Destination: St. Thomas
St. Thomas is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and also one of the most popular stops for cruise ships. We’ve called upon St. Thomas twice. On our first visit, we set off for St. John (next Destination post!). On our second visit, we stayed on St. Thomas. We still have so much more to see and do on both islands!
You can fly into the St. Thomas airport on American, Continental, Delta, United, or U.S. Air. You can also, as we have, visit via cruise ship. We’ve been on a couple of Carnival ships (Valor and Destiny), but many other lines also call on St. Thomas.
What to Do/See
Beaches: St. Thomas boasts some of the prettiest beaches in the Caribbean. They’re all white sand – and public. We’ve been to Coki Point, which is home to some other attractions (keep reading), and really enjoyed snorkeling there. It was about on par with Trunk Bay on St. John. It’s also super convenient – there are always taxis available, and there are restrooms, chairs, lockers, umbrellas, and a lifeguard. Other nice beaches: Lindberg Bay/Emerald Beach (calm, taxis, restrooms, chairs, water sports, poor snorkeling), and the island’s most popular beach, Morningstar (gentle to mild, taxis, restrooms, chairs umbrellas, water sports, fair snorkeling), Magens Bay ($4, calm, taxis, restrooms, showers, chairs, lockers, lifeguards, some water sports, poor snorkeling).
Snorkeling/diving: Good snorkeling can be found by simply walking into the water at Coki Point. Sapphire Beach and Secret Harbor are also supposed to be pretty good. You might also take a boat to snorkel/dive to explore more remote reefs, such as the Cow and Calf Rocks, or wrecks, like the Cartanser Sr. For instruction and guides, check out the Coki Beach Dive Club, St. Thomas Diving Club, Dive In!, Homer’s, or VI Snuba (diving for non-divers).
Other water sports: The gentle water is perfect for kayaking and jet skiing, available at most resorts. You can also try parasailing at most beach resorts. If windsurfing or kiteboarding is your thing, head for the east end of the island.
Other outdoor activities: Tennis courts are available on most of the resorts. Golfers shouldn’t miss Mahogany Run, designed by George and Tom Fazio.
Coral World Ocean Park is another point of interest at Coki Point. It has exhibits of various types of marine life, from seahorses to sharks. You can swim with sea lions, feed the stingrays, or encounter turtles or sharks in the water. Coral World also offers Snuba, power snorkeling, helmet diving, or exploring sea life on a semi-submarine.
Where to Stay
In my experience, staying on a Carnival FunShip has been an excellent choice! On an unlimited budget, the Ritz-Carlton or Marriott’s Frenchman’s Cove are obvious choices. More budget-minded travelers should consider Crystal Cove Beach Resort, Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort & Spa, or Bluebeard’s Castle Hotel.
Taxi rates around the island are here.
Here (will be a link to) my pictures from St. Thomas.
Last post in Caribbean series: Nassau.