The US Virgin Islands, No Passport Required
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.
Style recommends lodging at Bolongo Bay. Located on the island of St. Thomas, Bologna 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.
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.
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.
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