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 want to spend time out in the fresh air? You can choose from a few hiking trails and some nature preserves in the USVI.

Virgin Islands National Park is a nature preserve St. John, in northern the USVI. There are no designated entrances into the Virgin Islands National Park, but Route 20 from the ferry dock will take you to the Visitors Center.

Vacationers hoping to find a another great natural attraction will enjoy exploring places like Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge is an island located southwest of St. Croix. You can access it by boat.

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.

Be sure to look through the following table if you want more information.

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 8.9 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

Although most people visiting the area are attracted by the beautiful coastline, that isn't the only way to experience the area's natural beauty. One such example is Petroglyph Pool Waterfall. It is located 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

Vacationers can also experience one of the many parks, as well as 5 botanical gardens in the USVI.

Hassel Island Historic Park is Hassel Island, in northern the USVI. The island is 135 acres and the National Park service works diligently to keep it pristine. There is much to be seen with a visit to the island including rail road tracks and the ruins of a hospital, a cemetery, a signal station, and several military sites.

Another popular choice 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 worth looking into are shown in the following chart.

Parks and Gardens In the USVI
Name Type Location Island
Buddhoe Park Park 3.0 mi. West of Central Allandale St. Croix
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 spending some time with interesting sea life sounds like fun, consider visiting Coral World Ocean Park. Get up close to all the sea animals in this fully immersive and interactive aquarium-water park. Swim with sea lions and turtles, or put on high-tech diving equipment to walk beneath the surface of the water, with all the world above you.

Look through the table just below for more information.

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 learn more about regional agriculture by spending some time at Virgin Islands Sustainable Farm Institute. The gardens at R2R are small, but each demonstrates the use of at least one sustainable farming technique including solar power, animal husbandry, and organic cropping. The workers at R2R also have a passion for holistic living, slow food cooking, and a natural connection.

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 go see some of the more interesting naturally occurring land formations. Fully natural attractions like these in the USVI are provided in the following table.

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

If you are seeking a wider variety of attractions beyond just these, you might want to cast a wider net. If you need to find out more about other attractions here.

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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