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MAIN Arrow to TravelTravel Arrow to Caribbean Caribbean Arrow to U.S. Virgin Islands U.S. Virgin Islands

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
With the U.S. dollar recognized as the official currency - and English spoken everywhere - the U.S. Virgin Islands boasts some 2 million visitors a year.

And, as an official US territory, Americans don't even need a passport to get here!

Made up of St. Thomas, St. Croix, St. John and Water Island, USVI is most popular among Americans drawn by beautiful US Virgin Island beaches, and an exotic vacation with all the comforts of home.

Most of them will make the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, on St. Thomas, a home base for the most modern hotels, amenities and swinging nightlife — not to mention that the deep sea harbor is a favorite port of call for the largest cruise ships sailing throughout the Caribbean.

Nearby, the quieter atmosphere of St. Croix also beckons visitors with some of USVI's most spectacular natural beauty, along with historic sites, art galleries, restaurants and lots of duty-free shopping.

charlotte amalie cruise ship port, st. thomas
Charlotte Amalie cruise
ship port, St. Thomas

st. croix, us virgin islands
Caribbean beach resort, St. Croix.
solomon beach, st. croix us virgin islands
Solomon Beach, St. John

For an even more tranquil getaway, St. John has been designated a national park through almost its entire extent, and remains one of the most undeveloped and laid-back of all the three major islands. Only two resorts exist on the island, with many of its beaches left in their natural state and unspoiled by large hotels.

Independent souls who truly want a quiet getaway should sail (by ferry, from St. Thomas) to the most recent addition to the U.S. Virgin Islands, Water Island. Measuring only 492 acres and sparsely populated, Water Island's only concession to tourism is a number villas and cottages available for rent to visitors.

DID YOU KNOW? US Virgin Islands Travel Fun Facts

Donkey crossing.

• The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only location in the United States where you drive on the left side of the road. It is a legacy leftover from when Europeans ruled the island in the 20th century.

• A sincere "good morning" or "good evening" in shops, restaurants or hotels will go a long way in acclimating yourself to the islands, where proper etiquette fits right in with the slow pace.

• When driving around, watch out for donkeys. Although tame-looking, they can deliver quite a kick.

• The biggest beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sandy Point on St. Croix is today known better as "the Shawshank Redemption beach" after it became the backdrop film location for the final scene in “The Shawshank Redemption",

• Lindquist Beach on St. Thomas is one of the island's best kept secrets. A wild, undeveloped beach on the East End, Lindquist is only reachable by a dirt road.

More about US Virgin Island tourist attractions around the Web:

U.S. Virgin Islands Guide Department of Tourism - The official site with a colorful guide to major attractions on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John, getting there by air or cruise ship, getting around by car, taxi or inter-island ferry, with hotel directories and guides to restaurants and nightlife, events & festivals.

Virgin Islands Now - Information-packed site with hotels & restaurant guides, activities, attractions, beaches, car rentals, taxi rates, charters, entertainment, fishing, history, shopping, diving & snorkeling, wedding & honeymoon planning, with cruise ship visitor guides, VI relocation maps, photos and weather facts.

Virgin Islands (Caribbean) - Frommer' - "Best of" guide to top attractions, beaches, historical sites, hotels & restaurants, nightlife, golf courses, plus general visitor information, practical travel tips and more.

A Local's Guide to St Thomas : Know Before You Go - Check out insider info on island wear, packing tips, cell phone use, ATM's, airport transfers, gratuities, and more practical advice for getting the most from your time on St. Thomas.

Virgin Islands Maps - Get your bearings in both the U.S. & British Virgin islands with street maps of Charlotte Amalie, Christiansted, Cruz Bay, and more.

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