You hear the word "Caribbean" and you think turquoise waters and white-sand beaches, right? The kind of scenery fit for a swashbuckling—or even idyllic—Hollywood film. You wouldn’t be wrong to conjure that up. Some other everyday views you’ll see are jungly cliffs jutting into the horizon, mangrove lagoons complete with kayakers and an abundance of brightly colored architecture. Of course, those “everyday” views are a luxury to most but for the fine frequenters and residents of the Caribbean, those views are the norm.
Still, most the time the locals are stunned and awed and grateful this type of place really exists just like everyone else. It’s likely because they’re still exploring their beachy backyard. Some suggestions for the acquainted and not-so-acquainted: pier-fish at Charlotte Amalie Harbor, venture deep into old-growth forest along the Mastic Trail, relax on flawless Seven Mile Beach (really only five-and-a-half miles), swim with sharks at Coral World Ocean Park, take an ecotour starting at Mangrove Lagoon Sanctuary, and/or grab some almond-crusted yellowtail and an ale at the famous eatery aptly named Hook, Line and Sinker.
These Caribbean islands cater to both those who fancy that big-resort lifestyle and those who just want a quiet bird-watching rendezvous. You’d be surprised at how much there is to do here—the Caribbean might not be what you need but it’s what you want and deserve.