Top things to do in St. Thomas, USVI – One day itinerary
St. Thomas, located in the U.S. Virgin Islands, is a paradise for vacationers seeking sun, sand, and sea. This Caribbean island has a rich history, an abundance of natural beauty, and a vibrant culture that makes it a must-visit destination. Are you interested in discovering this piece of paradise? In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in the island.
Understanding about USVI
The U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) are a group of islands located in the Caribbean Sea, which are a territory of the United States. The main islands are St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas, along with several smaller islands. The total population is approximately 100,000 people, covering a total area of 346 square kilometers, or 133 square miles. The islands were originally settled by the Arawak and Carib peoples, and were later colonized by the Spanish, Dutch, English, French, and Danish. The United States purchased the islands from Denmark in 1917 and they have been a U.S. territory ever since. The USVI are known for their beautiful beaches, warm weather, and rich culture, making them a popular vacation destination for travelers from around the world.
What is the best island to visit in USVI?
Here is the million dollar question with the generic answer. All three islands offer a unique and unforgettable Caribbean experience. The best island to visit will depend on your personal preferences and interests, and to make the most of their vacation many travelers choose to visit more than one island during their trip. Aquick summary about them:
St. Thomas is the most developed and populated island in the USVI, with a bustling capital city (Charlotte Amalie), plenty of shopping and dining options, and numerous historical landmarks and cultural attractions. It’s also known for its beautiful beaches and water sports opportunities, making it a popular choice for travelers who enjoy a mix of urban and outdoor activities.
St. John, on the other hand, is a quieter and more secluded island, known for its unspoiled natural beauty and pristine beaches. Over two-thirds of the island is protected as part of the Virgin Islands National Park, making it a haven for hikers, nature lovers, and beachgoers. St. John is a great choice for travelers looking for a more peaceful and laid-back island experience.
St. Croix is the largest of the three USVI islands, with a mix of African, European, and Caribbean influences. The island has several historic landmarks and cultural attractions, as well as beautiful beaches and natural attractions like the Buck Island Reef National Monument. St. Croix is a good choice for travelers interested in a mix of history and culture and outdoor activities.
Why do we choose St Thomas?
St. Thomas is a popular port of call for cruise ships in the Caribbean. There are two main ports on the island that cater to cruise ship passengers:
- Crown Bay Cruise Terminal. A modern facility located on the west side of the island, near Charlotte Amalie. Royal Caribbean has a dedicated pier at Crown Bay, which has two berths and can accommodate large ships up to 1,100 feet in length. Crown Bay has a variety of amenities, including duty-free shopping, restaurants, bars, and tour operators.
- Havensight Cruise Port. The port is located on the east side of the island, also near Charlotte Amalie. It has three berths and can accommodate ships up to 1,100 feet in length. Havensight also has a wide range of facilities and from this port is much easier for visitors who prefer to walk to the downtown area.
Both ports offer easy access to many of St. Thomas’ top attractions, including its beautiful beaches, historic landmarks, and outdoor activities. But be smart…by easy access I mean, buy a tour to visit the island in one day or get a taxi to focus on a single destination. My family and I traveled with Royal Caribbean and we found the port is not friendly for those thinking about walking downtown. That’s why many cruise passengers choose to book shore excursions through their cruise lines or independent tour operators to explore the island.
How to buy a tour to visit USVI in one day?
Many tours are available at the port and the price to visit the island in about 2 hours is around $38/per person. This is a fixed price regulated by the tourism authorities and we found the best way to make the most of our time on the island. The cruise arrived at 7am and we needed to leave at 2pm. Because we had just a few hours, we decided to visit St Thomas only. In this blog post, we’ll explore some of the top things to do in St. Thomas, USVI in one day.
USVI – What to do in St Thomas in one day?
1. Explore the Island
Whether you’re a beach lover, a history buff, or an adventure seeker, you need to explore the island. St. Thomas is the second-largest of the three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), after St. Croix. The island is about 13 miles (21 kilometers) long and 4 miles (6.4 kilometers) wide at its widest point. Despite its relatively small size, St. Thomas is a popular destination for tourists, with numerous attractions including beautiful beaches, historical landmarks, and outdoor activities like snorkeling and diving. During a quick tour you must visit Charlotte Amalie, the capital city, to see its historic buildings and colorful architecture. Take a trip to the top of Mountain Top for panoramic views of the island and enjoy a world-famous banana daiquiri. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can take a zip line tour through the rainforest or hike to the top of one of the island’s many hills for stunning views.
2. Enjoy the Beaches
St. Thomas is home to some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. Magens Bay, with its crystal clear water and white sand, is often ranked as one of the best beaches in the world. Other popular beaches on the island include Sapphire Beach, Lindquist Beach, and Coki Beach. Whether you want to relax in the sun or swim in the warm waters of the Caribbean Sea, you’ll find the perfect beach in St. Thomas.
3. Visit Historical Sites
St. Thomas has a rich history, and there are many historical sites to visit on the island. One of the favorite places to check it out is Fort Christian, a 17th-century fortress in Charlotte Amalie that now houses a museum. Some of the top attractions include the 99 Steps, a staircase made of bricks that was built in the 1700s or visit the Blackbeard’s Castle, a 17th-century watchtower that now serves as a hotel and restaurant.
5. Go Snorkeling or Diving
St. Thomas is home to some of the best snorkeling and diving spots in the Caribbean. Take a boat tour to Buck Island, which has a protected coral reef that’s teeming with marine life. You can also snorkel at Sapphire Beach or Coki Beach, where you’ll see colorful fish and coral formations. If you’re a certified diver, explore the many shipwrecks and coral formations around St Thomas.
4. Shop Duty-Free
St. Thomas is a duty-free port, which means you can shop for jewelry, watches, and other luxury goods at a discounted price. Head to Charlotte Amalie to explore the many shops and boutiques in the downtown area. You’ll find everything from designer brands to local crafts and souvenirs.
6. Eat Local Cuisine
St. Thomas has a vibrant food scene, and there are many restaurants and food stands serving up local specialties. Try some of the island’s famous dishes, such as conch fritters, johnnycakes, and fish tacos. Head to Frenchtown for some of the best seafood on the island or visit the food trucks in Red Hook for a casual meal. And don’t forget the famous Banana Daiquiri!
In conclusion, whether you want to relax on the beach, explore the island, or go on an adventure, St. Thomas has it all.
This is what we did to enjoy the most of our quick time in the area.
Is it possible to visit all USVI in the same trip?
In case you have more time. Yes, it is possible to visit all three main islands of the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI) – St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas – on the same trip. Each island has its own unique charm and attractions, so it’s worth spending at least a few days on each one to truly experience all that they have to offer.
St. Thomas and St. John are located close together, and it’s easy to travel between them by ferry. You can also take a day trip to the British Virgin Islands from either St. Thomas or St. John. St. Croix is located about 40 miles south of St. Thomas and St. John, and can be reached by a short flight or ferry ride from St. Thomas. Alternatively, you can fly directly to St. Croix from some cities in the United States.
If you’re planning to visit all three islands in one trip, it’s a good idea to plan your itinerary ahead of time and consider factors such as transportation, accommodations, and activities to enjoy the unique beauty and culture of each island in the USVI.
Hope you like our tips and have a wonderful trip to this paradise.