St. Thomas is home to the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie. Most visitors visit the U.S. Virgin Islands via St Thomas. St. Thomas will leave you with a lasting impression with cliffs jutting high in the sky, red-hipped roofs blossom over the hills, and beautiful turquoise water dotted with yachts. St Thomas is the most commercialized of the Virgins, with cruise-ship traffic and big resorts galore. But many visitors spend their time enjoying the abundant water sports. Charlotte Amalie is a bustling area for shopping, dining, and entertainment. There is more than just beautiful beaches to keep you busy during your stay in St. Thomas. You will also find an abundance of undeveloped beauty and nature, along with a rich history. Set aside some time while vacationing in St. Thomas to explore all the island has to offer. To learn more about all the beautiful beaches on St. Thomas, visit here. Now view our St. Thomas travel guide to help plan your next St. Thomas vacation!
St Thomas Weather – When to Visit
St. Thomas does not experience significant seasonal changes, therefore weather and temperatures are fairly consistent year round. June, July and August tend to be the hottest months with temperatures in the mid 80s and December through February cooler months with high 70 degree temperatures. Hurricane season runs from June 1st to November 30th with the highest occurrences of storms in August and September. Easterly trade winds generally keep it comfortable and keep the humidity down. Of course, it is the tropics, and with that comes some rain. Most of their rain comes in brief showers and many of them happen at night so they won’t interfere with your fun in the St. Thomas sun.
High season (or winter season) in the Virgin Islands, when hotel rates are at their peak, runs roughly from mid-December to mid-April. However, package and resort rates are sometimes lower in January, as a tourist slump usually occurs right after the Christmas holidays. February is the busiest month. If you’re planning on visiting during the winter months, make reservations as far in advance as possible.
St Thomas Attractions
If you love to shop, dive in: St. Thomas has the best shopping plaza in the Caribbean. Dazzling diamonds, fragrant perfume, designer duds, shiny electronics and potent liquor stream from the cobblestones of Main Street in Charlotte Amalie. And it’s all duty-free. But if you’re not in the mood to shop, stay away, particularly in the late morning and early afternoon.
Hailed as one of the world’s most beautiful, this breathtaking bay along St. Thomas’ rugged north coast is ideal for swimming and snorkeling with all the conveniences of parking, lifeguards, equipment rental, freshwater showers, restaurants and bars. For more information on Magens Bay call 340-777-6300, or visit them on the web at Magens Bay.
The fourth largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands, this quiet 492-acre island, located in Charlotte Amalie harbor, beckons those who want to stroll its beaches, bike amid its green hills, and view birds, iguana, turtles and other wildlife that make this lovely paradise their home.
Part of the Virgin Islands National Park, this treasured island is home to numerous historical structures including Danish & British Military Forts from the Napoleonic era, the world’s largest Steam Engine powered Marine Railway and an idyllic snorkeling beach. Virgin Islands Ecotours offers daily kayak, hike & snorkel tours, full & half day and are the only permitted concession to bring visitors to explore the St Thomas of yesterday.
The largest city in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a popular shopping center, home to 20,000 people, upscale shops, ecotours and underwater safaris. This former haunt of pirate ships now hosts millions of cruise passengers every year. Look beyond the boutiques and discover historic sights such as the bright red, 17th-century Fort Christian, the graceful green Legislature Building, the 1793 brick Lutheran Church and the taxing 99 steps stairway.
St Thomas Tours & Activities
Turtle Cove Snorkel and Sail Adventure at Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge
Set sail on St Thomas’ aquamarine waters during this 3-hour sailing excursion from Frenchman’s Reef. Step aboard the 54-foot (16-meter) catamaran and meet your friendly captain and crew. Head for the serene waters of Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge, where you’ll don the provided snorkeling gear and jump in to snorkel among the vibrant marine life. Snacks, pirate tattoos and unlimited drinks from the open bar are included. Read more about St Thomas Sailing, Snorkeling at Buck Island Wildlife Refuge
Day Cruise to British Virgin Islands
Explore the British Virgin Islands during this full-day boat trip from St John or St Thomas. On this 9-hour excursion, enjoy a breakfast boat ride to Virgin Gorda’s Baths. Explore the grottoes, arches and chain of tidal pools formed by eroded rocks along the beach, then head to Diamond Reef to snorkel among schools of tropical fish on the living coral reef. Visit a local restaurant, The Top of the Baths for lunch (own expense), then head to Jost Van Dyke to enjoy some time swimming, lounging or visiting some beachside bars. Breakfast, snorkeling equipment and unlimited open bar on the boat are included. Read more about Day Cruise to British Virgin Islands
Parasail Experience in St Thomas
Soar above the U.S. Virgin Islands during this 1-hour parasailing adventure. Admire the beautiful coastal views of St. Thomas as you head out from Sapphire Beach Marina to your parasailing spot. Gear up for your ride after a safety briefing and enjoy the stunning aerial views of the islands and the Caribbean below you. This tour is suitable for all skill levels and those ages six years and up. Read more about Parasail Experience
St Thomas Mangrove Lagoon Kayak and Snorkel Tour
Kayak and snorkel in St Thomas’ Mangrove Lagoon on a 2.5-hour shore excursion. The region’s serpentine channels of clear, calm water are perfect for swimming, boating and spotting local wildlife like stingrays and brown pelicans. Learn about the region’s natural resources from your local adventure guide, and opt to extend your tour with a hike on Cas Cay, a deserted island. Read more about St Thomas Mangrove Lagoon Kayak and Snorkel Tour
Harbor Lights Dinner Sail from St Thomas
Admire the Charlotte Amalie Harbor lights from the decks of ‘the Cat’ on this 2-hour barbecue cruise. Get comfortable aboard the 54-foot (16-meter) catamaran as you sail through the harbor, sipping a drink from the open bar. Once you reach Turtle Cove at the Buck Island National Wildlife Refuge, dig in to a hearty barbecue dinner on board. Read more about Harbor Lights Dinner Sail
Best St Thomas Restaurants
The Twisted Cork Cafe $11 – 30
The Twisted Cork Cafe perfectly bottles up that feeling and pours it into their restaurant. This wine-themed restaurant serves “eclectic comfort food with a Caribbean twist” in a comfortable and fun atmosphere. You can find dishes like duck and waffles or salmon risotto. Their food is so fresh that even have their own on-premises garden! Telephone: 340-775-2675 Web: Twisted Cork Cafe
Bella Blu $11 – 30
If brunch is your favorite kind of sport (and yes, it is a sport) then head over to Bella Blu for the best brunch on the island. With over 34 years of experience under their belt, Bella Blu is a can’t miss restaurant. Bella Blu is famous for their authentic Austrian schnitzels and fun brunch items like crab benedict and chicken and Belgian waffles. Telephone: 340-774-4349 Web: Bella Blu
The Smoking Rooster $11 – 30
Rum. BBQ. Beach. If those three words are how you like to spend your vacation then you’re sure to enjoy yourself at The Smoking Rooster. They value two things above all: exceptionally smoked barbecue and a passion for rum. Enjoy classic plates like mac and cheese, pork ribs, or smoked chicken and unique rum-based cocktails. Even your vegan or vegetarian friends can find something at this BBQ joint. Telephone: 340-715-2625 Web: The Smoking Rooster
Mafolie Restaurant $31 – 60
Two words: The view. Two more words: The food! Mafoile is truly breathtaking. One glance at the impressively unique view and their fresh Caribbean cuisine and you’ll be struggling for words. Be sure to go with an empty stomach thanks to their generous portions. Telephone: 340-774-2790 Web: Mafolie Restaurant
Glady’s Cafe $11 – 30
Chances are if you’re on a Caribbean island, you’re looking for some good Caribbean food. Well, consider your search over because Glady’s has some of the best West Indian cuisines in St. Thomas. Foodies will find themselves in Caribbean heaven thanks to dishes like conch fritters, kalaloo soup, fungi, and roti. Telephone: 340-774-6604 Web: Glady’s Cafe.
Best St Thomas Bars & Nightlife
For a fun and unique experience, you will not want to miss this ice bar and gallery. Magic Ice is the largest permanent ice gallery in the world, the entirety of the exhibition is made of ice that is imported from the Arctic. If the delicious rum cocktails aren’t enough to get you raving, the crystal clear ice sculptures will. Upon arrival to Magic Ice, patrons are given a parka, gloves and leg coverings to keep you warm in the 33 degree air unknown to most of the Caribbean. The heart of the gallery is a 40 ft pirate bar made entirely of ice where you are served a rum shot in a glass made of ice. Telephone: 340-422-6000 Web: Magic Ice
If you are looking for a place to watch the game, look no further. The Caribbean Saloon was voted the best sports bar on St. Thomas by locals, and if you don’t believe them trust the three big screen TV’s inside. There is something to please every appetite and every wallet inside the Caribbean Saloon, including local favorites, gourmet pizzas, and delicious signature steaks. Telephone: 340-244-2824 Web: Caribbean Saloon
Dog House Pub
With plenty of TVs and a casual, inexpensive menu the Dog House Pub in St. John is the ideal place to watch the game, dance the night away, sing karaoke, and enjoy live music. This place is fun and features American cuisine, plus it has a large selection of craft beers sure to please everyone (over 50 different beers). Telephone: 340-998-8341 Web: Dog House Pub.
Duffy’s Love Shack
Duffy’s Love Shack is known as one of the landmark bars and one of the most unique and fun places in the Virgin Islands. Its unusual location is the result of its previous location being destroyed by a hurricane a few years back, but don’t let the look of this parking lot shack fool you. The drinks at Duffy’s are almost as fun to look at as they are to drink. Lip-lock with a plastic alligator when you take a gulp of the “Voo Doo You Doo” shooter, or share a bowl with a shark when you order a 64 oz “ Shark Tank”. Telephone: 340-779-2080 Web: Duffy’s Love Shack.
The owners of the Rum Shandy have a passion for mixology, delicious food and good times, all of which you can find at this exclusive spot in Frenchtown, Charlotte Amalie. With events and specials every night, Rum Shandy is the perfect place to go for last minute late night plans! Telephone: 340-244-7862 Web: Rum Shandy
There is always something to do on the islands during the day, but when the sun goes down the Rum Hut is the place to go. A “must-do” for tourists looking for nighttime entertainment, drinks, and dueling pianos. You can request a song at the Dueling Pianos on Tuesday or Thursday – Sunday night. For the brave of heart, take the stage for your own chance at fame on Wednesday nights for Karaoke. Web: Rum Hut
Best St. Thomas Hotels
Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove
Take your next vacation in St. Thomas and stay at Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove. Featuring stylish two- and three-bedroom villas that accommodate your friends and family comfortably. Spacious living and dining areas and full kitchens allow you to spread out. Discover all the amenities and activities our resort has to offer and enjoy your island vacation.
Gallows Point Resort
Nestled on a 5 acre peninsula in Cruz Bay, these spacious 1 & 2 story units have fully equipped kitchens with dining area, king size bed, satellite TV, central A/C, WiFi, full living room and private balconies all with ocean views. The resort offers full maid service, pool and hot tub, concierge service and a small gourmet grocery. Eat at their fine dining restaurant or take a 5 minute stroll to town.
Secret Harbour Beach Resort
Boutique condominium resort in the US Virgin Islands features beachfront & hillside apartment-style accommodations plus 2 restaurants, waters port rentals, scuba diving, boating and more on one of the island’s most idyllic and tranquil swimming beaches. Each is a spacious studio, 1- or 2-bedroom suite with a fully equipped kitchen & private patio/balcony. Add’l amenities include daily housekeeping, free Wi-Fi, parking, tennis, fitness ctr, gift shop; ATM; wedding & concierge service.
Point Pleasant Resort
Escape to your own private paradise at Point Pleasant Resort. Situated on a 15-acre hillside preserve, the resort overlooks beautiful Water Bay and the British and U.S. Virgin Islands. Villas are independently owned but attractively designed and feature fully equipped kitchens. Guests indulge in three swimming pools and are provided complimentary transportation around the resort.
Sapphire Beach Resort & Marina
Spectacular beachfront villas and suites are directly on beautiful Sapphire Beach by the crystal-clear Caribbean. A full-service restaurant is easily walkable from the beach. Families with kids will enjoy the sand, pool, fishing off the dock or boat, and pirate history. Active vacationers will find plenty of hiking, scuba diving and bicycling to keep on the go. There is something for everyone. Sapphire Beach, Saint Thomas is the perfect vacation island.
St. Thomas has always been a dream destination for me. Those crystal blue waters and lush islands of green!
I was very excited to read that there is a slump right after Christmas – what a great birthday present to myself! There are so few beach destinations that can provide that option.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading your article because it goes beyond just a brief description of the island. I like to read abut things to do and where to eat – plus including the price points is genius!
I am glad you enjoyed reading my St Thomas Travel Guide. Sounds like your travel bucket is getting pretty full now 🙂 Thanks for stopping by beach travel destinations.
You done a great job on introducing St. Thomas. I really appreciate the information of yours. St Thomas is an island I would like to visit with my beloved girlfriend. This is a place I’m dying to go with my girl. Great job for the information you provide and I really hope a speedy recover people in St Thomas. Do you know when the resort and facilities might be back up to speed after the hurricanes?
Hi Jaden, thank you so much for visiting my St Thomas Travel Guide! I do believe that you and your girlfriend will have a wonderful time. They are saying that the first part of 2018, the island should be functional with resorts and facilities for tourists. Please let me know if you need any other information.
It is very important to remember all the Caribbean islands that were devastated by the hurricane Irma. They will need our support during and after the rebuilding process. St Thomas is one of those islands.
To be honest St. Thomas has been on my bucket list for a while but I didn’t really have sufficient information until now. I’m fascinated with the water taxis and I’m just imagining the amazing evening views. But is it safe to travel like that in the evening?
I’m very interested to visit Charlotte Amalie. Not only to shop but to also know about it’s history since you mentioned that its a former haunt of pirate ships.
Of course island hopping to St John will also be added to my to do list. It’s just fascinating how many things you can do on St. Thomas.
I wish all the best for the people of St. Thomas and hope the island can come back on it’s feet soon.
I hope they will be back on their feet soon as well. And yes, it is safe to travel in the evening. St. Thomas is a rather safe vacation destination. As with any vacation, of course you should always have your belongings in a secure place, no matter where you are. I am glad you enjoyed reading, and learning about St Thomas.
You have done a very good job in describing this destination. I have always been wanting to go to St Thomas, and have been researching the island. Looking forward to visiting St Thomas soon. I am wondering about the hurricane damage. Do you know when they will be back up and running with all the resorts and everything? I really love all the information, it is going to make my planning so much easier!
I am glad I am able to help you get planning for your trip to St. Thomas! I have heard that by the beginning of 2018, most of the resorts and facilities will be back up and running. So, you do have a little time to plan for your trip 🙂 Thanks for reading and please let me know if you need any additional information.
Hmm, nice place to add to my bucket list. I love how you managed to explain every detail about it. I have been searching for my next paradise for a vacation. I have read many of your posts, and do believe that St Thomas and St John are on my bucket list, and at the top! Seems I can visit both in one vacation? That would make it even more awesome. Thank you for sharing this great information and putting these places on my list!
Yes, you can visit both St Thomas and St John in the same visit. There are ferries that go to many of the different islands. Heck, you could visit a different island everyday if you so chose to. I am glad I help make your decision for putting these two slices of paradise on your bucket list. Thanks for reading the St. Thomas Travel Guide.
Well, St. Thomas sound really awesome! You covered everything I need to know and I especially like you including the hurricane update and the requirements for travel. That is important information to have.It is definitely a place I would love to visit as soon as possible! I will bookmark your site for when I am ready to go. Thanks!
Yes, St. Thomas is awesome! I hope when you are ready to go, that you can find everything you need right on my site. I thank you for visiting the St. Thomas Travel Guide.
This is an outstanding write-up. I really appreciate your level of detail. St Thomas has always been on of the places I planned to visit in the Islands. SO wish I would have gone prior to the devastation with the hurricanes. I wish the people there a speedy recovery and that the island can get back to it’s past beauty. Very great post. Thank you.
Yes, I agree and also hope that the people of St. Thomas can get back to their lives with some normalcy and that the beauty of St. Thomas is once again available for everyone to see. Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com
It is easy to say that this covers everything about the island for any person intending of visiting. One could not blame a bad experience if they follow your advice. This is a very detailed and informative review.
Thank you Maurice. I am trying to provide everything one needs to plan and book their beautiful beach destination Thanks for reading my St. Thomas Travel Guide!
This is certainly a destination to add to the bucket list, not only is it stunning there are a lot of interesting things to do and for those who just want to chill those wonderful beaches are just the thing, what appeals to me is that even in off season weather is quite good as I am no good with really hot weather, you give a lot of very useful information which is good as this allows you to plan and work costs out, take it if your coming from the UK we will need a visa ?
No visa required. Just a passport good for 6 months past the return date. That is all you need to visit St. Thomas. Thanks for reading the St. Thomas Travel Guide!
Wow, you have totally sold the Virgin Islands to me! What a fantastic holiday it is, especially tropical and appealing to somebody like me used to the British climate.
I love the fact that there is something for everyone from water sports, snorkeling, diving, shopping, historical places of interest and of course all of those amazing sounding restaurants.
I also love the sound of a water taxi as it sounds so different to anything I’m used to when holidaying.
This is definitely on my list of place to visit before I die.
Great! I am glad you are sold 🙂 You will, as everyone else does, love the Virgin Islands. And as you say, there is something for everyone!
This looks like an idyllic place to take a holiday – you would never want to leave!
Coming from the UK do you know what visa’s i would need and the time it would take to get them?
Are there any historic tours of the islands? – I am not much of a beach person, but I am very interested in the local history.
No, UK passport holders require only a valid passport for travel to the US Virgin Islands. The passport must be valid for six months beyond period of intended stay. This is the only requirements to arriving in St. Thomas. And yes, you will find a lot of historical tours that you can take on St. Thomas and the other nearby islands. You won’t run out of tours to do actually. You can have an amazing time in the U.S. Virgin Islands without hitting the beach! Thanks for visiting BeachTravelDestinations.com!
Thanks for the infomation Leahrae
You are very welcome!