U.S. Virgin Islands Activities, Dining and Entertainment
The beaches are one of the main reasons for people and Caribbean real estate investors to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands. The soft white sands create gorgeous blue-and-white contrasts with the deep blue of the sea. And there are more secluded spots if you want to avoid the crowded areas. All the beaches are open to the public and most are perfect for swimming and snorkeling.
Both power and sailing vessels are available for crewed or bare-boat charters. Visitors can explore this Caribbean Island at their own pace, visiting the islands they choose, or take one of the planned tours. The islands host boat races through the year, including the International Rolex Cup Regatta, in St. Thomas, the Mumm's Cup Regatta, in St. Croix, and The Virgin Islands America's Cup Challenge. The Coral World Marine Park and Observatory is one the most popular tourist attractions on St. Thomas, with its three-story observation tower 100 feet offshore in a living coral reef.
Sport fishing is another major attraction and the catch can include White Marlin, Wahoo, Dolphin, Allison Tuna, and Kingfish. Although there are no courses on St. John, St. Croix and St. Thomas have international standard golf courses that rival the top courses in the world. St. John's natural topography makes it the perfect place to go hiking. The National Park has more than 20 miles of hiking trails. Horseback riding is offered on St. Croix and St. Thomas by resort facilities or independent operators. Guided kayak tours are available through the Marine Sanctuary and Mangrove Lagoon on St Thomas. With a hilly terrain and fabulous scenery, the USVI is an ideal place for mountain bikers and bicycle tours of St. Croix's rain forest begin out of Frederiksted, and bikes are also available for rental on St. Thomas and St. John. Parasailing is a great way to view the USVI and is available at most waterfront hotels. Tennis enthusiasts can find courts at major resorts on and two free public courts at Sub Base, on St. Thomas. Windsurfing gear is also available at major hotels and several beaches.
The USVI is a paradise for Duty-Free shopping. St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas offer visitors some of the best shopping in the world. There are no customs duties on cameras, watches, perfume, liquor, china, jewelry, leather goods and so on and no sales or luxury taxes, either. U.S. visitors are allowed twice the quota of duty free shopping than any other Caribbean island. In addition, shoppers are allowed to mail home one gift per day worth $100 or less, to friends or family. Local arts and crafts are found in stores in Cruz Bay, including jewelry, home accessories and pottery, apparel and artwork.
The unique cuisine of the USVI originated from a mix of other West Indian cuisine, Puerto Rican, African, and European influences, combined with local spices, fruits, vegetables, and meats. Restaurants here offer a diverse mix of local as well as international cuisine.
Fusion cuisine, combining the latest trends from around the world has become popular at island eateries. International cuisine like Chinese, French, Mexican, Pacific Rim and Italian are also available, as well as American favorites. Competition among island hotels has created a range of hotel dining rooms, which lure chefs from around the world to please the palates of their guests. Locally grown ingredients are combined with international styles by these chefs often with exquisite results. West-Indian specialties are prepared at "local" restaurants and include Fungi, a cornmeal-based side dish, and killaloo soup as well as sweet-potato pudding, fried johnnycake, plantains and old wife fish.