to capture the sun as it rises over Magens Bay.

Spectacular views await at Mountain Top, a scenic overlook situated 1,500 feet above the harbor on the summit of St. Peter Mountain. Stop by for the sweeping view of the islands and cays, but stay for the world-famous banana daiquiris — made with Cruzan rum, sugar cane extract and ripe bananas plucked from a nearby grove. If you’re looking for photo supplies, Mountain Top is home to the islands’ largest duty-free store.  

Turquoise waters meet powdery white sand at Magens Bay, considered to be one of the most breathtaking beaches in the world. Just beyond the protected 3/4-mile-long beach, palm trees and colorful flowers provide brilliant contrast for photographs. 

If you’re looking for a flower-filled shot that captures the unique flora of the islands, the two-acre Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden blooms with brightly colored orchids and bromeliads surrounded by lush aroids, succulents and palms. After snapping photos, enjoy a ginger beer or pink guava juice at the on-site refreshment stand. 

ST. CROIX

Immersed in the subtropical rainforest on the west end of St. Croix, the 2.31-acre Estate Mount Washington Plantation was one of the original Danish estates built on the island in the 1700s. The estate’s grand mansion, manicured grounds and historic ruins have been the background for countless photoshoots for magazines, including Architectural DigestCoastal Living and British Vogue, and was even featured in an episode of The Bachelor realitytelevision show.

Be wowed by Point Udall, a scenic overlook situated at the easternmost point of the United States that’s known as one of the best places on the islands for capturing the awe-inspiring sunset. The Millennium Monument, a giant sundial erected in 2000, commemorates the dawn of the new millennium and makes for an outstanding backdrop. From the summit, captivating waves crash on the shoreline in the distance, and it’s easy to see the magnificent reefs stretching out from the ocean below. 

Looking for an elusive, off-the-beaten path photo op? Grab your gear and set off on the challenging, 2.5-mile-long hike to reach the Carambola Tide Pools/Annaly Bay, a series of naturally formed pools on St. Croix’s beautiful North Shore. Filled with turquoise water and teeming with marine life, the pools offer a unique, natural setting. Chances are you’ll have the site mostly to yourself, so you can pose to your heart’s content. 

Nestled on the photogenic Christiansted Harbor, Christiansted is a quaint town featuring historic Danish architecture. From its harborside boardwalk, it’s easy to capture the town’s colorful pastel blue, yellow and pink-washed buildings, which contrast beautifully with the ocean. Stroll Christiansted National Historic Site to capture historic buildings like Fort Christiansvaern, one of the best-preserved colonial-era forts in the Caribbean.

ST. JOHN

On the west coast of St. John, beautiful Cruz Bay is the quintessential Caribbean photo op. The crescent-shaped beach is lined with colorful beach bars, and the harbor is dotted with impressive yachts.  

Capture the sunset at tranquil Maho Bay’s overlook, where typical low clouds in the distance make for gorgeous, colorful sunsets. 

From the 18th through much of the 19th centuries, the Catherineberg Ruins were the site of a booming sugar plantation. Today, its former factory buildings, windmill tower and horse mill offer a striking photo backdrop.

Rising nearly 1,300 feet above sea level, the moderately challenging Bordeaux Mountain Trail leads up to the highest summit on the island of St. John, where dazzling views of the island-dotted ocean make for one of the most postcard-perfect photo ops in USVI.

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