FUN FACTS ABOUT THE U.S. VIRGIN ISLANDS
The U.S. Virgin Islands offers a variety of fun-filled activities for all travelers, many of
whom keep coming back year after year. The islands also boast these little-known, fun-
1. Charlotte Amalie is the largest historical town in the United States. Charlotte
Amalie is the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands and is located in St. Thomas. The
city offers rich history with the largest historic district in the U.S. and is also a
preferred shopping spot on the island. There has been great debate regarding
the correct pronunciation of the town, who’s name was originally Charlotte
Amalia (with an “a”). Due to an error in historical documents, the spelling was
changed to an e – but the official (and original) pronunciation is Charlotte
2. The USVI has been a “shopping” destination since 1607! Before arriving in
present-day Virginia, in 1607 the Jamestown settlers (who built the first successful
English settlement in North America) stopped off in Charlotte Amalie to stock up
on supplies. The Historic Preservation Office in St. Thomas will soon install a plaque
received from the state of Virginia recognizing this historic visit. The plaque will
hang on the Liberty Bell platform in Emancipation Garden.
3. The U.S. Virgin Islands is the only location in the United States where you drive on
the left side of the road. Although the islands are considered part of the U.S.,
there are still a few rules and customs that date back to the days of European
4. Point Udall is the Easternmost Point in the United States. This point was named
after Stewart Udall, who was the United States Secretary of Interior under both
John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. The Millennium Monument, a sundial, was
built above the point in 2000.
5. St. Thomas is the birthplace of Camille Pissarro. Pissarro was an impressionist
painter who contributed to the Impressionism and Post-Impressionism styles. He
was born on July 10, 1830 and died on November 13, 1903. He lived in St.
Thomas until he was 12 and returned there in his later years. His birthplace is
open to visitors on St. Thomas and his work is currently on display at the
Government House in Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas as well as the Metropolitan
Museum of Art in New York.
6. St. Croix has the oldest Baobab tree in the Caribbean. The tree was brought over
from South Africa and planted in the 18th century. It’s known locally as "Guinea
Almond" or "Guinea Tamarind." Baobab trees grow up to 25 meters tall and can
live for thousands of years. Every part of the Baobab tree is useful. The bark is
used for cloth and rope, the leaves for medicines, and the fruit can be eaten.
7. St. Thomas has the second oldest synagogue with sand floors in the Western
Hemisphere. The St. Thomas Synagogue welcomes people from all
denominations to visit their historic place of worship. It was declared a National
Landmark in 1997 and its menorah dates back to the 11th century.
8. The US Virgin Islands is the only US Territory to be bordered by both the Atlantic
and Caribbean Sea. And with all that water, there’s a plethora of water
activities to participate in, including diving, sailing, kayaking, sport fishing,
snorkeling, windsurfing, parasailing and kite boarding.
9. St. Croix has the largest Agriculture Fair in the Caribbean. The “Agrifest” in St.
Croix is a 3-day festival that showcases locally grown produce, locally raised
livestock and locally made arts and crafts and cuisine. The festival attracts
hundred of visitors from across the region and the world! The next Agrifest takes
place February 19-21.
10. There’s an Underwater National Park off the coast of St. John. The Underwater
trail in Trunk Bay, St. John is considered one of the best places to snorkel in the
Caribbean, and is marked with underwater signs. All levels of swimmers are able
to snorkel here making it perfect for the entire family.
11. St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas have nicknames. These islands are also known
as Twin City (St. Croix), Love City (St. John), and Rock City (St. Thomas). The
combined area of these three islands is about two times the size of Washington,
For more information about the United States Virgin Islands, go to VisitUSVI.com. When
traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands, U.S. citizens enjoy all the conveniences of domestic
travel—including on-line check-in—making travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands easier than
ever. As a United States Territory, travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands does not require a
passport from U.S. citizens arriving from Puerto Rico or the U.S. mainland. Entry
requirements for non-U.S. citizens are the same as for entering the United States from any
foreign destination. Upon departure, a passport is required for all but U.S. citizens.
Member of the Caribbean Tourism Organization
Contact: Andréa Skerritt/Danielle Perrone
M Booth & Associates
300 Park Avenue South
New York, NY 10010