Throwback Thursday: U.S. Virgin Islands

The stunning waters of St. John

The stunning waters of St. John

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!! Today is also Throwback Thursday in the Twitterverse so I thought I’d highlight a place where I wish I was at this very moment.  In 2010 I visited St. Thomas with my family and it was absolute paradise.  We Americans are quite lucky that traveling in the United States does not have to be limited to only the 50 states we know and love.  U.S. territories including Puerto Rico, The U.S. Virgin Islands (St. Croix, St. Thomas and St. John), American Samoa, Northern Mariana Islands and others are all accessible to American residents, no passport required.  It’s worth noting that all air passengers to these destinations are required to have a passport, but if you go by land or sea, an enhanced drivers license can get you back home.  I urge you to go explore!

U.S. Virgin Islands

U.S. Virgin Islands

My family and I traveled to St. Thomas by way of Miami for a week in October of 2010 (US Air and American fly nonstop from NYC!).  I was immediately welcomed with the sun on my skin, a warm island breeze, calypso music and a specialty shot from Cruzan rum representatives who were waiting in the airport lobby.  What a way to start a trip!  We stayed at the Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove, a timeshare property built on a cliff overlooking the Caribbean Sea. If you do not have access to a timeshare property, the Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort is the sister property to Frenchman’s Cove and underwent a $48 million renovation in 2011.  Guests at either property can enjoy the amenities of both! While we had a great stay, I will say that the Frenchman’s Cove doesn’t have the best beach, but luckily there were plenty of day excursions available to other parts of the island where the sand was like powder and we could lay out all day.

Day trip to Magens Bay - St. Thomas

Day trip to Magens Bay – St. Thomas

We also spent a day in St. John which is accessible by a quick ferry ride from St. Thomas. We toured the island in an open air car, hung with the locals and explored the incredibly beautiful Cinnamon Bay.  I could literally see all the way to the sea floor the water was so clear!  The bays in St. John were also less crowded in my opinion, making it easier to relax and enjoy the soft sounds of the barely there Caribbean waves.

Cinnamon Bay - St. John

Cinnamon Bay – St. John

For some reason I can’t find all of the pictures I took while on this trip, but I’ve compiled a small album of screen saver worthy shots below.  I hope you’ll plan your next vacation to the USVI! It’s a great way to learn about Caribbean culture, have that tropical vacation we all yearn for, and technically not leave the country!

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