Plan a dream all-inclusive trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands

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Dreaming of crystal-clear waters, swaying palm trees and endless sunshine? This is the kind of vacation you can find in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a tropical paradise in the heart of the Caribbean. With so many islands and resorts to choose from, planning your escape can feel overwhelming, but with a little know-how and advice, you’ll know exactly where you want to stay.

A tall glass of yellow tropical drink with a cherry and straw on a table, with blurred outdoor seating and ocean in the background.
Photo credit: YayImages.

If you’re considering going to an all-inclusive resort, know that the U.S. Virgin Islands resort options don’t look quite the same as those in many other Caribbean destinations. However, you’ll still want to make it your next destination for a hassle-free vacation.

Why you want to visit the U.S. Virgin Islands

Let’s be honest: the Caribbean practically screams vacation. But the U.S. Virgin Islands offer something special. With a rich history influenced by Danish colonization and a vibrant local culture, these islands are a melting pot of influences reflected in the food, music and architecture.

Even better, you can experience this tropical bliss without needing your passport. As a U.S. territory, you can fly there with just your usual driver’s license identification. That said, if you want to visit some of the neighboring British Virgin Islands, you will need your passport for that.

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What are the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The U.S. Virgin Islands consist of four main islands: St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Water Island. You can visit any one of those islands during your vacation, and many do island hop, especially between St. Thomas and St. John.

St. Thomas is the most popular tourist destination, known for its duty-free shopping and lively nightlife. St. John offers a more secluded escape, with pristine beaches and a national park encompassing two-thirds of the island.

St. Croix is the largest of the islands and boasts a rich history and a laid-back atmosphere. Water Island, the smallest, is a car-free paradise that is perfect for a day trip and is not usually the main destination for travelers.

A scenic view of a hilly coastal landscape with turquoise waters, islands in the distance, and a vivid sky featuring shades of orange and blue. Greenery is visible in the foreground.

Why you want to book an all-inclusive resort

All-inclusive resorts are the ultimate stress-busters. It makes planning so much easier when you know exactly how much your trip will cost upfront, with meals, drinks, activities and entertainment all covered.

They also typically offer beautiful beachfront locations with top-notch amenities like swimming pools, kids’ clubs and watersports equipment rentals. It’s the perfect way to unwind and truly unplug.

However, the U.S. Virgin Islands do not offer many all-inclusive options. Some all-inclusive resorts you may have known have closed or are no longer all-inclusive, and only two resorts remain among the four islands.

Why there are so few all-inclusives in the U.S. Virgin Islands

The U.S. Virgin Islands tend to cater more to independent travelers who want to explore the unique culture and cuisine of each island. Many visitors enjoy venturing out and trying local restaurants, especially as these tend to be very safe islands where vacationers feel comfortable exploring.

Unlike some of its neighbors, the U.S. Virgin Islands have a high cost of living, which can make it challenging for resorts to offer all-inclusive packages at competitive prices. Additionally, these islands’ small size and limited resources mean that not every resort has the capacity to accommodate all-inclusive guests.

Divi in St Croix

Divi Carina Bay Beach Resort on St. Croix offers a true all-inclusive experience. This resort, nestled on a stunning beachfront location, boasts multiple pools, a swim-up bar, a variety of restaurants and a kids’ club.

While there, you can enjoy water activities like kayaking, paddleboarding and windsurfing, all included in your stay. In the evenings, unwind with live music or take a dance lesson to learn the local Calypso beat.

Bolongo Bay in St Thomas

For a more laid-back all-inclusive experience on St. Thomas, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort is a great choice. This family-friendly resort offers a variety of activities, from tennis and mini-golf to sailing excursions and snorkeling trips.

Relax by the pool with a refreshing drink, or take a complimentary yoga class on the beach. In the evenings, enjoy live music entertainment or stargazing on the pristine beach at this high-end resort.

Though there is only one restaurant on this small property, they focus on a delicious a la carte experience. Unlike many all-inclusive resorts, however, additional entrees incur an additional charge. They also have a wider variety of top-shelf liquor that is not included in the unlimited cocktail offering.

When you book, you have the option to choose an all-inclusive plan or what they call the European plan, which includes all activities on the resort but no meals or drinks. Given the price of food on the island, the all-inclusive option is generally more cost-effective if you plan to eat at the resort.

When should you visit the U.S. Virgin Islands?

The U.S. Virgin Islands enjoy a tropical climate year-round, but the peak season is from December to April. If you’re looking for the best weather and deals, consider traveling during the shoulder seasons from May to June or September to November.

Keep in mind that the U.S. Virgin Islands are in the Caribbean, so be aware of hurricane season that runs from June 1 to November 30. While they are north of the main hurricane belt, they can be impacted by hurricanes and tropical storms. You may experience unusual rain, storm surge with rougher seas or, reduced visibility and more seaweed for watersports.

Resorts in the U.S. Virgin Islands are not adults-only, unlike many resorts in other destinations like Jamaica or Mexico. That said, if you travel during the school year, you will have fewer children in resorts than if you go during holiday periods.

A tranquil beach scene with turquoise water, a partly cloudy sky, and two sailboats anchored in the distance. Hills are visible on the horizon.
Photo credit: YayImages.

Go ahead and book that trip

Whether you book your vacation at one of the two U.S. Virgin Islands all-inclusive resorts or another resort on the islands, this is the perfect destination for Caribbean beauty and charm. Pack your swimsuit, grab your favorite book and get ready to enjoy. Whether you choose to unwind on the pristine beaches of St. John, explore the historic streets of St. Thomas or immerse yourself in the vibrant culture of St. Croix, you’re sure to create memories that will last a lifetime.

Michelle Price is a food and travel writer at Honest and Truly who almost has an empty nest. She loves to provide both the inspiration and the confidence you need to help get you into the kitchen and on the road to enjoy new flavors and experiences.

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