Did you survive the winter? This year, to me, has flown by, and one of the reasons has been the weather. Certainly, these past few months have been record setting, no? Here in Texas, we saw only a two-day cold snap, then out of nowhere, temperatures were hovering around the 80s. Which is fine, you see, if it’s May; but 85 degrees in February throws my system completely out of whack.
And, makes me long for a beach.
I’m very lucky . . . I’ve seen so many of the world’s beaches, from Hawaii to Southeast Asia, Southern Africa, and Europe, to name a few. I’ve cruised and I’ve vacationed on some of the best the globe has to offer, but none are as convenient and glorious as our own U.S. Virgin Islands.
Sometimes, as travelers, we forget about those places that are closer to us — like the mountains in our own backyard. We think about vacation, so we think of long plane rides to exotic locales, and we simply overlook the islands just off our borders: the U.S. Virgin Islands! Flights from the East Coast take only about four hours, with no passport required for U.S. Citizens — which is a blink compared to flying to Asia or Hawaii! And, there is NO bad time to go. Temperatures tend to remain in the 80s during the day and drop only to the 70s at night. Perfection, right?
The U.S. Virgin Islands is ideal for just about any type of trip, as well. From a family frolic to a honeymoon, to a girls’ or guys’ getaway, the U.S. Virgin Islands fits the bill. And, just to save you the trouble, I have compiled a list of hotels and resorts for each occasion. So enjoy!
Best Family Properties
The Westin St. John Resort Villas
The Westin St. John Resort Villas, located on the more eco-loving and natural island of St. John, is ideal for families. Villas are available with full kitchens; there are trampolines on the stunning beach, a huge pool, and a kids club. The prices are a bit higher here, but the location is top notch.
Caneel Bay Resort
Caneel Bay Resort is also located on St. John and offers easy access to the Virgin Islands National Park. It also boasts seven beaches, as well as Turtle Town – an area designated for children over the age of 3. Prices are much more moderate here, adding to the family value.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Secret Harbour Beach Resort on St. Thomas is aptly named: its location is tucked away on a hidden beach! Families love the pool as well as the equipped kitchens (it never fails, kids ALWAYS want mac & cheese, so cart some with you in your suitcase. They’ll think you’re genius.) The resort also has easy access to St. John, perfect for taking the kids out for a day of snorkeling.
Located further south, on the island of St. Croix, The Buccaneer fits an active family lifestyle. Boat trips to Buck Island, as well as many other on-site water sports activities, are available; however, the scenery is so stunning, you may find yourself perfectly content to just relax and take it all in.
The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas
Located about five minutes from the hubbub of Red Hook, The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas offers a convenient location to relax by day and get out by night. The resort is classy and upscale, though the dining is not as luxurious as other Ritz properties I’ve been to. Still, the gorgeous white sand beach and spa make up for anything the property lacks in food and sometimes slow service.
Frenchman’s Reef & Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort
Staying on St. Thomas, the easiest and typically least expensive U.S. Virgin Islands’ entry point, is a great idea when groups are involved. This resort is large and spread out, with an amazing beach and several pools. (I can’t get over how soft the sand is!) Groups will find it easy to get along, as this spot caters to all types of travelers, from sun worshippers to those wanting to try it all. Prices are moderate as well, making it easier on the group planner.
There are plenty of other great properties, from large resorts to inns to B&Bs with only three rooms, to house rentals. Certainly one of these is bound to suit your wish list and budget, and there’s no better time to plan that getaway — so get to planning! Paradise awaits.
P.S. Invite me.
*Disclaimer – This post is brought to you by U.S. Virgin Islands and POPSUGAR. All thoughts and opinions are my own.