US Virgin Islands Vs Hawaii? Which is BETTER for vacation?

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US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii for vacation?🏖 The US Virgin Islands is one of the most beautiful hidden paradises in the Caribbean, whilst Hawaii is a magical land with incredible natural beauty and a broad selection of beaches that cater to every type of visitor.

Both Hawaii and US virgin islands feature amongst the best beach vacation destinations in the world owing to their world-class pristine beaches, breathtaking scenery, lush green forests, and countless adventure activities. So, which destination is best amongst the two?

US Virgin islands are a better option for vacation if you want to spend most of your time on Caribbean-style pure and white sand beaches in a calm, tranquil setting. Hawaii is a better option for vacation if you want to enjoy spectacular beaches while also immersing yourself in Hawaii’s incredible natural beauty and enjoying the numerous adventure activities available.

ParametersHawaiiUS Virgin Islands
Average Cost of a Trip 💵
(7-day)
$4490 (For a couple)$4089 (For a couple)
Known for👍Beautiful beaches, breathtaking natural beauty, Volcanoes, picturesque landscapes, Waterfalls, and Numerous outdoor activitiesPristine beaches, Caribbean vibes, Colonial history, Beautiful scenery, Excellent snorkeling
Beaches🏖Beautiful beaches, Hundreds of diverse range of beaches from white, red to black sand beaches Pristine, white sandy beaches with turquoise water, Caribbean vibes
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Helicopter tour, Snorkeling, Hiking, Whale watching, Surfing, Scuba diving, KayakingHiking, Snorkeling, Kayaking, Scuba diving, Sailing, Scuba diving,
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Road to Hana, Molokini Crater, Haleakala crater, Hanauma Bay Nature Preserve, Waikiki beach, Na Pali CoastTrunk bay beach, Virgin Islands National Park, Magen’s Bay beach, Annaberg Plantation, Christiansted town
Best Place to Stay🏨Waikiki, OahuSt. Thomas

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii
Hawaii or Bora Bora for Honeymoon?
for vacation?

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Beaches🏖

St. John's island
A beach on St. John’s island

When it comes to beaches, the US virgin islands are a better option than Hawaii. If the beach is the main priority for you and you want to spend most of your time on the beach while soaking up the sun, then US virgin islands are a better option than Hawaii.

Hawaii or Tahiti

That is not to say that Hawaii is not a great beach destination. In fact, Hawaii has a wider variety of beaches than the US Virgin Islands, ranging from green, black, to red sandy beaches. It is also home to some of the world’s most gorgeous beaches.

However, don’t forget that the US Virgin Islands is an unspoiled Caribbean paradise. They exude the delightful Caribbean charm that every beachgoer craves.

US Virgin islands have that Caribbean-style secluded powdery white sand beaches and calm turquoise blue water. The US Virgin Islands’ beaches are often less crowded than those in Hawaii, and the water is also more warmer and crystal clear.

Salomon beach, St. John's island
Salomon Beach, St. John’s island

It offers some of the most gorgeous beaches in the Caribbean and a much better beach experience than Hawaii. St. John’s island in the USVI, in particular, which is noted for its unspoiled white sand beaches surrounded by lush rainforests and the world-famous trunk bay beach, must be at the top of every beach bums’ list.

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Nature and Beauty🌳

Maui adventure activities

USVI may have better beaches, but, Hawaii is the clear winner when it comes to breathtaking scenery, natural beauty, and stunning landscapes.

From the exhilarating sight of lava erupting from active volcanoes to the jaw-dropping views along the Road to Hana to the desert-like alien landscapes of Haleakala, Hawaii is home to a plethora of breathtaking natural wonders not found anywhere else in the world.

Road to Hana
Road to Hana, Maui

Hawaii is a land of incredible natural beauty. It is home to lush green valleys, tropical forests, active volcanoes, diverse landscapes, and jaw-dropping waterfalls that you won’t find on the US virgin islands. In short, Hawaii is the perfect destination for nature lovers and has almost everything that any nature lover may desire.

It is true that all Hawaiian islands are paradises for nature and adventure lovers. But Kauai is the best of all. The lush green landscapes and mountains of this island cover more than 97 percent of its surface area. Kauai offers a true experience of a secluded tropical paradise.

Maui is another tropical paradise in Hawaii. There are numerous things to experience and explore on Maui, ranging from scenic hiking trails to lush green mountain ranges.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Maui Worth Visiting? 9 reasons Why You Must Visit!!

St. John island, USVI

When it comes to the US Virgin Islands, St. John is the best option for nature enthusiasts. The national park protects over 60% of the island. That’s why this island is covered under thick rainforest that offers beautiful views, 20 hiking trails, and a perfect setting for nature lovers.

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Activities🏄🏼‍♂️

Maui adventure activities

Both Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands offer a plethora of activities to explore and experience. However, Hawaii, with its larger size, diverse range of landscapes, and abundant natural diversity, clearly provides far more activities for visitors than the US virgin islands. So, if you are a person who loves to engage in various activities Hawaii is a better option than USVI.

When it comes to water activities, both Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands are excellent options. Both are world-class beach destinations that are known for a wide range of water activities such as snorkeling, scuba diving, kayaking, and paddleboarding.

So, whether you go to Hawaii or the US Virgin Islands, both are great destinations to explore water activities. However, when it comes to adventure activities, Hawaii outclasses the US Virgin Islands.

From hiking, ziplining, ATV tours to whale watching there are endless activities to explore for adrenaline junkies in Hawaii. In fact, if you really want to explore all of Hawaii’s nature and adventure activities, you’ll have to visit Hawaii multiple times.

In the case of the US Virgin Islands, St John is the place to visit for adventure enthusiasts. Despite the fact that St John is significantly smaller and does not have as much to offer as Hawaii, it is still a great alternative for adventure seekers owing to its exotic wildlife, beautiful hiking trails, and protected thick rainforests.

St. Croix, USVI
St. Croix, USVI

Also, most people don’t realize it, yet both of these destinations have a wealth of cultural activities. St. Croix is the cultural heart of the US Virgin Islands. It is home to many colonial-era sugar mills and sugar cane plantations.

In Hawaii, there are many museums that showcase Hawaii’s art, history, and culture. Polynesian Cultural Center, Hawaii State Art Museum, and Bishop Museum, for example, are must-see destinations if you wish to immerse yourself in Hawaiian history and culture.

🏖Suggested Read: St Thomas Vs St Croix? Which is BETTER for Vacation?

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Accommodation

When it comes to accommodation, Hawaii is generally a little more expensive than the US Virgin Islands. Hawaii has always been a costly travel destination, and it has recently become even more so as a result of the influx of tourists following Covid-19.

However, the cost of accommodation varies significantly from island to island in both Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands. There are six major islands in Hawaii: Maui, Kauai, Oahu, and Big Island.

According to the data in the following table, you can see clearly that Maui is the most costly island in Hawaii, while Oahu is the least expensive.

Oahu is the most commercialized island in Hawaii. That is why, on Oahu, a wide range of lodging options are available to accommodate all budgets. So, if you’re on a budget, Oahu is unquestionably the best island to visit in Hawaii.

The following table shows, the Average Daily Rate for Hotel rooms in four main islands of Hawaii

IslandsAverage Daily Rate
Oahu$245
Maui$596
Big island$385
Kauai$357
(Source: The Hawaii Tourism Authority)

When it comes to USVI, there are three main islands including St Thomas, St John, and St Croix. St Thomas is the large cruise ship port and the most commercialized island of USVI. That’s why St Thomas offers a diverse range of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury.

On the other hand, accommodation options are quite limited on St John as 60% of its area is protected. That’s why St John is the most expensive island of the USVI.

Average Accommodation Cost in US virgin islands

Accommodation CostSt. ThomasSt. John
Average Accommodation Cost$88 to $135$108 to $190
Budget Hotels$60 to $78$90 to $110
Luxury Hotels$150 to $398$250 to $680

When it comes to USVI, there are three main islands: St Thomas, St John, and St Croix. St Thomas is the large cruise ship port and the most commercialized island of USVI.

That’s why St Thomas offers a diverse range of accommodation options ranging from budget to luxury. On the other hand, accommodation options are quite limited on St John as 60% of its area is protected. That’s why St John is the most expensive island of the USVI.

🏖Suggested Read: Is Oahu worth visiting? You Bet! 9 Good Reasons to Go

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Snorkeling🤿

Maui snorkeling
Snorkeling with turtles, Maui

Both Hawaii and the Virgin Islands are undoubtedly world-class snorkeling destinations. Both Hawaii and US virgin islands, due to their diverse marine life, warm and clear water, and impressive coral reef system are true paradises for snorkelers and divers. around the world.

When it comes to Hawaii, all of its major islands are home to numerous world-class snorkeling sites. However, we believe that Maui is the best destination in Hawaii for snorkeling. Maui is home to some of the best snorkeling in Hawaii, including Molokini Crater, which is known for its excellent visibility and diverse marine life, and Turtle Town, where you can snorkel alongside Hawaiian green sea turtles in the clear, warm waters of Turtle Town.

However, if we had to choose one between Hawaii and the US Virgin Islands, we believe the USVI offers a better snorkeling experience than Hawaii.

When it comes to USVI, St. John is the most popular snorkeling destination. In fact, St. John is regarded as one of the best snorkeling destinations in the Caribbean. Its water is more gorgeous, calm, and warm than that of Hawaii. Additionally, it provides a more relaxing environment due to its less crowded nature than Hawaii.

St. John is home to a wide variety of Caribbean marine life as well as a complex system of colorful coral reefs. Fortunately, because of St. John’s shallower waters, even beginner snorkelers can go close to its vibrant coral reef and marine life.

You won’t have to go far from shore to snorkel in St. John’s crystal clear water in order to explore its diverse marine life, which includes colorful coral reefs, sea turtles, rays, and a variety of colorful fish.

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii: Nightlife🙌🏼

Naples nightlife

St Thomas island is the best place to go for party animals on USVI. St Croix and St John have laid-back nightlife but St Thomas has a bustling nightlife. There are many bars and clubs on St Thomas and plenty of night activities as well. Especially, you should visit the beach bars on St Thomas to enjoy live music, dancing, and cocktails.

When it comes to Hawaii, it is not known for wild nightlife. Most of the Hawaiian islands have laid-back nightlife. However, if you are a party animal, you can visit Oahu’s Waikiki area. Oahu is the nightlife hotspot of Hawaii. It is home to most nightclubs and bars in all Hawaiian islands.

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii for Family vacation?👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

Both Hawaii and the US virgin islands are excellent family vacation destinations. So, it finally boils down to what kind of vacation you are looking for.

Hawaii is a place with unbelievable beauty, diverse landscapes, and countless activities. It is more suited for those families who want pristine beaches but at the same time want to explore a diverse range of activities. In other words, if you don’t want to spend your entire time on beaches and want numerous family-friendly activities, then Hawaii is a better option than the US virgin islands.

On the other hand, the US virgin islands are suited for those families who want a relaxing vacation and want to spend most of their on the beaches. US Virgin islands often rank as one of the top 10 Caribbean family vacation destinations. US Virgin Islands are more family-friendly due to their laid-back vibes, pristine and uncrowded beaches, and relaxing Caribbean charm.

🏖Suggested Read: Maui or Oahu for Family vacation? An honest comparison to HELP you choose!!

🏖Suggested Read: Maui vs Honolulu for Family Vacation? An honest comparison to HELP you Decide!!

US Virgin Islands vs Hawaii for Honeymoon?

Hawaii is definitely is a better choice for lovebirds than the US virgin islands. USVI, too, is a great honeymoon destination owing to its laid-back vibes, beautiful beaches, and Caribbean charm. But Hawaii has that natural romantic spell in its air that every couple desires. Hawaii’s spectacular beaches, breathtaking scenery, and lush green surrounding altogether create a magical romantic setting that is difficult to find anywhere else in the world.

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Hello there, wanderlust. I've been traveling around the world with my friend Aditya for the last three years since finally quitting my job, and life has been a thrilling roller coaster ride so far. Traveling is a spiritual experience for me, not just something I do for fun. Traveling has taught me that "the only certain thing about life is uncertainty." So, embrace uncertainty and make the most out of every moment.

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