Our babies need some beach!
November 12, 2012 1:56 PM   Subscribe

Help me plan a family trip to the US Virgin Islands...

We would like to plan a trip for the week after Christmas to the US Virgin Islands. We want to take our kids on a vacation, my husband and I have traveled several times this past year and they never got to go so we'd like to take them someplace nice. And the fact they they won't need passports has narrowed it down to the USVI. But, which island is the best one to visit with children? (Ages 12 and 5) We want a nice place to stay with activities and a pretty beach. Any suggestions on a resort or hotel? I'm researching but know nothing about the area so any tips or guidance would be appreciated. TIA
posted by pearlybob to Travel & Transportation around Virgin Islands (3 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Best answer: My experience with St. Thomas and St. John was extremely brief (one day on a cruise), but these are my impressions. Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas was crowded and we were pestered by touts the whole time as we browsed the tourist district, which was basically duty-free shopping and casinos. It compared unfavorably with Nassau, Bahamas, and very unfavorably with Saint Martin / Sint Maarten.

St. John, on the other hand, was a paradise on par with the best parts of Hawaii. The best-known beach, Trunk Bay, is pretty crowded (and there is no coral or marine life to speak of there, despite the many snorkeling tours) but is quite scenic and the surrounding area is much less built up. If you stay away from the beaches that get day trippers (especially if you like to snorkel) there are some truly spectacular beaches. There are a lot fewer restaurants and resorts, so if you need organized activities it may not be as good a choice. However, you can rent a dinghy (Low-Key Watersports in Cruz Bay is one I can suggest) and putter around the island. Or, rent a Jeep and drive around, most of the island is a national park. St. John is not as easy to get to, requiring a ferry ride, but I wouldn't hesitate in choosing.

Also, you might consider Puerto Rico, which is a U.S. territory and does not require a passport. Especially if you're planning an all-inclusive, don't-leave-the-resort type of vacation (not judging, I have mightily enjoyed that exact trip), it doesn't matter as much where you go, as long as the particular resort you choose has a great beach. Enjoy!
posted by wnissen at 4:23 PM on November 12, 2012 [1 favorite]

Best answer: It really depends what you're looking for. The most beautiful beaches around and great snorkeling? St. John is perfect for that. But if you want to relax at a resort where everything is taken care of for you, it's probably not what you want.
posted by vasi at 9:12 PM on November 12, 2012

Response by poster: I actually thought of Puerto Rico about 20 minutes after posting. Having dinner with a friend who is from there so that may be our destination... Thanks all!
posted by pearlybob at 1:35 PM on November 16, 2012

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