Tag Archives: vacation

Plan Your Holiday Getaway to the Beautiful Beaches of the US Virgin Islands [@USVITourism]

Houstonians don’t necessarily look for warmer weather during the holidays; after all, let’s all admit that we’re hoping our 90+ degree-days are over with. Also, while we are luck enough to live near the ocean, I think we can all honestly admit that we wish our beloved Galveston was a myriad of beautiful shades of blue, turquoise, aqua, and so on. Can you picture that clear blue water yet?

Thanks to direct flights from United Airlines to the beautiful U.S. Virgin Islands, days of daydreaming about sipping on a cocktail with toes in the sand, while gazing at amongst crystal clear water are over! With that being said, doesn’t ditching the chaos of the holidays and trading it, instead, for making some great memories with the family or even escaping it all for some beachside r&r sound like a great plan?

Yes, that means get on that laptop or smartphone and start planning your U.S. Virgin Islands getaway! Don’t worry, we have got the where to stay and what to do all planned out for you. And let’s not forget, No Passport Required!

Caneel Bay

Caneel Bay

Following up on our article from August, “US Virgin Islands: No Passport Required”, we suggested staying at the family friendly Bolongo Bay on the island of St. Thomas for those wanting the beautiful scenery and small hotel boutique feel without breaking the bank (we loved this place by the way). However, if you want luxury and have the means to splurge, then Caneel Bay Resort is definitely a must. Just a short scenic ferry ride from Red Hook (St. Thomas) will take you to the island of St John where the 166-room resort is located. Founded by Laurance Rockefeller, Caneel Bay’s tranquil setting which includes seven of the most beautiful pristine beaches offers its guest every possible amenity for relaxation and disconnect. If the resort is out of your budget, a day visit to the resort’s Honeymoon Beach is suggested.

Annaberg Plantation

Annaberg Plantation

With plenty of picturesque beaches, restaurants, bars, and unique boutique shopping, St. John should definitely be on your itinerary as a day trip if staying on one of the other of the U.S. Virgin Islands. For the historian type of traveler, a drive to the Annaberg Plantation while discovering many of the island’s beaches will paint a vivid picture about the labor and equipment used during the 18th century. (The views from the plantation are simply amazing!) Before heading off the island of St. Thomas, head over to Ocean 362 for a one-of-a-kind Caribbean dining experience. The chef-driven innovative menu offers the freshest ingredients combining local flavors with a modern twist.

Ocean 362

Ocean 362

Back on the island of St. Thomas, for those seeking the best views, take a skyride to Paradise Point. Experiencing a beautiful sunset while sipping on a Bushwacker (local drink) while 700ft above the town of Charlotte Amalie is definitely the perfect opportunity for a “selfie” moment. If heights are not your preference, perhaps an evening cocktail at the très chic Havana Blue restaurant will be a great way to wrap up your outing. From a glowing wall of water to the white linen illuminated by a soft blue radiating light and the soft whisper of beach waves, Havana Blue’s Latin Style is simply a grown and sexy feel. May we suggest the mango mojito?

Havana Blue

Havana Blue

Paradise Point

Paradise Point

To sum it up, the U.S. Virgin islands are simply stunning. Although, I do wish my words paint a vivid picture, when it comes to travel, words are just never enough. Direct flights, a plethera of lodging options, and plenty of sights to see (unless you are a complete beach bum like me) the beautiful islands are waiting for you to explore them. So, what are you waiting for?

For more information, visit www.vistiusvi.com

 

The US Virgin Islands, No Passport Required! [@USVITourism]

The connection between Texas & the US Virgin Islands is a bit deeper than you think. It’s not just Tim Duncan being the country’s biggest export to the state, its the vast amount of Texans that travel from the Lone Star state to the beautiful island. Over 30,000 Texans vacation in the US Virgin Islands every year and that number could be expected to grow over time. United Airlines officially has regularly scheduled flights to the island and Houston Style was part of the inaugural flight to one of the Virgin Islands’ most prominent locales: St. Thomas.

St. Thomas is part of a trio of islands that fly under the US Virgin Island umbrella. St. John & also St. Croix have been vacation hubs for couples, traveling singles and passionate travel enthusiasts for years. All of the proper ideas of a beach filter through the mind when thinking of St. John, St. Thomas & St. Croix: picturesque blue water, white, smooth beaches and the occasional mixed drink with a mini-umbrella thrown in to complete the dream. Since all three islands are technically US territory, visitors do not need passports in order to visit there. St. Thomas is the transportation hub of the Virgin Islands; the centerpiece of the V.I. system as one simply cannot leave the islands without gracing its soil. Visitors who maintain a longer stay on the isle may be drawn by the legendary shopping venues, the wide variety of water sports, activities, beaches and other accommodations.

The bustling port of Charlotte Amalie is the main town, while Red Hook sits on the eastern tip. The west end of the island is relatively wild; an open sprawl while hotels and resorts situated along the rim of the southern and eastern shores.

LODGING RECOMMENDATIONS

Style recommends lodging at Bolongo Bay. Located on the island of St. Thomas, Bolongo Bay Resort is the place to reside if you’re not looking to break the bank. With over twenty-five beachfront rooms and 39 ocean view rooms overlooking a secluded palm-lined beach, Bolongo Bay is truly a gem. In 2014, Thrillist ranked it amongst one of the 25 best beaches in America.

What the resort rooms lack in amenities and plushness, the friendly and attentive staff definitely makes up for it. The resort both contains room-only rates as well as an all-inclusive plan to fit your financial needs. Family owned, Bolongo Bay has an amazing history attached to it and detailing the lineage of its past is a story the staff and owners are more than happy to share with you over a drink. Specifically at the resort’s Iggies Beach Bar and Grill, one of the best in the entire Caribbean. Enjoying scenic, turquoise beach views, listening to cool vibes and enjoying your favorite drink while munching on conch fritters was indeed one of our favorite things to do.

The adventure seeker in us all has one thrill to exercise in Bolongo Bay. Want a challenge? Set sail on the resort’s 53’ catamaran Heavenly Days, voted “the best excursion of the year in St. Thomas’. From snorkeling to swimming with sea turtles or just a relaxing cocktail cruise, the Heavily Days is a Caribbean experience one simply cannot miss.

FOODIE RECOMMENDATIONS

Room With A View(www.roomwithaviewvi.com) is a hilltop restaurant serving American cuisine that is located on Bluebeard’s Castle. The restaurant boasts a beautiful view of the island and is considered to be the most romantic restaurant on the entire isle of St. Thomas. The 40-seat dining room is perfect for a special occasion with your sweetheart.

Try one of their specialty martinis – you won’t regret it.

Ocean 362 (ocean362.com) on the island of St. John contains fine eatery with a relaxing and serene environment. Providing a one of a kind Caribbean experience, Ocean 362 hangs its hat on modern “island to table” cuisine and celebrates the idea of eating local. Traditional Caribbean dishes are emphasized and are born strictly from ingredients that are fresh and local thanks to on-site chef Shaun Brian. Outfitted with a third story bar, customary cocktails and unforgettable views, Ocean 362 strives to get you an authentic VI experience.

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Gladys’ Bar and Restaurant(www.gladyscafe.com) located in Charlotte Amalie is the go to spot for authentic Caribbean cuisine. The conch fritters and callalo soup are a favorite of both the locals and returning tourists to the island. While trying the authentic island cuisine is highly recommended, trust us when we say to order the chips and guacamole as a starter. True, it’s a dish that most Texans could argue sounds best coming from home but what works with Gladys’ styling of chips & guac are something that couldn’t truly be described. Simply put, they have the best chips I’ve ever had.

What are you waiting for? Book your next beach destination and enjoy the beautiful beaches of the US Virgin Islands.

  • Make sure to visit the tourism board website at www.visitusvi.com for current promotions being offered.

Stay tuned in to Houston Style as we share more about where to stay, what to do, and where to eat on the beautiful islands of St Thomas and St John for your next holiday vacation!