St. Thomas, Virgin Islands offers a tropical escape that includes water activities, beautiful and picturesque sceneries, excellent places for shopping, and historical landmarks. Being the second-largest island among the three primary U.S. Virgin Islands located just east of Puerto Rico, this place has an incredibly rich history and loads of culture for you to explore. In addition to a plethora of activities to do on the island including kayaking, hiking, snorkeling, this beautiful place is the home to many luxury vacation villas and other comfortable stay options. Naturally, we have a great itinerary to help you out during your one day here.
What’s The Best Time to Visit St. Thomas, USVI?
St. Thomas attracts tourists throughout the year. However, if the temperature and the size of the crowds are important to you, then consider planning your trip between April and June. These months offer pretty much ideal weather, reasonable travel and accommodation costs and you will avoid large crowds of tourists. The island experiences its very hottest temperatures to around 29℃ (85℉) in peak summer, while the temperatures fall down to an average minimum of 24℃ (76℉) during colder months.
– December to March is the peak season with maximum crowds of sun-lovers.
– April to June is preferred by people who love great weather but want to enjoy it in a much quieter setting.
– June to September is known to be the hurricane season.
A Few Facts about St. Thomas, USVI
– The US acquired the island from Denmark in 1917 and paid $25 million in gold.
– It is the only territory in the US to have coasts on both the Caribbean Sea and the Atlantic Ocean.
– Driving here is confusing as you have to drive on the left side of the road with steering wheels on the left side.
– The USVI is also a popular shopping destination.
– This is also the home to the second oldest synagogue in the Western hemisphere.
– The official language on the island is English.
– Tourism is the primary source of income for locals on the island.
– St. Thomas vacation resorts are unique in that they offer privacy, serenity, and majestic views of the beach.
One Day in St. Thomas, USVI Itinerary
St. Thomas has so much you can explore, but if you have got only one day to spend at this lovely place, make sure to use your time in the most efficient way possible. This itinerary will help you do just that!
Get up early and begin your day by visiting Magens Bay
You’re on a Caribbean island, and even you got only a single day, you will probably want to spend a part of it on a beach. Its beautiful sand and excellent swimming opportunities make this island a great place for spending a few hours enjoying the sun. Magens Bay is the only beach on the island with an entry fee of around $5 per person for adults, while children under twelve can come in for free. Getting here early in the morning can save you from crowds and queues for various activities.
Visit the Pirates Treasure Museum
You may be aware of the fact that, centuries ago, the waters around these islands were quite full of pirates. A consequence of that is a huge number of shipwrecks in the area, which also means a lot of pirate treasure. So much treasure, in fact, that you could open a whole museum.
Pirates Treasure Museum will show you gold and other invaluable pieces from sunken ships, as well as real pirate weapons used all those years ago. And that’s just the beginning of what you can see and experience in this place. Loads of fun for the whole family, so set aside an hour or two. You won’t regret it.
Enjoy a food tour in St. Thomas
The uniqueness of the island is reflected in its food, too. Many visitors love the unique and delicious dishes of the food tour in the capital city. So, book a food tour through the streets of the capital city Charlotte Amalie of St. Thomas where you will get the chance to take your dining experience to the next level. During this three-hour food tour, you can sample the food from several classic eateries while learning about the history of the island.
In addition, you will have the chance to taste the special rum, which the Caribbean is famous for. In a short time frame, you will get to taste different types of cuisines and cocktails. However, if you don’t have the time for a complete tour, try some of the famous dishes by this island’s creative chefs in one of the various restaurants.
Stop by the St. Thomas Synagogue
If you’re looking for historical sights while visiting St. Thomas, this is most certainly the place. You see, the St. Thomas Synagogue was built in 1833 and as such is the second-oldest in the entire US. It is also a National Historic Landmark.
The people that form this congregation are extremely welcoming, so you can expect to learn a lot from them when you visit. It really goes to show how important trade was for this part of the world in the past because the congregation was established by people from Spain and Portugal back at the end of the 18th century. A great place to put onto your itinerary.
Climb the 99 steps
The 99 steps are one of the symbols of St. Thomas, and it would really be a shame to miss them. The climb is really not very demanding, and the area around the steps is decorated with beautiful flowers. But that’s not the main reason why these steps are famous.
You see, the steps were built by the Danish who brought them over in their ships where they served as ballasts. It’s a great place for a photo and a fantastic introduction to what comes next.
Enter Blackbeard’s Castle
Now, this sounds really interesting, doesn’t it? Blackbeard’s Castle was built back in 1679 by the Danes who used it as an observation tower to spot enemy ships from miles away. Some say that Blackbeard himself later took over the fort and used it for his own nefarious purposes, which is where the name comes from. However, this was never confirmed, so the real reason why this place bears his name remains a mystery.
In any case, this is another National Historic Landmark and definitely a place worth visiting.
Shop duty-free until you drop
Did you know the capital city of St. Thomas is regarded as one of the top shopping spots in the Caribbean? The best thing about it is that US citizens can go duty-free shopping on the island for up to $1,600. If you have enough time to explore different shops, don’t miss filling your bags with perfumes, clothes, alcohol, watches, and jewelry. There are plenty of gift shops where you can buy goodies for your loved ones, too.
Enjoy a delicious dinner and end your day in style
Treat yourself to a scrumptious dinner that will top this incredible day on St. Thomas in style. Depending on where you are on the island, there are many luxurious and budget food options, so absolutely everyone can enjoy a great dinner. Sit down and enjoy a magical Caribbean evening.
Where to stay in St. Thomas, USVI?
If you plan to extend your stay, you can spend a night in St. Thomas vacation resorts, luxurious hotels, or affordable hostels of your choice. Here’s what we recommend.
Peace of Mind Villa
Thatch View Road – Estate Frydendal 19B, 00802 St Thomas
Experience privacy and serenity with incredible 180-degree views from each room. Peace of Mind Villa boasts six wonderful bedrooms, free parking, and plenty of other amazing amenities that will make your stay here near Coki Beach absolutely unforgettable. The elegance of this prestigious villa grabs your attention the moment you enter. Guests enjoy exclusive access to the infinity pool that expands to the sparkling ocean offering breathtaking panoramic views.
Windward Passage Hotel
3100 Kronprindsens Tvaer, 00802 Charlotte Amalie
Feel comfortable and rest in one of the best hotels to be found near the island’s ferry terminal in the most enchanting settings. Windward Passage Hotel offers various amenities including a spa and casino, not to mention the fact that rooms have balconies. In addition, guests can enjoy American and continental breakfasts at the hotel restaurant and a variety of cocktails at the bar.
3A-24 Estate ST. Peter, 00802 Misgen, U.S. Virgin Islands
This vacation home is perfect if you’re coming here with your whole family. Casa Cielo is just about 10 minutes on foot from Magens Beach and it also boasts incredible views and a wonderful garden. You can enjoy the beauty of sunrises and sunsets without ever leaving the property and create memories that will last you a lifetime.
Day Trips from St. Thomas Virgin Islands
When you have a whole day on St. Thomas Islands, you can make the most of it by properly planning it and wisely choosing the right tourist spots. If you have more than that, you can plan a day trip or two.
Day trip options from St. Thomas include cruising to neighboring islands like the British Virgin or St. John Islands. The journey to the islands is incredible as you get the opportunity to snorkel, sail, and enjoy some amazing dishes onboard.
Based on your commuting preferences and budget, you can choose from a wide range of options to move from one island to another. For example, a passenger ferry can be the cheapest option to go from St. Thomas to St. John. Alternatively, you can rent a private water taxi.
A more luxurious way to commute to the next island for your day trip can be chartering a private boat. Choose from a variety of speed boats or sailing boats, depending on what kind of trip you’re looking for.
Extra Tips for visiting St. Thomas
To use your cell phone on the island, consider buying a prepaid SIM card from either AT&T or T-Mobile, as they are considered ideal options for coverage.
– Greeting everyone you meet on the island with a good morning or good afternoon is a culture to follow. It is considered a sign of respect on the island.
– Despite being a part of the US, residents on the island drive vehicles on the left side of the road. This is quite confusing as the cars are imported from the US, so their steering wheels are also left.
– When exploring the island, make sure you have enough cash on hand. Unfortunately, many local shops and restaurants don’t always accept credit/debit cards. Similarly, taxis accept banknotes only.
– US citizens don’t need a passport to visit St. Thomas; however, if you take a day trip to the British Virgin Islands, you will need one.
– Check for requirements and book island excursions early regardless of the time when you’re visiting St. Thomas and avoid service fees.
Saint Thomas Virgin Islands vacations are so worth setting up, and there’s not even an iota of doubt about it. If you choose the right things to do and place to visit, you can make the most of your time even if you have only one day on the island.
Make sure you have everything you need
What to pack for your next trip?
Make your next trip as simple and as enjoyable as possible by packing smart. It’s amazing how much stress top travel items can save you, so choose carefully.
Things like lightweight travel backpacks, for example, are ideal for short trips and allow you to move around with ease, and a passport holder will make sure you keep your documents safe at all times.
Check our travel checklist guide for 2021 to make sure you haven’t missed anything, and travel to your next destination in style and with maximum comfort.