Want a taste of the Caribbean without leaving the US? Head on over to the US Virgin Islands, no passports are required for US Citizens, and they also accept US visitor visas! St Croix is the biggest of the Virgin Islands, but for this article, we are going to concentrate on St Thomas, St John, and Water Island. Here’s how to spend 4 days in USVI, especially if you’re strapped for time.
Note – we did travel to St Thomas and the other US Virgin Islands during the coronavirus pandemic. For up to date information, please visit the official USVI health portal.
- 1 4 Days in USVI (an itinerary)
- 2 Day One: St Thomas USVI
- 3 Day Two: A Day Trip to Water Island USVI
- 4 Day Three: Day Trip to St John USVI
- 5 Day Four: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas:
- 6 More 3 or 4 Day Trip Ideas:
- 7 Getting to the Virgin Islands
- 8 Are 4 Days in USVI Enough?
- 9 How do you get around St Thomas US VI?
- 10 Where to stay in Charlotte Amalie
- 11 A 4 Day Trip to St Thomas USVI
4 Days in USVI (an itinerary)
Day One: St Thomas USVI
- Arrive at STT Airport (St Thomas) at 2:40 PM, and catch a shared taxi to the hotel.
- Check in to the hotel: Bunker Hill Hotel (in our case)
- Have dinner at Green House
- Go back to hotel/unpack/chill, decompress, catch up on some TV shows
Day Two: A Day Trip to Water Island USVI
- Take the ferry from St Thomas Crown Bay to Water Island
- Rent a golf cart to drive around the island
- Hit the following tourist sites: Fort Segarra, Limestone Beach, Honeymoon Beach, Dinghy’s, Virgin Islands Campground & see the tower house
- Dinner at Sugarcane Grille, St Thomas
Day Three: Day Trip to St John USVI
- Ride a surfari to Red Hook from Charlotte Amalie
- Take the ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay in St John
- Take a shared taxi to Maho Beach. Snorkel and look for sea turtles
- Take taxi back to Cruz Bay, have a shake or a quick lunch
- Go to the US Virgin Islands Visitor Center and hike to Honeymoon Beach and Salomon Beach
- Souvenir shop
- Take the ferry back from Cruz Bay to Red Hook
- Take surfari back to Bunker Hill Hotel (see a review about our stay at the Bunker Hill Hotel)
- Dinner at Sugarcane Grille, St Thomas
Day Four: Charlotte Amalie, St Thomas:
- Hike up 99 Steps to get to Blackbeard’s Castle to enjoy the scenery
- Visit Fort Christian in Charlotte Amalie
- Walk around the shops in Charlotte Amalie
- Lunch at Sammiches
- Take a taxi back to the airport to go home
More 3 or 4 Day Trip Ideas:
- 4 Days in Los Cabos Mexico
- 4 Day Niagara Falls and Toronto Canada Itinerary
- Three Day Raleigh Travel Itinerary
- 3 Day New York City Itinerary (52 WW)
- How to Travel Every Weekend
Getting to the Virgin Islands
St John and Water Island do not have airports, so your best bet will be flying from the US Mainland or Puerto Rico to STT (Cyril E. King Airport), otherwise known as the St Thomas Airport. Alternatively, you can take a ferry from the British Virgin Islands to St Thomas, with daily trips available. Don’t forget to bring your passport if you do go from BVI to USVI and vice versa.
Water Island is covered in a different post, but the only way to get there is by ferry from St Thomas, leaving from Crown Bay Marina. St John is also only accessible by ferry from St Thomas, leaving from Red Hook. You’ll find more details on getting to these separate islands on their own posts- Day Trip to Water Island and Day Trip to St John USVI.
Are 4 Days in USVI Enough?
In all honesty, 4 days in the Virgin Islands is not enough. Given that my husband arrived late and there’s really not much to do on our first day but to grab dinner and to stock up on supplies, we technically only had 2 ½ days in total to spend between 3 US Virgin Islands.
If you could spend a week in St Thomas or the area, then go for it. There’s plenty to do if you love beaches, hiking, and nature across St Thomas, Water Island, and St John. However, if you have a job and are only traveling every weekend, then 4 days may be enough.
Remember that St Thomas hosts a big cruise port, and chances are, if you are taking a cruise in the Caribbean, one of our ports of call will be to Charlotte Amalie. One of the reasons why we designed our itinerary this way is for this exact reason – that we will probably go back to St Thomas by cruise ship one way or another.
So Coki Point, Magens Bay, and a lot of other beaches in St Thomas will probably have to wait until our next visit to the island. Water Island and St John are doable on day trips if on a cruise as well, so these are also options to consider if you’ve been to the US Virgin Islands before.
How do you get around St Thomas US VI?
Shared taxis are affordable, but the surfaris are amazing value for money. At $2 per person, they pretty much take you to a few of the popular spots in St Thomas a quick walk from the cruise ship terminal.
These surfaris go to Red Hook, Sapphire Beach, Lindqvuist Beach, and Coki Beach, with Red Hook being the final stop before the surfari turns around to go back to Charlotte Amalie. There are quirks to where the surfaris stop, as there are not a lot of signs that tell you the bus stops there. If you see a waiting shed, that’s most probably a surfari stop, or if you see a small divet by the side of the road, then that’s also a stop.
If unsure of surfari routes, or if it does pass by, ask some of the locals. They are more than friendly and accommodating to us and showed us how to get a surfari from the Cruz Bay marina back to Bunker Hill Hotel.
Where to stay in Charlotte Amalie
There were two hotels that we were considering in Charlotte Amalie. On our first planned trip to St Thomas, we were supposed to stay at the Galleon House, but Hurricane Irma came over and rained on our parade. We were supposed to fly a week after Irma landed over the US Virgin Islands as a Category 5 hurricane, and we found out there was not a lot of water nor electricity available on the islands, and there was debris left from the hurricane. So we hastily canceled that trip and booked Grand Cayman instead.
Fast forward to May 2021, and we were looking for another place to stay on another planned trip to St Thomas. Through the Citi Thank You travel portal, we saw that the cheapest rooms for Bunker Hill hotel were around $85 (without tax), and we can redeem our Thank You points at a valuation of 1.25 cents per point.
After comparing Bunker Hill and Galleon House, the views from the restaurant in Bunker Hill won us over, so we booked Bunker Hill hotel. There’s less of a hilly walk in Bunker Hill compared to Galleon House as well, so that’s a plus if bringing luggage.
We talk more about our stay at the Bunker Hill Hotel on another post, linked here as well.
A 4 Day Trip to St Thomas USVI
So that was our four-day trip to USVI, hitting three islands: St Thomas, St John, and Water Island. It is very doable, and you don’t need to pack a lot of places to visit at once. American tourists tend to favor vacationing in St Thomas since it’s easily accessible by plane or by boat (cruise ship, or a sailboat), and many go multiple times in their lifetime.
There is no need to try and see everything and cram it all in one trip. After all, one goes to the Caribbean and hits the beaches to relax and to explore a new place. For us, our definition of exploring a new place means embracing ourselves in the location, and not jetting from one place to another to take a picture for the sake of saying “we’ve been there”.
Hopefully, this post about a 4 day trip to the Virgin Islands helped you in your travel planning. If we missed on any other cool locations or you would like to suggest more places for us to visit the next time we go, then feel free to leave them in the comments below.