I don’t know why this happens, but when my husband and I go on vacation together it is never a relaxing vacation. It’s always a trip where we try to pack the most activities we possibly can into the few days we are there. Not very relaxing, but incredibly fun.
I have been to Saint Thomas four times and the last time was this past April on my honeymoon! I’ve been twice with family and once with a girlfriend so you could say that I’ve seen the island from a couple different perspectives.
I want to give you guys a list of things that (in my opinion) you should not miss on your trip to the USVI!
Best Things to Do in Saint Thomas
This was by far one of my favorite excursions that I have ever done, anywhere. It was an incredible experience and I wish I could show you every single picture I have from this day. The company we went out with was Virgin Island Ecotours and our guide was wonderful! We learned a lot, saw beautiful sights that I had never seen on the island before, and had a great adventure. The 5-hour tour included kayaking through a mangrove lagoon, hiking the rocky edges of two different cliffs, and snorkeling in a lagoon over seagrass.
If 5-hours sounds way too long, they have other, shorter tours that can fit the group you have. I will say it was SO tiring for us and we are very active people. So if you’ve got a few that don’t have much stamina, I would not recommend something like this. Definitely a tour that is less strenuous like the 2.5 hour Mangrove Lagoon: Kayak & Snorkel Adventure. Also, if you look in the tourism books they hand out at most of the resorts, you can find a coupon for 15% off.
2. Saint John
You cannot go to Saint Thomas without going to visit Saint John also. The ferry leaves out of Red Hook and Crown Bay and is only $16 round trip! (From Red Hook) Once you get there, the world is your oyster as they say. 80% of this island is National Park and I highly recommend exploring this! You talk about gorgeous white sand beaches and turquoise blue waters. This is where it’s at. There are many hiking trails where you can get a taxi to drop you off at the trail head and hike down to the beach.
We started down the Reef Bay Trail, but figured out we didn’t have time to do that one and the Cinnamon Bay Trail, so we just walked down the road to this trailhead. They are less than a mile apart, but it’s still a pretty good walk. Fair warning, people will stop all the time and ask if you need a ride. We didn’t take it this time but on our way from Cinnamon Bay to Trunk Bay we sure did! Everyone rants & raves about Honeymoon Beach and Magens Bay (more on it later), but if you want a gorgeous, secluded beach go to Cinnamon Bay. I cannot emphasize enough how beautiful it was. All of the amenities there were taken out during the hurricanes though and they had not rebuilt as of April 2019. Even still, I would go back in a heartbeat. And the hike down makes getting to the beach even better. Another beach you shouldn’t miss is Trunk Bay that I mentioned earlier. It even has a snorkel trail! I saw a shark here and slightly flipped out.. They do have a bar and a little food truck serving food here. Get the hotdog, it was fantastic.
They also have wonderful restaurants on the island, a couple I recommend are North Shore Deli, The Tap Room, and Cruz Bay Landing. We went to all of these while spending the day on the island and all had a great vibe, friendly people, and awesome food.
You cannot go to St. Thomas without visiting some of the different beaches. Most of the resorts will have their own beaches, but get out and explore some of the others! Each one has its own unique feel. One I love is Coki Beach. It is right around the corner from Coral World Ocean Park, so it has some of the best snorkeling. You can rent snorkels for $10 each at the very end of the beach. They also have a restaurant that cooks really good fish and a couple bars. Waiters will walk around and take your order while you lounge. One thing a local told me about this beach though is don’t go around at night. But it’s plenty safe during the day. A local also recommended beaches on the North and West side of the island like Hull Bay, as they are less crowded. Sapphire Beach is also supposedly an up and coming beach with good amenities.
Again, Magen’s Bay is probably the most well known of all the beaches on Saint Thomas. It is a beautiful beach, but crowded as all get out. You also have to pay a $5 entrance fee. When my husband and I went, we ended up hanging out at the bar the whole time because there was no room to set up an umbrella (we were both sunburnt at this point) anywhere remotely close to the entrance. If you aren’t a fan of crowds then definitely steer clear and check out some of the other options on the island.
4. British Virgin Islands Tour
Number one, you spend most of your day sailing around the islands and they start handing out drinks as soon as you step on the boat at about 7:30 in the morning. That should be all you need to hop on this tour immediately. I’ve done two different BVI Tours and both stopped at the Baths at Virgin Gorda. After that, one went to snorkel and then Pusser’s for lunch (famous for their rum) and we snorkeled again before going to White Bay where The Soggy Dollar Bar is.
The other went straight to White Bay so you could eat (and drink) there for the afternoon. There are no docks so the boat anchors out in the bay and you have to swim in! Do yourself a favor and go to One Love Bar & Grill and get either the lobster or shrimp quesadilla. Don’t know what cheese they use, but it is heavenly. Also go to Soggy Dollar Bar for the painkiller. That’s what they’re famous for. Both tours were great, just decide whether you’d like to spend more time at White Bay and Virgin Gorda or go snorkeling. The one with snorkeling is with New Horizons & Breakaway and the one without is with Stormy Pirates.
5. Food Tour
I can’t leave this out, because it is my favorite type of tour to do in any city! We did the Historic Main Street Tour with St. Thomas Food Tours and learned a lot of history about the island plus tasted some great food. They went to restaurants that I never would have tried and I got to try a few things that I had never heard of that were native to the islands. It combines two things I love, history and tasting good food.
Hope you enjoyed my list of things to do in Saint Thomas!
This is by no means an exhaustive list. It’s just a few of the things that I love doing in St. Thomas after many trips down there. Soon I’ll post about the tips I have for a smooth trip and my favorite thing: FOOD!