St. Thomas, Paradise on Earth.
Located in the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas is a beautiful island loaded with incredible things to see and do. If you're just getting started planning your trip, I highly recommend renting a car (get a jeep if you can - trust me on this) in St Thomas to have the freedom to checkout all the best spots. Here are our top 8 things to do in St Thomas!
1. Coki Beach
Located on the East end of the island, Coki Beach is a beautiful small, secluded beach where you can meet a ton of locals. The snorkeling here is excellent since the beach is protected by an island directly in front. Be prepared for ultra calm and clear water. The best snorkeling spots are located on the far left and far right of the beach. On the right (east) end of the beach you will also find the Coral World ocean center where you can see tons of coral. There is a small restaurant/bar located directly on the beach and the waitstaff is happy to bring your drinks right out to you on the sand. Be sure to check the cruise ship schedule before heading out to Coki Beach as it is a favorite for the passengers and they can fill the beach up quickly. Or go early morning before the ships arrive to port!
Not going to lie, we had a pretty fantastic experience here. We met a local who's name is Warrior (how cool is that). We talked about finding happiness in life and being grateful. It's motivating to hear from people who are so happy with little. Wish you the best Warrior.
2. Eat at Off The Grid - Top Things to do in St Thomas
If you like BBQ, you HAVE to try this place. Imagine BBQ infused with a bit of Caribbean flair. Off the Grid used to be an awesome food truck tucked away with an incredible view. Today they are no longer a food truck, but have taken up residence at Anna's Retreat! Highly recommend the pulled pork sandwich, but whatever you order you will not be disappointed! Nadja is not a huge BBQ fan, but as you can see from the photo above she thoroughly enjoyed it. Next time we are in the VI's we will definitely be hitting them up again. I bought some of their homemade BBQ sauce to take home and tried to use it as sparingly as possible so I could make it last forever. But alas, it didn't last more than a couple of weeks!
3. Checkout Secret Harbour - Top Things to do in St Thomas
Secret Harbour is another incredible semi-secluded beach with generally calm and exceptionally clear water. There is a hotel on this beach but it typically doesn't ever get too packed. Secret Harbour is a great place to spend the day as there is a restaurant on the beach called Sunset Grille with some fantastic food and drinks. We got pretty toasty at this beach enjoying some wonderful Caribbean beers. You've got to try a Carib and a Presidente, both are refreshing beers to enjoy beachside! This beach also faces West for an incredible place to watch the sunset over the water. Highly recommend pulling out the snorkel gear and checking out some of the reef in the bay. The further out from the beach you go, the better the reef is as there's unfortunately a lot of dead coral near shore. Regardless, Secret Harbour is a great spot to spend a relaxing day by the beach.
4. Magens Bay - Top Things to do in St Thomas
Magens Bay is consistently named one of the top beaches in the world. Its also one of the longest beaches on St Thomas. It's a huge stretch of soft sand where lots of locals and tourists go to paddle board, swim, play beach volleyball and other sports. Magens bay is not great for snorkeling so keep that in mind! It also can get pretty busy as it's a hot spot for the island so be sure to go earlier in the day if you want to avoid the crowds.
5. Boat Tours - Top Things to do in St Thomas
St Thomas is surrounded by islands, many of which are completely uninhabited. Whats the best way to see them? By boat! Theres tons of private or group charters that can take you islands hopping for the day. Theres too many awesome islands out there to not check out at least a few; Water Island and Buck Island are definitely favorites. You could also have a boat take you to the various dive spots around the islands. Im not going to list all of the boat charters here but you can check out some highly rated ones on TripAdvisor.
6. Havana Blue - Top Things to do in St Thomas
For date night, Havana Blue is a MUST! Havana Blue is one of the finest dining experiences on the island. Get there early for an incredible ocean view as the sun sets over the ocean. Be dazzled with incredible entrees and wonderful cocktails. Nadja and I decided to go here on a whim and splurged on a $40 bottle of wine we drank in 15 minutes (oops). We had fantastic time and ran up quite the tab too! Keep in mind it's not the cheapest restaurant on the island either. The staff, food, and intimate atmosphere are exceptional and it's absolutely worth the cost. You can find their menu and details at http://havanabluerestaurant.com
7. Take a Day Trip To St. John - Top Things to do in St Thomas
If you have a full or half day to spare, hop on the ferry that leaves from Red Hook over to the island of St. John. Virgin Islands National Park covers over 70% of the island, which means it has a lot to offer in the way of nature and unspoiled beaches. If there is anything you do at all on St John, you MUST check out Trunk Bay (pictured above), it is one of the most iconic and beautiful beaches in the world. There are also various nature trails on the island that take you through the jungle and even old sugar mill ruins. Some of the trails end up on ultra secluded beaches where you won't see another soul! The ferry from Red Hook departs multiple times a day and the ride is only about 30 minutes to get to St John so even a half day trip is doable!
Going to St John was probably the highlight of the trip for me as it is far more nature oriented and undeveloped compared to St Thomas. We took a 4 mile hike through the jungle (and about died doing it). We found some really cool ancient petroglyphs reflecting off of a rock pool. Definitely take some hikes on St John but bring more water than you think you need and take it slow. The terrain is rugged and hilly. Bring a swimsuit with you so you can cool off in the Caribbean sea when you're done - you'll thank me later.
8. Black Beard's Castle and 99 Steps - Top Things to do in St Thomas
Although St Thomas is loaded with incredible beaches, you should spend at least one day exploring the city of Charlotte Amalie. Highly recommend checking out 2 attractions that are right next to each other. Built in 1679, Blackbeard's Castle is a watch tower overlooking the bay with some incredible panoramic views of St Thomas and surrounding islands. Right next to the tower is a lovely open bar so be sure to have yourself a drink or two and take in the views before leaving. 99 Steps is an old pathway that was built out of ballast bricks from old ships coming to shore. 99 steps leads to/from Blackbeard's castle and there are a couple cool attractions along the pathway whichever way you are headed!
If you didn't know already, driving in St Thomas can be tricky at times. Driving on the left side of the road can be a challenge in itself, then throw in some pot holes, a bunch of dips, wild animals crossing, winding roads, and ultra narrow city driveways can result in a very stressful driving experience. Number one advice driving around in St Thomas is to take it slow (the locals do) and when you're driving in the city don't be alarmed if you drive down a narrow one lane road and end up having to back up a good distance to allow someone through. Don't panic. Chill. You're in the islands!
I hope you enjoyed our list of top things to do in St Thomas! Check out some of our other articles below and be sure to give us a follow on Instagram! Have you been to the USVI? What are your top things to do in St Thomas? Leave us a comment below!