Looking for a Caribbean vacation getaway that the whole family can enjoy? You don't have to look any further than the U.S. Virgin Islands. From intimate inns on the beach to luxurious resorts overlooking the sea, St. Croix, St. John and St. Thomas, have accommodations to suit every family's needs. All the comforts of home are available in the islands' many private villas for rent. St. John's environmentally friendly ecotourism resorts offer nature lovers the immediacy of the Caribbean outdoors with low-cost comfort and convenience.
The wide array of tour options makes it easy to get to know all three islands in even the briefest visit. Bus drivers in open-air safari buses frequently double as historians, botanists and storytellers, and they are eager to share their knowledge of local lore. They love to show off the many island overlooks, offering spectacular views of the Caribbean. Renting a jeep is another popular way to explore the islands. Both children and adults will enjoy the bird's-eye view of the Caribbean available by seaplane.
With 22 trails, the Virgin Islands National Park on St. John offers some of the best hiking in the Caribbean. Families can spend days identifying the park's flora and fauna. The botanical gardens on St. Croix and St. Thomas are unsurpassed in their variety of tropical plant life. Historical treasurers, including several ancient forts built to ward off looting pirates, can also be found throughout the islands. (Note to parents: A USVI visit can be an education in itself, and the kids will have such a good time, they won't suspect a thing.)
Fun and adventure are abundant in the U.S. Virgin Islands because of the islands' seemingly endless activities. The USVI offers a variety of sports including sailing, tennis, golf, horseback riding, beach volleyball, biking, sportfishing and hiking. Numerous watersports are also available in the USVI including scuba diving, snorkeling, sailing, windsurfing, parasailing and "snuba", found exclusively in the Caribbean.
Families looking for quality time together might try a charter yacht vacation on the waters surrounding the USVI. Charter yacht crews are always happy to teach the children some of the finer points of sailing.
With its mix of history, shopping, great restaurants, natural wonders and outdoor activities, the USVI offers families non-stop adventure. Be prepared, though - the kids will have so much fun, they might never want to leave!