Which Towns Should You Visit While Sailing in the US Virgin Islands?

The Old Danish Customs House in Christiansted is an architectural gem of the US Virgin Islands
The Old Danish Customs House in Christiansted is an architectural gem of the US Virgin Islands | © Martin Thomas Photography / Alamy Stock Photo
Photo of Robert Curley
8 November 2021
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Most towns in the US Virgin Islands are coastal – great news for sea-farers seeking a safe port and some island life. Whether you’re looking to relax in a lively bar or restaurant or stock up on island goodies, these towns in the US Virgin Islands are all well worth a visit.

Explore the US Virgin Islands’ coastal towns for a day when you book a SamBoat. Or, take your time with a longer trip aboard a yacht chartered with Dream Yacht Charter.

Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas

Architectural Landmark
Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, Caribbean.
© Caribbean / Alamy Stock Photo
The capital of the US Virgin Islands is by far the biggest town in the territory and the Caribbean’s top duty-free shopping port. Founded in 1666, Charlotte Amalie’s downtown retail and dining district still centers on the narrow streets and alleys laid out by 17th-century Danish settlers. Don’t miss Blackbeard’s Castle, a lookout tower rumored to have been used by the infamous pirate, and the cable car zooming to the top of soaring Paradise Point.

Frenchtown, St Thomas

Architectural Landmark
U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas. Charlotte Amalie, waterfront skyline from Frenchtown
© Danita Delimont / Alamy Stock Photo
French immigrants from St Barts founded this compact neighborhood on the west side of Charlotte Amalie Harbor, so no surprises it’s become one of the top spots in the US Virgin Islands for fine dining. Originally a fishing village, Frenchtown still has an active marina with the catch of the day delivered directly to local restaurants like Oceana and Hook, Line and Sinker.

Red Hook, St Thomas

Architectural Landmark
U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, Red Hook, ferry dock
© mauritius images GmbH / Alamy Stock Photo
Red Hook’s biggest claim to fame is that it serves as the terminal for the ferries making the short run between St Thomas and St John, but this tiny East End town packs a culinary punch with attractive bars and restaurants both on and off the waterfront. From the marina and anchorage in Vessup Bay, it’s a 20-minute stroll to Sapphire Beach, known for its windsurfing and other watersports.

Water Island

Natural Feature
Honeymoon Beach on Water Island off the coast of St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
© Matt May / Alamy Stock Photo
Water Island may be tiny, but it’s big on charm. Drop anchor on the west side of the island or take a ferry from the Crown Bay Marina on St Thomas. Once ashore, browse the beach bars and lay back on the soft sands of Honeymoon Beach. If you can tear yourself away, tour the ruins of old plantations and military forts, before a night at Virgin Islands Campground, steps from the beach.

Cruz Bay, St John

Natural Feature
Outdoor restaurant in Cruz Bay on the Caribbean Island of St John in the US Virgin Islands.
© James Schwabel / Alamy Stock Photo
Most visitors’ introduction to St John, Cruz Bay is home to many of the island’s most lively restaurants, bars, stores, dive shops, and tour operators. Take a break from the beach and try your luck in the small casino, the Parrot Club in Wharfside Village. If you find yourself lingering late, book into one of the boutique hotels.

Christiansted, St Croix

Architectural Landmark
Boardwalk with Wedding Tower at the harbor of Christiansted, St. Croix island, U.S. Virgin Islands, United States
© Imagebroker / Alamy Stock Photo
Big, bright yellow Fort Christiansvaern, guarding Christiansted Harbor, is hard to miss from land or sea. Now a national park, the 18th-century fortress stands watch over the town of low-slung colonial buildings, many still featuring shady galleries designed to keep the sun off of delicate Danish skin. Bars, restaurants, and small hotels line the downtown boardwalk, where you can hop on a ferry to hang out on the sandy beach on Protestant Cay in the center of the harbor.

Frederiksted, St Croix

Architectural Landmark
Eliza James-McBean Clock Tower, Frederiksted, St Croix, US Virgin Islands
© agefotostock / Alamy Stock Photo
The second-largest town on St Croix, pretty, waterfront Frederiksted is easy to get to know in a day. Check out the historic Danish fort and impressive, 1,500ft (457m) pier busy with cruise ships. South of town, West End Bay has several LGBT-friendly small hotels and restaurants and is also a good jumping-off point for touring West End attractions. Among these are the Annaly Bay Tide Pools, the St George Village Botanical Gardens and the infamous beer-drinking pigs at the Mt. Pellier Domino Club bar and restaurant.

Cane Bay, St Croix

Natural Feature
Caribbean, US Virgin Islands, St. Croix, view of Cane Garden Bay with palms
© Jon Arnold Images Ltd / Alamy Stock Photo
Cane Bay is known for two things: beach bars and diving. Shaded by palm trees, Cane Bay Beach attracts locals and visitors, as does the Off the Wall beach bar (known for its pizza and sunset happy hour). Across the street, The Landing Beach Bar is a breezy spot for sipping locally-brewed Leatherback beer. Divers flock to the epic Cane Bay Wall just offshore, which plunges over 13,000ft (3,962m) to the depths of the Puerto Rico Trench.

Enjoy a day exploring the US Virgin Islands by booking a vessel with SamBoat. Or, stay longer to explore more aboard a yacht charter with Dream Yacht Charter.

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