One of the only places that you can visit with a US driver’s license without the need of a passport. The US Virgin Islands are made of 3 main islands St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix. During my stay, I made my home base St. Thomas Bluebeards Castle Resort. Bluebeards castle lies on a mountain near the main harbor in the downtown area. Bluebeards resort was walking distance to most places in the area, if we wanted to go further out then a taxi was needed. Taxi prices vary from $4-10 throughout the island (always ask for the price before getting in). I initially considered getting an Airbnb but the prices are the same as the resorts so I didn’t even bother. Although if I could do it again I would have rented a boat and stayed on it during my visit. I will advise everything on the island is super expensive, to put into perspective a bag of M&Ms cost $6 and a gallon of orange juice costs $13. Rent a car or Jeep as the taxis can add up and they only take cash. A ride to the airport from the resort cost $10 a person plus $4 dollars a bag.
St. Thomas is the most developed island of the three and the most touristy. St. John & St. Croix are lush and mainly undeveloped, thus perfect for diving. In St. Thomas, you will find plenty of luxury stores and shops to buy gifts and name brand products. Shopping tends to be good in the islands since they don’t charge tax on goods. Oddly alcohol and smoking products are cheap here versus everything else. If you really want to experience paradise and not really shop I would recommend visiting St. John and St. Croix. To get to either island you can take a ferry or a seaplane. Seaplane to St. Croix from St. Thomas costs $90 each way in my opinion the experience alone is worth that. Diving on the islands is super expensive, the best quote I got was $280 a person for a 2-tank dive. Instead I booked a sailing and diving excursion at $95 a person through New Horizons Day Sail. Sailing starts in St. Thomas and heads to two dive spots in St. John. Throughout the excursion they provided breakfast, lunch, and unlimited drinks. It’s a win-win all around. If you want to party check out Red Hook on St. Thomas, it’s basically a small area full of bars. Ladies night there takes places on Wednesdays. Be warned though after a certain time the taxis up charge for rides leaving the area. One of the best places I recommend eating a meal at is Tap & Still, which can be found either in Red Hook or Havensight. Havensight is the yacht marina located near downtown St. Thomas and they cruise docks. There you will find some high-end retail stores along with some popular restaurants. Other than that I recommend the Fat Turtle for food and drinks and Dog House for drinks.
For snorkeling I would recommend Coki Beach, Secret Harbor Beach Resort, and Sapphire Beach. Coki beach lies next to Coral World on the far-left side of the island. They offer diving right off the beach. Along the edges of the diving site there are some rocky edges where you will find some corals and small fish throughout. In the middle, it can get past 20 ft. deep along these rock edges max depth is 15 ft. Secret Harbor was my favorite of all 3. Secret Harbor resort offered more than the beach with a full bar and resort with water activities you can plan your whole day staying there. Once again max depth I reached here was 22 ft. even in the middle. Saw the most abundant wildlife and the beach was also the cleanest. Only tourist visit this beach.
In conclusion, the US Virgin Islands are nice, however I would not recommend them. For one everything is expensive and I feel like I could have gotten more for my money in other nearby countries such as Dominican Republic, Mexico, Nicaragua, etc. There isn’t much to do on the island other than shop. If you like wildlife then St. John will be perfect but even the areas that I went I struggled to find abundant fish. Now on the other hand I would go back as a sailor and sail the varies islands including the British Virgin Islands. That in my opinion would be the ideal thing to do for this area. By sailing the islands, you would quickly and easily see all the different aspects that each one of them offer. If you can’t get a passport then I would recommend a visit here.
All the Best,