The US Virgin Islands includes St. Croix, St Johns and St Thomas plus Water Island which has a population under 200. Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the US Virgin Islands and is located on St Thomas. The largest island is St Croix (82 square miles) with the towns of Christiansted and Frederiksted. St Thomas is a popular cruise destination. And St John is known for being the location of the Virgin Islands National Park which encompasses 7,000 acres. Most of the architecture on the islands date to the 17-19th centuries during a period when the islands were under Danish Control and part of the Danish West Indies. The architectural style is considered Neo-classical taken directly from the European Renaissance. The masonry and construction were completed by the Akan, Ibo and Bantu; who were brought to the islands to work in the sugar plantations.

Destinations for US Virgin Islands vacations

Ideas for US Virgin Islands vacations

The United States Virgin Islands, or USVI, are among the top tourist destinations in the Caribbean today. This American territory in the Lesser Antilles is located between the Caribbean Sea and the North Atlantic Ocean and features about 50 islands and cays, the largest of which are St. Croix, St. Thomas, and St. John. Natural beauty and touches of Danish influence are the top attractions in the US Virgin Islands as well historical sites and eco-tourism. You won’t run out of things to do and places to see in the United States Virgin Islands!

Geography of the US Virgin Islands Vacations

The United States Virgin Islands is part of the larger group of Virgin Islands with the other half being the British Virgin Islands. This US territory was a former British colony and its land is actually part of the fault-block mountain ranges of Puerto Rico that is submerged in water. The islands of St. John and St. Thomas are quite rugged in terms of the terrain but St. Croix has rolling plains because most of its mountains are in the north. Ancient coral reefs surround the US Virgin Islands and the climate is mild and warm most of the time. There are nearly no forests because they were cleared by early colonizers to make way for plantations but the surrounding seas are rich in both wildlife and beautiful sights to see.


Culture in the US Virgin Islands Vacations

Because of the colorful history of the US Virgin Islands, its residents are a mix of various ethnic groups from all over the globe. The residents are composed of Virgin Islanders, Puerto Ricans, Eastern Caribbean Islanders, French, Dominicans, continental Americans, Asians, Danes, and Arabs. About 75% are non-Hispanic black, about 10% non-Hispanic white, and the remaining are from the various ethnic groups previously mentioned. Christian religions are a dominant factor in US Virgin Islands culture.

History of US Virgin Islands Vacations

The US Virgin Islands was first inhabited by the Carib, Ciboney, and Arawak people prior to colonizers. The islands were named “The Virgins” by Christopher Columbus in 1493 when he first set foot on the islands and thought that he found a way to India. The islands were not colonized until after 1625 when explorers came back and saw a land that is mostly not habited. It is thought that the former people of the Virgin Islands migrated to other places while some died from diseases brought by Europeans.

By the 1600s England, France, Denmark, Spain, and the Knights of Malta all wanted to have colonies in the Caribbean and built colonies in the various islands. St. Croix was settled by England and Holland, and later, France. The Danish West India Company settled St. Thomas in 1672 and built another colony in St. John in 1694. The English gave way to the Danes to prevent altercations. St. John prospered agriculturally because of the Danes.

1685 marked the year when slave trading became part of the history of the US Virgin Islands. Pirates were welcomed because they were beneficial for traders. The cotton, indigo, and sugar plantations that were manned by slaves were a huge part of the islands’ economy until the 1848 slaves’ emancipation.

The United States bought the islands from the Danes in 1917 for $25 million in gold to serve as a strategic base for World War I but residents were not granted American citizenship until 1936. The USVI is now a US territory and residents are now recognized as American citizens.

Culture in the US Virgin Islands Vacations