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St. Thomas, USVI | Travel Guide

Background

St. Thomas has always been one of my favorite places to vacation since my. family started going several years ago. We try to go at least once a year. Through our travels on and off the island, I have picked up on a few things and I want to share those with you as you plan your visit to the tropical paradise. This is a short list and works for my family. There are a million and one things to do and each person is different. With that being said, here are my best tips and fun places to visit and yummy places to eat.

Getting Around The Island

Perhaps my biggest tip is in regards to getting around the island. Though the island is technically small, it is mountainous. So travel is hard and the “bus” can be crowed and can take a while to reach your destination. To combat this, rent a JEEP! This will 100% improve your trip. There are many rental companies located at the airport but our favorite is Discount Car Rental. They meet you at the airport to pick you up and then they make a short 3 minute drive to their office for you to sign some paperwork. It’s that easy! Now you can enjoy the island so much more because you have the freedom to drive around and explore all the beaches.

Where to stay

So far, the only way I have stayed on the island is through my family’s timeshare. So if you have Marriott or Ritz Carlton timeshares, this is the place for you. However, if that isn’t something you have, there are many options. In addition to their timeshares, Marriott and the Ritz have hotels on the island (Ritz has a spa – anyone can use it). A couple other options are to reserve an Air BnB or rent a house for long or short periods of time. This is a fun option for people that want to really immerse themselves in island life.

Beaches

Something great about St. Thomas is that all beaches are public even when attached to a hotel. So go see them all! Some of my top favorite beaches on the island are…

  • Magens Bay (small entrance fee)
  • Koki
  • Hull
  • Trunk 

Restaurants

Going out to eat at local restaurants is a great way to get to know any place. It allows you to taste the culture. There are lots of little holes in the wall so don’t be afraid to go anywhere. Be sure to call each place to find out if they are open due to COVID-19.

  • Pie Hole – this is a pizza joint in French Town
  • Mims – LOVE! Get the curry lobster and trust me, you won’t be sorry.
  • Utter Delight – this is a milkshake stand that specializes in adding booze
  • Deli – this is a cute little sandwich joint
  • Tap and Still – this is a small St. Thomas chain that has great burgers and fries
  • Love Shack – parking lot drinking shack; they often have cute glasses to get your cocktails in
  • Havana Blue – this is slightly more upscale and pricy but the ambience is great!
  • ARC Vodka – they have a great weekend brunch!  

Groceries

If you’re like my family, we like to cook and not always go out to eat (that can get pricey). Grocery stores are not what we are used to in US. On the mainland (US) we have gorgeously set up grocery stores that pretty much are like department stores. On this island, it is not like that at all. Don’t expect beautifully lit spaces or decorations. Perhaps the “prettiest” grocery is “Moe’s Fresh Market” in Red Hook. Other than that most are bare but carry everything you need to have delicious home cooked meals.

  • Cost U Less
  • K Mart
  • Peublos 
  • Food Center

Shopping

St. Thomas has a lot of shopping, specifically in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Let’s also not forget about the no sales tax! So take advantage of that. One of my favorite stores is Zola’s, which is a lady who makes custom made sandals! To learn more click here.

Sites/ Activities

This is when things get pretty open. There are so many activities to do when on the island. In my case, my family just liked beach hopping rather than doing anything. There may be some people though that want a little bit more adventure. So I have compiled a list of different things to do while on the island other than beach hopping (beaches mentioned previously).

  • Look out over Magens bay
  • Black Beard’s Castle 
  • Sky Tram – get great views of Charlotte Amalie while also taking a fun sky tram
  • Zip Lining – such a fun way to be active and see different sites!
  • Virgin Islands EcoTours – this was my favorite activity! I did an eco tour where half the time was spent kayaking and the other half was snorkling
  • Golden Age Ranch – nothing beats riding a horse as it runs through the crashing ocean ways; this is a guided horse back tour on beaches and through forest

St John

St. John’s is the island directly next to St. Thomas. It is a tiny island that is 90% National Park. It is also Kenney Chesney’s favorite spot to hang out. The best way to get there is by ferry that docks in Red Hook. There is a ferry that allows you to drive your car on and sit in while the ferry travels from island to island. I recommend taking the earliest departure at 8:30am and spending the whole day visiting all the great beaches ( like Cinnamon Bay).

Bon Voyage

Now that you know a little bit more about the island and all my favorite joints, go have fun and explore for yourself! Find those hole in the wall restaurants and visit the beaches. You will have a blast taking in the gorgeous scenery so be sure to bring a camera.

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