St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
- Main Airport – Cyril E. King Airport (STT)
- Language – English
- Currency – U.S. Dollar (USD)
- Population – 18,500
For those looking to experience some Caribbean fun, St. Thomas is the great destination for beaches, peace and quiet, and not having to go too far from the U.S. St. Part of the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas island is the largest of the three (the other two are Saint Croix and Saint John, but the USVI includes many small surrounding islands as well). St. Thomas offers a rich vacation experience: paddle boarding on the calm shores of Magens Bay or tanning on the white sands, shopping from the local vendors at Market Square, or a nice dinner at Mafolie Restaurant overlooking the island. You will not be disappointed by your stay!
About a four-hour flight from New York, getting to this beautiful island is a breeze if you are coming from the East Coast. Multiple airlines fly to Charlotte Amalie (St. Thomas’ capital), but the main ones are Delta and American Airlines. If you are a U.S. Citizen all you will need is your ID, since the U.S. Virgin Islands are U.S. territories. Presenting your Driver’s License works, just like how you would travel to any other state within the U.S.. With an even shorter flight than from New York to California, you won’t have much trouble on the plane in terms of comfort.
As you soon as you land, you get a message on your phone from your carrier telling you that you will be charged extra if you text or call. You can connect to Wi-Fi at your hotel or other hot spots, but otherwise you should keep your phone on airplane mode unless you have a special plan or cheap roaming rates.
This beach has been voted as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, and you will see why once you are here. There is an entrance fee of $4.00 per person if you are over 12 years old, but there are plenty of parking spaces. There are also amenities like restrooms and a hut where you can buy food, drinks and more.
You can float on the calm waters, can paddle board, and the white sand is the softest sand I have ever felt. The water is crystal clear and you can see your feet in the water; that’s how clear the water is. Tanning is also great for taking a rest from swimming, or paddle boarding, but make sure to bring lots of sunscreen and some sort of parasol. It is blazing hot here, and you will want shade to avoid getting bad burns or worse, heat rash. It is also very humid, but the water provides a nice refuge from the heat. You can rent paddleboards at the beach as well!
The Market Square has local vendors selling lots of cute hand-made things for a cheap price. The price range is wide, but most of the things cost anywhere from a few dollars to $20.00. You could get various souvenirs, T-shirts, bracelets, jewelry and more. Also, there was a local vendor who would sing from time to time about the customers who were visiting, and when we came over, she started singing about the three sisters from New York! We were a little embarrassed, but it was definitely a cool experience.
Historic Place of Worship: Frederick Lutheran Church
Located near the Market Square off of Main Street, this building first went up in 1793, and it was a local place of worship for the Danish West Indies. The walkway leading up to the entrance has palm trees lined up on the sides, and it is a truly beautiful building. It is adorned with marble, and inside, it provides nice shade from the blazing sun.
Local food in general
St. Thomas is the most cosmopolitan out of the U.S. Virgin Islands, so much of the food will resemble American cuisine. You will be able to find local food as well, including an array of seafood and some restaurants offer “catch of the day.”
This restaurant is located almost at the summit of the island and provides a beautiful view of St. Thomas. My family and I went for dinner, and the night view of the island, with the twinkling lights, was a sight to behold. There is a wide array of seafood options, and they provide a “catch of the day”. I had their mahi mahi, and it was delicious. The food is not cheap there, but the view and food are worth the money. The food costs mostly somewhere in the $20 – $30, and the cheaper ones are around $15 – $18.
To see more nature or swim with the dolphins you can take a ferry to the British Virgin Islands, which will take about 45-50 minutes from St. Thomas. Just make sure you bring your passport. If you would like to experience nature that is untouched by humans, you could get a ferry to St. John, which is the smallest, but the most nature-friendly island. There is a lot of wildlife, and if you are into hiking, St. John is the place to go. There is no direct flight the other islands of US Virgin Islands, but you can take ferries to go to St. John or St. Croix from St. Thomas.
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