Caribbean

US Virgin Islands Destination Guide: Tropical Escapism

The US Virgin Islands are the ideal getaway to satisfy your tropical cravings. These islands may be US territories, but they feel worlds away with sensory experiences that range from unlimited sunshine and curried meats to the constantly flowing reggae rhythms. Between the pristine beaches, fascinating history, world-class gourmet scene, stylish accommodation, ideal temperatures and outdoor adventures, the US Virgin Islands have all the makings of an ideal Caribbean vacation. Whichever island you find yourself on, it’s a great escape from the mainland. Dig a little deeper beyond the surface and you’ll discover that USVI is perfect for those seeking precious moments of peace and relaxation.

Geographically part of the Virgin Islands archipelago in the Leeward Islands, USVI is made up of three very different islands with their own distinct personality. St. Thomas is a cruise ship favorite that’s often seen as the gateway to the US Virgin Islands with luxe resort life, sophisticated culture and an abundance of exploration. Take a quick ferry to St. John, which offers a plethora of stunning landscapes, environments and sublime shores that are prime for hiking, snorkeling and uninterrupted beach days. St. Croix is the largest of the bunch and offers some of the most exciting doses of culture in the Caribbean: diving sites, scuba sites and rum factories.

Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove

Where to Stay

Tucked away at the base of a hill overlooking the calming waters of the picturesque Pacquereau Bay, the Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove makes for a scenic getaway on the island of St. Thomas. While already set amidst a vibrant landscape, the colorful architecture takes inspiration from Danish and British influences and only adds to the surrounding natural beauty. The spacious two and three-bedroom villas take note of the stunning scenery, each with their own private balcony and patio to complement the separate living and dining areas and fully-equipped kitchen.

The resort makes for the perfect oasis with its own private strip of beach and outdoor fun available at your fingertips. The beachfront resort is located near the historic town of Charlotte Amalie and makes for the perfect base of exploration for those who want to dive into the cosmopolitan culture and fascinating history of St Thomas. When it comes to enjoying the polished luxury available on the resort, you can keep up at the fitness center, relax at the sparkling infinity pool and even dine al fresco at the poolside restaurant.

Our US Virgin Islands Destination Guide also includes a Luxury Hotel Guide with a complete list of first-grade accommodation.

The Terrace Restaurant

Where to Dine

The US Virgin Islands are filled with small, family-run restaurants. Housed in a rustic stone building in the heart of Cruz Bay in St. John, The Terrace Restaurant is the establishment that brings this warm approach to the art of fine dining. Led by renowned chef Erica Miner, the French-influenced menu features fresh local and flown-in seafood, meats and premium ingredients with a variety of refined, classic and contemporary plates.

The family-run restaurant has built great relationships with local farmers and fishermen, and this unwavering commitment to quality shows up in their Caribbean lobster, naturally-raised beef, lamb, local greens and herbs. The eclectic wine list is simply the cherry on top with an award-winning selection of over 130 bottles available mainly from California and France, but also Australia, South America, Spain, New Zealand and Italy. The warm and attentive staff members are more than knowledgable, while the breathtaking waterfront views provide the perfect setting to enjoy an all-around elevated experience, especially at sunset.

Our US Virgin Islands Destination Guide also includes a Restaurant Guide with a list of the top gastronomic experiences.

Trunk Bay

What to Do

Between the sublime salt-kissed air that whisks you away from reality to the peaceful atmosphere that sweeps across the coastline, US Virgin Islands offer once-in-a-lifetime nourishment that not only recharges your batteries, but also shifts your perspective on life. Take this relaxation to new levels with the abundance of excellent outdoor spas scattered throughout the islands and most upscale resorts. St. Thomas is the most commercialized islands of the bunch with a cosmopolitan culture, local shops and internationally influenced restaurants at the palm of your hand. Don’t miss out on the famous 99 Steps to the summit of Government Hill while Magens Bay is widely considered one of the most pleasant beaches in the world.

Take the ferry over to St. Croix and head over to the St. George Botanical Garden to really enjoy the diverse landscapes of the island. The snorkeling on St Croix is some of the best in the Caribbean, especially at the Virgin Islands Coral Reef Monument while you can also dive head-first into rum making. It’s also worth checking out the imposing Fort Christiansted, which rises above the waterfront. Over 250 years ago, this was the spot where ships landed set off for Europe with sugar and molasses. Today, this wharf is not only a must-see among those interested in the history of the island, but it’s also a beautiful boardwalk of restaurants, bars and local shops.

Not too far away, the island of St. John is well-known for its untouched natural beauty as the US Virgin Islands National Park takes up more than two-thirds of the area. There are no cruise ship docks or airports on the island, while luxury resorts are few and far between, so head here if you want the enjoy top-notch tranquility within nature, especially along the north shore where you’ll find snorkeling and swimming hotspots, as well as some excellent hiking trails.

Tory Praver

What to Wear

Designed in a simple one-piece suit, this Mara Hoffman Persephone Swimsuit still manages to grab your attention with its bold coloring, making for a playful statement in the sand. It’s also cut from a fabulous stretch-fabric that sculpts and defines your frame. Drenched in a captivating boho print, this DoDo Bar Or Lora Cotton-Voile Mini Dress is the perfect daytime dress to take you from the beachside to the streets of St. Thomas with ease.

Constructed without the stuffiness of a classic polo, this Onia Shaun Striped Polo Shirt is the ideal companion that will take you from under the Caribbean sun to cocktails on the beach come night. It has an open placket for a casual and easy fit, whereas the overall linen construction is lightweight, keeping you cool throughout the duration of your stay. Pair the shirt with these Alexander McQueen Square-Frame Acetate Sunglasses for a winning combination. The glasses are not only 100% UV protected to shield your eyes from the harsh rays, but also make for a chic look with its stylish gradient lenses.

Part of our US Virgin Islands Destination Guide includes a Style Sheet with a complete breakdown of what to pack.

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Braeden Alexander

Braeden Alexander is an explorer with an insatiable appetite for the world and all the exquisite experiences that await. As a writer, he's concerned with the similarities that connect us all.

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