GETTING TO WATER ISLAND

Getting to Water Island is a breeze thanks to the Water Island Ferry, departing from Crown Bay Marina in St. Thomas every hour. There’s no ferry terminal — just step aboard the small red boat and buy your ticket from the captain (cash only). Then, it’s just a short 10-minute ride from St. Thomas to Phillips Landing on Water Island.

The return ferry back to St. Thomas departs Water Island at a quarter past the hour, with the last trip of the day at 6:15 p.m.

You can also hire a private water taxi, boat tour or charter boat to reach the island, which is ideal for large groups or diving expeditions.

transport on THE ISLAND

The first thing to do when you disembark from the ferry is secure your on-island transportation. There are no buses or taxis here, so walk two minutes from the dock to Rachael’s Rentals to secure a golf cart for the day. It’s the most efficient — and the most fun — way to traverse the island’s winding roads and hilltops. Pro tip: Golf carts can sell out, so reservations are strongly recommended.

PLAY ON HONEYMOON BEACH

One of the island’s main attractions is Honeymoon Beach, a secluded idyll of white sand and transparent turquoise waters. Walk to the beach from the dock or take your golf cart for a quicker trip. Surrounded by palms and dreamy views of the islands in the distance, this is the quintessential Caribbean beach escape.

Make your visit as relaxing or as active as you like. Rent a beach chair and umbrella from Dinghy’s Beach Bar for a day of reclining. You can also rent gear for paddleboarding, kayaking or snorkeling to explore the clear waters of Elephant Bay. Or challenge friends to a rousing game of beach volleyball or tennis at Dinghy’s well-maintained courts.

SNORKEL AND DIVe IN LIMESTONE BAY

If you’re looking for the waters less traveled, you’ll find them in secluded Limestone Bay on the southeast side of Water Island. Don your snorkel gear or plan a scuba diving expedition to explore Supermarket Reef.

Supermarket Reef’s unusual coral formation grows in spurs toward the island, resembling the aisles of a supermarket. Swim up and down the “aisles,” looking for pink goatfish, endangered hawksbill sea turtles, colorful moray eels and schools of purple creole wrasse. Be aware that Limestone Beach is rocky, so you’ll need to wear water shoes.

EXPLORE FORT SEGARRA

Fort Segarra is a unique piece of World War II history. Designed as a defensive outpost, the fort was left incomplete when the war ended in 1945. But an underground bunker, tunnels, gun turrets and observation deck remain.

Wander through this quiet subterranean site (bring a flashlight!) and climb to the observation deck for jaw-dropping, 360-degree views of Water Island, the ocean and surrounding islands.

WATER ISLAND dining

Water Island’s two restaurants are both worth visiting. At Dinghy’s Beach Bar, located right on Honeymoon Beach, feast on local specialties like conch fritters and jerk chicken with your toes nestled in the pristine white sand. Cool off with a frozen drink. Their signature Creamy Dinghy blends Cruzan Light Rum, passion fruit and piña colada flavors.

At Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill, take in spectacular views of Elephant Bay as you dine on the shady hilltop deck. Get the fresh fish tacos — insiders say they’re some of the best in USVI. With an ice-cold beer on the side and the breeze in your hair, lunch at Heidi’s is truly magical. Cash only!

LINGER WITH AN OVERNIGHT STAY

No need to rush off the island! Stay overnight at the eco-friendly Virgin Islands Campground near Honeymoon Beach. Their wood-and-canvas cottages are equipped with electricity and comfortable beds for a cool glamping experience in verdant tropical greenery.

The accommodations at Water Island Villas are roomy and comfortable, with sun decks or private screened lanais for fantastic water views. Just three minutes from the ferry and Honeymoon Beach, these rentals give guests plenty of space to spread out.

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