St. Thomas

Though taking up just about 32 square miles of real estate, St. Thomas makes the most of every inch. The most cosmopolitan of the three US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is a major airline hub and home to a bustling cruise port (both in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie).

The slowing of tourist season, and mild weather with little rain make April through June optimum times to visit. Extensive duty-free shopping, Shangri-la-ish beaches, and an assortment of land and water diversions make St. Thomas a Caribbean fan favorite.

St. Thomas is easy to get to, with direct flights from many major US cities. The presence of several upscale resorts also makes it a list topper for brides and honeymooners. Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Beach Marriott Resort and the Ritz Carlton are popular destination wedding venues.

If you golf, time on Mahogany Run is well spent. It’s the only 18-hole championship course on the island. Towering above the stony inlet of the Atlantic, the Devil’s Triangle Hole provides a remarkable panorama of neighboring islands.

Beaches of note include Magens Bay, Sapphire Beach and Vessup Bay. Located along the north coast, Magens Bay’s ribbon of white sand and azure waters are quite a lure. It can get crowded – particularly if cruise ships are in port. However, there are chairs, water sports vendors, and ample changing facilities. For less crowds (and less clothes), follow the marked trail to Little Magens Bay for a bathing suit optional alternative.

Sapphire Beach is part of the Sapphire Beach Resort and Marina. Its wide beach and calm water make it a desired spot for families. A large reef close to shore provides ample snorkeling, too.

If you want to stray from the norm a bit, head to Vessup Bay. Situated near the hamlet of Red Hook, it’s a local favorite. Parking is easy, and a few water sports vendors are set up here.

The clear waters of St. Thomas welcome beginning, intermediate or advanced divers. Cow and Calf Rocks offer ledges, swim-throughs, and dramatic rock formations. Sea turtles frequent this area to feed, and the shallow portions are ideal for novice snorkelers.

If you like to hike, find a local guide and head over to Hassel Island. Traverse around historic buildings and be awed by incredible views on this 135-acre piece of land.

For a different view of St. Thomas, and an adrenaline boost, zip line your way through forest with Tree Limin Extreme Zip Line. It’s the island’s first and only zip line tour, and offers sweeping vistas of Magens Bay, St. John, and the British Virgin Islands – all at an exhilarating 35 miles per hour.

There are many attributes that make St. Thomas a Caribbean destination we whole-heartedly recommend. Varied activities for families and romantic options for couples top the list. In addition, friendly residents, a plethora of restaurants, and accommodation choices round out our reasons for suggesting this lively island.