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St. Thomas is a tropical paradise and it is a perfect destination for anyone who loves warm weather, beaches, abundant wildlife, and a laid-back atmosphere. This island is one of the three largest U.S. Virgin Islands; it’s located on the edge of the Caribbean Sea between Puerto Rico and the British Virgin Islands. It’s just a short, two-hour flight from Miami or other points in Florida.
Best of all, St. Thomas is a U.S. territory, so you won’t need a passport to visit! Although this island is small and has a population of just 42,000 residents, there are lots of great things to do in St. Thomas.
It’s a wonderful place for a vacation at any time of the year. You’re sure to fall in love with St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands in general during your stay, and you may even find yourself trying to figure out how to move to this island before the time comes to depart to head home.
Read on to learn more about this exceptional destination so you can start planning your St. Thomas adventure today — you’re going to love it.
- Things to Do in St. Thomas
- 1. Visit Magens Bay Beach
- 2. Have a Blast at Sapphire Beach
- 3. Enjoy the Views from Lindquist Beach
- 4. Play Around at Coki Point Beach
- 5. Relax on the Island’s Other White Sand Beaches
- 6. Immerse Yourself in Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden
- 7. Explore Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Gardens
- 8. Go Mangrove Kayaking
- 9. Visit Fort Christian & the St. Thomas Museum
- 10. Admire the Legislature Building
- 11. Wave to the Governor at the Government House
- 12. Step Into the Past at the Seven Arches Museum
- 13. See Historical Artifacts at the St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum
- 14. View Blackbeard’s Castle
- 15. Check Out the Pirate Treasure Museum
- 16. Visit the French Heritage Museum
- 17. Take Your Kids to the Virgin Islands Childrens Museum
- 18. Take the Skyride to Paradise Point
- 19. Climb the 99 Steps
- 20. Go Scuba Diving
- 21. Take a Snorkeling Tour
- 22. Try Out The Mermaid’s Chair Hike
- 23. Take a Boat Tour
- 24. Take a Trip to Turtle Cove
- 25. Visit Water Island
- 26. Day Trip to St. John
- 27. Day Trip to the British Virgin Islands
- 28. Try a Caribbean Food Tour
- 29. Try Craft Brews At Frenchtown Brewing Company
- 30. Take a Sunset Dinner Cruise
- 31. Downtown Charlotte Amalie Shopping
- 32. Mountain Top/St. Peter Mountain Shopping
- When is the best time of year to visit St. Thomas?
- Is St. Thomas a family-friendly destination?
- Is St. Thomas a safe destination?
- Most Significant Landmark – Fort Christian
- Best Beach – Magens Bay Beach
- Free activity – Hike to Mermaid’s Chair
- Activity for kids – Pirate Treasure Museum
- Activity for adults – Relax on the Beach All Day!
- Best Food – Any Caribbean Food Tour
- Best Nightlife – Downtown Charlotte Amalie Bars & Restaurants
- Place to stay – Marriott Frenchman’s Cove
Things to Do in St. Thomas
1. Visit Magens Bay Beach
Magens Bay Beach is one of the most popular beaches in St. Thomas. Depending on when you go, you may find it to be a bit busy, but there’s still plenty of room to spread out along its 1.5-mile length. It’s on the north side of the island; legend has it that English sailor Sir Francis Drake anchored in this bay while waiting for ships to plunder.
Magens Bay is considered an Important Bird Area by BirdLife International so you can expect to see birds like green-throated caribs, pearly-eyed thrashers, countless hummingbirds, and others while you relax in the sand and play in the water.
There’s a nature trail created by The Nature Conservancy and local organizations to enjoy here, as well as a snack bar, a souvenir shop, and a facility to rent floats, beach chairs, towels, paddleboards, snorkel equipment, and more.
Magens Bay is a lovely beach and you may find it to be one of your favorites on the island. It has a bit of everything and is great for individuals, couples, friend groups, and families alike. If you’re looking for a ride and tour to Magens Bay, this St. Thomas Islands Magens Bay Beach Tour may be perfect for you and your small group.
See Related: Best Beaches in the U.S. to Visit
2. Have a Blast at Sapphire Beach
Sapphire Beach is on the northeastern end of St. Thomas. It’s less busy than Magens Bay Beach, but it is also quite popular due to its proximity to resorts and the town of Red Hook. Still, it’s a pretty white sand beach that’s lovely for sunbathing and water sports; kayaking, windsurfing, and snorkeling rentals are available from a booth.
There’s also a small restaurant and bar for food and drinks if you get hungry or thirsty while enjoying Sapphire Beach. Need somewhere to crash? The Sapphire Beach Resort is a top accommodation option just steps away.
See Related: Best Beaches in St. Thomas for Snorkeling
3. Enjoy the Views from Lindquist Beach
Pristine Lindquist Beach is not far from Sapphire Beach but it’s a bit further from the resorts if a more natural environment is what you seek. This beach is part of a protected, 21-acre area called Smith Bay Park. The water is clear and shallow and looks turquoise from the shore.
You’ll have great views of St. John and the British Virgin Islands while you relax in the shade of coconut and sea grape trees. During the daytime, there’s a lifeguard on duty. You’ll also find picnic tables and restrooms at Lindquist Beach, but there are no other services.
See Related: Most Beautiful Beaches in the World
4. Play Around at Coki Point Beach
Coki Point Beach, also known simply as Coki Beach, is a small but lively beach on a peninsula on the northeastern part of the island. If you’re looking for a beach with some action, then you’ll love this one. It’s popular with locals, visitors, and cruise ship passengers in town for just the day.
There are vendors, rental chairs and umbrellas, music, dancing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and more. You won’t find much shade on this beach, so you’ll find plenty of sunbathers.
The water is calm and gets deep very gradually, which makes this a wonderful beach option for visitors with children. The Margaritaville Vacation Club by Wyndham is near Coki Point if you wish to stay in this area.
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5. Relax on the Island’s Other White Sand Beaches
One of the main reasons people are drawn to St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands is the beautiful beaches. St. Thomas is full of them; you can visit a different beach on each day of your visit if you desire. There are at least twenty beaches on St. Thomas to check out if you have the time and want to try to see them all.
Secret Harbor in the East End is calm and is excellent for snorkeling. Brewers Bay on the West End is surrounded by lush green hills and is often nearly deserted.
Lindbergh Bay is a great place to grab lunch at a beachfront restaurant or have a few tropical drinks. Cowpet Bay is developed yet quiet and has very clear water.
The possibilities are endless – there are still over a dozen beaches on St. Thomas that we haven’t even mentioned here. Try as many as you can, or pick one, get to know it well, and spend your whole vacation there!
See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches in the World
6. Immerse Yourself in Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden
Address: 7D-5 St; Thomas, VI 00802
This two-acre botanical garden opened in 2015 and gives visitors the opportunity to get up close and personal with some of the incredible flowers and tropical plants that are native to this type of environment. You can expect to see bromeliads, aroids, heliconias, palms, succulents, and over 1000 orchids when you visit this beautiful and tranquil place.
Most visitors stay about an hour, but you’re welcome to stay as long as you’d like. Staff is on hand to answer questions about the plants and you’ll find a snack bar and gift shop on site as well. Anyone who loves tropical plants and nature will love the Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden.
7. Explore Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Gardens
Address: 2A Estate Crown and Hawk; St. Thomas, VI 00802
If you like botanical gardens, you’re in luck! Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden is not your only option. Plantation Crown and Hawk Botanical Garden also opened in 2015 and is on five and a half acres on an old sugar plantation estate.
It’s at 1500′ so you can enjoy cool breezes from the trade winds while you explore the orchid garden, view the waterfall, walk on the sky deck, have a snack from the snack bar, and view the incredible tropical plants that thrive here. Don’t be surprised if you see a few peacocks – they live on site – and you’ll likely see some local wildlife, too. Plan one to two hours to explore this very special place.
See Related: 4 Hidden Gems in the Caribbean Sea (You Can’t Miss)
8. Go Mangrove Kayaking
Mangroves are beautiful trees that are not only able to live in saltwater but also thrive in it! There are about 80 different species of mangrove trees worldwide and their complex, aboveground root systems are instantly recognizable. There’s a mangrove lagoon in St. Thomas, and it’s a quiet, serene, and shaded place that’s perfect to explore by kayak.
If you want to get out on the water in a silent, self-propelled boat, then you’ll love taking a mangrove kayak tour in the Virgin Islands. This St. Thomas Mangrove Kayak, Hike, & Snorkel Tour with Lunch has everything you’ll need for a memorable adventure on the water.
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9. Visit Fort Christian & the St. Thomas Museum
Address: St. Thomas, Fort Strade, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, USVI 00802
Fort Christian is a Dano-Norweigan fort that was built between 1672 and 1680. The fort served as the main point of defense and government during the entire period of Dano-Norwegian rule on the island, and later during Danish rule until the Danish sold the islands to the United States in 1917.
Today, it’s home to the St. Thomas Museum which chronicles the history of the island’s Dano-Norweigan period. The structure was listed as a National Historic Landmark in 1977.
Since Fort Christian is the oldest standing building of any kind in the U.S. Virgin Islands, it’s certainly worth a visit. If you’re interested in a self-guided audio tour that includes Fort Christian, then you might like this Charlotte Amalie: Self-Guided Audio Tour.
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10. Admire the Legislature Building
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands; the four main islands and the fifty smaller islands are all governed by a governor and a fifteen-member legislature. The legislature meets in this building, across the street from Fort Christian, which was built in 1874.
A previous building on the same spot was built in 1828 as barracks for the Danish military; the current building was also used for barracks for the U.S. Marine Corps and as a high school before, but it’s been the Legislature Building since 1970.
The exterior of this building is impressive and is a great St. Thomas photo opportunity. And, if you’re interested in seeing the government at work, you’re welcome to go inside and sit and quietly observe from upstairs.
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11. Wave to the Governor at the Government House
Address: 5047 (21-22) Kongens Gade, St. Thomas, VI 00802
The Legislature Building is where the legislature works; the Government House is the location of the offices of the Governor of the Virgin Islands. This three-story, commanding, white structure was built in 1867 and is a great example of Danish colonial architecture during that time period.
There are no tours available of this building, but you’re welcome to enter – just check in with the guard at the entrance. Inside, you’ll find impressive mahogany staircases, vintage West Indian furniture, paintings by world-famous, locally-born impressionist painter Camille Pissarro, and murals by Italian-American artist Peppino Margravite. This building is impressive inside and out and is worth a visit.
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12. Step Into the Past at the Seven Arches Museum
Address: 18-A-B Dronningens Gade; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, VI 00802
This two-story yellow stone, brick, and coral home is the only historical home that is open to tours on the island. It’s an excellent example of how people lived on St. Thomas in the late 1700s and early 1800s.
The house museum is decorated to reflect that time period and many interesting artifacts are on display including a large, West Indian, mahogany canopy bed, a set of Royal Copenhagen dishes, a collection of letters, stamps, and coins, and various other heirlooms. The kitchen is one of the only remaining examples of a traditional Virgin Islands outdoor kitchen.
You’ll love learning about the history of St. Thomas at this museum.
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13. See Historical Artifacts at the St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum
Address: 5332 Raadets Gade; Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas, VI 00802
This museum may be small, but the St. Thomas Historical Trust is dedicated to preserving the history of St. Thomas in every way possible. Not only does the St. Thomas Historical Trust operate this five-room museum full of antique furnishings, artifacts, and old photos, but it also works to protect historical sites all over the island.
Volunteer guides are on hand to answer your questions during your visit. You might also consider taking a Downtown Walking Tour of Charlotte Amaile’s Historic District through the St. Thomas Historical Trust: they’re offered every Friday morning.
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14. View Blackbeard’s Castle
Blackbeard’s Castle is the current, common name for this stone structure at one of the highest points in St. Thomas; its true name is the St. Thomas Skytsborg Tower. It was built in 1679 as part of Fort Christian even though it’s about a half mile away. This tower was used by the Dano-Norweigan military to serve as a watchtower to protect Charlotte Amalie harbor and the fort itself.
Local legend says that Edward Teach, also known as the fierce pirate Blackbeard, used the tower as a vantage point during the early 1700s, as well. Although you can’t climb the tower, it’s still worth viewing, as it is a notable remnant of the island’s history.
15. Check Out the Pirate Treasure Museum
Address: 17-1 Estate Thomas, St. Thomas, VI 00802
Pirate history is rich in the U.S. Virgin Islands, in the British Virgin Islands, and on other islands in this part of the Caribbean, so you should visit the Pirate Treasure Museum while on St. Thomas to learn more about the lives and stories of these adventurous and often murderous men and women.
This two-story museum is full of hands-on, interactive exhibits that are fun and educational for all ages. Authentic artifacts and treasures recovered from shipwrecks are on display and enthusiastic staff members will tell you tales of pirates and pirate treasure. They may just inspire you to seek out some treasure yourself. Good luck, me hearties!
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16. Visit the French Heritage Museum
Address: 83Q5+298 St. Thomas, VI 00802
In addition to St. Thomas’ rich Dano-Norweigan heritage, there’s a rich French history on this island as well. French people have been living on St. Thomas for over 150 years; many immigrated from nearby St. Barthelemy and established the French-speaking fishing community of Frenchtown in Charlotte Amalie.
The French Heritage Museum recognizes and celebrates the contributions of these French settlers to St. Thomas over the last century and a half. It’s volunteer-staffed and is housed in two small homes which offer fine examples of French architecture and decor. You’ll find French furniture, pottery, tools, fishing nets, photographs, and more at this very interesting and unique museum.
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17. Take Your Kids to the Virgin Islands Childrens Museum
Address: Buccaneer Mall, Route 30; St. Thomas, VI 00802
If you’re looking for things to do in St. Thomas, USVI with kids – especially on a rainy or very hot day – then the Virgin Islands Children’s Museum is the answer. This small but mighty children’s museum is packed with hands-on, STEAM-focused activities that the youngest members of your group will love. Exhibits are aimed at kids ages 3 to 8, but younger and older children will also find plenty to do.
Your kids will have fun building, playing, and learning as long as you’ll let them. Plan to spend a few hours here, if possible.
The air conditioning is a nice bonus, and parking is easy, too. This is a great option for an activity that the whole family can enjoy together.
See Related: Tips for Traveling with Toddlers and Kids
18. Take the Skyride to Paradise Point
Address: 9617 Estate Thomas; Charlotte Amalie; St. Thomas, VI 00802
Paradise Point Lookout is a high point in Charlotte Amalie that offers sweeping views of the harbor, St. Thomas, and many of the other beautiful surrounding islands. On a clear day, you can even see Puerto Rico! You can drive to Paradise Point, but taking the Skyride is a much better way to summit this 700′ peak.
At the top, you’ll find a bar, restaurants, souvenir shops, and more. The tram runs most days during daylight hours; this is an excellent place for unforgettable photographs that you’ll want to frame and enjoy for years to come.
19. Climb the 99 Steps
Climbing the 99 Steps is a St. Thomas tradition – but it is a lie. There are actually 103 steps! This staircase was built by the Danes to make traversing the hills of Charlotte Amalie a bit easier. Whether climbing all these steps is “easy” or not is for you to decide.
The steps are made from ballast bricks that filled the hulls of empty ships that came from Europe; they returned full of supplies. At the top of the steps, you’ll be able to view Blackbeard’s Castle described above, and you’ll also be able to enjoy a spectacular view of St. Thomas and other nearby islands.
This Downtown Cultural Charlotte Amalie Walking Tour from Viator includes the 99 Steps and so much more.
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20. Go Scuba Diving
The scuba diving in St. Thomas is some of the best in the Caribbean. The waters that surround this tropical island paradise are clear and warm and fish, sea turtles, and other marine life are abundant.
Also, the currents in this area are quite calm which makes the water easy to navigate. There are many outfitters that offer both gear and lessons in St. Thomas and you can even get PADI certified during your stay if you use your time well. You’ll love getting under the sea in St. Thomas.
If you’re looking for small-group scuba diving instruction in St. Thomas, consider this Discover Scuba Diving in St. Thomas tour. There will be no more than four people in your lesson group!
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21. Take a Snorkeling Tour
If you’re interested in checking out the creatures below the water’s surface but you’re not quite ready to learn how to scuba dive, you can still see amazing things by simply snorkeling. A snorkeling tour is an easy and safe way to explore the Caribbean Sea; it’s simple to learn and is fun for the whole family. The sea life in St. Thomas is incredible, and viewing it with your own eyes while snorkeling is something that you’ll never forget.
There are so many different snorkeling tours to consider in St. Thomas. This Charlotte Amalie: Virgin Islands Snorkeling and Boating Tour is an intimate, semi-private charter that goes to Turtle Cove and Honeymoon Beach. Alternatively, you might prefer this St. Thomas Mangrove Kayak, Hike, and Snorkel Three-Hour Tour to Cas Cay for a completely different experience.
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22. Try Out The Mermaid’s Chair Hike
Mermaid’s Chair is a spot on the western end of St. Thomas that is only accessible on foot. This beach is lovely and often quiet and deserted, although it can be busy at other times. What’s unique about it is the fact that when you stand at the westernmost point, the Atlantic Ocean is to your right, and the Caribbean Sea is to your left.
Many people attempt the mostly-paved hike to Mermaid’s Chair, but some give up along the way; this 3.6-mile out-and-back hike is rated moderately challenging. It’s rather steep at points, and you’ll find little shade along the way. However, if you do make it all the way to the end, the views and beach are pretty rewarding, and you’ll surely be glad that you made the trek.
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23. Take a Boat Tour
It’s tempting to spend all day lying on the beach with occasional dips into the waves, but you’ll really be missing out if you don’t make an effort to actually get out onto the water. There are countless options to spend time in a boat in the Virgin Islands. You can find a party boat tour provider and enjoy a booze cruise or snorkeling excursion.
You can privately charter a smaller boat for just you and your friends or family, like this 62-foot Luxury Motor Yacht. You can hire a local to take you out on his or her boat for fishing, swimming, or whatever you’d like.
The possibilities are endless – just imagine or choose the type of boating adventure that sounds like your kind of thing, and then move to book a trip doing exactly that. You’ll be so glad that you did.
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24. Take a Trip to Turtle Cove
Little Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge is located on Little Buck Island near Water Island. It’s closed to humans since it’s a national wildlife refuge — the space is set aside for animals.
However, it’s ok to swim near the island as long as you don’t set foot on the shore. Many people do exactly that, because Turtle Cove, a small cove on the northern side of the island, is full of sea turtles.
Numerous boat tour providers (such as the company that runs this Turtle Cove Catamaran Snorkel & Sail Adventure) take tourists to this area for swimming and snorkeling excursions and swimming with the sea turtles is magical. However, remember that it’s a felony to touch sea turtles, as several species are on the Endangered Species List including green sea turtles, loggerhead sea turtles, leatherback turtles, and hawksbill turtles, all of which you may see at Turtle Cove. View and enjoy, but please don’t touch the turtles.
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25. Visit Water Island
Water Island is often referred to as the fourth main island of the U.S. Virgin Islands. It’s just off the coast of St. Thomas and it has a small population of around 200 residents.
It’s also the newest of the Virgin Islands. Although the United States acquired it in 1944, it was transferred to the U.S. Virgin Islands in 1996.
Visiting Water Island is fun. You’ll find that it’s very different from St. Thomas. The ferry ride from the Crown Bay Marina is just ten minutes; once you land on Water Island, rent a golf cart to get around.
Check out Fort Segarra, a partially constructed U.S. military fort built during WWII. And, be sure to spend some time on Honeymoon Beach. Honeymoon Beach is a manmade beach that was constructed in the 1950s; it’s a gorgeous place to catch some rays.
There are no hotels on Water Island, but there are some vacation rentals like Bella Vita, a house with great views that sleeps eight; this Contemporary Waterfront Luxury Estate with a pool that sleeps 27; or SeAtitudes, a three-bedroom 44′ catamaran anchored at Honeymoon Beach to name a few. There’s also a campground.
As for dining options, there are only two eating and drinking establishments on Water Island – Dinghy’s Beach Bar and Grill and Heidi’s Honeymoon Grill. Luckily, both are quite good.
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26. Day Trip to St. John
If you’re staying on St. Thomas for more than a few days, then a day trip to St. John is an excursion that can’t be missed. St. John is the smallest of the three largest United States Virgin Islands and it’s easily the most beautiful.
More than half the island is designated national parkland. Since there are no homes or development inside the Virgin Islands National Park property, much of St. John feels like a deserted island paradise.
To get to St. John, you can take the ferry from Crown Bay Marina or Red Hook and be there in no time. Once you arrive, you can explore the island’s main town of Cruz Bay on foot, or take a taxi to one of the island’s many beautiful beaches. Trunk Bay Beach is the most iconic; it’s on almost every list you’ll find of the best beaches in the world.
If you have time, the ruins of the Annaburg Sugar Plantation are a worthy and educational stop for history buffs, too. For people who prefer guided tours, you can see all this and more on this St. John Tour with Annaberg Plantation tour.
Unlike Water Island, there are lots of places to stay on St. John if you wish to stay overnight, but you can see a lot of the island when you simply ferry over and back for the day. As for food and drink, there are plenty of restaurants to satisfy every palate, and inviting beach bars galore. St. John is a true gem of the Caribbean.
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27. Day Trip to the British Virgin Islands
In case it wasn’t plainly obvious, the British Virgin Islands are so close to the United States Virgin Islands that you can see them from many places on St. Thomas. That means you should definitely go visit them if you have a passport!
There are a number of different ways to get to the BVIs from the USVIs including water taxis, tourist boat excursions, and ferries. Water taxis are the quickest option but also the most expensive; ferries to Tortola are more affordable and take about an hour.
Tourist boat excursions might be your best choice for seeing as much of the British Virgin Islands in the shortest amount of time. Look for one that takes you to the famous Baths rock formations and swimming area on Virgin Gorda and to the remote, tiny, and unique island of Jost Van Dyke.
Tortola, the largest of the BVIs, has a population of around 23,000. It’s similar to St. Thomas, but with a British twist – think of it like a Caribbean Canada! One great way to access the BVIs for a day is through this Full Day Adventure Where You’ll Discover The Baths of Virgin Gorda.
28. Try a Caribbean Food Tour
A local food tour is a wonderful activity for your first night anywhere. Food tours help you to get an overview of your destination, give you a crash course in the local vibe and culture, and introduce you to several local restaurants that you can revisit later for complete meals. Guides are usually quite knowledgeable about their city or town and are more than happy to answer any questions that you may have about anything.
In St. Thomas, a food tour will offer you all of the above, while you fill your belly with some of the best cuisines the island has to offer. This Flavors of St. Thomas Walking Food Tour is quite popular if a food tour sounds like something up your alley. This Historic Main Street Food Tour is another great option.
See Related: Weird, Bizarre Foods from Around the World
29. Try Craft Brews At Frenchtown Brewing Company
Address: St Thomas; 24A Honduras; Charlotte Amalie; St. Thomas, VI 00802
Almost everyone enjoys a good beer after a long, hard day of vacation relaxation, and one of the best places in St. Thomas to get one is the Frenchtown Brewing Company. This small-batch, tap-only brewery opened in 2015 and it has been impressing locals and visitors ever since.
Stop by and have a pint and take a tour and when it’s time to head on out, you’re welcome to buy and fill a growler for the road. There are no open container laws in St. Thomas, and you’re even allowed to drink in a moving vehicle and even while driving it! However, while drinking at the wheel is technically okay, drunk driving is still illegal; please drink responsibly.
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30. Take a Sunset Dinner Cruise
Several different tour companies offer sunset dinner cruises that depart from Charlotte Amalie or Red Hook. This type of boating adventure is a fantastic way to make some unforgettable Virgin Island memories while you’re in St. Thomas. The sunsets in this part of the Caribbean are especially spectacular, and there’s no better place to view them than from a boat.
Some sunset cruises offer only cocktails – like this Cocktail Sunset Cruise from Sapphire Beach Resort – but others also include appetizers or even full meals – like this Sunset & Harbor Lights Dinner Sail from the Marriott Frenchman’s Cove. Others leave early enough to include time for swimming or snorkeling before the sun goes down.
This type of excursion is a great way to spend the last night of your visit. These cruises fill up fast, though, so be sure to book far in advance – perhaps before you’ve even left home.
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31. Downtown Charlotte Amalie Shopping
If you enjoy shopping, then you’re going to love downtown Charlotte Amalie. This part of St. Thomas is full of shops of all kinds that exist purely to cater to island visitors. These stores are all packed to the gills when there are cruise ship passengers in town and almost every proprietor is ready to make a deal.
You’ll find jewelry shops, clothing boutiques, souvenir stands, perfumiers, art galleries, chocolatiers, custom-fitted leather sandal outfitters, local rum providers, and more. You’ll be happy to know that the duty-free allowance in the United States Virgin Islands is $1600 – it’s just $800 elsewhere in the Caribbean – so go crazy, and shop until you drop.
Looking for a great place to stay in downtown Charlotte Amalie? Although many people choose to stay by the beach, staying downtown is a great idea too – there are several excellent hotels in this area. You might consider staying at The Green Iguana, for one example, or if you’re really looking for something luxurious, then you might try The Pink Palm Hotel nearby.
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32. Mountain Top/St. Peter Mountain Shopping
Another great place for duty-free shopping in St. Thomas is Mountain Top. The store at the top of St. Peter Mountain is the island’s largest duty-free mall and it also offers amazing views of fifteen different islands from 1200 ft.
Inside, you can buy clothing, souvenirs, jewelry, trinkets, and so much more. Mountain Top also claims to be the birthplace of the banana daiquiri, which it says was invented by Captain George Soule in 1953 – be sure to get one here, simply to say that you did!
When is the best time of year to visit St. Thomas?
St. Thomas is lovely at any time of the year! You and your family, friends, or other companions can enjoy this tropical island paradise in any season. As you might guess, more people visit St. Thomas and the other Virgin Islands during the months that it’s cold in the continental United States, so you’ll encounter more crowds and more action from October to April than you will from April to October.
It’s also important to know that hurricane season in St. Thomas is from June to November, with the majority of hurricanes passing through between August and October. Things slow down in St. Thomas during hurricane season for obvious reasons, but if you consider yourself a lucky person, don’t rule out going during this time period. St. Thomas is quiet and mellow during these months, and you can also find some excellent deals.
Is St. Thomas a family-friendly destination?
St. Thomas is a very family-friendly destination! While there are people who like to party and drink and get rowdy visiting every Caribbean island, St. Thomas doesn’t seem to attract as many of those kinds of people as some other islands might. There are lots of quiet beaches to enjoy with your kids, and the abundant wildlife will thrill your little explorers.
Further, many of the restaurants in St. Thomas have children’s menus that include familiar foods from home. It’s easy to get around St. Thomas and there are plenty of fun family-focused things to do on the island. Your whole family will love it.
Is St. Thomas a safe destination?
For the most part, St. Thomas is quite safe for tourists. The island does have a bit of a high crime rate, but most of the crime is between locals and residents, and other than petty crimes, tourists are rarely affected. With that said, though, it’s always wise to use your street smarts and to be aware of your surroundings anywhere that you travel, and St. Thomas is no exception to that rule.
Don’t leave your bags unattended on the beach or anywhere, and don’t leave valuables visible in your rental car. At night, there are parts of St. Thomas that can get a little dodgy, so make sure someone in your party stays sober to make sure your group gets back to your hotel or vacation rental without any issues. Don’t be flashy with money or jewelry, and you’ll be just fine.
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Christy is was born and raised in upstate New York but she has lived in Denver, Colorado for the past decade with her partner, Billy, and their cat, Lucy. Traveling is her favorite thing to do in the whole world, but she also loves writing, reading, being outdoors, seeing live music, cooking, creating art in many mediums, napping, spending time with friends and family, and laughing heartily as often as possible.