Five Things You Don’t Know About USVI

by Ilona Kauremszky

I like scouring the world for cool trivia. Blame it on my birthplace. Niagara Falls is known for being home to larger-than-life trivia storehouses like Ripley’s Believe It or Not and Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum.

So, on a recent trip to the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), I set out to discover some cool things I didn’t know.

1. Donkeys galore. Donkeys were once the only form of transportation on St. John and were in high demand for traveling between Cruz Bay and Coral Bay. Donkeys were also used, during the very lucrative sugar plantation era, to haul the sugarcane. That’s long gone, but you still see donkeys on the island, especially around the USVI National Park.

2. Nicknames are us. The USVI islanders love nicknames and they have even nicknamed the three main islands: Twin City is for St. Croix, Love City stands for St. John and Rock City is St. Thomas.

3. Number 2 cruise port. St. Thomas is home to the second largest cruise ship port in the Caribbean. You can spot the world’s biggest cruise ship, Royal Caribbean’s Oasis of the Seas, by its enormous girth when it comes into port.

4. The tourist tree. Have you ever heard of a “tourist tree?” It actually exists. How do you know when you spot one? Hint: the trunk is ruddy and its peeling bark is likened to a bad sunburn.

5. Snorkeling heaven. There’s an underwater trail at the USVI National Park by Trunk Bay that’s a huge draw with snorkelers. You’ll often hear Trunk Bay named the best place in the Caribbean for snorkeling because of it.