PLACE OF INTEREST
US Virgin Islands
The Islands are made up of St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, the laid back USVI offer sophisticated dining, turquoise waters and quaint towns. On St. Croix, Christiansted’s colorful Danish Colonial buildings provide a lovely backdrop for dining or sailing. Underwater coral gardens are heaven for divers. On St. Thomas, shopping mecca Charlotte Amalie has hopping nightlife. Tranquil St. John offers quiet trails, secluded coves and lively Cruz Bay’s shops and bars. Ferries and local air services link the islands.
Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden: This is a hidden gem that we were on our way to Mountain Top. It is an amazing, tropical garden with lavish landscaping. The owner, Patsy, is extremely knowledgeable and friendly. Bananaquits and hummingbirds welcome you to a canopy of tropical foliage, with a pathway lined by blooming orchids, bromeliads, palms, succulents and thousands of other tropical plants. All of this is overlooking Magen’s Bay, Tortola and St. John. Walking throughout the garden can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour, depending on how many pictures you decide to take or how much time you decide to enjoy the views. This is an absolute must for nature-lovers, as it is a tranquil, tropical paradise!
Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Garden: This beautiful garden is filled with lovely spots to explore at a leisurely pace: well-tended gardens and walkways lead you to rescued wildlife: macaws, peacocks, tortoise and the plants and flowers are majestic. One doesn’t have to rush through but can take time to savor the beauty and respond to the obvious knowledge and dedication of the owners to maintain an incredible gem of beauty. The gift shop is new, and items are well-priced. You may end up doing most of your vacation gift shopping there because of the nice/unique selection and reasonable prices.
Blackbeard’s Castle: One of St. Thomas’s most famous historical sites. A Walking Tour rich in History and Beauty. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places. Spectacular views, sparkling pools, life size pirates and more.
Market Square: Formerly a slave-trading market, this open-air fruit and vegetable market is a great place to stop and sample the fresh produce, especially the local specialty – genips. You can enjoy the market and got great deals on shirts, mugs, shot glasses and keychains. The vendors are very friendly, far from pushy and were very negotiable on a lot of goods. The items for purchase are of great quality and made great gifts upon returning. If you are looking for quality without the high-end shop prices this is your go to!
Seven Arches Museum: Seven Arches gets its name from the seven beautiful arches that form the staircase of the home. The house was built around 1800 and is decorated as the typical home would be in the Virgin Islands back in the late 1800’s. The owner/curator does tours by appointment only, so you must call and schedule something in advance.
Honeymoon Beach: This is a slice of heaven on earth. Just a 10-minute ferry ride from Crown Bay Marina, it the beach you think of when you think Caribbean. Depending on the time of your visit, it’s often quit and peaceful. This is the beach to go to. It’s a great place to relax and enjoy the day. Dinghy’s bar is there and serves food and drinks. The water is crystal clear and there’s a nice sandy bottom with a slow incline. Dinghy’s put a floating bar out in the water for people to hang out in. There are plenty of lounge chairs with umbrellas. Plus, there are tables with chairs with umbrellas under the trees up by Dinghy’s. To add to the charm of this place there’s a flock of French fry loving chickens running around.
Night Kayak Tour in St. Thomas: This tour comes highly recommend! Paul is a super guide, informative & fun. The lighted kayaks are wonderful. It allows you to see loads of stingrays, tarpon, sea turtles, and lots of other smaller fish that the tarpon are after. They jump right next to the kayak pursuing prey, bumped into the kayak, or skimmed up underneath the clear bottoms giving an incredible close view. The water was very calm & bugs were non-existent out in the kayaks. Do this tour! You won’t regret it!
Government House: Government house is a two-story building with intricate white ironwork and includes the Virgin Islands governor’s office. Standing on these balconies provides a commanding view of Charlotte Amalie and the Caribbean Sea. It was built in 1867 for the Danish Colonial Council. Inside is art including works by the French Impressionist Camille Pissarro and portraits of previous governors. Located right on 99 Steps make it easy to find. There is a beautiful little park with a fountain and benches in front of the building. Totally worth a visit just for the views. Don’t forget your camera!
There are flights from Tampa with just one stop. Of course, you can have TravelKatz book a Caribbean cruise for you and your family and stop at the US Virgins for the sights on the island of St. Thomas. Just give us a call at 352-277-7300 and we will make this vacation a reality for you.
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