Natural Attractions in the USVI

Treat yourself to a vacation in which the outdoors rule all

Photo credit: © Norman Allen
 

One of the best things about visiting the Virgin Islands is the beautiful surroundings. Not only are the beaches a site to behold, but there are brightly blooming gardens, lush forest land, and protected areas that feature endangered animal habitats.

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Virgin Islands National Park

Do you enjoy spending time seeing the local flaura and fauna? You can choose from a few hiking trails and some nature preserves in the area.

Virgin Islands National Park is a nature preserve St. John, in northern the USVI. Before entering the Virgin Islands National Park, most guests make it a point to stop at the Visitor Center, which features exhibits about the area's history, an activity schedule, maps, and more. Park rangers are on site to help you plan your outing.

Travelers wanting to locate a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring sites like Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. Sand Point National Wildlife Refuge was established as a protected area in 1984, as it is an important area for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. History buffs may also enjoy the island, because the Aklis Site, which dates back to 400 A.D.

Green Cay National Wildlife Refuge: Although the refuge might be considered an attraction for visitors to St. Croix, it is an attraction that can best be seen from a distance, by boat, from off-shore of the island in order to protect a highly-lizard species and easily disturbed juvenile brown pelicans. The refuge is closed to the public in order to protect its very fragile ecosystem and the endangered ground lizard.

Take a look at this table for information concerning nature preserves and hiking spots.

Nature Preserves and Hiking In the USVI
Name Type Location Island
Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 5.2 mi. Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie Capella Island
Butler Bay Nature Preserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.7 mi. North of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
Fairleigh Dickinson Territorial Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Knight St. Croix
Green Cay National Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.9 mi. East-Northeast of Central downtown Christiansted Green Cay
Lamshur Bay Trail Hiking Trail 3.7 mi. East of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Ram's Head Trail Hiking Trail 2.8 mi. South of Central Coral Bay St. John
Reef Bay Trail Hiking Trail 1.8 mi. West of Central Coral Bay St. John
Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.9 mi. West-Southwest of Central Frederiksted Southeast St. Croix
Southgate Coastal Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 2.9 mi. East of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
St. Croix East End Marine Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 9.8 mi. East of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Virgin Islands Coral Reef National Monument Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 7.4 mi. Southeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay None
Virgin Islands National Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.3 mi. East of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Yawzi Point Trail Hiking Trail 2.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Coral Bay St. John

Waterfalls

Even though most vacationers are attracted by the region's beaches, those aren't the only way to experience the area's natural beauty. The one example is Petroglyph Pool Waterfall. It is found within St. John, in northern the USVI. <p>Deep in the Virgin Islands National Park among tall trees, crumpling ruins, and centuries-old carvings you will be able to spot the Petroglyph Pool Waterfall. This tall fall cascades down to fill a pool that is famous for something more than the waterfall alone.</p>

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden

Guests may also enjoy one of the many parks, as well as 6 botanical gardens in the USVI.

Hassel Island Historic Park is Hassel Island, in northern the USVI. Once connected to St. Thomas at the edge of the harbor, this island was separated and turned into a completely new island by the Dutch who hoped to create better water circulation. Today it is privately owned, but an important natural and historical landmark.

Another popular attraction in this category is Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden. Not only can you relax and soak in the beauty of your surroundings from the various benches, decks, and gazebos placed throughout the garden, you can also enjoy a selection of tropical beverages, snacks, plants, and other retail items offered at the Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden gift shop! Classes and workshops are additionally available.

The parks and gardens you'll be able to find are shown here:

Parks and Gardens In the USVI
Name Type Location Island
Buddhoe Park Park 3.0 mi. West of Central Allandale St. Croix
Butterfly Garden Botanical Garden 0.7 mi. South-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
D Hamilton Jackson Park Park Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Educators Park Park Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Emanicipation Garden Park Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
FDR Park Park 0.1 mi. North of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Franklin Powell Park Park Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Hassel Island Historic Park Park 0.9 mi. South West of Central Charlotte Amalie Hassel Island
Nadir Recreation Area Park 3.5 mi. East-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Peter Carl Limpricht Park Park 0.5 mi. West of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden Botanical Garden 1.2 mi. Northwest of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Phillips' Botanical Garden Botanical Garden 2.3 mi. South West of Central Charlotte Amalie Water Island
Roosevelt Park Park 0.1 mi. North of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Saint George Village Botanical Gardens Botanical Garden 0.5 mi. East of Central Allandale St. Croix
St. Peter Greathouse & Botanical Gardens Botanical Garden 1.6 mi. Northwest of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Villa Botanica At Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Garden St. Thomas St. Thomas

Zoos and Aquariums

Coral World Ocean Park

If the idea of passing some time surrounded by sea life tickles your fancy, you should visit Coral World Ocean Park. Coral World is the ultimate interactive aquarium where you are immersed in the water world of marine life. You will be to explore and have fun while even learning a thing or two at the same time.

Take a moment to look through the following table for more information about what's available.

Zoos and Aquariums In the USVI
Name Type Location
Coral World Ocean Park Aquarium 4.2 mi. East of Central Charlotte Amalie
Solberg Farm Zoo Downtown Charlotte Amalie

Farms

You can obtain a better understanding of regional agriculture by visiting Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute. To reach R2R from the East of the island, take the paved Mahogany Road into the rainforest. After Norma's Domino Club, take the second right onto 58, and continue on until you reach the top of the hill. As the hill descends to the west, you will see a sign for the farm.

Farms In the USVI
Name Type Location Island
Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute Farm 2.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix

Land Formations

Another idea is to visit some of the more popular area land formations. Other options like these in the USVI can be seen here:

Land Formations In the USVI
Name Type Location Island
Benner Bay Bay 1.9 mi. Southeast of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Brewers Bay Bay 3.5 mi. West of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Butler Bay Bay 2.8 mi. North of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
Coakley Bay Bay 1.6 mi. West of Central Cotton Valley St. Croix
Dorothea Bay Bay 3.0 mi. Northwest of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Drunk Bay Bay 1.1 mi. South of Central Friis Bay St. John
Flamingo Bay Bay 2.9 mi. South West of Central Charlotte Amalie Water Island
Francis Bay Bay 3.9 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Frank Bay Bay 0.4 mi. West-Southwest of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Grootpan Bay Bay 1.6 mi. South West of Central Friis Bay St. John
Hansen Bay Bay 1.9 mi. Northeast of Central Friis Bay St. John
Hawksnest Bay Bay 1.5 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Krum Bay Bay 2.3 mi. West-Southwest of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Little Lameshur Bay Bay 1.9 mi. West of Central Friis Bay St. John
Mangrove Lagoon Lagoon 3.6 mi. East-Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Salomon Bay Bay 0.7 mi. North of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve Bay 3.6 mi. East of Central Cane Bay St. Croix
St. Thomas Harbor Harbour 0.3 mi. South of Central Charlotte Amalie None
Water Bay Bay 4.2 mi. East of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
West End Salt Pond Pond 1.6 mi. South-Southwest of Central Frederiksted St. Croix

Keep in mind, you will find other attraction types available too. For a more detailed look at other attractions, go to this page.

With all that the region has to offer, the Virgin Islands is a delight for the senses. When exploring the natural side of the islands your eyes enjoy the bright hews of the sea and sky; you'll taste the clean air; feel the difference of various terrain beneath your feet; smell the sweet fruits and fresh flowers, and hear the peacefulness that surrounds you. Give in to your primitive urges, get outside, take a look around, and enjoy every moment of it.

 

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