Let’s Go Island Hopping: The US Virgin Islands
The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of St. Thomas, St. Croix, and St. John. They are nestled in the warm, blue Caribbean containing soft sandy beaches, tropical rain forests and lots of culture. These islands offer so much more than other island paradises. You can experience historical landmarks, walking tours, culinary encounter, artisan’s fairs, parades and storytelling.
St. Thomas is home of the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie, being the capital was named after the Danish Queen. This is the most popular port for cruise ships and home to a world famous shopping centre and covers about 33 square miles. You can take a ride up to Mountain Top. There you can view the whole island, have a drink and enjoy a meal at the restaurant there. You will find houses through out the winding streets, nestled against the green hills of St. Thomas. Some things of interest might be the art galleries or there is Blackbeard’s Castle, Bluebeard’s Castle, Crown House and the Estate of St. Peter’s Greathouse and Botanical Gardens.
St. Croix is the largest of the three islands covering around 82 square miles. The two towns to visit here are Christiansted and Frederiksted. Founded in 1734, Christiansted has been named a historic site and you can shop the day away, buying French perfumes, fine china, and crystal. If diving is your thing, then you will want to check out Buck’s island. Supposedly one of the best diving spots around. Frederiksted has the offering of a wonderful tropical rain forest and Whim Greathouse. This plantation has been restored to its original state from the 1700’s. A couple of other items you might want to check out are the Cruzan Rum Distillery and Cramer Park.
St. John is the smallest of these wonderful islands and is only 28 square miles. Two thirds of this island is a national park. Touring the national park can be done by jeep, safari bus, or taxi. If you want a tour by a well known taxi driver by the name of Ms. Lucy Smith, you have to book in advance. You will know her taxi by the horns on the hood and the flowers entwined through them. Well versed in folklore and authentic island history, the guides will keep you well entertained.
Hotel accommodations can be made on any and all of these wonderful islands. There are many websites where you can obtain information and make your reservations. They all offer land tours, water activities and you can hop from island to island by ferry. While you might be worried about the weather, there is no real rainy season and the temperature stays about 80 -83 degrees. The hottest temperature ever recorded was 99 degrees sometime in 1979 and the coldest was 52 in November of 1999. The hurricane season runs between June and November with the highest amount of storms in August and September.
All of these islands has something different to offer and are well worth the trip, either by cruise ship or airplane. It will definitely be a vacation to remember.