Water Island is unique simply because it is the least developed of the four major islands in the US Virgin Islands territory. There are no luxury resorts or hotel chains here – in fact, there are no hotels at all. There are also no public transportation and significant commercial establishments.
What Water Island has are pristine beaches, densely wooded trails, rustic independent restaurants, and fascinating ruins from bygone eras. To live in Water Island is to be committed to the true island lifestyle. And if all you want is a just little bit of time to rejuvenate and get away from it all, this laidback Caribbean gem is the best place for that, as well.
Living in Water Island: What you need to know
- Water Island may not boast the fancy trappings of its more developed neighbors, but it doesn’t take you too far from the luxe life. Saint Thomas, the USVI’s main island destination, can be reached in just seven minutes through a ferry service that regularly takes passengers between Phillips Landing in Water Island and Crown Bay in Saint Thomas. Many people cross over from Saint Thomas for a day tour of the island.
- Water Island offers great opportunities to own or invest in a primary or secondary home in the Caribbean at relatively more affordable prices. Many homeowners stay here only during the high season, or from May to December. Others rent out their properties to tourists and vacationers.
Attractions and things to do in Water Island
Water Island is the perfect place for the idyllic island life, but it also offers plenty of opportunities for an adventure.
- Discover the crowd-free Honeymoon Beach
To get to Honeymoon Beach, Water Island’s crown jewel, you have to do a five-minute walk through a wooded trail from the ferry deck. The trail itself is a treat for outdoor lovers and is a great spot for wildlife watching. Honeymoon Beach has a gradual slope, making it safe for young children to frolic in. The water is crystal clear with gentle waves, and is home to sea turtles, coral reefs, and rare fishes. Activities here include swimming, diving, kayaking, paddleboarding, and more.
- Have an unforgettable island dining experience at Heidi’s Grill
Situated on Honeymoon Beach, Heidi’s Grill is a destination in its own right. People come here not only for the burgers – which have been voted the best in the USVI – but the rest of its widespread menu, as well, including vegan and vegetarian food. On Saturday evenings, this modest food cart is transformed into an outdoor restaurant serving cosmopolitan dishes, and on Monday nights, it shows movies on a screen set up between two palm trees.
- Bask in the isolation of Limestone Beach
Limestone Beach features a rocky terrain and big waves that hit against reef gardens and coral heads. The beach is a great spot for divers, with its coral reefs and diverse array of aquatic plants and animals. Its rugged beauty is not for everyone – something to be grateful for if you’re looking for a moment of peaceful solitude.
- Explore Fort Segarra and plantation ruins
This small island is steeped in history, and an abandoned US military fort and several plantation ruins say it best. Fort Segarra was built in 1944 as part of the US military’s defense strategies. It includes watch towers, bunkers, barracks, tunnels, and other wartime features. The fort and plantation ruins are not officially maintained by any organization, so you’re free to explore them as you wish.