About Water Island
is the fourth and most recent main island in the U.S. Virgin Islands, a United States territory located in the Caribbean Sea. The island lies to the south of St. Thomas in the Charlotte Amalie harbor. The Water Island Ferry Service runs regularly from Crown Bay, St. Thomas to Phillips Landing on Water Island; the ferry ride takes about ten minutes. WATER ISLAND FERRY SCHEDULE.
At a little less than 500 acres in size, Water Island is the smallest of the main U.S. Virgin Islands. Water Island is a residential island, with a population of 161 (2000 census) and no significant commercial establishments.
If you do not have friends that have either lived on Water Island or visited then you probably had never heard of us until now. We are the smallest of the US Virgin Islands. Water Island is referred to as a residential island, meaning we do not have hotels, taxis, public transportation or stores. Being a seven minute ferry ride to St. Thomas locals and visitors depend on that island for things such as provisions, education, flights, and mail service.
The earliest known settlers where the Taino Indians dating back to the 15th century. When the European settlers landed on the island they named it because it has lots of fresh water, which was lacking on many of the nearby islands. The Danish laid claim to the island in late 1700’s and in the 18th and 19th century freed blacks and mulattos took ownership. The United States bought the island in 1944 to protect the submarine base on St. Thomas during World War II and in 1996 the US government transferred ownership to the territorial government making it a place for people to reside and now a place for visitors to enjoy.
For a detailed description of the island’s rich history check out the History of Water Island page.
Water Islands main attractions are beaches, including Honeymoon Beach, Limestone Bay, the plantation ruins, and Fort Segarra, an underground fort partially constructed by the U.S. during World War II.
Soft white sand supports your steps, palm trees above provide protection when you are pruned from swimming and sun exposure, and crystal clear water coax you into a state of calm. Honeymoon Beach is paradise realized.
Water Island’s famed beach is a short five minute walk through a wooded trail where wildlife spotting can be a sport. Upon reaching the trailhead, on a clear day you can see Puerto Rico off on the horizon as well as a few chickens ambling around in the foreground.
The beach itself is clean, the water calm and snorkeling and scuba diving simple to do right off the beach. There are coral reefs, sea turtles swimming, and irridescent fish summoning you to the water. The waves gently lap the shore and the depth drops off very gradually making this an ideal beach for small children to safely play at the water’s edge.
Heidi’s Grill, situated on the beach offer delicious lunches for purchase for all types of palates including: vegetarians, vegans, flexitarians and omnivores. Her burger was voted #1 in the U.S Virgin Islands. On Saturday evenings she turns her food cart into a gourmet station serving upscale cuisine that rivals any chic metropolitan restaurant, all while giving you the best view in the house – candlelight seating on the beach. Don’t forgot to bring your camera as the sunsets are magnificent. In addition Heidi’s provides Monday night movies on the beach, think motion picture by the ocean. The screen is nestled between two palms and Heidi sells traditional movie fare: hot dogs, popcorn, and good old fashion movie candy.
Dinghie’s Beach Bar and Grill resides on the other side of the beach. It’s just a short stroll from the main part of the beach. If you are looking for a cold beer, a fancy cocktail, good food, and some salty sailor stories, this is the place to go. In addition, Dinghie’s often offers live music for your listening pleasure.
These two options are open year round but hours of operation vary from low to high season.
The covered pavillion on Honeymoon Beach can be rented for $100/day for weddings and parties based on availability. Ask us for details.
Honeymoon Beach grants you the feel of seclusion even among others. It’s not uncommon to be the only one strolling along the beach in the early morning or late afternoon or having a local strike up a conversation and making you feel at home.
Although it is never crowded you may still need to share the water with some locals!
If your version of paradise consists of rugged terrain, seclusion, and superb snorkeling/ scuba diving you will want to head over to Limestone Beach. Here the beach is rocky and great for beach combing, scavenging and spotting birds. Nature is in her is unkempt beauty here at the secluded Limstone Beach. Walk out into the ocean and then dive down into a deep coral reef. After you arrive at the beach you can’t miss the Tree of Lost Soles which consists of abandon shoes and flippers hung on a beachside tree. Fortunately it is the only sign of civilization on this beach.
This is not a gentle beach for sipping a drink while lying in the soft sand. This is a beach with waves crashing over huge reef gardens and large coral heads rising up from the depths. Unlike the gentle consistent slope of Honeymoon Beach, Limestone Bay offers a huge diversity of depths, terrain and plant and animal species. It is a wild place that calls for you to explore and discover its secrets.
Fort Segarra was built as part of the United States’ defense strategies during World War II to protect the submarine base on St. Thomas, but the war ended before completion of the fort, and the project was abandoned.
You can explore the underground tunnels and enjoy the spectacular view from the top of the pillbox. Caution should be exercised when visiting the fort however as it is very dark inside, and the floor is peppered with open holes.