The US Virgin Islands consist of St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix. A benefit of these islands as a vacation destination for US citizens is that no passport is required to visit these island paradises.
St. Thomas is the most visited of the three, as a major cruise port and shopping destination. It also has beautiful beaches, the most famous being Magen’s Bay and a combination of all-inclusive and regular hotel resorts.
St. John is now mostly a National Park, and although there are several high end resorts on the island, there are also eco-lodges and campgrounds available for those who want to be closer to nature. There is no airport here, so you must fly into St. Thomas and take a ferry across if you’d like to visit St. John. Many people do this as a day trip from St. Thomas as well.
St. Croix is the least visited island, but has its own historical sites and Buck Island National Park right off its coastline. There are several all-inclusive resorts, hotels and inns to choose from. There are beautiful beaches, nature hikes, three golf courses, the only casino in the US Virgin Islands and 33 dive sites to choose from.
The British Virgin Islands consist of 60 islands, some uninhabited and designated as National Parks and others privately owned. The largest of the islands and the capital is Tortola.
Tortola is a beautiful, tropical island that is mountainous and surrounded by amazing white sand beaches. There are resorts, hotels, inns and villas to choose from for accommodations. The natural beauty of this island is what makes it so special, but it also boasts a beautiful harbor and shopping in Road Town.
Virgin Gorda is another charming island, with high end resorts as well as villas and campgrounds for accommodating guests. This island is accessed by ferry from Tortola or Beef Island and can be a day trip as well. The Baths on Virgin Gorda are a very popular attraction, with small grottos of saltwater pools and snorkeling opportunities.
The many islands of the British Virgin Islands are best visited by boat. Small private yachts can be rented for your vacation, with staff, or if you’re experienced, you may want to captain your own boat. It is a very popular option in these islands and many of the smaller islands have public moorings or yacht clubs to be used for this purpose. Visiting a different island each day makes your vacation exciting and adventurous.
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