ST. CROIX

From preserving historic architecture to presenting workshops on local arts and crafts, Crucian Heritage & Nature Tourism (CHANT) is deeply rooted in protecting the centuries-old Crucian culture, offering 2.5-hour walking tours with truly authentic experiences. The Frederiksted Historical Walking Tour explores the history of this significant town, including its celebrated palm tree-lined waterfront, Victorian buildings and historical churches, some dating back to the late 1700s. Or walk in the footsteps of Alexander Hamilton with the Hamilton Walking Tour, which wanders through the historic town of Christiansted along cobblestone streets where the future Founding Father lived as a boy and worked in the Danish Customs House.

Bursting with pride for the island she calls home, Carmen McAlpin-Clarke was always more than happy to give impromptu tours of St. Croix to visiting friends and family. In 2017, her passion turned into Hanging With the Locals, which features one-of-a-kind St. Croix tours by those who know it best — native islanders. These tours provide an insider’s look into the culture and customs of the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. The Crabs with Carmen seasonal tour (March–December), for example, is a behind-the-scenes glimpse into a Crucian cultural experience. Offered Fridays and Sundays, attendees learn how to catch, prepare and cook local land crabs from an island expert. Enjoy the fruits, er, crabs of your labor along with tasty tropical drinks.

ST. THOMAS

With a motto of “Eat Well, Be Inspired,” Flavors of St. Thomas Food Tours encourages visitors to delve into the island’s cuisine and cocktails as a delicious way to get to know the spirit of its people. Explore the sights and history of St. Thomas as you enjoy a progressive dinner through downtown Charlotte Amalie at some of the island’s most popular restaurants and hidden gems during a 3-hour, food-focused tour. Dine on local delicacies such as curried chicken, Creole fungi and sweet fried plantains, plus learn how to make your own tropical rum cocktail. Or if a spirit-focused journey is more to your liking, the Drinking Tour is a leisurely 2-hour stroll through Charlotte Amalie with stops at four local bars and restaurants. Sip on local rums, island cocktails and craft beer as you hear tales about St. Thomas’ pirate past. Adding to the experience are the beautiful examples of colonial architecture you’ll see along the way. Then, use your newly acquired knowledge to try your hand at making your own rum drink.

Channeling its mission to preserve the history, sites and culture of St. Thomas, the St. Thomas Historical Trust is well known for its variety of walking tours led by passionate and knowledgeable guides. Its St. Thomas Historical Trust Hassel Island Tour is definitely not to be missed. Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, Hassel Island is a 135-acre island located in Charlotte Amalie Harbor. After a short boat ride from the waterfront, visitors can enjoy viewing three major sites: The Garrison House, Prince Frederick’s Battery and Cowell’s Battery and Signal Station (the highest point on the island). Available by appointment via email, the 1-to-2-hour tours combine in-depth historical education with moderate hiking and stunning views.

ST. JOHN

Whether you have a fascination with wildlife, a desire to visit secluded beaches or simply want to get a lay of the land, long-time St. John resident Jenn of Explore STJ is happy to oblige on her half- or full-day island tours (3 and 5 hours, respectively). Creating customizable tours is what she does best. Utilizing her jeep to its fullest, which sometimes means going off road, Jenn shares her in-depth knowledge and passion for the island. Tour stops typically include visits to historic sites, such as the Annaberg Sugar Plantation, and light hiking along the trails of Virgin Islands National Park. Stops at pristine beaches, with beach chairs and noodles at the ready, are part of the day’s fun, too. Lunch stops can be pre-arranged — at the Caribbean’s only floating taco bar, perhaps? — and a jug of Painkillers is yours for the asking with an additional fee. Added bonus: Jenn is flexible when it comes to pick-up arrangements.

Owned and operated by native tour guides, Star Fish Tours & Taxi is all about embracing their “Fun in Our Tropical Sun” motto, which starts from the moment you take a seat in the red, open-air mini-bus colorfully decorated with island flowers and starfish. Offering 2.5- and 4-hour customizable tours, Star Fish visits some of the island’s most beautiful beaches — think Caneel Bay, Hawksnest and Trunk Bay — as well as historic spots, including Annaberg Sugar Mill. There are plenty of stops on the journey to capture it all with the perfect photo. Extended snorkel stops are also part of the fun. Along the way, the knowledgeable guides offer plenty of island insights and their own personal stories of living in one of the world’s most beautiful places.

Find even more incredible things to do.

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