Seeking a new spin on your typical beach vacation? Look no further than the picturesque American Paradise of St. Thomas in the Virgin Islands
Story by Michelle Hope
Whether you are planning a family trip or a romantic getaway, there is something for everyone in St. Thomas. Here are a few travel tips and recommendations to consider when planning your own adventure in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Where to Stay & Play
With many amazing resorts to choose from in St. Thomas, the decision can be hard, but we certainly hit the island jack pot with The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas.
Overlooking the crystal clear waters of the Caribbean sits a luxury hotel and resort situated on 30 acres of white sand and turquoise sea. Although I was there with adults only, the Ritz Carlton St. Thomas is family friendly and left us wanting to bring our kids back. Even with other children staying at the resort, the layout and environment could not have been more perfect.
Upgrade to club level. Amenities include a full breakfast, light lunch and hors d’oeuvres and desserts in the evening, plus a generously stocked bar. Well worth the extra expense.
Our absolute favorite day was spent on the water Island hopping. The beauty of going to the Virgin Islands is the chance to explore multiple islands by water. St. John, Virgin Gorda and Jose Van Dyke are the three we travelled to from St. Thomas and you won't want to miss any of them either.
Good Day Charters picked us up from our resort’s private beach and we embarked on an island-hopping adventure.
Jose Van Dyke is home to the famous Soggy Dollar Bar and Foxxy’s. It’s definitely the island for “belly up to the bar” kind of fun. You may never want to go home.
St. John’s is a gem amongst the other islands and you can spend an entire day in this quaint beauty shopping, exploring and dining. We took a water taxi (St. Thomas Water Taxi) over for dinner at Oceans 362. Don’t miss the Chef’s Tasting — it was a meal we are all still talking about.
The Baths at Virgin Gorda provide an unforgettable snorkeling adventure. Don’t get lost in the caves!
If Island hopping is not your thing but you still would like to spend some time on the water. I recommend the Lady Lyndsey Sunset Cruise. at the Ritz. There is nothing quite like this smooth-sailing catamaran during sunset.
My favorite St. Thomas dinner experience was at Room With A View. The entire island was lit up so not only does the restaurant live up to its name, the food was spectacular and the Sommelier did not disappoint. The A.C. is a bonus.
Frenchman’s Reef and Morning Star Resort is set up on a dramatic cliff with amazing views of the entire island. We enjoyed a day at their hip infinity pool and lunch at the Terrace restaurant. It was a nice change of scenery with a more upbeat atmosphere.
Other dining options we would recommend are Sea to Sails, which offers fresh catch of the day options and live music al fresco at the Ritz Carlton, St. Thomas, and also Havana Blue, a Cuban-style restaurant.
While on Land
A vacation is not complete without a day at the spa. At the Ritz Carlton's Spa we had a couples massage in a private beach cabana (definitely worth it!). At Lazule Sea Spa at the Frenchman's Reef Resort, which has it's own private pool area, equally stunning views, and a vast menu of services, we tried the rejuvintating body treatments.
For the athletic travelers, you won’t want to miss a round of golf at the challenging but beautifully scenic Mahogany Run Golf course. It’s the only course in St. Thomas and one of the only in the Virgin Islands.
Words to the Wise
I highly recommend you book your transportation in advance if you plan on exploring all that St. Thomas has to offer. From your 45-minute airport transfer to late-night bar hopping, we had “Mr. Nice Guy Transportation Services” take us everywhere we wanted to be and it was a seamless experience.
There is plenty of duty-free shopping and lots of local markets as well. ATMs are readily available and the currency is the same as US.
You won’t need your passport in St. Thomas but you will if you plan to Island hop over to the British Virgin Islands, so it’s best to pack it just in case.
Spring Break is just around the corner so start planning your Virgin Island get away now and you will never want to go back to your same old beach vacation.