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Two of the most attraction-packed islands in the US Virgin Islands archipelago, St. Thomas & St. John offer fantastic opportunities for hiking, swimming, snorkelling, diving and cycling. Throw in a choice of great restaurants, a smattering of historic sights and a rich West Indian culture and you can see why these two picturesque islands make such good destinations.
Charlotte Amalie – The capital of the US Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie is home to a great choice of bars, restaurants and historic sights. Visit the 17th century Blackbeard’s Castle, Fort Christian, Market Square and the Seven Arches Museum to learn more about the city’s past.
Virgin Islands National Park – Covering most of Saint John, the verdant national park is home to a wide choice of hiking routes, a number of pre-Columbian historic sites and some of the least touched beaches in the archipelago.
Red Hook – The second largest settlement on Saint Thomas, Red Hook offers a good choice of bars and restaurants making it a great destination for a night out. Easily accessible by ferry from Charlotte Amalie, Red Hook is a great destination for an interesting day trip.
Cruz Bay – Saint John’s main settlement, Cruz Bay boasts a charming main square, a harbour full of sailing boats and a good selection of bars and restaurants. A number of dive centres in the town offer excursions and courses or you can grab a snorkel and explore the nearby beaches in your own time.
Most of the historic attractions in St. Thomas & St. John are found in Charlotte Amalie. The forts and castles built by the Danes to protect the island in the 17th century are well worth a look, as are the Frederick Lutheran Church and the St.Thomas Synagogue, the oldest synagogue under the flag of the USA. Another prominent sight in the capital is the 99 steps. Designed to help locals climb up the town’s steep hills, the bricks used to build the steps were brought from Denmark as ballast in the hulls of ships. The harbour itself is also well worth a visit during your stay. The sailboats, cruise ships and ferries that are moored in the harbour, together with its stunning natural setting, make it one of the most picturesque in the Caribbean.
As well as discovering the cultural sights, there is plenty more to see and do in St. Thomas & St. John. Thanks to the clear waters and vibrant reefs that encircle the islands, diving and snorkelling are very popular. You can also have a go at kayaking, windsurfing, stand up paddle boarding and jet skiing, with boat trips available for those who’d rather keep their feet dry. Land activities in St. Thomas & St. John include hiking, biking and golf, ensuring there’s something to keep you busy no matter what your interests.