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HomeTourismWhy to Visit10 Reasons to Visit St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

10 Reasons to Visit St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

Magens Bay, St. Thomas, USVI (Shutterstock)

When planning a trip to the Caribbean, you have plenty of options to choose from. The region is comprised of numerous countries and overseas territories, each with something unique to discover. A must-see island is St. Thomas in the United States Virgin Islands.

While there are hundreds of reasons to come to St. Thomas, in this article we’ll look at ten incentives to visit the beautiful island of St. Thomas in the USVI.

  1. Easily Accessible and No Passport is Required for Americans

St. Thomas is one of the most accessible islands in the region. The island offers daily nonstop flights to and from many locations, including major cities on the US mainland including Chicago, Dallas, New York, Miami, Charlotte, and Fort Lauderdale. Additionally, because it is a territory of the United States, a passport is not required for US citizens.

A flight from Miami, Florida, to St. Thomas is only approximately 2 hours and 30 minutes. This Caribbean paradise is much closer than some people realize!

  1. Incredible Beaches

Some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean belong to St. Thomas. Magens Bay, located on the north side of St. Thomas, is consistently rated as one of the “best beaches” in the Caribbean, and spending time on this stretch of sand is a must.

Magens Bay Beach, St. Thomas (Source photo by Michele L Weichman)

With its typically calm, warm, turquoise waters and palm-fringed shoreline, a few minutes spent on this beach and you’ll feel like you’re a world away from everyday life.

In addition to Magens Bay, there are many other shores to explore. Gorgeous beaches such as Lindquist Beach and Sapphire Beach on the east end of St. Thomas, for example, are fantastic settings to soak up the sun on the sand.

  1. Friendly Folks and New Friends

One of the most beautiful reasons to visit St. Thomas is having the privilege of meeting and befriending kind locals on the island. And friendly residents with smiling faces will surely be pleased when met with a local greeting, such as, “Good Day!”

It’s important to recognize and appreciate the welcoming attitude of the locals in the USVI. Respect begets respect, and new friendships with fascinating individuals will likely blossom here.

  1. Stunning Scenery and Various Activities 

While the beaches are spectacular, St. Thomas is much more than simply a stretch of sand. Unlike some other islands, which are relatively flat, St. Thomas is a tall, mountainous isle, and its topography provides visitors with a wide array of activities aside from swimming and sunbathing.

Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden on the northside of St. Thomas, USVI. (Source photo by Jesse Daley)

For example, after a beach day of swimming and snorkeling, individuals may visit Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden, located toward the top of the mountain on the northside of St. Thomas. Visitors can enjoy tropical flora and fauna in a beautiful atmosphere. A sailing lesson at the St. Thomas Yacht Club is another opportunity to consider!

  1. Perfect Jumping-Off Point to Other Islands

The islands of the USVI are located toward the northwest of the Lesser Antilles island chain. Because of this, guests to the territory are positioned in a perfect location to island-hop to the other main US Virgin Islands (St. John and St. Croix) and many other islets in the area.

(Source file photo)

Ferries and small aircraft like seaplanes make it simple to visit another island, such as St. John and St. Croix, for a day or more!

  1. Shopping 

Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the USVI and usually referred to on St. Thomas as “downtown,” offers lots of shopping opportunities.

Palm Passage is a famous shopping alleyway downtown, where one can find treasures and local artwork at shops such as “Mystic by the Sea.”

The new location for local business, Mystic by the Sea, on the St. Thomas Waterfront. (Source Photo by Jesse Daley)
  1. Year-Round Events

The season for tourism runs from approximately November to May, and the island is typically pulsing with sightseers at this time. (The weather is usually also most comfortable during these months after hurricane season!)

That said, visiting the island anytime throughout the year will be exciting, especially because of the diverse and interesting events that occur year-round.

Musical group “Lourdes and the Switch” perform at the “Battle of the Bands” fundraiser for Nana Baby Home. (Source photo by Jesse Daley)

Celebrations such as Carnival (annually in April) and wintertime holiday celebrations (annually in December) provide fun for the entire family. Concerts, such as “Battle of the Bands,” occur regularly, too! There is also thriving nightlife with live music happening all across the island. A music calendar can be found here.

  1. Variety of Areas to Explore

Visitors may choose to explore the various sides of the island, from the north side, with its lush, peaceful surroundings, to the west side, where more rural land is abundant. The island’s south side and downtown Charlotte Amalie offer multiple shops and restaurants. Red Hook, on the island’s east side, provides individuals with an exciting island “nightlife” vibe.

Main Street, Historic Charlotte Amalie, US Virgin Islands (Shutterstock)
  1. Historical Experiences

The history of the USVI is captivating, and visitors can explore St. Thomas’s past and visit multiple historical locations.

Locations like “99 Steps,” “Drake’s Seat,” and “Fort Christian” are examples of historical sites worth visiting, and they offer a glimpse back in time.

The historic 99 Steps in St. Thomas. (Source photo by Bethaney Lee)
  1. Somewhat Similar to the US Mainland

As mentioned, a passport for US citizens is not necessary for entry to the USVI. For some tourists, the relative familiarity of the mainland is comforting. Visitors to St. Thomas have access to many of the same conveniences as they have back home, including pharmacies, familiar food chain restaurants, and choices for healthcare in case of an emergency.

However, it is essential to remember that St. Thomas is a US territory and not a US state, and there are key differences. For example, if a rental car has been reserved, adhere to the “Keep Left” road signs. We drive on the left here!

St. Thomas truly is a unique gem in the Caribbean, a little piece of paradise that you might fall in love with. For more information about travel and tourism in the USVI, visit the VI Source Travel and Tourism website and the official USVI Tourism site.

 

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