Saint Thomas Travel Guides
Super useful & totally free travel guides, written by locals who love St. Thomas
Why We Love St. Thomas: St. Thomas is the Caribbean postcard image. It’s what we dream of at our day job: laying in a hammock under a palm tree, rum drink in hand, overlooking glimmering turquoise waters. When I first moved here, that’s the exact image I had in mind. And fortunately for all of us, that’s exactly what St. Thomas is – and so much more.
This island has it all: interesting history, exciting adventures, natural beauty, delectable cuisine, and vibrant culture. It’s lively, fun, and wild. I just have one warning for you: be careful when you visit here, you might not want to leave (believe me…)
Best of St. Thomas
World-class beaches? Of course! But there’s more to St. Thomas than just sand and sunshine.
- Coral World Ocean Park – swim with dolphins and sea lions as you witness underwater sea life in its natural habitat
- Snorkeling at Buck Island – the best snorkeling in the US Virgin Islands with popular sites like Shipwreck and Turtle Coves
- Charlotte Amalie Walking Tour – stroll along the waterfront as you take in historic buildings dating back to the 1600s
- Beaching at Magens Bay – sink your toes in the sand at the most popular beach in the US Virgin Islands
- Boat Charter – take in the scenery from a sailor’s perspective aboard one of the many boat tours originating in St. Thomas
👉 Read the full list of best things to do in St. Thomas.
Not all sections of the island are created equally as some are better than others for visitors:
- East End & Red Hook – the majority of resorts in St. Thomas line the shores of the East End around Red Hook Village
- Charlotte Amalie – the downtown area isn’t close to any beaches but offers more budget-friendly accommodation
- Northside – rent a privately owned condo or apartment along the green hills of the island’s Northside
👉 Read the complete guide on where to stay in St Thomas.
🛎️ Best Hotels
The abundance of hotels and resorts on St. Thomas won’t leave you lacking for choice:
- Secret Harbour Beach Resort – top-rated resort in St. Thomas with an attached dive shop, bar & grille, and sandy beach
- The Ritz Carlton – St. Thomas – luxury beachfront resort overlooking the lush green hills of St. John
- Sapphire Beach Resort – Sapphire’s entire complex includes all the amenities like restaurants, pools, a marina, and stunning views of the BVIs
Beach bars, fine dining, local eateries, and seafood markets are all well-represented in St. Thomas:
- The Easterly – upscale dining serving rustic Caribbean-style cuisine in the heart of Red Hook
- Island Time Pub – rooftop bar with island vibes, delicious pizza, and scenic views of St. John
- Caribbean Fish Market – fresh seafood masterfully prepared with local ingredients near the Ritz-Carlton
- Sib’s On the Mountain – a longstanding local watering hole with fairly priced food and Happy Hour specials
- PRIME at Paradise Point – the top steakhouse in St. Thomas with some of the best views in all of the Virgin Islands
🚗 Day Trips
- Virgin Islands National Park – hike a trail, explore historic ruins, or relax on a secluded beach after taking the ferry to St. John
- Water Island – board a ferry to Water Island and rent a golf cart to explore the island in its entirety including a WW2 era fort and Honeymoon Beach
- Buck Island – most boat charters will take people looking to snorkel to the coves of this federally protected island
- Cruz Bay, St. John – riding the ferry to Cruz Bay for Happy Hour (3 pm – 6 pm) is worth the time and effort
- British Virgin Islands – water taxis depart from Red Hook bringing visitors to Tortola and Jost Van Dyke for the day (everchanging restrictions have made this day trip more difficult. Be sure to check the latest regulations before you go)
- East End & Red Hook – the East End of St. Thomas is the best neighborhood to stay for tourists
- Northside – many locals reside on the Northside of the island with its cooler temperatures and scenic views
- Tutu – St. Thomas’s center of commerce with stores like Home Depot, Walgreens, and local grocery markets
- Southside – large resorts with pool bars, tiki shacks, and Caribbean views are sprinkled along the southside shore
- Charlotte Amalie – a centuries-old town with historic buildings, local restaurants, cruise port, and budget-friendly accommodation
🍸 Beach Bars
- Dinghy’s Beach Bar (Water Island) – freshen up your rum drink while visiting Honeymoon Beach during your boat charter
- Sapphire Beach Bar – convenient and lively beach bar at one of the most traveled beaches on the East End
- Magens Point Bar & Grill – cold drinks and light bites at the most popular beach in St. Thomas
- Island Time Pub – overlooking Vessup Bay, the rooftop pub has epic views of St. John with the best pizza on the island
- Magens Bay – white sand, turquoise waters, and swaying palm trees make this beach the most visited in the US Virgin Islands
- Brewers Bay – popular amongst the locals, this is the best beach to snorkel with sea turtles in St. Thomas
- Lindquist Beach – quiet shores with picnic tables and bathroom facilities overlooking the British Virgin Islands
- Sapphire Beach – popular beach among tourists with a beach bar, watersport rentals, and close proximity to Red Hook
- Santa Maria Bay – only accessible via a short hike, Santa Maria is the most secluded beach (and my personal favorite) in St. Thomas
👉 Read the complete guide to the best beaches in St. Thomas.
🏛️ Historic Sites
- Blackbeard’s Castle – military watchtower constructed in the 1600s overlooking Charlotte Amalie Harbor
- Fort Christian – built by the Danish over 300 years ago, the fort has been used as government housing, a church, a pub, and of course, military fortification
- Market Square – visit the Market Square at dawn every Saturday as local Virgin Islanders sell fresh produce and freshly caught fish
- St. Thomas Reformed Church – the current structure was built in 1848 and serves as home to a congregation that’s gathered continuously for 360 years
- Frederick Lutheran Church – this iconic building was built in 1826, the congregation has been meeting since 1666
🔭 Scenic Views
- Mountain Top – sip a world-famous banana daiquiri while basking in the best view on the island
- Paradise Point – ride a cable car to Paradise Point for jaw-dropping views of Charlotte Amalie
- Drake’s Seat – the extremely photogenic view of Magens Bay we’ve all seen on the postcard. A must-see in St. Thomas
- Charlotte Amalie Overlook – best view of downtown, Water Island, St. Croix, Vieques, Culebra, and mainland Puerto Rico on a clear day
- John Brewer’s Rock – a short, moderate hike to a beautiful view of Brewers Bay and Puerto Rico
⛵ Boat Tours
- Snorkeling – boats depart daily to famous snorkeling sites like Turtle Cove, Shipwreck Cove, and Christmas Cove
- Sailing – the US Virgin Islands is a world-renowned sailing destination due to the trade winds and protected coves
- Kayaking – Virgin Islands Eco Tours guides adventurers through a tropical mangrove lagoon
- Scuba Diving – take your pick of dive charter to explore the reefs and wrecks of a top Caribbean diving destination
- Booze Cruising – day charters and sunset cruises cater to those looking to stay dry and drunk
St. Thomas Travel Advice
🗓️ Best Time to Visit
Peak season occurs from March to June with mild temperatures and minimal rainfall. But there’s never a bad time to visit St. Thomas!
- 🌴 Fall – cheapest and least busy time to travel – just keep an eye out for hurricanes!
- 🌞 Summer – despite the warmer temperatures, visitors continue to travel to St. Thomas
- 😎 Winter – beautiful weather and slightly cooler temperatures bring in crowds escaping the cold weather on the mainland
- 🏖️ Spring – early March kicks off Spring Break for most visitors. Expect high prices and large crowds on the island
🚌 Getting Around
At some point, you’ll travel via air, land, and sea to get around St. Thomas or to other US Virgin Islands.
- 🚶♀️ Walking – advised in village centers, but otherwise the narrow mountain roads are dangerous for walkers
- 🚗 Driving – driving on the left side is easier to get the hang of than you think. We highly recommend renting a car!
- 🚇 Public Transit – extremely limited and unreliable. Most locals use the Safari system (see below)
- 📲 Ride Share – rideshares like Uber and Lyft do not exist in the US Virgin Islands
- 🚚 Safari – privately owned, open-air taxi trucks. The cost is $2 per person and goes to most major destinations on the island
- ⛴️Ferry Service – hop aboard a ferry to St. John, Water Island, St. Croix, and the BVI’s
👉 Tips & Things to Know
- 👋Don’t Say Hello – it’s customary to greet Virgin Islanders with an emphatic “Good morning”, “Good afternoon”, or “Good day”. Anything else is considered rude.
- 🚗Keep Left – we drive on the left side here! But trust me, it’s easier to get ahold of than you might think.
- 🛥️Get on a Boat – the land is great, but to truly enjoy St. Thomas, you NEED to spend some time on the water.
- 🩲 Covering Up – you might be in vacation mode, but locals are not fond of visitors walking around in only their swimsuits. If you’re not at the beach, respect the local customs and cover-up.
- 💍Duty-free shopping – with no sales tax in St. Thomas, you can save hundreds when you make purchases on jewelry and other high-cost items
🧳 What to Pack
- 🤿 Snorkeling Gear – sea turtles and coral reefs are easily accessible from most St. Thomas beaches
- 🎒 Dry Bag Backpack – boating activities, sporadic rain showers, and beach days make a dry bag extremely useful
- 📷 Camera – scenic views and picturesque beaches make for stunning photos
- 🥾 Hiking Shoes – handy for a day in Virgin Islands National Park or climbing the few hiking trails on St. Thomas
- 🧴 Reef Safe, Mineral Sunscreen – it’s the only type sold on the island anyway, but bringing your own may save you a buck or two
🤓 Facts & Info
- Census Population (2020) – 46,261 (St. Thomas)
- Time Zone – Atlantic Standard Time (UTC -4 / no daylight savings)
- Area Codes – 340
- Airports – Cyril E. King Airport – St. Thomas (STT)
- Nickname – Rock City
- Demonym – Virgin Islander (USVI), St. Thomian (St. Thomas)
- State (Territory) – US Virgin Islands
- Country – United States of America
💵 Costs & Budgeting
- 3 Star Hotel Room – $200 – $400 / night
- 1 Bedroom Apartment Rental – $100 – $200 / night
- Rental Car – $150 / day
- Public Transit Ticket – $2 per person on a Safari; ~$20 per person to/from the airport in a taxi
- Take Out Meal for Two – $40 – $50
- Sit Down Dinner for Two – $100+
- Draft Beer – $6 – $10
FAQs About Visiting St. Thomas
Is St. Thomas safe for tourists?
St. Thomas is safe for tourists. It is advised to not walk alone around St. Thomas at night and to look out for petty crimes like pickpockets.
What is the best month to go to St. Thomas?
The best month to visit St. Thomas is any month between March and June. This is when temperatures in St. Thomas are more moderate and rainfall is at a minimum.
What is St. Thomas known for?
St. Thomas is the busiest and most populated island of the US Virgin Islands. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the USVI’s, is one of the busiest cruise ports in the world. Outside of the town are white sand beaches, turquoise waters, and stunning views. Visitors will enjoy everything from duty-free shopping and fine dining to sailing, snorkeling, scuba diving, and surfing.
Can US citizens travel to St. Thomas?
US citizens can travel to St. Thomas and the rest of the US Virgin Islands with relative ease. That’s what makes this Caribbean destination so incredible for US citizens. We can get in, get out, hassle-free with no passport required.
Meet Our Saint Thomas Travel Expert
Andrew Bloem is an adventure travel writer from Fort Lauderdale, Florida. A pirate at heart, Andrew’s travels usually don’t stray too far from a palm tree and an ocean view. When he’s not writing guides for Travel Lemming, you can find him typing away at the local tiki bar for his site OceanWide Explorers.
📰 US Virgin Islands Travel Guides
It’s easy to spend all of your time in St. Thomas alone, but let’s not forget we have two completely different, and equally amazing, islands within striking distance. Your journey into the US Virgin Islands is just beginning!
- Where to Stay in St. John, USVI (Best Places & Areas in 2022)
- Virgin Islands National Park (Ultimate Guide for 2022)
- 15 St. John Beaches You Can’t Miss (in 2022)
- 21 Best Things to Do in St. John, USVI (2022)
- 33 Best Things to Do in St Thomas, USVI (in 2022)
- Where to Stay in St. Thomas, USVI (Best Places & Areas)
- 17 Best Places to Visit in US Virgin Islands (in 2022)
- 13 Best Beaches in St Thomas, USVI (for 2022)