St. Thomas is one of three U.S Virgin Islands and is by far the most visited island. It’s the perfect vacation destination and offers everything you would want out of a vacation spot. Whether you’re traveling alone, with friends, with a significant other, or as a family, you can find an activity that everyone will like.
It has beaches with some of the bluest waters in the world, an extensive nightlife offering numerous clubs and bars around the area and thrilling activities for adults and kids alike. Here is a complete full 5-day itinerary so that you can make the most out of your vacation for the week.
Where To Stay In St. Thomas?
St. Thomas is a pretty extensive island with places for visitors to stay in several different areas. For my trip, I stayed in Bunker Hill Hotel, which is located in Charlotte Amalie. It was very budget-friendly, the receptionist staff was friendly, and you also got complimentary breakfast with your stay. You get a choice of three different breakfast meals, so you don’t get bored of the same breakfast each day, and the food is excellent. Another excellent budget option for the capital city that I'd highly recommend is the Green Iguana Hotel.
You also have several options apart from just the local budget hotels. There are also luxury resorts, AirBnb’s, and private villas. It all comes down to your budget. You can certainly find a cheap Airbnb if you’re traveling on a tight budget, or you can splurge and rent a room in an expensive all-inclusive resort like Bolongo Bay Beach Resort.
In terms of areas, I’d recommend either staying close to Charlotte Amalie as there are plenty of things to do in the territory’s capital, and also you’re right in between the middle of things.
On the other hand, I’ve heard a lot of great things about Red Hook. It’s a bit more costly but still reasonable, and you’re also close to the ferry that can take you to St. John. There is an abundance of restaurants in the area, and it’s close to the nightlife, with bars and clubs in close proximity.
If you plan your trip carefully, you might also be able to see the British Virgin Islands. Just don't forget to bring a passport.
One-Week Itinerary Guide In St. Thomas, USVI
Chances are if you’re visiting St. Thomas, you’re arriving at the Cyril E. King Airport. Take a taxi to your hotel, check in, and get ready for the day.
If you’re looking for lunch, there are plenty of good lunch places all around the island. Some of the most famous are Gladys' Cafe right in the downtown district or Bernie's Bar & Grill if you’re near Red Hook.
After lunch, head out to one of St. Thomas’s famous beaches — Magens Bay Beach. Magens Bay Beach is considered one of the world’s best beaches, with some of the clearest water, white sand, and warm water perfect for swimming. As a side note, if you want to avoid other tourists, hike to the left side of the beach. Since taxies can’t access this part, it’s much less crowded. You can always try other beaches like Coki Beach and Lindquist Beach.
If you’re up for it, you can rent a kayak or paddleboard to explore the waters. There are plenty of picture-perfect places around the area, so don't forget your travel camera and backpack. There is also a snack stand close by if you want an extra snack or two.
Once you finish spending a relaxing time at the beach, go back home and get ready for some dinner and barhopping over at Red Hook. Red Hook, which is located on the East side of St. Thomas, is the premier area for nightlife on the island with various bars plus numerous restaurants.
For dinner, visit The Tap & Still Redhook, which offers some delicious burgers and wings. Once you’re done with dinner, check out Duffy's Love Shack. It has a vibrant tropical atmosphere, and the bartenders are great. You can also get some delicious food here with some tasty drinks. It’s essentially a bar in the middle of a parking lot. You’ll instantly notice it due to the flashy lights and dancing music.
To get to know the island better and learn about where all the cool things are, book a kayaking tour with St. Thomas Adventure Tours. It’s perfect for small groups since you get a very personalized experience. The kayak and snorkel tour is amazing since you get a good mix of both worlds. They take you around St. Thomas and take you to well-known areas for finding sea turtles and other marine life.
They got this awesome picture of me with a sea turtle down below:
You also get free sandwiches along with small snacks to keep you energized, so you don’t have to worry about food on the trip. On average, the tours last anywhere between two to four hours, so you’ll be spending the majority of your day here.
After the tour is over, head back to the hotel and shower to prepare for the next activities. Chances are you’ll likely be hungry so head on over to either Taco Chelles East End for some tacos or Charlo’s Cuisine for some authentic Caribbean food.
At this point, if you want to go out again, you can try Iggies Beach Bar & Grill or The Box Bar.
St. John is a must-see, even if you specifically traveled to St. Thomas. St. Thomas has beautiful beaches and hiking trails, but St. John is the king in the Virgin Islands when it comes to the outdoors since it holds the only U.S Virgin Islands National Park. So it’s only right to spend a day exploring the island, if you're not already staying here.
Eat some breakfast, and then head down to the ferry, which is close to Red Hook. It’s only a 20-25 minute ferry ride to get to St. John, and round trip tickets are only $12. Plus you also get some amazing views of the island.
Cruz Bay and Coral Bay are two of the most popular areas in St John, but if you're just visiting for the day I'd recommend staying at Cruz Bay since thats where the ferry enters.
Upon arrival, grab some lunch at some of the top-notch restaurants near the ferry dock. High Tide is one of the more well-known seafood restaurants and I loved their steak. Otherwise, you also try The Longboard. There various food options at any of these two but also plenty of other choices if neither interests you.
Two-thirds of the entire island is a national park and thus, there are numerous hiking trails and beaches you can visit. If you’re on the lookout for sea turtles, then Maho Bay Beach should be your top choice for snorkeling. Honeymoon beach and Trunk Bay Beach are two other fantastic options.
To snorkel, simply rent out equipment at one of the many shops. I would recommend Low Key Watersports. The prices are reasonable at only 10$ for snorkeling equipment for the entire day. You can also rent kayaking equipment and scuba diving equipment if you’re certified.
Ferry’s occur throughout the entire day until 10:00 pm, so you have enough time to explore the island and do all sorts of activities.
For your fourth day, you can spend the day in Charlotte Amalie, which is the capital of the U.S Virgin Islands. If you’re on a cruise ship, you will more than likely stop at their port here. The city has a wide range of activities you can do to the point where you can spend the entire day exploring the area. You can visit some notable historical landmarks like Blackbeard’s castle and 99 steps.
Spend some time on Main street to buy souvenirs to bring back home. If you’re a fan of jewelry, you’ll be happy to know there is an insane amount of jewelry shops on the strip. There are also plenty of clothing stores and gift shops.
For lunch or dinner, you’ll have plenty of food options like Glady’s Cafe where you can get a good view of the sea. You also have the classy Oceana Restaurant & Bistro, which probably offers one of the best views. If you’re a fan of Mexican food, you can try Greengo’s Caribbean Cantina.
Near the area, there is also the Pirates Treasure Museum. If you’re lucky, you might be able to talk to this guy down below:
After spending an entire day exploring Charlotte Amalie, why not try a thrilling activity close to it — zip lining. Tree Limin' Extreme Zipline in St. Thomas is the only zip lining company on the island.
You get to zip through the woods and get great views of the island. The staff is excellent and entertaining, which makes the entire experience worthwhile and memorable. If you’ve never been ziplining before, it’s a great first-time experience. Most of their tours happen during the morning, so it’s probably one of the first things you will want to do. Also, try to avoid days where it might rain since we had to stop mid-way due to it.
After burning some calories zip-lining (it’s actually quite the healthy exercise), you might want to head out for food. Since you’re near the Charlotte Amalie area, consider checking out The Greenhouse Restaurant & Bar, which is by the waterfront. It has an outdoor patio, perfect for eating while enjoying the nice warm weather. You’ll find some of the best seafood the islands have to offer here.
After lunch, take a ferry to go on a day trip to St. Croix. St. Croix is the largest island in the U.S Virgin Islands and is famous for its history. History enthusiasts will enjoy the island as it has many historical sites that played an impact throughout its history. Another less popular option you can visit that many people don't know about is Water Island.
You can take a ferry from Charlotte Amalie to get to the island. There you can either go on a Historic Walking Tour if you’re interested in the history of the island, go wine-tasting, and also enjoy some live entertainment that consists of things like fire dancing, cultural dancers, live bands, and much more.
When To Visit St. Thomas
St. Thomas is the most popular island of the three, so it’s no surprise that it receives the most tourists. Certain times might be more favorable to visit depending on what exactly it is that you’re looking for.
For the most part, as a tropical destination the weather is warm all year round, so that’s not much of a deal-breaker about when to go. However, the rainiest days tend to occur between the months of August, September, and October. The hurricane season falls between July to October, so do your research on the weather before you decide to book your trip. The times of the year with most tourists are between the months of May, June, and July. If you don’t mind that too much, then these months are great to visit but also the hottest.
If you have the opportunity, I’d recommend traveling during the month of March and April as the weather is excellent with little to no rainfall and there are a lot fewer tourists during this time.
How To Move Around In St. Thomas
It’s important to highlight how you can move around the island. Unlike most vacation places, there are no Ubers or Lyfts in the U.S Virgin Islands. The only way to move from place to place is to either take a taxi, rent a car or use their public transit system known as VITRAN.
If you’re renting a car, know that people drive on the opposite side of the road here than what you might be accustomed to. It can certainly be tricky, and you should be careful when driving since it’s easy to get confused. Roads aren’t always the most well-built either, so ensure you get insurance for your rental car.
Overall, I had no issues or complaints using their taxi system. They’re literally everywhere, and there is also an official number you can call that directs you to an operator who will find a taxi for you no matter where you are. If you're traveling from outside the U.S, consider using a SIM card since phone reception isn't the best in the island. While the prices are certainly reasonable, you pay per person. This means even if you’re with a group of friends and you’re all going to the same destination, you will all have to pay the same amount. This is probably one of the biggest transportation complaints, and if you’re traveling as a family the costs can quickly add up. Also, they only accept cash. So be sure to have some money with you at all times.
If you’re not in a rush or are on a budget, it might be worth trying their transportation system. You can use the VITRAN website to find out when the bus will come and the locations it stops at. It’s very cheap at only $1 per fare.
Is St. Thomas Safe?
Overall, St. Thomas and the virgin islands as a whole is pretty safe. I personally never had any moments where I felt I was in danger or felt unsafe. This includes the times when I was trying to find my way back home or walking a couple of blocks back to my hotel at midnight. While petty theft does happen as it happens in most other places, you can reduce the likely by using an anti theft bag or backpack. As always, you should be cautious just as you would back home. While it does have a high crime rate, very few of those crimes happen against visitors. Tourism is a huge part of their economy, so the local government tends to do a decent job at keeping people safe.