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.
Trunk Bay is considered one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and as such is one of the most popular beaches on St. John. It features a 225-yard long underwater snorkeling trail. Underwater plaques along the trail describe the various species of coral. There is a bathhouse, snack bar, souvenir shop and snorkel gear rentals are available. Lifeguards are on duty daily. There is a small entry fee. Kids 16 and under are free. Take the ferry from Red Hook to Cruz Bay and then a taxi or the bus to Trunk Bay.
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 America's Paradise with kayak,hike & snorkel multi-eco adventures in three unique locations. Watch for wildlife while paddling through St. Thomas' Mangrove lagoon, enjoy a hermit crab race, a rare geologic blow hole and snokel in a shallow coral-fringed mangrove nursery. Caneel Bay's tour offers you the best that St. John has to offer with three fun activities: paddle in turquoise waters, hike tropical trails and snorkel over coral reefs with turtles, all in one afternoon! History buffs will enjoy exploring above and below the water at Hassel Island boasting centuries old Forts and ruins in the middle of the Charlotte Amalie Harbor.
Experience the Virgin Islands in a unique way while staying shape! Active Island Tours & Events offers a variety of activities combining exercise, sightseeing, and entertainment. Love to RUN as much as you RUM with their guided running tours or challenge yourself with their fitness classes in paradise before trying a "Stretch & Sip" yoga wine tasting at sunset on the beach. Periodic events like the VI 'Til I DYE color run and the Run The Night electric glow run are NOT to be missed!! Activeislandvi.com
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!
Learn about the island's history, culture and architecture on a 2 hour walking tour. Let a knowledgeable guide from the St. Thomas Historical Trust escort you through the downtown area that makes up our historical district. Reservations can be made by calling the Historical Trust office (340)774-5541 or by stopping by the Tourist Information Kiosk next to Cardow Jewelers on Main Street, Downtown Charlotte Amalie.
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!