US News and World Names the US Virgin Islands 'The #1 Place to Visit in the Caribbean'!

Each year the

US News and World Report

issues a ranking of 'best places to visit in the Caribbean' and this year's #1 slot went to the US Virgin Islands! They say the USVI won the #1 spot for its pristine beaches, accessible tourist sites, predictable weather and comfortable accommodations are all considerable factors. Based on those criteria, user votes and expert insight, U.S. News compiled the list below to help you choose your next Caribbean getaway.

The U.S. Virgin Islands are "America's Caribbean Paradise" — the place to see moko jumbies dance at a Carnival parade, hear the lilting patois of a Creole dialect or smell the spices in a saltfish pate (all without losing cell phone reception). You can visit either St. Thomas, St. John [our personal favorite!] or St. Croix, or better yet, spend a little time on all three islands. That way you'll get plenty of pampering, undisturbed nature and colonial history jammed into one vacation. And bonus: you can pay for everything with U.S. dollars.

Each island offers something different. Called "Rock City" for its hilly, craggy horizon,

St. Thomas

is known for luxury — from the mega-yachts moored in the harbor to the high-end storefronts along Main Street. Located a short ferry-ride east,

St. John

appeals to honeymooners and nature lovers, with more than 7,000 acres of dedicated parkland plus surrounding pristine beaches. Way down south in the Caribbean Sea, less-visited

St. Croix

has sugar cane plantations and rum distilleries that offer a glimpse into both the past and the present of the Virgin Islands.

Last year, the U.S. Virgin Islands was in fifth place. The territory consistently has claimed a spot on the best places to visit in the Caribbean list during the years, though it is the first time that it has scored the No. 1 position.

"We're proud to be recognized as the top-ranked Caribbean destination, and honored to know that it was from the recommendations of our visitors and the U.S. News & World Report's editorial staff," said V.I. Tourism Commissioner Beverly Nicholson-Doty. "This recognition further illustrates our increased focus and work with partners to provide world-class tourism offerings that create long-lasting impressions."

To be fair, we will list the other islands on the list (below the USVI, of course!):

2. Cayman Islands

3. St. Kitts and Nevis

4. Barbados

5. St. Martin-St. Maarten

6. St. Lucia

7. British Virgin Islands

8. Turks & Caicos

9. Bahamas

10. St. Barts

11. Aruba

12. Curacao

13. Grenada

14. St. Vincent and

the Grenadines

15. Bermuda

16. Dominica