Beach to Golf to Zipline to Ruins: Best USVI Attractions

Beaches and watersports rank high on list of attractions in the Virgin Islands, and rightly so. The beaches are some of the best in the world, and the snorkeling, diving, kayaking, windsurfing and paddleboarding in places like Magens Bay, Trunk Bay and Buck Island are second-to-none.

But there's more to the Virgin Islands than beaches and watersports. Many of the other top attractions in the Virgin Islands highlight the territory's historical heritage, such as Annaberg Plantation on St. John, or the St. George Village Botanical Gardens in St. Croix. At Annaberg you can see how slaves lived on a sugar mill, and at the botanical gardens you can delve into the ways local plants were used for culinary and medicinal purposes through the centuries.

If you love adventure thrill rides, head over to Tree Limin' Extreme Zipline in St. Thomas, and feel the wind in your hair and marvel at the view of Magens Bay as you streak through the treetops. Less adventurous but equally view-worthy is the Mahogany Run Golf Course, where the Devil's Triangle has foiled many a player for decades.

To get in touch with nature, explore the dozens of trails which criss-cross the Virgin Islands National Park in St. John. They are perfect for hikers, birdwatchers and even amateur archaeologists – there are prehistoric petroglyphs on some of the trails. Or learn about marine life at Coral World on St. Thomas, where an underwater observatory, stingray-feeding session, a shark tank, and a submersible ride are popular with the younger set.

Mahogany Run Golf Course
Photo courtesy of Don Hebert


Mahogany Run, the one and only golf course on St. Thomas, offers challenging and varied terrain for both novices and pros. Set into a coastal valley, the par-70, 18-hole course designed by Tom Fazio has hosted celebs and dignitaries as diverse...  Read More



Know the difference between white rum and golden rum? You will after a tour of this distillery, which has been run by the same family for seven generations. Rum is the national drink of the Virgin Islands, and it is big business too. 90% of rum...  Read More



This Danish Colonial plantation was built in 1721 and produced sugar, rum and molasses. Today it's a museum where you can learn about all phases of plantation life and sugar production. You can tour the old slave quarters, factory, and windmill...  Read More



This small but exciting aquarium next to Coki Beach is arguably St. Thomas's most popular man-made tourist attraction. It boasts a giant circular undersea observation "tower" with more than 20 viewing stations, where you can see the reef animals...  Read More



This lush, 17-acre botanical garden resides within the ruins of a 19th-century sugar plantation. The Premises also overlap an 1800-year-old Amerindian settlement. Over 1,000 varieties of plants are represented in the garden's innovative design,...  Read More

Virgin Islands National Park
Photo courtesy of Dr. Caroline Rogers


The Virgin Islands National Park is St John's largest and most popular attraction. It covers 3/5 of St John's landmass and includes 12,624 land and marine acres that encompass pristine beaches, coral reefs, hiking trails, wild donkeys and 800...  Read More



Tree Limin offers a series of eight cables and two rope bridges that zig-zag down St. Peter Mountain, one of the island's highest peaks. From every angle visitors get stunning views over the Caribbean, with Magens Bay in the foreground and St....  Read More



This fascinating uninhabited island has been called the most important attraction in the Caribbean for its ties to history and its abundant marine life, including sea turtles. Buck Island is actually the only underwater national park in the...  Read More

Trunk Bay Beach
Photo courtesy of Karen Elowitt


Trunk Bay is sort of the Holy Grail of St. John beaches, offering a wide expanse of pristine white sand and azure water marked by a small offshore cay. The gentle surf and reefs around the island make it a great spot for beginning snorkelers,...  Read More

Magens Bay
Photo courtesy of Karen Elowitt


St Thomas's most popular beach is considered one of the world's finest, for good reason. The calm turquoise water, huge expanse of palm-shaded white sand, and excellent amenities make it an all-around perfect spot for watersports, picnicking,...  Read More


Meet Karen Elowitt

Karen worked for several years as a newspaper reporter and copy editor before becoming a travel writer. She worked for renowned  travel expert Peter Greenberg before going freelance, and now...  More About Karen