Romantic USVI

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Romantic USVI
The U.S. Virgin Islands are a popular vacation destination with love-struck honeymooners, and for good reason: Clement weather, fine food and drink, and a laid-back vibe make the islands a great place for romance.
Photo courtesy of Mark Wieland/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
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    Spas for Couples
    A little pampering is a great way to enhance the romance on any trip, and there's plenty to enjoy in the U.S. Virgin Islands. The award-winning Drift Away Day Spa on St. John offers couples' packages, including a wedding preparation program for spouses-to-be. On St. Thomas, Journeys Spa in Sugar Bay is known for its three-hour Complete Couples Getaway treatment, which consists of a salt scrub, massage, facial, and reflexology. The Renuatum Spa in downtown Christiansted, on St. Croix, uses eco-friendly products with its massages, and also offers energy healing treatments.
    Photo courtesy of Mark Wieland/The Ritz-Carlton Hotel
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    Romantic Dining
    Sunshine is the best lighting for the region's scenic views, but by night the faint flicker of candlelight sets the ambiance for a different side of the islands. In St. Thomas, reserve a candlelit table for two at Oceana. In a building that dates back to the 1600s, and with a menu that riffs on classic seafood themes, this is a super-romantic venue. The Buccaneer hotel, on St. Croix, has numerous open-air and beachside restaurants which turn the romance up to 11. Located at Pelican Cove on St. Croix, The Palms serves diners under a canopy by the pool, or beneath the stars overhead. For something less formal, Miss Lucy's in Coral Bay, on St. John, is renowned for its Caribbean flavors and there is outdoor seating in the back.
    Photo courtesy of Jacob Whyman/The Buccaneer
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    Sunset Sailing and Moonlight Kayaking
    What could be more romantic than sailing into the setting sun while sipping champagne and listening to the sound of waves crashing against the hull of your boat? Plenty of tour operators offer sunset sailing excursions: On St. John, look up Calypso Sailing Charters; on St. Croix, check out Big Beard's Adventure Tours; and on St. Thomas, try the Adventure Center. The latter also offers a Night Kayak with LED Lights tour each evening. Led by a guide, you paddle a two-seater kayak fitted with LEDs and with a transparent bottom out into the ocean, where you can see ballyhoo, tarpon, and sea turtles. Exploring the islands after dark is a very different—and very romantic—Caribbean experience.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Bring Home the Romance
    Shopping may not seem like the most romantic thing to do on a trip, but bringing home a souvenir can transport you back to your vacation. Justin Todman is known as the "Broom Man" for his continued attention to the art of broom making. In an African custom, couples jump over one of his handmade brooms to symbolize the beginning of their life together. You can find his work (and the work of many others) at the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative on St. Thomas. On St. Croix, visit Sonya Ltd. and check out the delicate hook bracelets. Wear one with the hook facing outward to signify an open heart; the hook facing inwards communicates a happy marriage.
    Photo by Kristy Alpert
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    Add Spice to Your Life
    With numerous infusions of rum and varieties of hot pepper sauce, the U.S. Virgin Islands are swimming in piquant and exciting flavors—take some home to add some spice to your life. At Friends of Virgin Islands National Park, on St. John, you can sign up with Trinidad Charlie to learn how to make your own hot sauce. Or, try something entirely different on St. Thomas, and book a hands-on sushi-making class with chef Yuko; the ingredients go beyond the catch of the day to include local fruits and sauces, resulting in sushi rolls that reflect the islands. Finally, local edibles are the focus at the annual St. Croix Food and Wine festival, with chefs offering instruction to participants.
    Photo courtesy of Yuko’s Cooking
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    Movies on the Beach
    In the U.S. Virgin Islands, a night at the movies is so much more than just popcorn and previews. All along the coast, islanders have set up pop-up movie theaters, so throw down a blanket on the sand and snuggle up with your loved one, a picnic, and a bottle of wine. On the last Saturday of every month on St. Croix, check out Movies at the Fort, a show put on in collaboration with the National Park Service and the Fort Christian Brew Pub. Sugar Bay Resort on St. Thomas shows films nightly, and Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill on Water Island hosts a movie night on the beach once a month.
    Photo by Laura Kurtenbach
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    Where to Sneak a Kiss
    On the U.S. Virgin Islands, there's no shortage of romantic places to steal a kiss. Uninhabited Buck Island, a U.S. National Monument, is a natural choice. Located 1.5 miles north of St. Croix, this quiet, secluded, and beautiful island sits among ecologically rich waters, is largely surrounded by a coral barrier reef, and is a nesting ground for sea turtles. The Annaberg Sugar Plantation on St. John was a working sugar factory up until 1780, but now it's a historic site and the perfect place to steal a smooch by the windmill. On St. Thomas you can take the Skyride aerial tramway up to Paradise Point and wait for sunset—the view over Charlotte Amalie harbor is made for sharing.
    Photo by Macduff Everton/age fotostock
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    Sway to the Islands' Rhythm
    Dancing close together in front of a live band on the U.S. Virgin Islands is an impossibly romantic way to spend an evening. Local music ranges from reggae to steel drums to soft jazz, and there are tons of opportunities to sway to the smooth sounds of the islands. On St. John, Motu Bar in Cruz Bay is known for its live reggae; every third Friday night at Frederiksted Beach, on St. Croix, enjoy the live Sunset Jazz concert series under the stars; on Mondays, head to The Palms for Caribbean Night. If you can't wait that long, Bolongo Bay Beach Resort on St. Thomas has live music every night.
    Photo courtesy of Bolongo Bay Beach Resort