US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands Features

Discover US Virgin Islands

US Virgin Islands Travel Guide

The US Virgin Islands are part of the Virgin Island archipelago—a chain of islands named by Christopher Columbus, in honor of St. Ursula and her virgin disciples. Possessing less square mileage than many American cities, the small population of the US Virgin Islands is multiplied exponentially as approximately two million tourists venture to the islands annually via flight and cruise ship.

Located west of Anguilla and the British Virgin Islands, and east of the United States territory of Puerto Rico, the US Virgin Islands are made up of three main islands, as well as other small islands and land forms.

St. John

St. John serves as the smallest of the US Virgin Islands, lying closest in proximity to the British Virgin Islands. It is east of St. Thomas—the two divided by only a couple of nautical miles.

St. Thomas

St. Thomas is the westernmost island. It is located a mere puddle jump from Puerto Rico. It is the most popular and populated of the US Virgin islands, possessing the capital city of Charlotte Amalie.

St. Croix

The largest of the US Virgin islands, St. Croix sits alone when considering the geography of the Virgin Islands archipelago.

Holidays in US Virgin Islands

In all fairness, many people prefer to holiday in US Virgin Islands to enjoy lazy, sun-soaked days, and food and drink filled nights. It may be the premier place in all of the extended United States for relaxation. Such having been stated, the US Virgin Islands vacations are perfect for the adventurous, whether a single traveler, couple, family or large group. There are hotels and resorts to choose from on every island, allowing for travel to one or all three.

Kayaking and Snorkeling

All three of the US Virgin Islands offer ample opportunity, and clear water that is perfect for snorkeling. It’s a wonderful way to explore the completely new world that exists just below the surface of the Caribbean Sea. Trunk Bay at St. John is an excellent example of a snorkelers paradise. For the more experienced diver, there are SCUBA tours that are available, exploring more of the underwater geography.

For those who prefer to skim the surface, sea kayaking will allow for water exploration, as well as impressive land features such as the mangroves in Mangrove Lagoon in St. Thomas.

Fishing and Sailing

There are several sailing courses and chartered fishing trips offered from St. Croix. The US Virgin Islands are known for setting records within the realm of big game fishing. For those who simply want the experience of sailing on a boat, or relaxing on a yacht, there are several island tours that will allow for photo ops and relaxation.

US Virgin Islands: A Brief History

The beautiful islands now known as the US Virgin Islands was originally inhabited by the Arawaks, Ciboney and Carib cultures. After Columbus discovered the islands in 1493, the “ownership” exchanged hands between numerous European principalities for the next two hundred-plus years. In the 1750s, rule settled in the governing hands of the Danes. It would remain a territory of the Danish West Indies until World War I, when the United States desired to acquire the islands to prevent Germany from taking them by force and using them as military installments—specifically for submarine capability. In 1916 Denmark agreed to the sale of the islands for 25 million dollars. A price that would inflate to approximately 426,000,000 dollars today—still quite a bargain.