Are you ready to explore some of the top things to do on St. Thomas? Purchased in 1917 for $25 million from Denmark, St. Thomas is one of four larger islands that comprise the U.S. Virgin Islands,
U.S. citizens don’t need a passport to visit, making it a favorite island getaway for many tourists. The climate is tropical, with slightly cooler temperatures from December to April. However, June to November is hurricane season in the USVI, so you will want to plan your visit accordingly.
Considered the most “un-virgin” of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is for those who want action! In other words, in addition to beautiful beaches, there are many things to do on this captivating island. Let’s explore some of the top things to do in St. Thomas!
Known for its designer boutiques and jewelry stores, The bustling capital of Charlotte Amalie is where duty-free shoppers love to score deals! Options are aplenty when looking to spend your day exploring the shops and local markets. For instance, just popping into the shops that line the downtown streets can net some amazing buys.
Havensight Mall – Located near the cruise ship dock, these shops and boutiques are a popular shopping destination when visiting the island. The mall includes stores like Little Switzerland for designer and name brand jewelry and watches, Caribbean Surf offers beachwear and snorkel gear, and St. John’s Fragrance Company has great deals on your favorite perfumes.
The Shops at Yacht Haven Grande – Located just a short walk from the cruise ship dock in Charlotte Amalie, Yacht Haven Grande offers upscale waterfront shopping and includes a yacht marina, condos, restaurants, and over 40 high-end shopping boutiques. This is THE place in St. Thomas to find designer brands like Coach, Gucci, and Bulgari.
Market Square – Also located in Charlotte Amalie, Market Square is the place to go if you are looking for local art, crafts, and vendors. This open-air market is a wonderful way to experience the local Caribbean culture. You can haggle with local vendors on the price of fresh produce or local artist paintings. Most likely, you will find a unique souvenir to bring home.
Christopher Columbus is credited with “discovering” St. Thomas during his second voyage to the New World in 1493. But, he apparently was not impressed, as he didn’t stay long and instead sailed on to Puerto Rico. This left the island unguarded, and as a result, its sheltered bays were soon a playground for piracy.
The most notable piracy landmark still standing is located high above Charlotte Amalie at the top of Government Hill. Skytsborg Tower (Blackbeard’s Castle) was originally built as a Danish military tower when pirates really did rule the Caribbean. However, it’s unclear whether Edward “Blackbeard” Teach inhabited the tower, though it is widely believed that he had a large presence in the area.
This historic landmark, which is technically 103 steps was built by Danish settlers to solve the problem of getting around the hilly terrain of Charlotte Amalie. Lined with colorful flowers and palm trees, despite being steep, it is worth a visit for a photo op and a climb amongst Virgin Islands history.
One of the island’s best lookouts, Drake’s Seat offers a panoramic view of Magens Bay, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and the British Virgin Islands to the east. The site is named for Sir Francis Drake, who is said to have kept watch over the harbor from this vantage point. You don’t want to miss the chance to stop for a moment (or two) and take in the incredible views.
It goes without saying, one of the top things to do in St. Thomas is the beach! Did you know St. Thomas is home to over 40 major beaches along its sun-drenched coasts? You will find beaches with crystal blue water and swaying coconut trees, perfect to enjoy a lazy day lounging in the sand. For the more adventurous beachgoers, there are sandy coves with activities like windsurfing and kayaks to enjoy.
Notably, the most popular beach in St. Thomas is Magens Bay. This beautiful one-mile stretch of white sand with very calm turquoise water is ideal for swimming. It’s not a good spot for snorkeling, but you can rent paddle boats and kayaks to explore the water. Because of its popularity, the beach can be very crowded at certain times of the day.
One of St. Thomas’s most pristine beaches, Lindquist Beach, is situated on the east end of the island and is part of a protected 21-acre area called Smith Bay Park. The gorgeous, crystal clear, turquoise water is perfect for swimming, and the left side of the beach is great for snorkeling. Many films and TV commercials have used this photogenic beach as a backdrop. Also, it’s not likely to be overly crowded, as it’s not very well known.
Set against the backdrop of the Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina, Sapphire Beach is a great beach for relaxing and enjoying water sports. This pretty white sand beach is one of the most frequented by families and is great for relaxing. There are good views of offshore cays and St. John, and a large reef is close to the shore. In addition, Sapphire is also a great beach for enjoying water sports and is a favorite of windsurfers.
Now that you’ve seen some of the things St. Thomas offers, are you ready to visit? Contact Amy at Endless Shores Travel, and let’s start crafting your own list of top things to do on St. Thomas today.