St. Thomas – A Wondrous, Intoxicating, and Alluring Tropical Sanctuary
The charmed island of St. Thomas is a tropical oasis that has been luring visitors to her sun-soaked shores for decades. With breathtaking panoramas featuring sugary white sand beaches, rolling green hills, and glimmering bays, the hypnotizing beauty of this Caribbean charter destination is simply divine. Part of the US Virgin Islands, the 32-square-mile island is one of the loveliest stretches of land in the Caribbean, but it is not its scenery alone that makes visitors keep coming back. Influenced by the English, Dutch, Spanish, French and Danish the fascinating history and vibrant culture that has evolved in St. Thomas lends to a uniqueness not found in other Caribbean locales. The island also offers much in the area of fun with activities and attractions geared towards watersport enthusiasts, thrill seekers, and history buffs.
The dramatic landscape, captivating architecture, unrivaled shopping, fabulous sightseeing, and year-round warm weather with rarely a cloud in sight makes St. Thomas a perfect stop for visiting sailing yachts, catamarans, powerboats, and mega yachts. Marinas on the island are plentiful offering impressive facilities and dockage for both large and small yachts. Centrally located along the Charlotte Amalie Harbor, the exclusive Yacht Haven Grande Marina offers side-to berthing for yachts up to 450 feet, fabulous dining options and world-class shopping with designer outposts from Gucci, Louis Vuitton, and Bulgari as well as a variety of high-end boutiques. Just west of historic Charlotte Amalie Harbor you will find the Crown Bay Marina, a full-service marina for mega yachts and pleasure craft up to 200 feet. Situated in Red Hook, the American Yacht Harbor Marina offers first-class amenities accommodating vessels up to 110 feet.
Named after the Queen of Denmark in 1692, in the heart of St Thomas you will find Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the US Virgin Islands. A charming hillside port town, Charlotte Amalie is known for her scenic natural harbor, lovely Danish architecture, winding cobblestone pathways, and most famously, the shopping. Taking a stroll along Main Street and the waterfront, you will find hundreds of duty-free shops offering wonderful deals on clothing, electronics, jewelry, and perfume. Not to be missed are the merchants selling local goods, upscale boutiques, and top-notch restaurants and bars.
Located on the west side of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor, the quaint and eclectic neighborhood known as Frenchtown has a charm all of its own. Receiving its name from the French Huguenots, whom settled here in the 1870’s after leaving St. Barts, Frenchtown is known for their seafood with local fisherman selling their daily catches at the Gustave Quetel fish market. Most recently Frenchtown has become a culinary destination offering an extraordinary range of divine eateries and wine bars.
If seeking more seclusion and a relaxed atmosphere, let Red Hook located on the east end of St. Thomas, become your playground. Overlooking Pillsbury Sound and St. John, the serene town runs at a slower pace of life and offers a more intimate glimpse into the island’s culture. Conditions for watersports are ideal here with great spots for playing in the surf and lounging in the sun.
Stunning Sun-Drenched Beaches
The sandy shorelines of St. Thomas are simply spectacular, boasting of over 20 stunning beaches to enjoy and endless options for spending your time snorkeling, scuba diving, windsurfing, swimming or simply lounging in the sun or shade. The most frequented and picturesque beach on the island is the heart-shaped Magen’s Bay, located on the north side of St. Thomas. Lined with swaying palms, the blissful Smith Bay is a more secluded beach boasting of turquoise waters and soft white sand. On the East End of St. Thomas, some great sites for snorkeling can be found at Sapphire Beach, which also offers perfect conditions for kayaking, jet skiing, windsurfing and parasailing. For a taste of true island style head out to Coki Beach and enjoy some of the best snorkeling and scuba diving around, making sure to sample some of the locale fare and tropical drinks served at the brightly colored beach huts lining the beach.
Activities Abound For One and For All
From adrenaline junkies to nature lovers, history buffs to architectural aficionados and everything in between, St. Thomas does not disappoint, offering a great number of attractions that appeal to a wide variety of tastes. For a thrilling aquatic adventure nothing compares to Coral World Ocean Park, located next to Coki Beach which offers the rare and exciting opportunity to swim with sea lions. To really get your blood pumping, make a stop at Tree Limin’ Extreme where you can soar high in the air above acres of jungle and terraced gardens from their six ziplines. A more subdued option that also affords spectacular views of the island is the St. Thomas Skyride which climbs 700 feet above Charlotte Amelie to Paradise Point. Another prime example of the bountiful beauty of St. Thomas can be found at St. Peter Mountain Greathouse & Botanical Gardens. For those that want to delve into the rich past of the island make sure to include visits to Fort Christian, a 17th century national historic landmark and the Emancipation Garden, a park commemorating the freeing of the island’s slaves. An experience you will not want to miss is the climb up the vine covered 99 Steps (in reality there are 103) leading up to the tower at Blackbeard’s Castle. Built in 1679 by the Danes as a watchtower to protect Charlotte Amalie from the French settlers of St. Croix, venturing to the top you will be rewarded with amazing views of the harbor below.