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St. Thomas

St. Thomas

St. Thomas combines the natural beauty of the islands with a cosmopolitan atmosphere.

Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is one of the most beautiful harbors in the world and the most visited port in the Caribbean.

Elegant dining, exciting nightlife, and world-class duty-free shopping are abundant in Charlotte Amalie. The city's reputation as the shopping mecca of the Caribbean draws visitors from all over the region and around the world.

A mountainous island, St. Thomas offers stunning vistas in almost every direction. While Charlotte Amalie is full of energy, St. Thomas also provides natural wonders such as the indescribably beautiful Magens Bay and stunning views of the Caribbean from 1,500 feet above sea level. Drake's Seat is particularly famous for its vistas. Sports and activities are abundant on St. Thomas. Golf enthusiasts will enjoy the George and Tom Fazio-designed Mahogany Run course.

St. Thomas is also well known for its world-class yachting and sportfishing.

Coki is a small, pretty beach located on Coki Point. The crystal clear water is usually very calm and deepens gradually. Natural shade is limited, however umbrellas are available for rent. A near shore rocky, reef area offers great snorkeling.

A favorite with visitors and a popular stop on island tour itineraries, the beach gets crowded when multiple cruise ships are in port. Coki is equally popular with residents for picnics and parties so its common to find a crowd on Sundays and holidays. On crowded days the parking situation can be a bit crazy, there is parking available in some spots just off the road close to the beach but not a whole lot. Beachside eateries and roadside food vans serve picnic table fare including burgers, sandwiches and some local dishes.

Call it touristy or call it convenient; you will also find hair braiders, chair rentals, oodles of taxis, beach waiters serving refreshing drinks and vendors selling t-shirts, sunblock, art work, bags, wrap skirts, towels and more! There is a dive shop on site. A jet ski rental booth is located just across the road, opposite the beach and a few vendors rent snorkel gear, floats and noodles. To some the vendor's booths and shacks add to the atmosphere of the beach, for others it takes away from the scenery. Coki Beach is located right next to Coral World Marine Park; its easy to make a day of visiting both places.

To see the island, 33 square miles in size, you can rent a car or take a guided tour. One part of the trip takes you up and up circling and winding hills. Drake's Seat is where Sir Francis used to sit and count his ships.

Just below Drake's Seat is Magens Bay Magens Bay Beach, said by National Geographic Magazine to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world.

Another part of the island looks very much like the countryside of France, with cattle grazing in green fields. And west of downtown there even is a place called Frenchtown.

Whether you stop atop a mountain or along the shore, be sure to sample one of our tropical drinks made with Virgin Islands rum.

In St. Thomas there are fine hotels, restaurants with an international cuisine, the largest charteryacht fleet in the Caribbean, and a variety of other things to do away from the beach. Again, ask at the Visitors' Bureau for suggestions.

Things To See in St. Thomas

Riise's Gallery has exhibits; and at Estate Tutu, Jim Tillet has an "Arts Alive!" festival three times a year. There is the Camille Pissarro Gallery in The Camille Pissarro Building, Jonna White Gallery in Palm Passage, Frederick Gallery in Havensight, Guava Gallery in Royal Dane Mall and Mango Tango Gallery at Al Cohens Plaza.

Blackbeard's Castle
Originally known as "Skytsborg," this tower is considered by some sources as the "oldest extant historical structure in the Virgin Islands." Pirates reputedly once roamed here -- they, too, must have appreciated the spectacular view. Now a popular restaurant/hotel.

Bluebeard's Castle
Reputedly the abode of the 19th-century pirate, now honeymoon suites in a major hotel on the island.

Crown House
Built in the middle of the 18th century, this stately home was the residence of two past governors of these islands. Now a private residence.

Estate St. Peter Greathouse & Botanical Gardens

Tour the contemporary estate house featuring local artists' work; walk among more than 500 varieties of meticulously tended plants and trees; and view some 20 other islands from three levels on this 3-acre former corporate retreat.

The many ways you can see the island of St. Thomas:

  • By air. It might sound extravagant -- but it's a memorable way to see mountainous St. Thomas and St. John -- and the British Virgins, too. There's room for five in a twin engine plane that takes you up for 40 minutes. Also, there is the helicopter service that can drop you off at one of our many deserted islands for a romantic picnic. The charters are reasonable; your hotel will have specifics.>
  • By car. You can rent a car from one of many companies, check out Budget Rent-a-Car, Discount Car Rental or Dependable Car Rental you must have a driver's license, but no local permit is required. We we drive on the left, a custom which lingers from the days of Danish rule.
  • Safari bus. Your hotel can arrange the trip for you -- a 1-1/2 hour excursion at a nominal cost.
  • Taxi. Your hotel can arrange this, too and it's a very comfortable way to see everything. The drivers are well informed; they'll suggest an itinerary, and even a stop for lunch. Follow their advice.
  • Walking. Since so much of the island goes uphill, be ready for some exercise on your sightseeing trip, and wear comfortable shoes. For the real enthusiast, be advised that the "99 Steps" are really more than that!