A warm climate, with beaches that look like a backdrop right off of a green screen, and a mental break was exactly what I needed when I decided to book a trip to the US Virgin Islands. There are so many things to do in St. Thomas, USVI from saltwater adventures, to hiking and nature with some beautiful resorts to relax after exploring. I don’t know how this place wasn’t on my radar sooner. No passport required a short 3-hour flight, and an error flight that cost me $75 made my decision a little easier to safely travel in the new year to a new place.
How to get to the US Virgin Islands?
US Virgin Island Flights
Usually, when people visited the USVI, a majority came for the day via cruise ships. However, now that cruise ships are currently not running the only way to get here is by private boat or flying! I flew with American Airlines who has been running great deals from Miami.
There are also direct flights from New York, Atlanta, Boston, Miami, Charlotte, and more major US Cities to Charlotte- Amelie, St. Thomas, USVI. There are some direct flights to St. Croix as well. The main and largest airport to the US Virgin Islands is Cyril E. King Airport located in St. Thomas with food concessions, and car rentals.
Be sure to check the covid restrictions and visit usvitravelportal.com for updated information on travel requirements for those traveling to USVI.
US Virgin Islands Do you need a passport?
A passport is not needed to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands for Americans because it is a U.S. Territory. That means no passport is required to travel to this tropical paradise in the Caribbean! Just like Puerto Rico another U.S. territory you don’t have to worry about bringing your passport!
No Passport Needed!!!!
US Virgin Islands Travel Restrictions
From my experience and the research I have done at the time of writing, U.S. Citizens can travel to USVI with a negative PCR or Rapid test with a test and result received within 5 days of their arrival. Also, it is required to wear masks in public spaces. Travelers will have to upload Covid test results to the travel portal to get the greenlight to go. I was able to upload it and get my green light to head to paradise within 24 hours!
Best Time To Go To US Virgin Islands
The Caribbean almost has year-round summer and amazing weather. However, it is very important to take into account hurricane season when planning your trip to the US Virgin Islands. Weather in the U.S. Virgin Islands is wonderful most of the year, but the high season is during Winter from mid-December to- the end of January.
When should you avoid the U.S. Virgin Islands? The dark side of the beauty of the Caribbean is the destruction that comes during Hurricane season which lasts from June to November.
Things to do in St. Thomas – St Thomas Things To Do
Explore Charlotte- Amalie
Charlotte- Amalie is known because of the huge cruise ship port. However, if you visit St. Thomas you should take some time to explore the old town and the beauty of the largest town in St. Thomas. Here you can climb the 99 steps that take you to Blackbeard’s Castle. Here you can see one of several steep staircases constructed by the Danes when they settled St. Thomas in 1671 when Fort Christian was established.
The pastel-colored shops and beautiful Malecon make for a lovely afternoon walk to explore Charlotte- Amalie. The best view of Charlotte- Amalie can be found at the top of the Sky Ride or taking a ride up to Paradise Point. While I was there the sky ride was closed, however, it seems like it would be an enjoyable way to experience the views of Charlotte-Amalie.
Coral World Ocean Park
Of course, St. Thomas has many amazing beaches! But have you ever wanted to learn more about what goes on beneath the surface? Step in Coral World Ocean Park the perfect place to become ocean literate and learn about the ocean in a fun way! There are so many things to do at Coral World, from their ocean experiences to learning in a more intimate environment with their trainers.
I have always wanted to swim with dolphins and here I knew they were helping to rehabilitate and conserve the ocean. I felt that it was the perfect place to learn more about dolphins and have an encounter with them in a large ocean sea sanctuary. This was a bucket list adventure of mine and I am so glad I got to do it in St. Thomas.
Coral World makes it possible to experience what goes on under the sea with can you see activities, such as Seatrek and their 150 ft into the underwater sea observatory. Not only do they have experiences with dolphins, but they are also one of the only places in the world you can swim with massive sea lions!
There are many opportunities to learn more about the local marine life, sharks, sea turtles, and even feed some lorikeets. If you want to go somewhere that is giving back to the community and the ocean, the Coral World Ocean Park is one of the best wildlife encounters in the Caribbean.
Go off Road With A Jeep Safari with Tikman Tours
When you go to St. Thomas, USVI you will constantly hear about beaches like Magan’s Bay and other beautiful beaches in the Virgin Islands, however, getting shown around by a local will bring you to some great secluded beaches. I loved heading around St. Thomas with Tikiman Tours a jeep safari tour company that can take you beach hopping and to some amazing lookouts in St. Thomas and St. John. Also, since you are in a Jeep you can off-road to some unique and off-the-beaten-path destinations on St. Thomas. My favorite beach of the whole trip was Abi Beach! I would not have found it without Tikiman Tours and the locals there were like how did you hear about this place (so you know it’s a good spot!)
The Beach Hopping Jeep Safari is offered by Tikiman Tours on St. Thomas and St. John, USVI. We also headed to see Mountain Top, the highest point in St. Thomas and Drake’s Seat to get a view of the famous beach at Magen’s Bay. This is the perfect way to see secluded beaches, get out into nature, and see more of St. Thomas.
If you get to check out Tikiman Tours you can be sure you will be taken care of, Cody the owner created such an epic experience for me and I will always remember it!
Virgin Islands Eco Tour – Snorkeling, Kayaking, and Hiking Tours
One thing you cannot leave without doing is snorkeling when in the U.S. Virgin Islands. And what better way of doing that, than with an eco-tour that will teach you more about the nature and ecology of the place. Virgin Island Ecotours offers 3-hour tours and 5-hour tours. I did two tours with Virgin Islands Ecotours one that took us through the Mangroves in St. Thomas, and another that left from Honeymoon Beach in St. John.
I knew I was in for a treat since this company has won awards for being amazing! The first tour was of the Mangroves and Cas Cay. We had two snorkeling stops, a hike to blowing rock, and got to swim in some tidal pools. I learned so much about the natural landscape and rejuvenation of St. Thomas and the U.S. Virgin Islands after the hurricanes on this tour. It helped me understand the extent of the damage and rebuilding that has occurred.
The next day we went on a day tour of St. John, USVI. It was a kayaking, snorkeling, hiking experience in the U.S. Virgin Island’s National Park. First, we hiked up Lindt Point Trail and headed to Honeymoon Beach where we took kayaks to Henley Cay and Caneel Bay to snorkel to see coral reefs and sea turtles!
Hike to Mermaids Chair
If you can make it to the westernmost tip of St. Thomas then take a hike to Mermaid’s Chair and Botany Bay. The hike is paved and there are a few shuttles that can take you part of the way. Mermaids Chair and Botany Bay are public beaches, however, you need to walk through a gated community and check in with security to get there. It is not a hassle, but that is really why there is a hike since you cannot drive your car down there. However, the views are still beautiful and the hike back up will for a sure break a sweat.
Why go to Mermaids Chair? Here you can stand in both the Caribbean Sea and Atlantic ocean. Here the waves meet and crash at a bar of sand connecting Mermaids Chair to the main island of St. Thomas. If you want to make it a day head over to Botany Bay Preserve and relax on the beach.
Wake Up For Sunrise – Best Free Thing to Do in St. Thomas, USVI
I love waking up for sunrise and this is a great activity to see St. Thomas wakes up. I enjoyed seeing the sunrise from my balcony at Margaritaville Vacation Club or heading to the beach to watch it rise. Whether it was watching birds fly by or hearing the waves crashing, I felt it truly relaxed me.
Looking For The Best Sunset Spot?
Check out Secret Harbor for the best Sunset spot in St. Thomas! Nestled on the east side of St. Thomas is Secret Harbor, a little piece of heaven and a perfect place for sundown.
What would be your top thing to do in St. Thomas? Tell Me In The Comments
There are so many things to do in St. Thomas, USVI and there are even opportunities to see St. John and St. Croix two other islands in the US Virgin Islands. This is just part one to my series on the U.S. Virgin Islands. Part 2 will tell you everything you need to know on where to eat in St. Thomas and where to stay on the island for the best island escape.
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