Celebrate The U S Virgin Islands
The US Virgin Islands celebrate their emancipation in July. Want to visit and not sure which is right for you? Here’s a breakdown of what we love about the Virgin Islands.
Say “Independence Day” to any of your friends, and most likely, they’ll assume you’re talking about the 4th of July. But most countries around the world have their own Independence Days celebrating some form of liberation or victory. One day before America celebrates its independence, the US Virgin Islands have their own celebration.
July 3rd is the anniversary of the Emancipation Revolt, when the enslaved peoples of what was then the Danish West Indies rose up as one and demanded their freedom by marching through the streets of St. Croix, demanding to see the Governor. He very wisely declared them emancipated, and thus 114 years of slavery in the Danish West Indies finally came to an end. (There is, of course, more to the story – check out the Virgin Islands website to learn the details.)
These days, Freedom Week is celebrated to mark this momentous occasion. Numerous talks, gatherings, and music events are held across the islands, a way to celebrate and remember, starting the week before the 3rd of July. It’s well worth attending if you get the chance!
Of course, the US Virgin Islands are worth a visit any time of year! Need reminding? Let’s take a quick look at what we love most about each of the main US Virgin Islands.
St. John – If you’re looking for a quiet taste of simple island life, St. John is the one. About two-thirds of the island is a national park, so natural beauty and peace are abundant. The beaches are stunning, and the landscape is lush, but there are less options for dining and shopping. (Not necessarily a bad thing!) If you enjoy hiking, snorkeling, exploring old plantation ruins, or just lying on a secluded beach and soaking up the sun, you’ll love St. John.
St. Croix – If you’re looking for a bit more to do but still want to enjoy the laid-back island vibes, then set your sights on St. Croix. Spend a day snorkeling at Buck Island Reef National Monument, or head to the Captain Morgan or Cruzan distilleries to learn about (and sample) that iconic drink of the Caribbean. St. Croix, though the largest of the islands, is the least touristy – a nice middle ground between the quiet of St. John and the hustle of St. Thomas.
St. Thomas – If you like your island life with a dance beat, then come to St. Thomas. Out of the three islands, St. Thomas is the most commercial. This means you’ll find lots of options for all sorts of dining, high-end and duty-free shopping, outdoor activities, and premium resorts. There’s also a jumping nightlife, something the other two islands don’t have. On top of all that, St. Thomas also boasts the pristine water and breathtaking beaches the Caribbean is known for, with an array of ways to play in and on the water.
Whether you prefer the peace and tranquility of St. John, the laid-back vibes of St.Croix, or the vibrant buzz of St. Thomas, any day spent in the Virgin Islands is going to be full of joy and celebration. So consider this beautiful, breathtaking part of the world next time you’re planning an island escape!