The U.S. Virgin Islands, which include St. Thomas, St. John, and St. Croix, as well as several smaller islands, were named by Christopher Columbus on his second voyage to the Caribbean in 1493. The islands have been controlled by several different nations over the years. As a result, the islands have inherited a vibrant and unique mix of cultures.
St. Thomas, home to the capital of Charlotte Amalie, is the commercial heart of the islands. Stop by any one of the large variety of shops lining the harbor, including jewelry stores, art galleries, perfumeries, and boutiques featuring locally produced goods and crafts — including custom, handmade sandals!
Away from the bustle of the city you can lounge, swim, and play at any of the island’s 40 major beaches. Our personal favorite is the incredibly photogenic Magen’s Bay, a mile-long, white sand beach surrounded by coconut groves and acres of trees. Want to see where the locals hang on Sundays? Take your yacht’s tender over to Water Island for a day of live music, good food, and one of the most beautiful beaches you’ll ever set foot on.
If the pace of a beach day is too slow for you, St. Thomas also boasts opportunities for any number of adventure and water sports, including zip-lining, parasailing, flyboarding, scuba, night snorkeling, paddle boarding, windsurfing and skydiving.
St. Thomas’s more laid back little brother, St. John, is well known for its large percentage of national park land–60% of the island, to be exact, donated by conservationist Laurance S Rockefeller in 1956. Because of this generous gift, the island remains mostly undeveloped, and a focus on eco-tourism has encouraged locals to remain very protective of St. John’s natural beauty.
For a fun night out, drop into quaint Cruz Bay, home to most of St. John’s restaurants, bars, and shops. Dance to live music on the beach beneath the moonlight and enjoy the lively atmosphere that comes so naturally. Wake up the next morning after a sleep in Maho Bay aboard your yacht and dive in for a swim before you head over to the BVI.