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Set sail on a thrilling half- or full-day voyage to Buck Island Reef National Monument, a gem situated just 1.5 miles off St. Croix’s northeast coast. This tiny treasure, stretching one mile long and a quarter-mile wide, is a sanctuary for marine life. Boats depart from Tamarind Reef’s Green Cay Marina and the St. Croix Yacht Club in Christiansted Harbor, arriving on the island paradise within an hour. Slip into your snorkel gear to explore the sprawling 4,554-acre reef. The famed Buck Island Underwater Trail will guide you through this marine wonderland, home to 250 fish species, plus sea turtles, rays and sharks.

Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve on St. Croix is both an ecological marvel and a living museum. Explore its mangrove forests and estuarine waters that nurture endangered species. The park is also a historical treasure trove, preserving the only known site where Columbus’ crew landed in the U.S. territory.

Immerse yourself in bucket list-worthy experiences that blend adventure with learning in Salt River Bay. Scuba or snorkel vibrant reefs, hike the park’s scenic trails, or opt to paddle the Salt River Bay at night with Sea Thru Kayaks VI in a double or single kayak to experience the magic of bioluminescence. The movement of the kayak through the water makes the glowing organisms that thrive here appear like tiny floating stars. Bonus: The kayaks are glass-bottomed, so you’ll be completely immersed in the natural phenomenon.

Fort Christiansvaern was constructed in the late 18th century to protect the island from potential invaders and possibly even pirates. Today, it’s part of the Christiansted National Historic Site and is one of the best-preserved historical sites in the Caribbean. Explore the courtyard lined with cannons and then venture inside the fort’s prison cells, officers’ barracks and small museum to learn more about colonial life on the island of St. Croix. Venture through the museum’s exhibits, like Pieces of the Past – The Human Story of Ancient St. Croix, which showcases prehistoric artifacts and documents that reveal the lives of St. Croix’s earliest inhabitants.

During the Crucian Christmas Festival, which kicks off in late December and runs through early January, St. Croix comes alive with parades, music, food fairs and various cultural events celebrating the rich heritage of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Revel in the colorful parades featuring elaborate costumes and lively moko jumbies (traditional, towering stilt walkers originating from West African traditions). Savor local cuisine at the food fairs and dance to the rhythms of calypso, soca and reggae at open-air concerts at this joyous festival that brings people together for an unforgettable holiday experience.


One of the most photographed beaches in USVI — thanks to the allure of its sugary sand — Magens Bay Beach is situated in a protected cove featuring calm, crystal-clear waters. It’s also one of the most family-friendly beaches in USVI, with on-duty lifeguards, changing/shower facilities and plentiful picnic tables. Lounge chairs, beach chairs and umbrellas are all available for rent from the on-site gift shop. Order a tropical cocktail from the beachside bar and the waitstaff will deliver it directly to your lounge chair.

Hop on the Skyride to Paradise Point, an aerial tram that whisks visitors 700 feet above St. Thomas Harbor. Souvenir shops, the open-air Taste at Paradise Point bistro that serves frozen cocktails, PRIME at Paradise Point steakhouse and incredible views await at the top. On sunny days, you can see St. Croix and even Puerto Rico in the distance.

Come face to face with a dolphin, sea lion or even a shark at Coral World Ocean Park, where marine animal lovers can choose from various trainer-guided encounters. Don a mask and dive into their world to learn how the animals are cared for by their trainers and how we can help protect them in the wild. Visitors can also kayak alongside coastal bottlenose dolphins to experience their speed and agility as they swim in their vast ocean habitat. Or opt for an underwater SNUBA adventure to experience the coral reef like a diver, minus the need for specialized training, certification or cumbersome oxygen tanks.

The St. Thomas Carnival is a spectacular celebration held from late April through early May that showcases the island’s unique blend of African, European and Caribbean heritage. Held annually, the colorful festivities include masquerade parades, open-air concerts, pageants, talent shows and boat races. Dine at the dedicated carnival village, where you’ll find food from local eateries and live calypso and reggae acts. 


Considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, Trunk Bay Beach is known for its translucent, turquoise waters. Part of Virgin Islands National Park, the beach is enveloped in emerald flora just beyond its half-crescent of white sand. The 225-yard-long Trunk Bay Underwater Snorkel Trail invites visitors to meet the graceful sea turtles and eagle rays that live on the bay’s bustling reef. 

Over 40% of Virgin Islands National Park is underwater! The park’s beauty lies in its untouched natural splendor and rich historical sites, on land and sea. Beyond snorkeling and scuba diving, visitors can traverse scenic trails that lead from lush mountain tops down to white sandy beaches and see the ruins of ancient plantations. The moderately challenging Ram Head Trail is often regarded as the best hiking trail in Virgin Islands National Park, due to its scenic beauty.

Tranquil Maho Beach is one of the dreamiest beaches in USVI. It’s also one of the most popular spots for snorkeling in search of sea turtles, who enjoy grazing along the bay’s bountiful seagrass. Clear, calm waters make the protected bay ideal for families and visitors new to snorkeling. The flat beach can easily be reached from the road, and an accessible parking lot and restroom facilities are available. Across the street, Reef2Peak rents snorkeling gear, kayaks and stand-up paddleboards. 

The St. John Celebration is a vibrant festival held annually from late June through July 4. Commemorating the end of slavery on July 3, 1848, and the founding of the United States on July 4, 1776, the fun, smaller-scale festival features a colorful parade, carnival rides, games, live music on an open-air stage, traditional bites, and grand finale fireworks that light up the sky over Cruz Bay.

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