Looking for an island getaway that combines stunning beaches with a warm, unique culture and history?
St. Thomas is an island in the Caribbean perfect for travelers looking to explore the region for the first time. It’s an especially easy island getaway for Americans. As an overseas dependency of the United States of America (USA), no passports are required by US citizens for entry and exit, and the official currency is the U.S. dollar.
If you’ve just booked a Caribbean getaway here’s a list of things to do in St. Thomas to consider.
1. Spend The Day At Magens Bay
One of the exciting things to do in St Thomas is visiting the spectacular beaches. Located in the Northern region of the island, Magens Bay Beach is appreciated for its calm and turquoise waters. The beach is perfect for individuals of all ages and is ideal for swimming and water sporting activities.
Magens Bay Beach is situated in Magens Bay Park, where you can enjoy the island’s wildlife, flora, and fauna. Note, there is a fee for access to the park and seperate parking charges.
Active travelers will love the hiking trail, which is approximately one mile to the beach and is developed and well-maintained.
2. Hike To Mermaid’s Chair
Are you looking for more hikes? Then check out Mermaid’s Chair, one of the unique spots in St Thomas. Mermaid’s Chair is situated on the West Coast near the capital city of Charlotte Amalie. There is also an area with fantastic turquoise waters ideal for swimming and relaxing.
The extraordinary feature of this hike is a small strip that separates the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, which is truly a natural wonder. It is best to visit during low tide if you would like to walk across this strip. The trail is more suitable for experienced hikers and takes approximately two hours to complete.
3. Take Pictures At Mountain Top
Any list of the best things to do in St. Thomas will not be complete without taking time to soak in the island’s scenic views. One of the best spots to take your unforgettable Instagram photos is Mountain Top.
This is the island’s highest peak and offers visitors a spectacular view of Magens Bay, St John, and the British Virgin Islands. On the premises, there is a bar where you can enjoy locally made tropical drinks and shops to purchase souvenirs and duty-free items.
4. Enjoy The Nightlife
Regarding nightlife, St Thomas is the liveliest of all the US Virgin Island Territories. It predominantly focuses on beach bars and restaurants, especially in the communities of Red Hook, Frenchtown, Charlotte Amalie, and Haven Sight.
The Box Bar and The Jungle Night Club are two venues to check out as you bar hop your way around.
5. Explore Fort Christian
History and architecture lovers will enjoy a visit to the oldest structure in the US Virgin Islands. Built between1672 and 1680, Fort Christian has a distinct red exterior with a Victorian clock at the front. A tour gives visitors a glimpse into the history of the Danes and slavery on the island.
The admission fee is $10 for tourists, and free for residents.
6. Climb 99 Steps
Surrounded by several species of tropical flora and fauna, climbing 99 Steps is always at the top of people’s things to do in St. Thomas lists!
These steps were constructed from bricks brought to the island from Denmark and are actually 103 steps in total and not 99 according to its name. At the top of the steps is Blackbeard’s Castle which was constructed in 1679 by the Danish to protect the harbor as well as Fort Christian.
7. Visit Coral World Ocean Park
If you are seeking things to do in St Thomas for families, visit Coral World Ocean Park.
Situated on a property covering five acres, this is the perfect venue to explore the island’s coral reef and sea life. Activities available include educational shark and sea lion tours, SNUBA excursions, or just relaxing in one of the pools.
Tour guides provide information on marine life and conservation efforts in St Thomas.
8. Enjoy A Day Trip To Hassel Island
This tiny island comprises only 135 acres and is accessible via a short boat ride from the capital city, Charlotte Amalie. Hassel Island was previously connected to mainland St Thomas but was separated by the Danish Government in 1860.
The island is perfect for history enthusiasts as several historical ruins, such as Fort Willoughby, Fort Frederik, and Fort Shipley, remain to date.
9. Swim With Sea Turtles At Brewers Bay
Exploring one beach is not enough when visiting the island of St Thomas. In addition to Magens Bay Beach, Brewers Bay is another excellent option to consider. Brewers Bay beach is not as famous as Magens Bay Beach and ideal for those seeking a quieter beach experience.
The water is beautiful crystal blue, and its located near the University, so it is accessible via public transportation. There are changing rooms, showers on the premises, and local food trucks.
Brewers Bay is exceptional for snorkeling and swimming with sea turtles, but its location near the airport means that visitors will hear the constant departure and arrival of aircraft.
10. Stroll In The Phantasea Botanical Gardens
If you are seeking a tropical oasis, the Phantasea Botanical Gardens is an exciting place to visit in St Thomas.
Founded by Patsy Breunlin in February 2015, the mission of the botanical gardens is to display tropical plants and flowers as well as educate visitors. Visitors can view various species of succulents, orchids, ariods, palms, aaroidsmuch more at the gardens.
11. Relish The Amazing Views At Drake Seat
Here is another fantastic location to take in the beauty of the island. Arthur Fairchild constructed Drake Seat in 1933, and it is another spot to take in the natural beauty of the island as well as views of other Virgin Islands.
12. Go Ziplining
Immerse yourself in the island’s natural scenery by booking a ziplining tour with the only company of its kind one the island – Tree Limin’ Extreme. Their facility has six ziplines and eight aerial tree platforms. There are guides on site who can share information about the culture and history of the island.
13. Respectfully Visit St Thomas Synagogue
The Hebrew Congregation of St Thomas was declared a historic landmark in St Thomas in 1997. The unique feature of the St Thomas Synagogue is its sand floor, the oldest of its kind in the Western hemisphere.
Located in Queens Quarters in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie, the synagogue is a place for individuals seeking a peaceful space for prayer and reflection or those looking for another historical activity.
14. Visit The Pirate Museum
Love The Pirates of The Caribbean movies? Then St Augustine Pirate & Treasure Museum is a must to learn about the real-life Jack Sparrows throughout history. Just like the movies, it’s a fun thing to do and appropriate for all ages.
15. Duty Free Shopping
If you love to shop and want great deals, it is the best island in the Caribbean for duty free shopping.
One significant benefit US citizens have when visiting St Thomas is that each visitor, including children, is allowed $1600 for duty-free purchases back into the mainland. Numerous high-end and luxury retail chains have a presence in St Thomas, such as Gucci, Louis Vuitton, Little Switzerland, Diamonds International, and Bebe. Reports estimate that Duty-Free shopping can save you 12% off the regular price, adding up to significant savings on high-prices designer items.
Another location to visit for duty free shopping is Yacht Haven Grande. This is a high end waterfront development which features a marina and a number of luxury retailers.
16. Use it as A Base For U.S. Virgin Island-Hopping
Additionally, St Thomas is the main commercial hub for the US Virgin Islands, consisting of three major islands: St Croix, St John, and Water Island. So why only visit one island when it’s so easy to visit three?
When’s The Best Time to Visit St. Thomas?
The island is truly a gem, and there are numerous exciting things to do in St. Thomas to make your stay unforgettable. But when’s the best time to visit the islands and region?
While high temperatures and daily sunshine are the norm, St. Thomas and The Virgin Islands are in the main Hurricane Path. It’s best to avoid traveling in between June and November, but if you must purchase travel insurance for your vacation.
Prices and crowds will peak in the high season from Mid December to Mid-April when vacationers are looking to escape from cold weather in their part of the world. But it’s also the most lively time on the island when all the establishments are open, and the events take place. So warning, if you book a trip during the off-season to avoid crowds and high prices, do your research to ensure all the best things to do in St. Thomas will be open.
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This post was produced by Planner at Heart