St. Thomas, USVI
Sandy beaches, spectacular scenery, exciting watersports, duty-free shopping and colonial monuments make this one of the U.S. Virgin Islands’ liveliest destinations.
The Caribbean island of St. Thomas presents a blend of history, nature, shopping, recreation and relaxation. Jungle-covered hills roll down to picturesque bays with white-sand beaches and turquoise water. Colonial-era architecture stands in busy shopping districts.
St. Thomas’ one major town is picturesque Charlotte Amalie. Wander the narrow lanes to see Danish, Dutch, French and Spanish-built houses, many now hosting cafés and shops. Climb the 99 Steps, an 18th-century staircase near Blackbeard’s Castle and Fort Christian, built in the 1600s as a Danish stronghold.
Beyond Charlotte Amalie, scenic roads wind through wooded hills to views of the island’s magnificent coastlines. Go to animated Frenchtown, a village renowned for its restaurants, taverns, nightclubs and Creole-speaking residents. Enjoy a scenic cable car ride from Havensight to Paradise Point and marvel at the views of Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Over 40 beaches decorate St. Thomas’ coastline, all within a 25-minute drive from Charlotte Amalie. Relax at Magens Bay or the lively resorts of Lindberg Bay and Morningstar. Go fishing, sailing and scuba diving at Red Hook and snorkeling and windsurfing at Sapphire Beach. Discover myriad marine life at Coral World Ocean Park near Coki Beach. Watch planes land at the island airport while you swim in the calm waters of Brewers Bay Beach.
The area is famous for discounted and tax-free shopping, too. Clothing, electronics, jewelry and perfume stores line the streets of Charlotte Amalie, most notably Dronningens Gade (Main Street) and Vendors Plaza. Find more shops and malls at the main ports, Crown Bay and Havensight.
St. Thomas, the second largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is located in the Caribbean Sea east of Puerto Rico. Many visitors arrive by cruise ship or fly to Cyril E. King Airport and then get around via rented car. The U.S. Virgin Islands benefit from year-round warm temperatures, although hurricanes are possible between June and November. Combine your vacation with daytrips to the beaches of neighboring Water Island and St. John.
If you are traveling from the west coast, plan on leaving as early as 7 a.m., or take a red-eye flight to Miami, Atlanta, or New York and connect from there. Coming from New York, you can expect to travel approximately five hours, from Atlanta or Miami it can be approximately three hours and as long as eight hours from Seattle. In any case, plan on leaving early or on a red-eye flight from the West Coast.
Flight times to
- 2.5 hours from Miami
- 3.5 hours from Charlotte
- 4 hours from New York City
St. Thomas is a Caribbean shopping mecca, since visitors from the U.S. are entitled to a $1200 duty-free allowance (double the usual amount)). It also has the most restaurants, resorts, and revelry. Swim, sail, snorkel off the unblemished powder beaches of St. Croix, the USVI’s largest island. On tiny St. John, where three-fifths of the island is national parkland, go snuba diving (a cross between scuba diving and snorkeling).
- Visit Charlotte Amalie on St. Thomas for the ultimate Caribbean shopping spree.
- Buck Island Reef National Monument on St. Croix is an 880-acre nature reserve with an underwater snorkelers’ trail and an incredible diversity of marine life.
- Take a 20-minute ferry ride from St. Thomas to visit Virgin Islands National Park—acres of rolling green hills and an underwater reserve.
- Shop till you drop on St. Thomas! The regular American duty-free allowance is doubled for USVI purchases.
We can arrange convenient and comfortable transfers at the time of booking. You will be met at the airport and taken to your hotel via taxi or shared transfer. In some locations, a private car transfer can be arranged to avoid the stops. We can also arrange friendly and fast car-rental service on many of the Caribbean Islands; with an availability of the most popular car rentals, from convertibles to minivans to four-wheel-drive jeeps. Be prepared to drive on the left side of the road on many islands.
While traveling in U.S. Virgin Islands we recommend:
- Private transfers at time of booking - Private transfers include a meet-and-greet by English-speaking drivers, luggage assistance, and bottled water in modern vehicles.
- A valid passport is generally required for entry into the Caribbean and return to the United States.
- Some countries may also require you to present a return airline ticket.
- It is the traveler’s responsibility to obtain the proper documents.
- U.S. currency is accepted nearly everywhere you go in the Caribbean.
- Currency can be exchanged at banks and island hotels (although for slightly more than the standard exchange rate).
- Most major American and European credit cards are accepted throughout the islands.
- ATMs are widely available throughout the Caribbean.
- The islands that make up the Caribbean span several time zones.
- Most Caribbean islands lie in the Atlantic Standard Time zone, but a few are in the Eastern Time Zone.
- Many of the islands do not observe daylight savings time.