St. Thomas, with some of the Caribbean’s best beaches, hotels, and resorts is the Caribbean’s gem for vacationers who love the sea, shopping, history or photography.

St. Thomas has been a shopping Mecca since the late 1600s and, for a period in the early 1700s, the island was a pirate refuge for notorious buccaneers and, by 1800, Charlotte Amalie was one of the busiest ports and trading centers in the Caribbean. Today, Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas is a choice port of call among the cruise lines and a popular Virgin Island vacation destination. It is the United State’s Caribbean’s major cruise port and king of all duty-free shopping destinations. Bargain hunters are spurred on by the sheer variety of merchandise. In addition to the colorful street vendors and the dockside Havensight Mall in renovated old West Indian Company buildings, there are charming shops in the lanes between the waterfront and Main Street.


The island is steeped in history. In the 1700’s this was a pirate refuge as the remaining Blackbeard’s Tower proclaims. Since then merchants from many nations have tendered their wares on the streets of the harbor-side capital, Charlotte Amalie.

Dozens of luxury resorts, hotels and fine restaurants, some with Danish influence encircle the island. Steep hillsides thick with flowers and bright red rooftops make Charlotte Amalie a favorite of travel photographers.

You’ll want to see the view from the top of St. Peter Mountain (where great banana daiquiris are an added reward) or visit Drake’s Seat with a panorama of 100 islands. Another St. Thomas must see is the exciting underwater population at Coral World.

Some of the beaches you won’t want to miss include Bluebeard’s Beach, Coki Beach, Hull Bay, Limetree Beach, Magens Bay, Morningstar Beach, Sapphire Beach and Vessup Bay.

Imposing Fort Christian, housing the museum with a collection of Indian artifacts, dates back to the 17th century. And the St. Thomas Synagogue, built by Sephardic Jews in 1833, is stately and solemn. Walking tours are available of historic buildings in St. Thomas.

Climate
The Virgin Island climate is tropical with wonderful average winter daytime temperatures of 78 degrees F. and summer daytime temperatures of about 82 degrees F.