The islands are popular with travelers for their white sand beaches, coral reefs, and verdant hills. Some islands are more crowded than others, so make sure you plan enough time to explore all of them. Explore the historic towns on St. Thomas, which is the capital city of Charlotte Amalie. Or, spend a day on St. John, and check out the Virgin Islands National Park.
St. John is a top scuba diving destination
Scuba divers can explore the wrecks of ships on a variety of sites in St. John, including the famous Wreck of the Rhone. This merchantman sail-steamer sank during a hurricane in 1867. This wreck is located near Salt Cay and was the site of the movie, The Deep. Another popular dive site is the steep rock formation of Carval Rock. This location is popular for its abundant tropical fish and strong currents.
There are many dive sites in the water surrounding Saint John, and many of them share a common border with neighboring Saint Thomas. Some of these dive sites are very beautiful and include the Cathedral dive site with its bright sponges and bizarre cavern dwelling species. You may also encounter sting rays and turtles in shallow water, and sometimes even dolphin pods and whales.
St. Thomas is a top snorkeling destination
The sea temperatures in St. Thomas are warm and comfortable all year long. You don’t have to worry about daylong excursions and expensive boat trips. The water temperature stays between 26 and 29 degrees C (79 and 84 degrees F) year-round, making it the perfect place for snorkeling. Although the water is warm and pleasant year-round, the best time to snorkel in St. Thomas is during the late spring and early summer.
If you’ve never tried snorkeling before, St. Thomas is definitely the place for you! The waters are consistently warm and home to incredible marine life. You’ll have a great time watching these creatures as they swim by. And because the water is so close to shore, the whole family can have a great time. There are plenty of snorkeling spots for all skill levels in St. Thomas, so you’ll never run out of fun things to do.
St. John has a sugar plantation
If you love history, then a trip to St. John, US Virgin Islands, would be a perfect one. Its historical site, the Annaberg Sugar Plantation, is a reminder of the island’s colonial past. During its active years, the plantation produced molasses, sugar, and rum. It was named after the daughter of the founder of the sugar factory, William Gottschalk. In its heyday, slave labor was used to clear the densely forested hillsides, and terrace slopes, and plant sugarcane. Eventually, slave labor was no longer needed, as the plantation was divided into smaller farms.
One of the main features of the ruins is the Annaberg Windmill. Built-in 1810, the windmill was the largest in the US Virgin Islands. The windmill produced between 300 and 500 gallons of sugarcane juice per hour. Slaves passed sugarcane through the rollers and the juice was stored below. In the case of rainy seasons, the horse mill was used instead.
St. Thomas has a rum distillery
If rum is your thing, St. Thomas has several distilleries. You can visit the Cruzan Rum Distillery on St. Thomas, or sample Captain Morgan Rum on St. Croix. Both are steeped in history, and their grounds preserve the remains of a sugar cane plantation. The Bushwacker Cocktail is a Virgin Islands staple that has its roots in the U.S. It was originally sold on St. Thomas and has since become a favorite drink among visitors to the Virgin Islands.
The Nelthropp family has lived in the Virgin Islands for more than four centuries, and today they have a rum distillery on St. Croix. The family’s open-air warehouses allow warm tropical breezes to flow through the distillery. The name of their rum reflects the Crucians who inhabited the islands. The Nelthropp family is proud to be part of the island’s rum heritage, and you can taste the difference at the distillery.
St. Thomas has a sugar plantation
Historically, St. Thomas was home to a sugar plantation that produced molasses, rum, and sugar. Today, this site is mostly ruined, though you can still take a stroll through the slave quarters and windmill. While exploring the ruins, be sure to read the informative signs about the plantation’s past. Afterward, you can explore the plantation’s sugar museum to learn more about its history.
One of the oldest sugar plantations in the Caribbean was found on St. Jan. The Annaberg Sugar Plantation was located on the northeastern tip of the island, overlooking the bay of Leinster. Its descendants continued the tradition and established the first Danish sugar plantation on St. Thomas. The area later became known as Jurgen Hansen’s Bay. After the colonists settled, it was eventually flooded with sugar.