ST. CROIX

Charter a Caribbean Sea Adventures powerboat trip and half-day snorkeling excursion to Buck Island Reef National Monument, a federally protected island situated about 30 minutes from Christiansted Harbor. With its powdery white-sand beach, incredible marine life and epic hiking trail that ascends to the island’s crest — where jaw-dropping views of St. Croix and beyond await — a trip to the island is one of USVI’s favorite adventures. Snorkel the Underwater Trail across giant shallow coral formations, through a coral-lined cave and to the edge of the barrier reef. Then, swim or sunbathe along the turquoise waters of Turtle Beach, named one of the world’s best beaches by National Geographic.

Watch as a master distiller and his team reveal the science and art behind handcrafted Mutiny Island Vodka at Sion Farm Distillery, then sip the flavors of the islands in their sleek tasting room. Learn firsthand how the distillery creates the only island vodka made from breadfruit, and taste the delightful notes of citrus, melon and green banana. Tours and tastings are free for walk-in guests and run every hour on the half-hour. An on-site restaurant serves sandwiches and seafood dishes that pair nicely with the outstanding vodka cocktails.

Shop the artsy boutiques that line the lively Christiansted Boardwalk and picturesque streets of downtown Christiansted. The Christiansted Boardwalk is an excellent place to pick up the ultimate St. Croix souvenir — the hook bracelet, a Crucian symbol of love — found in the shopping district’s many jewelry stores. Browse handcrafted gold and silver jewelry at Crucian Gold. Pop in for blowouts at The Boardwalk Parlour. See art and home decor created by local and Caribbean artists at Cane Roots Art Gallery. Stop in for a round of craft beers and elevated pub fare as you enjoy the harbor view from the waterfront patio at Brew STX.

Hop into a two-person, fully transparent kayak and join an evening paddle of the Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve, one of only seven bioluminescent bays in the world. Sea Thru Kayaks VI offers guided tours and boasts the island’s largest fleet of see-through kayaks. The movement of the kayak through the water causes the bay’s glowing organisms to twirl and spin all around you like magical underwater stars. The tour departs from the Salt River Marina. You’ll then paddle 3/4 of a mile to the bioluminescent bay, where your guide will showcase the incredible underwater show and set you free for 45 minutes to explore on your own. 

Dance the night away under the stars at the waterside Rhythms at Rainbow Beach. From soca to salsa, you’ll groove with your girlfriends to the rhythms of St. Croix at this popular gem. Fuel the fun with their signature cocktail, the boozy Lime in De Coconut. Dig into shareable plates of island apps, including blackened mahi-mahi bites and fried calamari rings, or just order tacos for the table.

ST. JOHN

Give your wallets a workout at palm tree-festooned Mongoose Junction, an outdoor shopping hub featuring unique fashion boutiques, gift shops, art galleries and cafes. Golden Hour, a wellness apothecary, is filled with handcrafted soaps, lotions and fragrances. Bamboula is a Caribbean lifestyle store offering contemporary women’s clothing and unique home decor. 18°64° The Restaurant serves sushi that’s hand-rolled with seafood plucked from the sea. The Tap Room pairs St. John Brewers’ local award-winning craft beers with hand-tossed pizza. Cool off with frappes, boba tea and waffle cones packed with island-made ice cream at St. John Scoops.

Gather your group and snorkel the 400-foot-long Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkel Trail, located just off the shoreline in picturesque Trunk Bay. The submerged trail is marked with underwater plaques that lead the way, and include fun facts about the many marine creatures that call this corner of the islands home. Post-hike, plan on catching some rays on the white sands of Trunk Bay Beach, considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

A floating restaurant? We’re there! Enjoy cocktails and lunch at Lime Out, a floating taco shack in Coral Bay accessible only via shuttle boat or dinghy, with a swim-up bar and lily pad booths big enough for your whole crew. Or stick to the sand and enjoy Lime Out’s tacos on land — like the Cowabunga, with slow-braised short ribs, blackened shrimp and feta cheese — at their new Cruz Bay restaurant, The Lime Inn. Pop in for happy hour, hosted Monday through Friday from 3 p.m.–5 p.m., for half-price, handcrafted cocktails like the Hunter’s Passion (mango rum, pineapple juice, passion fruit puree, cream of coconut and a sprinkle of nutmeg).

Buckle your seatbelts and explore St. John by Jeep. Check out the beaches, ruins, hiking trails and hidden off-road island gems on a half- or full-day tour with Explore STJ. All tours are conducted in a four-door Jeep Wrangler that can accommodate four passengers. Best of all, tours are fully customizable, so you can opt to stop and snorkel with turtles, take a break with drinks at The Windmill Bar or swim at a pristine beach. Jenn, your licensed and experienced local guide, will share her personal insights about the island. Add a jug of Painkillers for an additional fee and make it a party!

Celebrate the sunset with champagne and hors d’oeuvres aboard the Cruz Bay Watersports Days End Sunset Sail. Step aboard a 65-foot luxury catamaran at The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef and sail into the sunset in the calm waters of Pillsbury Sound. Expect free-flowing champagne, a full open bar and a stunning panorama of sunset hues.

ST. THOMAS

Toast your friendship with bottomless mimosas during Sunday Brunch at St. Thomas Social. At this elegant harborside restaurant located at Yacht Haven Grande, watch luxury yachts sail by as you indulge in the wild mushroom omelet or brioche French toast topped with wild berry compote. Small plates like oysters on the half shell and Mediterranean mezze (including baba ghanoush and hummus served with garlic naan) are perfect for sharing. A live DJ keeps the energy high at the hottest brunch in town.

Shop ’til you drop on Charlotte Amalie’s Main Street, the island’s historic shopping district. The bustling cobblestone boulevard is lined with luxury shops. But be sure to meander along the many passages and alleyways, where you’ll find small boutiques selling unique goods. Why not commemorate your girls getaway with a unique piece of jewelry? U.S. citizens have a duty-free allowance of $1,600 per person, making USVI the perfect place to treat yourself to a luxe gift. Grand Jewelers is an authorized dealer of brand-name fine jewelry, while Imperial Dynasty Jewelers specializes in rare and exotic gemstones. At the A.H. Riise Mall, also located on Charlotte Amalie’s Main Street, you’ll find a variety of shops filled with upscale duty-free goods, including perfumes, cosmetics, jewelry and high-end watches.

Everyone can swim with dolphins, sea lions and even sharks at Coral World Ocean Park. Don a mask and dive into their world to learn how the marine animals are cared for by their trainers and how we can help protect them in the wild. Dolphin encounters are hosted on a submerged platform where your group of up to eight people will be guided by a marine specialist for the animal adventure of a lifetime. If you’d like to explore underwater but not everyone in your party is certified, Coral World offers SNUBA, a diving adventure that incorporates an underwater breathing system so you can experience the coral reef like a diver (minus the extensive diving equipment and specialized training).

Check into a sanctuary of self-care at The Westin Beach Resort & Spa at Frenchman’s Reef, where you and your friends can experience the latest in rejuvenating beauty treatments and traditional wellness services. The Heavenly Spa by Westin offers its signature Caribbean Escape package that includes a 90-minute red carpet radiance treatment, a 60-minute massage and a 30-minute back enzyme treatment. Relax post-treatment in plush chaise lounges in the Spa Relaxation Room, where guests are treated to a warm cup of fresh herbal tea and a homemade lavender chamomile cookie.

Dance with abandon at Duffy’s Love Shack, a casual “parking lot” bar where you’ll always find upbeat music, over-the-top cocktails and plenty of good cheer. Celebrate sisterhood every Wednesday from 9 p.m. until 2 a.m. during the popular Ladies Night. Ladies get free drinks, while everyone can dance to nostalgic beats of the ’70s and ’80s. Order a shareable Flaming Volcano, and your flaming 64-ounce drink will be paraded out to the tune of the Jimmy Buffet song Volcano.

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