A weekend getaway to the US Virgin Islands!

The US Virgin Islands have a lot to offer-  turquoise blue water, towering peaks, lots of amazing beaches, great snorkeling options, awesome food and great night life. It’s the perfect weekend getaway from the US mainland. The US Virgin Islands are made up of multiple islands but the big ones are Saint Thomas, Saint John and Saint Croix. While Saint Croix is a little further out from the other two, Saint Thomas and Saint John are definitely doable on a single weekend getaway.

US Virgin Islands

Most visitors get to the US Virgin Islands via a quick flight from the mainland to Cyril E King Airport in Saint Thomas. Renting a car is the best way to explore the islands, but if you don’t prefer driving (especially on the left side of the road) there are shared taxis that charge $4 to get you to the popular destinations.

Must see attractions

  • Magen’s bay:

Magen’s bay is the most popular beach in the US Virgin Islands. But it gets very crowded during the day, so we did not swim there but instead enjoyed it from a distance. Drake’s seat and Mountain Top viewpoint have gorgeous views of Magen’s bay. There’s even a nice souvenir shop at Mountain Top which we thought was very reasonably priced, even though it was bustling with tourists.

Saint Thomas ocean beach US Virgin Islands
View from Drake’s Seat
Saint Thomas, Magen's Bay, Moutaintop, Caribbean US Virgin Islands
Magens Bay from Moutain Top Viewpoint

You can enjoy fresh coconut water with some island rum mixed in at Drakes Point depending on the time of day. The guy who sells coconuts (forgot his name) wasn’t there when we first stopped there but we caught him on our way down from Mountain Top.

  • Paradise point:

Paradise point has the most amazing views of the marina and the town of Charlotte Amalie.  There are two ways to get to this lookout; you can either take the Skyride gondola (14$ per person) or drive yourself to the top. We did the latter. There is a small narrow road that’s really easy to miss to the left of the main road if you are driving away from the town of Charlotte Amalie that will take you all the way to the top. The road is paved all the way up and there are parking spots at the top as well. There’s also a nice restaurant with amazing views.

Saint Thomas, USVI, Caribbean US Virgin Islands
Paradise point
Saint Thomas, USVI, Caribbean US Virgin Islands
Paradise point
  • Town of Charlotte Amalie:

You can easily spend a half day walking around the town of Charlotte Amalie.  There are many shops, restaurants, bars; and the best part is that everything you buy here is duty free. We walked up the 99 steps to Blackbeard’s castle to enjoy more great views of the harbor and sparkling turquoise water.

Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands
99 steps
Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands
99 steps

 

  • Coki beach:

There are so many beach options in Saint Thomas, and Coki beach is one of the best. Snorkeling here was a really cool experience since you can feed the fish from your own hands. A big school of fish came towards me when I held a piece of fish food in my hand.  I could feel them nibbling on my fingers. It was unreal. Swim to the right of the beach for great snorkeling. Beach chairs, life jackets, umbrellas and drinks are all available here for a very reasonable price.  There are restrooms and showers on site.

Saint Thomas US Virgin Islands
Fish at Coki Beach- there are lots of them

 

  • Turtle Bay:

Turtle Bay is in Saint John, which is a short 20 minute ferry ride from the port of Redhook or 45 mins from Charlette Amalie. Schedules for the ferry from each port can be found on this website. Again, great beach and amazing snorkeling.

Saint John US Virgin Islands
Trunk bay

Saint John US Virgin Islands

  • Ram trail Hike:

While there are many hiking trails in Saint John, Ramhead trail is the most popular one. It is 20-30 mins one way and takes you through bushes along the water to a cliff and has amazing views all the way up.

Ramhead trail hike starting point
Saint John US Virgin Islands
View from Ramhead trail

Just driving around in Saint John is an attraction in itself. There are amazing lookouts at every corner.

Saint John US Virgin Islands
Trunk Bay
Where to eat:

Cup and Cork is a great option for breakfast. They serve coffee, burritos, bagels, smoothies and much more.

Texas Pit Barbecue has the best ribs. They have food trucks/trailers set up in both corners of St. Thomas: Charlotte Amalie and Red Hook.

For dinner and drinks, Tap and Still is a good option.  The menu is limited to burgers, hot dogs and wings but the food is really good and they have a solid beer selection on tap.

Where to stay:

There are hotels in all price ranges in Saint Thomas. I recommend staying in/around the Red Hook area since the ferry port is close by, which allows for easy access to other close by islands. Also this area has tons of restaurants and bars. Secret Harbor Beach Resort is right on the water and the hotel beach is great for snorkeling. Paradise cove is another great option, on the less expensive side but great location and amazing views.

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2 Comments

  1. Ryan Biddulph

    July 18, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    The whole island looks gorgeous Tripti. I’d spend a few hours sitting in Drake’s Seat, making it Ryan’s seat for a minute 😉 I’m a sucker for tropical paradises. One visit to my blog shows ya that. So the clear, pristine waters and beautiful beaches and tropical feel to the US Virgin Islands is appealing. And from NYC? Definitely a weekend getaway.

  2. Lesley

    July 20, 2017 at 3:25 pm

    Wow it really looks incredible!! Thanks for sharing your experience 🙂

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