St. Thomas, a cosmopolitan island located in the Caribbean Sea, is one of three islands that make up the American Virgin Islands. American residents don’t need a passport to get there and the island is home to around 50,000 people. St. Thomas offers something special year-round: warm seas, cool breezes, perfect weather and enough mystery and glamour to be the perfect jet-set vacation spot, at only a stone’s throw away from the United States. Here are 7 reasons to check out St. Thomas.
By land or by sea, a new adventure awaits you in St. Thomas. For those that want to take advantage of the crystal-clear turquoise waters, head to the beach and check out some of the most diverse dive sites in the world. If you prefer to sail the seas, yacht charter is a popular way to explore the islands. Every March, St Thomas is home to the St. Thomas International Regatta, as sailboats come from all over the world to compete. If feeding the sharks is your thing, head to Coral World Ocean Park and jump in with juvenile native Caribbean sharks.
If you want to explore St. Thomas by land, take an island tour. Our favorite guide is native funnyman Campbell Rey, who will uplift you with positivity while filling you in on island fun facts and stories. Check out the view from Beacon’s Point, the peaceful butterfly garden, tramway to Paradise Point and the exotic Botanical Gardens.
Some of the world’s best beaches await you on St. Thomas, making it the perfect place to relax, unwind and rejuvenate. The island of St. Thomas has over 40 beaches picture-perfect beaches to suit whatever your mood. Are you a restless beachgoer? Try kayaking or windsurfing. Beach bum? Lie out, suntan and daydream in a serene stretch of sand at Limetree Beach. Beach walker? Head to out-of-the-way, rocky enclaves that dot the island. Social butterfly? Restaurants, chair rentals, and island drinks await you hugely popular Magen’s Bay. For a different experience, take a day trip to St. John and explore pristine sands like popular Trunk Bay (known for its underwater snorkelling trail complete with plaques describing your underwater tour) or longest stretch of beach Cinnamon Bay.
The delicacies of the island are an eclectic mix of cooking styles imported from Africa, Europe, and Asia. The result? A marriage of local and imported ingredients combined with seafood, fresh produce, American favorites and Caribbean flair to make up a melting pot of flavors, spices and cuisines. A favorite of locals for West Indian cuisine is Glady’s Café, which serves American food alongside traditional goat and curry dishes, among others. To have a quaint, low-key yet sophisticated American meal, head to The Twisted Cork. Decked out in Napa Valley-esque wine bottles, wood crates and candles, this is the perfect place to try out a glass of wine with your Caprese salad, gourmet burger, and strawberry bread pudding.
St. Thomas is home to some of the loveliest events such as the St. Thomas International Regatta in March, St. VI Carnival in April and the Crucian Christmas Festival in December, which is the largest festival on the island. Whatever the special event, St. Thomas is sure to impress with gorgeous weather, distinct culture and friendly islanders.
5. Island Hopping
St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix make up the U.S. Virgin Islands, and never has it been so easy to have three totally different experiences from one main location. St. Thomas is the hub of cosmopolitan city life, while St. John is located just four miles east of St. Thomas, and most of the island is protected as a Virgin Island State Park. Only accessible by boat, once you arrive, you will notice the well-preserved natural beauty, beaches, and quiet affluence. St. Croix is the largest island, and home to Captain Morgan and Cruzan rums, as well as two bioluminescent bays.
With the Cruzan Rum and Captain Morgan factories right next door on nearby St. Croix, it is no wonder the island specializes in decadent rum drinks. From the popular painkiller (rum, cream of coconut, pineapple and orange juices) to the ever-present dark n’ stormy (rum, ginger beer, bitters) and the vacation favorite daiquiri, you will find something to quench your thirst.
With gorgeous views, white sand beaches that stretch on for miles and a sultry island vibe, romance is easy to find on St. Thomas. From destination weddings to anniversaries and baby-moons, the island can be anything from sweet to sensual. From low-lit beachside dinners complete with a live pianist at Caribbean Fish House to more casual, intimate settings at Twisted Cork, explore amorousness at its best. The sunsets are some of the best in the Caribbean, so take advantage with a sunset sail, sunset kayak or the stunning viewpoint from Drake’s Seat, the historic vantage point Sir Francis Drake kept watch over the island.
While these are some of our favorite things about the island, St. Thomas has so much more to offer.