It is easy to miss the United States when thinking about Caribbean vacations! However, in the US Virgin Islands, you can easily experience all the amazing things you would otherwise experience in a Caribbean location without ever officially “leaving” the United States. This overseas territory of the United States consists of 3 larger islands, namely Saint Croix, Saint John, and Saint Thomas. Previously a territory of the Kingdom of Denmark, the US Virgin Islands is a unique blend of Caribbean and European influences. Here are 7 things to see in Saint Thomas, which is also the capital of the territory.
One of the newest minor islands of the Virgin Islands, Water Island is an easy 10 minutes boat ride away from Saint Thomas. There is a ferry that departs from Crown Bay Marina, just in front of Tickles Restaurant. Click HERE to see the schedule.
Honeymoon Beach is a great spot to visit once you get to Water Islands. Just keep walking up the hill after you get off the ferry and you will see the beach on to your right. The beach here is beautiful, with white sand and crystal-clear water. There’s a good restaurant called Dinghy’s Beach Bar that serves good food and run based drinks. Grab a table under the shade and enjoy a nice lunch watching the calm turquoise waters.
Magens Bay Beach
Located on the North side of the island, Magens Bay is a well-protected beach with turquoise blue waters and almost three quarter of a mile of unspoiled, white sand beach. You have to pay a $5 entrance fee which I think is well worth it. There is a restaurant and bar right at the beach and you can also rent paddle boats, kayaks, beach chairs and other water sport items as well.
One of the most famous landmarks at Saint Thomas. These steps were originally built by the Danish when they owned the island. Climbing the steps are worth it to see some great views of the Caribbean. These steps end up at Blackbeard’s Castle, a 1600s watchtower which was unfortunately closed for renovations when we went but boasts of panoramic views.
One of the best vista points at Saint Thomas. Drake’s seat offers panoramic views of Magens Bay and the surrounding islands.
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of Saint Thomas and is a famous port on Caribbean cruises. If you love to shop, main street is lined up on either side with colorful shops. The Charlotte Amalie overlook offers some of the best views of the entire city and surrounding islands. We visited during the day and at sunset, which I recommend doing.
A trendy area in the East end of the island with lots of restaurants, bars, and shopping. Red Hook also has a marina and a ferry port with both passenger and car ferry options. We used the car ferry to go to Saint John.
Sunset and Sunrise
Is there anything more magical than a sunset or a sunrise over an ocean? The best part about Saint Thomas being a tiny island is that you can easily experience both!
Where We Stayed
Accommodation in Saint Thomas can be very expensive. The good news is that there are lots of vacation rental homes that you can stay in. VRBO is a great site to find some of these hidden gems on the island.
We stayed at Sea Ya Around villa which had commanding views of Bolongo Bay. The villa was very spacious, and the hosts (who live downstairs) were friendly and helpful. My favorite part about the villa is that you can experience both the sunrise and sunset without ever having to go anywhere else. The villa was also in a central place between Red Hook and the capital, Charlotte Amalie.
Where We Ate
Saint Thomas has a lot of trendy restaurants and places to eat. Two of the best places we ate at were:
French Quarter Bistro
A very unassuming restaurant in French Town, Saint Thomas. The portion sizes were enormous and the food was amazing! Try the brownie! It was worth every calorie.
An Italian restaurant in the Red Hook area. Amazing food and ambiance.
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Saint John is an easy day trip from Saint Thomas! Click HERE (or below) to find out how to get there and what to do once you do.
Thinking about other Caribbean destinations? Check out my post on Riviera Maya in Mexico HERE