St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix are the three beautiful paradise-like U.S Virgin Islands. Each of these islands is known for different things, but they all share the same beautiful landscape.
So which one is the best to visit? Well, that depends on what you’re looking to do and who you’re going with. If you’re traveling with family, one island might be more suited for you, compared to whether you’re looking to party or swim with turtles.
St Thomas offers you beautiful beaches, nightlife, and various accommodation options. St John is a go-to for the outdoors with amazing white sand beaches and places for snorkeling and hiking as 2/3rds of it are considered a national park. St Croix offers plenty of historical landmarks as well as its own outdoor landscapes and scenery.
With pristine beaches and gorgeous views of the Caribbean Sea at all three islands, it’s not always easy to pick the best one. Here is a helpful guide to find out which U.S. Virgin Island you should visit.
St. Thomas is the most famous island in the Virgin Islands and receives the vast majority of tourists. It’s well known for its shopping strip, which seems to have an endless amount of jewelry stores, and its various high-end dining options and beautiful accommodations throughout the island.
It’s also quite a popular stop for cruise ships. In terms of resorts and hotels, you can stay in beautiful luxurious places like the Emerald Beach Resort or affordable places like The Green Iguana Hotel.
For single or young couples looking to party, this is the island you’ll want to visit. St. Thomas has a vibrant nightlife with all types of clubs for people. Tourists have a wide selection of sports bars, beach bars, and wine bars to visit. The clubs tend to host different events each weekend and if you go during the summer, you’ll have more than enough to choose from.
St. Thomas is also a great option for families. There are plenty of kid-friendly activities you can do. There are different museums you can attend, diverse foods you can try out, and fun adventures you can go on like snorkeling or ziplining at Tree Limit Extreme. Coral World Ocean Park is another popular option for families, where you can swim with dolphins or observe sea lions.
Whether you’re looking to tour the island with your family, party like there’s no tomorrow, or enjoy the beauty that nature has to offer, you’ll find it in St. Thomas.
If you’re looking for an adventure or want to explore the beautiful outdoors, St. John is the island you need to visit. Most of the island — two-thirds to be exact — is considered a U.S. national park. You can only get there by taking a ferry from either St. Croix or St. Thomas since it doesn’t have an airport.
Upon arrival into Cruz Bay, you’ll have a large selection of food restaurants and stores to visit. Coral Bay is another popular area that’s a bit closer to the Virgin Islands national park area. You can stay in luxury accommodations like Gallows Point Resort and Dahlia Villa.
The island has some of the most beautiful beaches in the entire world. Relax at one of the many alluring beaches like Honeymoon beach or Trunk Bay Beach. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can go snorkeling and find beaches known for their abundance of sea turtles, like Turtle Bay or Maho Bay Beach (see picture below).
You can go hike the trails up to the mountain tops or even go scuba diving. There are also campgrounds if you decide to stay for the night and are willing to try tent camping. There are quite a few places for you to stay in St. John, including luxury resorts in both Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. St. John is the perfect island to visit for avid adventurers or hikers who want to explore the best outdoor experience the virgin islands has to offer.
The island is also a family-friendly destination, offering a variety of food options and things to do for kids. You won’t find too many crowds, and since it requires a ferry to get there since there is no airport, the beaches are also less populated. It’s an excellent place to relax while surrounded by paradise.
St. Croix is the biggest of the three islands and is well known for its historical aspect. If you’re interested in history, St. Croix is the island you want to check out. You can explore the landmarks around the island that played a role during the colonial period.
It’s not as commercialized as St. Thomas and thus doesn’t receive as many visitors, yet it still has impressive offerings in terms of beaches, wildlife, and landscapes for exploring like Point Udall. You can arrive directly at the island using the Henry E. Rohlsen Airport or you can get a ferry from St. Thomas.
There are more than enough food offerings even for the pickiest eater. The food tours are a must if you plan on visiting the island, each lasting anywhere between 2-3 hours. They offer the perfect opportunity if you want to try various local foods. There are food options for everyone, including vegetarian options, plus alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks.
In terms of beaches, it doesn’t offer as many choices St John but it still has its fair share. Popular options include Cane Bay Beach and Sandy Point Beach. Famous landmarks worth visiting are Fort Christiansvaern, Hams Bluff Lighthouse, and the St. George Village Botanical Garden.
Do you know what the best part about visiting the US Virgin Islands is? You can visit all three! Small ferries go back and forth between islands every day at different time intervals.
Even if you’re staying in a specific one or visiting for a week, I’d recommend you take the ferry and visit all three during your time there. It’s not expensive ($6/ticket each way) and only takes 15-25 minutes per ferry, which gives you a beautiful view of the virgin islands.