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Mention the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) and most American travelers immediately think of St. Thomas. That’s not surprising, considering it’s a mega-cruise port of call. But there is, of course, so much more to the USVI worth discovering, including the island of Saint Croix, which is rich in history and is the USVI’s cultural hub. For your next vacation, join fans of the Broadway musical Hamilton, who are beginning to explore the island where Alexander Hamilton spent part of his childhood, and learn how the island helped shape his world view. If you’re ready to let the island shape you, here are some of Saint Croix‘s most quintessential experiences.

RELATED: Looking for more Hamilton in the Caribbean? Leave it to Nevis.

Saint Croix sunrise | Photo courtesy of Jason Gordon

1. Soak up a sunrise from the US’s easternmost point

At least once during your visit to Saint Croix, you’ll want to start your morning enjoying a sunrise unlike anything your friends back home have ever experienced. Take a pre-dawn drive to Point Udall, the easternmost point of the US and its territories, and be one of the only people you know to have ever experienced the very beginning of an American sunrise.

St. Croix, Caribbean, USVI

Snorkeling in Saint Croix | Photo courtesy of the Buccaneer Resort

2. Spot whales, barracuda and more as you snorkel the crystal waters

The waters of Saint Croix are some of the clearest in the region. Rich with sea life, it’s no surprise that snorkeling is such a popular activity. Even if you don’t know how to snorkel, Big Beard’s Adventure Tours offers a snorkel tutorial (on the most shallow end of Buck Island). About 45 minutes later, the boat then re-positions to the actual snorkel site where participants will experience all types sea life, including leatherback sea turtles, humpback whales and barracuda— all with great visual clarity.

ALSO: The most beachin’ travel rewards program? It’s Orbitz Rewards.

Crucian Rum tour | Photo courtesy of Jason Gordon

3. See (and taste!) why the local rum is such a big deal

Crucian Rum is known world over for being some of smoothest and flavorful, so do yourself a favor and take a tour of the Cruzan Rum Factory in Frederiksted. You’ll experience rum production in all of its stages, including tasting raw molasses in its purest form, experiencing the fermentation and barreling processes and sampling some of their signature rum at the end of the tour.

Buccaneer Resort, St. Croix, Caribbean, USVI

Buccaneer Resort

4. Relax at one of the island’s many luxury resorts

A visit to Saint Croix is only enhanced with a stay at one the island’s luxurious resorts. One option is the Buccaneer Resort in Christiansted. This sprawling property is ideal for golfers and sports enthusiasts, and those who just want to relax and get away from it all. Each guest receives a sumptuous full American breakfast every morning, access to snorkeling gear, a SCUBA introductory lesson and more. Additionally, the Buccaneer’s oversized ocean front Doubloon Rooms are some of the most spacious and well-appointed accommodations in the Caribbean. Each includes a whirlpool tub, large walk-in closet, and picturesque view of the sea and Christiansted Harbor from the bedroom, and private balcony or patio.

RELATED: Off-the-beaten path Saint Croix

Balter, Caribbean, St. Croix, USVI

Balter | Photo courtesy of Jason Gordon

5. Sample every type of local cuisine

Saint Croix’s food is as diverse as its people, with influences coming from Caribbean, African, Indian, Latin, European and American cuisines. The best way to experience the island’s culinary offerings is to experience a food tour with Anquanette Gaspard, owner of Virgin Islands Food Tours; her goal is to transform Saint Croix visitors into knowledgeable gourmands.

6. Indulge in some of the Caribbean’s best fine dining

And when it comes to fine dining in Saint Croix, a dinner at Balter is certainly in order. Renowned Crucian-born Chef Digby Stridiron is extremely passionate about food and he goes out of his way to ensure that local ingredients are used in everything that he prepares

For more travel videos with “andiamo! UPTOWN” please visit the series YouTube channel: @andiamotv

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Tagged: Caribbean

Jason Gordon

Jason Gordon

Jason is executive producer of the multiple award-winning luxury travel series andiamo! UPTOWN (@andiamotv), which airs throughout the U.S. every week on Magic Johnson's Aspire channel. Jason recently made his first visit to Saint Croix to scout locations for the series. The following is his unbiased opinion regarding his experiences on the island.
Jason Gordon

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