ST. CROIX

Museum at Christiansted National Historic Site

Constructed between 1738–1749 by enslaved Africans alongside Danish soldiers during the Danish occupation of St. Croix, Fort Christiansvaern was designed to protect the island from potential invaders and pirates. The fort also served as a Custom House, collecting taxes on the imported goods that arrived on the many ships that anchored in Christiansted Harbor. The fort remains largely unaltered, and is considered to be one of the best-preserved historical sites in the Caribbean. Enter the small courtyard lined with cannons and venture inside the fort’s prison cells and officers’ barracks. A small museum explores the history of the fort, the town of Christiansted and colonial life on the island of St. Croix.

Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts

Housed in a beautiful historic building in downtown Frederiksted, the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts celebrates artists from USVI, Puerto Rico and other Caribbean nations. Stroll through the permanent and rotating exhibits in its seaside, open-air galleries, or enjoy live theater or a dance performance. The Center also serves as a creative incubator, with art classes and workshops taught by local artists.

Apothecary Hall Museum

Step back in time as you enter the Apothecary Hall Museum, an authentically furnished, fully restored 19th-century pharmacy. It was established in 1820 by a Danish pharmacist who arrived in St. Croix to prepare medicines for the military garrison. Situated In the heart of Christiansted, the Apothecary Hall Museum brims with ornate apothecary bottles, drawers of dried herbal medicines and antique pharmacy equipment. The small museum also displays handmade pottery, axe heads, beads, and even an ancient canoe created by the indigenous tribes that inhabited St. Croix for more than 3,000 years.  

Estate Whim Museum

Watch as St. Croix’s tradition bearers and artisans hand-carve calabash bowls from locally harvested wood, weave baskets, sculpt pottery, and create other traditional crafts at the 12-acre Estate Whim Museum. Housed in a colonial-era sugar cane estate, the living museum features rotating exhibits, as well as live Crucian music and dance performances. At the Estate Whim Research Library and Archives, visitors can conduct genealogical and historical research using the museum’s vast archives. 

ST. JOHN

Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins

For a deeper understanding of the oppression, resistance and culture of the enslaved peoples that once lived on St. John, tour the ruins of the 18th-century Annaberg Sugar Plantation. See former quarters, the sugar factory, animal mill and windmill, and learn how the global sugar market drove the brutality of colonialism and slavery in the Virgin Islands. If you have kids in tow, stop by the Visitor Center and pick up a Junior Ranger workbook. Workbook exercises include word searches, mini-quizzes and other games that highlight the plantation’s history. Kids who return a completed workbook to an on-site National Park Ranger will receive a Junior Ranger program certificate and badge.

Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center

When you’re not hiking, boating, snorkeling or just taking in the spectacular vistas of Virgin Islands National Park, pay a visit to the Visitor Center. View rotating exhibits that showcase not only the islands’ diverse flora and fauna, but also its unique history and culture. Located about two blocks from the public ferry dock heading north on Route 20, the Center also sells a variety of brochures, maps and books that provide information on making the most of a visit to the scenic 5,500-acre park. Park staff stationed at the Visitor Center’s information desk can help book guided hikes, historical tours, snorkeling excursions and other activities. 

ST. THOMAS

Fort Christian Museum

Built between 1672–1680, Fort Christian served as a critical point of defense and government during St. Thomas’ Dano-Norwegian, and later Danish, colonial administrations, which ended in 1917 with the sale of the islands to the U.S. Enter the fort’s one-story Gothic Revival-style main building, with its centered three-tiered tower, where a small museum features rotating exhibits dedicated to the people from Europe, Africa, the West Indies and North America that lived on the island during the colonial era. 

St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum

Currently open by appointment only, the small yet fascinating St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum displays an intriguing permanent collection of West Indian art and antiques, with some pieces dating back to the 1600s. Perhaps the most fascinating items on display, however, are the many artifacts recovered from shipwrecks in Charlotte Amalie Harbor and archaeological excavations around the island.

Pirates Treasure Museum

Ahoy mateys! Discover treasures nearly lost forever on the ocean floor at the Pirates Treasure Museum, a two-story museum with hands-on interactive exhibits that immerse visitors in the world of pirates. Showcasing authentic treasures from the world-famous, deep-ocean discoveries of Odyssey Marine Exploration — the daring explorers who discovered some of the most famous deep-ocean shipwrecks in the world — the museum also highlights the submarines and other technology used to recover treasures. Kids will especially enjoy stepping behind the helm of a (virtual) pirate ship and attempting to pilot it out of a storm. 

Explore more island museums.

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