This article originally appeared in Delta Air Lines’ 2012 Caribbean, Mexico and Latin America Travel Guide. It has been extracted from its original format. To read the full travel guide, visit the digital edition.
St. Thomas is the most developed of the three U.S. Virgin Islands, with cities like the capital of Charlotte Amalie serving as a hub—both for travel, as well as dining, entertainment, nightlife and shopping. The restaurants here are as diverse as the U.S. itself, with cuisines ranging from Asian to Mexican, Italian, French and Caribbean fusion. Charlotte Amalie is also a cruise port, and therefore boasts a wide range of shopping opportunities for visitors. Boutiques at the Havensight Mall and along Main and Back Streets offer china and glassware, leather goods, designer fashions and accessories and jewelry. Foodies can also do some browsing and shopping at Market Square, where a farmers’ market puts tropical goods like breadfruit, cassava and fresh coconuts on display. There’s also plenty of nature to explore here, especially under the sea. St. Thomas, as well as its sister islands, are renowned for their spectacular dive sites. Fishermen and boaters frequent St. Thomas’ ports, too, seeking a fresh catch or just fresh ocean breezes. Magens Bay is reputed to be the island’s best beach for travelers who’d rather enjoy nature from the comfort of a beach towel. At Fort Christian, visitors can explore a military structure dating to 1676, built by Danish colonists in a unique Gothic style, with pegged stone fencing and arched doorways that look like something out of a fairy tale. You can see most of the island of St. Thomas when you embark upon the Skyride. In gondolas rising all the way up to Paradise Point, visitors take in panoramic views of Charlotte Amalie and its harbor. Once at the top, active travelers can take a short hike to a lookout with views to St. Croix, while others can stop by the attraction’s bar and restaurant, or watch the tropical bird show that takes place daily.
- Best time to go:
November to May
- Fun fact:
Actor Kelsey Grammar and artist Camille Pissarro call the U.S. Virgin Islands home
- Getting there:
Delta flies from Atlanta and New York (JFK) to St. Thomas
- Entry documents:
- Must-try local food:
“Fungi,” a dish of cornmeal and okra often served with fish
- Best buys:
Designer goods, local crafts
- Information please:
United States Virgin Islands—visitusvi.com