If you're visiting for a few days be sure to leave yourself at least a half day for relaxing and sunbathing on Magens Bay Beach. Noted as one of the world's most beautiful beaches by both Conde Nast and National Geographic it is a must see. Lots of things to do besides swimming and sunbathing like hiking the nature trail, kayaking, paddle boat and sailboat rentals. A nice bar and restaurant with a shop for chair rentals, suntan lotion, bathing suits and much more. And on your way back from the beach be sure to stop at Famous Delight (see arrow on photo above) for an intoxicating, tropical twist on the American milkshake.
St. Thomas is widely known as the best shopping spot in the Caribbean and one of the ten top shopping areas in the world! Many duty-free bargains can be found at prices that are below stateside with no sales tax making it worth your while to spend one of your vacation days perusing the shops in downtown Charlotte Amalie, Havensight Mall, Red Hook, Crown Bay Center or Yacht Haven Grande. The duty-free allowance is $1,600 per person including children. So a family of four can take back $6,400 worth of duty-free purchases.
It goes without saying that the various collection of restaurants on St. Thomas are in a "best" category all by themselves. We recommend that you venture outside the bounds of your hotel, guest house or villa to experience the wide variety of cuisines. From local kallaloo to authentic Italian dishes, fresh local fish and fungi to burgers -the variety is impressive. Red Hook on the East End of St. Thomas has at least 8 restaurants of various cuisines. Frenchtown has almost as many. Downtown has mostly restaurants serving lunch and a few that offer dinner. All menus are avaiable on our website! www.virginislandsthisweek.com/menus
Their slogan "Get up close and personal" couldn't be more appropriate. See tons of marine life without ever getting wet. Learn about the beauty and magic of Caribbean marine life in a stunning setting. View life on a coral reef from their unique underwater observatory. Visit the shark pool where you can pet a shark or hand feed a stingray. Visit with the Lorikeets which will flock to your arm when offered a cup of nectar. And if you don't mind getting wet bring your bathing suit so you can swim with the sea lions or try a Sea Trek Helmet Dive. When you are ready to relax, have lunch at one of the restaurants and shop for a special souvenir at one of the unique gift shops. $5.00 from the Shark & Turtle Encounters go to rescue and rehabilitation efforts.
Explore the best of the USVI with Virgin Islands Ecotours' Kayak, Hike & Snorkel Adventures in three unique locations. Watch for wildlife while paddling through St. Thomas' Mangrove Lagoon. Explore a rare geological blowhole and snorkel in a shallow, coral-fringed mangrove nursery. St. John's tours offer all the beauty and thrills of paradise. Paddle in turquoise waters, hike tropical trails, and snorkel over coral reefs keeping your eyes peeled for sea turtles. History buffs love tours on historic Hassel Island and explore and learn about centuries' old forts and ruins. Virgin Islands Ecotours also rents watersports equipment by the day or by the week with free delivery to your rental car, hotel, or to the beach of your choosing.
One of the island's best view points, Drake's Seat affords a panoramic picture of Magens Bay and the United States and British Virgin Islands strung out to the east. A popular stop on round-the-island taxi tours, this place can get crowded. If you visit in the late afternoon, the light is especially entrancing. Legend has it that British privateer Sir Francis Drake, commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I, is said to have used this spot to spy on enemy ships of the Spanish Fleet passing through what is now called Drake's Passage. There is no admission charge.
At an impressive height of 1,500 feet above sea level, Mountain Top offers a spectacular panoramic view of both the US and British Virgin Islands, a total of 20 islands in all. In fact, National Geographic has rated this view of Magens Bay as one of the 10 best views in the world. It features a casual shopping area for browsing and a bar which is home of the world famous Banana Daiquiri. Just breathtaking!
Soar through the rainforest on a 2-1/2 hour zipline canopy tour. Take in the breathtaking views of Magen's Bay and the BVI's from 8 aerial platforms, fly high through the rainforest on six exhilarating ziplines and soak up the sun on our two incredible sky bridges as your ACCT trained guides lead you through this experience of a lifetime! The grand finale is the world famous Yo-Yo zip. It's the only of its kind in the Caribbean! www.ziplinestthomas.com
Some of the fun things to do on surrounding islands include the Dolphin Discovery which takes place on the British Virgin Island of Tortola, just a ferry ride away. Reservations should be made in advance and tell them you are coming from St. Thomas. Your ferry ride will be included in the price. A passport is required for this trip. You will swim with the dolphins in protected, shallow waters. Other activities are: playing golf at the famous Carambola Golf course on St Croix (take the Seaplane over); Visiting the unusual rock formations called The Baths in Virgin Gorda; snorkeling or diving the "Wreck of the Rhone" in the British Virgin Islands.
Snorkel / Scuba
Being on the water enjoying the sun, sea and sand is one of the major reasons to visit the VI. There are dive shops which will take you to beautiful underwater dive sites. There are resort certification programs as well. Rent an underwater submersible Scooter which requires no diving experience at all.
Charter a powerboat - Size from small 25' to the luxurious 45' Sea Ray motor yacht will provide you with drinks, lunch and snorkel gear.
Sportfishing! The Virgin Island waters hold many records for the largest fish ever caught. Marlin, shark, tuna, wahoo, dolphin are all found in these waters.
The waters of the Virgin Islands are known as some of the best sailing waters in the world. Most sailing yachts leave from St. Thomas' East End/Red Hook area. Most boats offer drinks, lunch, water toys, snorkel gear and instruction. Some St. John companies will come to St. Thomas and pick you up.
Check out our article about the best things to do on St. John too!