Just two hours from Miami, the US Virgin Islands offer a Caribbean experience that's still part of the US. Three distinct islands-- sleepy St. Croix, bustling St. Thomas, and eco-treat St. John-- serve up white-sand beaches, super snorkeling, a major National Park, colonial towns and forts, duty-free shops, and more.
St. Croix was a happening spot in the 80's, until Hurricane Hugo brought disaster. Today, visitors find a much slower pace here than on St. Thomas.
Snorkel at Buck Island National Monument
Buck Island -- one of only three Underwater National Monuments in the US--is a terrific place to snorkel or scuba in the USVI. Swimming behind a giant sea turtle is sure to thrill kids and grown-ups too.
The snorkelling area is rocky with no beach, but if you take a day-trip with Big Beard Adventure Tours, you can play Robinson Crusoe during a stop at lovely Turtle Beach (above) and get a snorkelling lesson there if needed.
Then it's onward to the underwater trail where you'll see huge elkhorn coral, grottoes, and thousands of fish.
(Please check company websites for updates about tours and prices.)
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