Set sail for the U.S. Virgin Islands where you can enjoy these wonderful attractions

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a popular destination for sun seekers, beach lovers and cruise ship passengers. But there’s more to these Caribbean islands than just sand and sea. Here are 10 offbeat experiences that will make your visit to the U.S. Virgin Islands unforgettable.

Explore the underwater trail at Trunk Bay

Trunk Bay is one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but it’s also home to an underwater trail that will take you on a snorkeling adventure. The trail is marked by signs that explain the coral reef ecosystem and the marine life that inhabits it. You can rent snorkel gear at the beach or bring your own.

Hike to the Annaberg Sugar Plantation ruins

The Annaberg Sugar Plantation was once one of the largest and most productive sugar plantations in the Virgin Islands. Today, you can hike to the ruins of the plantation and learn about its history and the lives of the enslaved Africans who worked there. You can also see the remains of the windmill, the factory, the slave quarters and the dungeon.

Visit the St George Village Botanical Garden

The St George Village Botanical Garden is a hidden gem that showcases the flora and fauna of the Virgin Islands. The garden is located on a former plantation site and features more than 1,500 native and exotic plants, as well as historical buildings and artifacts. You can stroll through the themed gardens, such as the cactus garden, the orchid house and the medicinal garden, or join a guided tour.

Kayak through the mangroves at Salt River Bay

Salt River Bay is a national historical park and ecological preserve that protects a diverse and fragile ecosystem. The bay is also a significant archaeological site, as it was where Christopher Columbus first encountered the indigenous people of the Caribbean in 1493. You can kayak through the mangroves and see wildlife such as birds, fish, crabs and turtles, or explore the bioluminescent lagoon at night.

Sample rum at the Cruzan Rum Distillery

The Cruzan Rum Distillery is one of the oldest and largest rum producers in the Caribbean. The distillery has been making rum on St Croix since 1760, using local ingredients and traditional methods. You can take a tour of the distillery and learn about the rum-making process, from fermentation to bottling, and sample some of their award-winning rums.

Watch sea turtles nest at Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge

Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is a haven for endangered sea turtles, especially leatherbacks, which are the largest and rarest of all sea turtles. The refuge is closed to the public most of the year, but from April to August, you can join a guided tour to watch these gentle giants come ashore to lay their eggs on the beach. You might even see some hatchlings make their way to the ocean.

Shop for local crafts at Mongoose Junction

Mongoose Junction is a shopping and dining complex that features local artisans and businesses. You can find unique souvenirs such as jewelry, pottery, paintings, clothing and more, all made by local craftsmen and women. You can also enjoy some delicious food and drinks at one of the many restaurants and bars in the complex.

Swim with dolphins at Coral World Ocean Park

Coral World Ocean Park is an aquarium and marine park that offers a variety of interactive experiences with marine animals. You can swim with dolphins, feed sharks, touch starfish, snorkel with stingrays and more. You can also visit the underwater observatory, where you can see coral reefs and fish without getting wet.

Relax at Water Island

Water Island is the smallest and least developed of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s a peaceful retreat from the hustle and bustle of St Thomas, which is just a 10-minute ferry ride away. You can relax on Honeymoon Beach, one of the most secluded beaches in the islands, or explore the island by bike or golf cart. You can also visit Fort Segarra, an underground fort built by the US during World War II.

Celebrate at the St John Festival

The St John Festival is an annual celebration of the island’s culture and history. The festival runs from late May to early July and features music, dancing, food, parades, fireworks and more. The highlight of the festival is the Carnival Village, where you can enjoy live entertainment, local cuisine and carnival games. The festival culminates with the Emancipation Day and Independence Day celebrations on July 3 and 4.

Hotels on St Croix island

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