A short plane ride from Miami and other major American cities, the U.S. Virgin Islands are a great, hassle-free island getaway. From award-winning beaches, intriguing historical sites, fine dining and boundless shopping, the opportunities to enjoy St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas are limitless.
1. Days of Shopping
Visit Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas for every genre of retail therapy imaginable, or Mongoose Junction, St. John for locally made jewellery and art shops. Before leaving St. Croix, pick up a famous Crucian Hook Bracelet – a 45-year-old symbol of true love or the wearer’s search for it.
2. Spa the Day Away
For an ultra-luxurious day, head to the newly-opened Lazule Sea Spa at Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort on St. Thomas. Meanwhile, fitness, yoga and Zumba lovers can enjoy a breathtaking Caribbean vista whilst working out at Caneel Bay’s new M’Ocean Studio on St. John. Those seeking overall revitalisation should head to The Spa at Carambola Beach Resort & Spa, St. Croix, which has a blissful selection of hair and body treatments.
Visit: www.lazulespausvi.com, www.rosewoodhotels.com, www.carambolabeach.com
3. Outdoor Adventure
Perfect for those seeking an adrenaline rush, Tree Limin’ Extreme Zip Line is St. Thomas’ first such operation and includes six zip lines and two sky walks located near the highest point of the island. For a bird’s eye view of St. Thomas and St. John climb aboard Flightseeing Adventure in a Piper Aztec or Cessna 172 aircraft. As night strikes, continue on with Adventure Center, whose clear kayaks with LED lights illuminate the reef and marine life below.
Visit: www.ziplinestthomas.com, www.viecotours.com, www.adventurecenters.net
4. Centuries of History
History buffs eager to learn about the historical Caribbean can enjoy a historical walking tour of Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas. View 17th and 18th-century warehouses that once stored goods for export, the iconic St. Thomas Synagogue with its sand-covered floor and, the oldest standing building in the Virgin Islands, Fort Christian, built in 1672.
5. Food Lovers Paradise
Latin-infused dishes – featuring Cuban favourites – and a sleek atmosphere define Havana Blue, an upscale eatery at the Morning Star Beach Club in St. Thomas. For Malaysianinspired cuisine, head to Fatty Crab in Cruz Bay, St. John where local produce blends seamlessly with international flavours. Alternatively, St. Croix’s Reminisce offers creative, Caribbean dishes in a romantic ambience.
Visit: www.havanabluerestaurant.com, www.fattycrab.com, www.reminiscevi.com
6. Luxury Retreats
Disappear amongst The Ritz-Carlton’s 30 acres for the ultimate in amenities and world class service on St. Thomas or experience eco-luxury at the recently opened Eco Serendib Villa and Spa on St. John, with eight individually designed suites. Founded in the 17th century, The Buccaneer on St. Croix charms with old-world style and modern amenities.
Visit: www.ritzcarlton.com, www.ecoserendib.com, www.thebuccaneer.com