The Caribbean island of St. Thomas presents a blend of history, nature, shopping, recreation and relaxation. Jungle-covered hills roll down to picturesque bays with white-sand beaches and turquoise water. Colonial-era architecture stands in busy shopping districts.
St. Thomas’ one major town is picturesque Charlotte Amalie. Wander the narrow lanes to see Danish, Dutch, French and Spanish-built houses, many now hosting cafés and shops. Climb the 99 Steps, an 18th-century staircase near Blackbeard’s Castle and Fort Christian, built in the 1600s as a Danish stronghold.
Beyond Charlotte Amalie, scenic roads wind through wooded hills to views of the island’s magnificent coastlines. Go to animated Frenchtown, a village renowned for its restaurants, taverns, nightclubs and Creole-speaking residents. Enjoy a scenic cable car ride from Havensight to Paradise Point and marvel at the views of Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Over 40 beaches decorate St. Thomas’ coastline, all within a 25-minute drive from Charlotte Amalie. Relax at Magens Bay or the lively resorts of Lindberg Bay and Morningstar. Go fishing, sailing and scuba diving at Red Hook and snorkeling and windsurfing at Sapphire Beach. Discover myriad marine life at Coral World Ocean Park near Coki Beach. Watch planes land at the island airport while you swim in the calm waters of Brewers Bay Beach.
The area is famous for discounted and tax-free shopping, too. Clothing, electronics, jewelry and perfume stores line the streets of Charlotte Amalie, most notably Dronningens Gade (Main Street) and Vendors Plaza. Find more shops and malls at the main ports, Crown Bay and Havensight.
St. Thomas, the second largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, is located in the Caribbean Sea east of Puerto Rico. Many visitors arrive by cruise ship or fly to Cyril E. King Airport and then get around via rented car. The U.S. Virgin Islands benefit from year-round warm temperatures, although hurricanes are possible between June and November. Combine your vacation with daytrips to the beaches of neighboring Water Island and St. John.