Experience the Ultimate Summer Outdoor Activities in the Winter at United States Virgin Islands

Sea turtles at Punalu'u Beach


Exploring the best of St. Thomas

In terms of activities and adventures, St. Thomas stands out as the crown jewel among the U.S. Virgin Islands — and it’s not hard to see why. As the most frequented destination in the archipelago, especially for travelers looking to indulge in some duty-free shopping, the island boasts a captivating blend of vibrant nightlife, cultural experiences, and natural beauty.

That said, St. Thomas won’t disappoint when it comes to outdoor activities. First, local favorite Hull Bay is a top choice for some laid-back sunbathing and relaxing. Alternatively, for travelers looking for a little more excitement, Sapphire Beach is a prime spot for parasailing high above St. Thomas’ turquoise waters. And if snorkeling is what you’re after, a trip to Secret Harbor Beach or Coki Point Beach is calling your name. Away from the beach, other must-dos include the Skyride up to Paradise Point for panoramic views of the island, ziplining through the rainforest at Tree Limin Extreme, or signing up for one of the mangrove excursions that depart from Mangrove Lagoon Marina.

In terms of accommodation, St. Thomas caters to all types of travelers. For those on a budget, numerous cozy guest houses — like The Green Iguana — dot the island. Meanwhile, mid-range travelers have a plethora of boutique hotels to choose from, like At Home in The Tropics Bed & Breakfast. Lastly, luxury seekers will feel most at home at The Ritz-Carlton or the Secret Harbour Beach Resort.

The charms of St. John and beyond

Aerial view of Carambola Beach

The U.S. Virgin Islands isn’t just about St. Thomas. Spread across 50 smaller islands and cays, as well as the larger islands of St. John and St. Croix, you’re spoiled for choice. For instance, St. John, home to the Virgin Islands National Park, offers an untouched oasis of biodiversity and history. Open daily, this park preserves vibrant ecosystems and tells a story of decades past. Whether your plans include snorkeling the crystal clear waters of Trunk Bay (there’s a $5 amenity fee to visit), hiking along the scenic Reef Bay Trail, or learning about the first slave insurrection in the Caribbean, St. John is a gateway to an unforgettable experience.

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Meanwhile, over in St. Croix, the island comes to life with its own rhythm. Some of the top activities include walking along the Christiansted Boardwalk, hopping on a day trip to the nearby Buck Island, signing up for a rum distillery tour, touring Fort Christiansvaern, and visiting Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge. Then, there are always the beaches — with Turtle Beach, Jack’s Bay Beach, Caraombola Beach, and Cane Bay Beach as the most popular sun-kissed destinations. Visiting during the winter also means a chance to enjoy the celebrations at the official St. Croix Crucian Christmas Festival, which celebrates long-standing traditions.

With its perfectly balmy weather and azure skies, winter in the U.S. Virgin Islands doesn’t feel like winter at all. In fact, it’s a tropical paradise at its peak.

Dave Pennells

By Dave Pennells

Dave Pennells, MS, has contributed his expertise as a career consultant and training specialist across various fields for over 15 years. At City University of Seattle, he offers personal career counseling and conducts workshops focused on practical job search techniques, resume creation, and interview skills. With a Master of Science in Counseling, Pennells specializes in career consulting, conducting career assessments, guiding career transitions, and providing outplacement services. Her professional experience spans multiple sectors, including banking, retail, airlines, non-profit organizations, and the aerospace industry. Additionally, since 2001, he has been actively involved with the Career Development Association of Australia.