Spotlight on the US Virgin Islands


             St Thomas is the main island in the US Virgin Islands chain. Its capital and largest city, Charlotte Amalie is frequently visited by cruise ships in the Caribbean because of its incredible duty-free shopping.  The tiny streets and alleyways are cluttered with shops selling a variety of goods, from fine jewelry to liquor to clothing. 

            Magens Bay and its glorious beach, a perennial member of the “Best Beaches of the World” club, is located on the northern shore of St Thomas, only about 5 or 6 miles from Charlotte Amalie.  It is a half mile stretch of sugary white sand at the end of a long, narrow bay, between several mountains. The protected nature of the beach makes it great for kids.

            Virgin Islands National Park, St John, USVI, includes Trunk Bay, a famous and pristine beach, noted for its snorkeling as well as the sheer beauty of the bay.  It does not attract the crowds that are commonly found on St Thomas, because it is less accessible.  It has been preserved as part of the Virgin Islands National Park, established in 1956, which preserves much of the island of St John.  A scenic drive which begins at the Visitor Center runs east along the North Shore Road and then returns along the Centerline Road.  There are numerous, spectacular overlooks throughout.

            The third and last of the major islands of the USVI chain is the island of St Croix, which is also known for its pristine beaches. It is not quite as popular as St Thomas with cruise ships, so is a bit more secluded and quiet.


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