St. Thomas, the busiest and most densely populated of the three main U.S. Virgin Islands, is a vibrant – if sometimes rough-edged – American paradise. The scrumptious food, diverse shopping, lively nightlife and abundant attractions bring visitors from all over the U.S. and the world.
See & Do
St. Thomas packs a surprising number of attractions into only 50 square miles. Drink in the view while ziplining through the treetops at Tree Limin'; go deep-sea fishing in a self-drive powerboat with Nauti Nymph; explore the landmarks of historic downtown Charlotte Amalie; soak up the sun at one of the legendary beaches; or spend a day learning about sea creatures at Coral World Ocean Park.
Served up in a wildly diverse selection of venues, from casual diners to elegant beachside establishments, the restaurants in St. Thomas offer a mixture of innovative cuisine, ambiance, and style. Though "surf and turf" (meat and seafood) is the predominant culinary theme, each eatery offers its own twist or interpretation, whether it be Latin-Asian fusion (Havana Blue), Caribbean with flair (Cuzzin's), or old-world European (Alexander's Bella Blu).
The energetic nightlife scene on St. Thomas centers mainly around bars, and drinking is the favorite pastime because rum, the national drink, is very cheap. Establishments range from fun resort hangouts, to lazy beach hideaways, to raucous saloons, to elegant wine bars. Much of the nightlife centers around the East End, where bars like Latitude 18 and Duffy's Love Shack are among the perennial favorites. Dancing and live music are usually on the menu as well.
There's a surprisingly wide choice of accommodation in St. Thomas, from glittery resorts, to business hotels, to historic boutique inns such as Hotel 1829, to self-contained condos tucked into secluded coves. Whether you're a family with small kids, a newlywed couple, or a well-off retiree, there's a place to suit your needs – and none is more than a half-mile from the beach.
With a captive audience of cruise ship passengers, St. Thomas offers hundreds of stores with some of the best bargains in the Caribbean on jewelry, liquor, tobacco, and perfume. Bear in mind that the duty-free allowance is $1600 per person, which buys you a lot of rum and cigarettes! Don't forget to check out the native arts and crafts galleries, antique stores, clothing boutiques, and local favorites such as the Bordeaux Farmer's Market.