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Exploring the Virgin Islands

Annaberg Sugar Plantation Ruins, St. John National Forest

The U.S. Virgin Islands are the perfect mix of modern luxury and natural beauty. Unspoiled forests, scenic vistas, historic ruins and white sandy beaches share the landscape with urban shopping havens filled with everything from local, handmade goods to high-end designer brands and exquisite artisan jewelry.

The islands offer seemingly endless opportunities for outdoor adventure, upscale dining and world class entertainment. It’s no wonder that the U.S. Virgin Islands are often called America’s Paradise.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are a paradise with so much more to offer than the traditional beach vacation. Visitors wanting to immerse themselves in an awe-inspiring cultural experience can enjoy historical walking tours, culinary encounters, artisan fairs, parades and other special presentations.

Walking tours of St. Thomas and St. Croix feature the diverse architecture as evidence of left behind by the nations that colonized the islands centuries ago. The most famous of these architectural attractions being the 99 steps on St. Thomas. Richly rewarding at the top, it is an energetic way to reach higher ground.

Local craft cooperatives, art galleries and artist colonies present the works of time honored traditions. Annaberg Plantation ruins in St John’s National Park offers daily cultural demonstrations, including cooking the old fashioned way — on a coal pot over an open flame.

The very first Carnival on St. Thomas was staged in 1912 during the last years of the Danish rule and was not held during World War I. Revived in 1952, Carnival has become the 2nd largest festival in the Caribbean. Since that time it has become a time to catch up with family and friends, enjoy captivating music and watch and/or participate in lively dancing.  A month long series of pageants and talent shows are held to choose royalty to rein over the festival. Fun events such as the Greased Pig Contest, Toddlers Derby and the boat race entertain both young and old. Other popular events include J’ouvert, a morning jump up, a food fair offering the islands traditional eats and a competition to crown the King and Queen of the parade troupes. The Children’s and Adults parade bring the month long festivities to a close by showcasing the brilliantly costumed and decorated troupes and floats.

 

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St Thomas, VI 00802
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