The US Virgin Islands are the Caribbean paradise for travelers. This group of islands in the Eastern Caribbean consists of St. John, St. Thomas, and St. Croix. Each island has many places where visitors can explore the culture, history, and nature of all three on one great vacation. Read on to learn the reasons to visit the US Virgin Islands this winter.
Reasons to Visit the US Virgin Islands
The Weather is Wonderful
The US Virgin Islands are the perfect retreat from the cold winter weather. The average temperatures from the mid 70s to upper 80s from December through March. Many American travelers make the US Virgin Islands one of their favorite destinations of choice to spend the holiday season for this very reason.
No Passport Needed for American Citizens
US passport renewal times now taking months due to high demand. Since the Virgin Islands are a United States territory, American citizens are not required to need a passport to travel there. This includes access St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, plus many of the other surrounding islands and all you need is your state ID.
Arrive by Air or Cruise Ship
If you wanted to experience the US Virgin Islands from another perspective, travelers have the option of visiting the islands via a plane or as a port call on an Eastern Caribbean cruise. St. Thomas is one of the top cruise ship ports in the Caribbean, so you have the option of exploring the island as a day excursion.
The Best Things to Do in the US Virgin Islands
There are a multitude of outdoor fun and activities to do during your stay in the US Virgin Islands. Trunk Bay on St. John is a favorite with snorkelers due to its 225 yards long underwater snorkeling path. Besides the numerous beaches, the islands of full of opportunities outdoors including hiking, swimming, boating, and snorkeling at Virgin Islands National Park, and spotting leatherback sea turtles at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge on St. Croix.
History buffs will love to explore the colonial history on the US Virgin Islands. On St. Croix, visitors can explore the Estate Whim Plantation Museum or tour Fort Christiansvaern and get a taste of history. On St. John, guests can see Annaberg Plantation and learn all about the plantation’s role in the African slave trade.
Shoppers will want to pay a visit to the USVI shopping mecca of Main Street on St. Thomas. This area is considered the best shopping area in the Caribbean. Shoppers will find anything they desire on this cobblestoned street, including designer clothing and the best perfume.
A Fantastic Food Scene
The US Virgin Islands has a unique cuisine that really combines the local culture with regional influences. The main staple of the islands is fish & fungi, while Johnny Cakes are a treat that is served with every meal. Other local favorites include Callaloo, a soup with West African influence, while conch fritters are a popular menu item in many restaurants.
The dining options on all the islands is everything from fast food to fine dining establishments. Top restaurants include burgers at Side Street Pub, steak and lobster at Prime at Paradise Point in St. Thomas, sushi at Lovango Resort and Beach Club on St. John, and tasty tacos at Lime Out on St. John.
An Optimal Getaway for Couples
The US Virgin Islands are full of romantic spots and couples’ resorts. The islands offer gorgeous sunsets, white sand beaches, and intimate restaurants and resorts. The Buccaneer Beach and Golf Resort on St. Croix is a favorite for couple due to its stunning views, luxury accommodations, great food, and couple friendly activities.
Covid-19 Entry Requirement for the US Virgin Islands
All travelers to the islands over the age of 5 years old must complete the USVI Travel Screening Portal during the five day window prior to arrival. Travelers will need to submit evidence of a negative result of a pre-approved COVID-19 molecular test (RT-PCR, viral or nucleic acid amplification) submitted within five days of travel. This guideline is mandatory even for fully vaccinated travelers. Canadians that wish to visit the US Virgin Islands must comply with the current health guidelines that includes coronavirus testing, in addition to completing the travel screening portal.
Masks are required in airports and on all forms of public transportation throughout the US Virgin Islands.
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This article originally appeared on TravelOffPath.com