Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Travel Tuesdays....on Wednesday!

Since yesterday, Tuesday, was such a busy day for me, we're gonna do Travel Tuesday on Wednesday this week!  And this time, we're going to visit a much traveled Caribbean destination....St. Thomas!  St. Thomas is the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands.  The entire island is only 32 square miles, but packs a huge bang for your buck!

Since St. Thomas is such a hot spot for many Caribbean tourists, there's  tons of things to do on the island, as well as some of the most beautiful beaches in the world!  Magen's Bay, which is located about 20 minutes from the cruise terminals, is one of the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world.  We've been there and I'm going to include some photos, but I must admit the taxi ride to get to Magen's Bay is expensive, so be prepared for that!  It's about 8-10 dollars PER PERSON, each way.  There's 6 of us, so the taxi ride alone was almost 120.00 dollars and I'd have been more prepared if I'd had that info the first time we visited.  Hence, the reason I'm including that info here.  ...grin...

Money aside, Magen's Bay really is all that and a bag of chips.  The water is turquoise, and the beach is surrounded by picturesque mountains.  You can see St. John's just off in the distance.  (we'll cover St. Johns and Trunk Bay another day!)  There's also plenty of vendors to rent loungers from, and plenty of waiters roaming the beach to take your drink order!  There's even a few small local restaurants within walking distance of anywhere you happen to sit your lounger and your drink!

If shopping is your bag, then St. Thomas should be one of your first Caribbean stops.  There's more shopping on St. Thomas and St. Maarten than probably any other islands in the Caribbean.  Everything from local items, jewelry, souveniers, "made in China" stuff, and high end shops are all within walking distance from the center of St. Thomas, downtown Charlotte Amalie. 

St. Thomas is mountainous, so there's also endless opportunities for a great photo op!  With taxi drivers standing on every street corner, you can get a great deal on an island tour and see the vast majority of what the island has to offer in just a few hours.  If you're staying at a local resort or hotel, this will give you a very clear idea on what you want to see and do.  The price will range anywhere from 20.00 dollars per person up to 65.00 dollars per person, depending on how long you'd like your island tour to be.  Do your research here because all island tours are not created equally and I don't have the time or space to give a good run down here. 

St. Thomas is also connected by a ferry to St. John's and St. Croix, so if you'd like to spend a day exploring those islands, St. Thomas is a great place to see multiple islands in one stop.  You can also hire a catamaran for a day sailing to Jost Van Dyke, which is home to the bar that Kenny Chesney made famous, The Soggy Dollar Bar!!   Most of the catamaran tours offer 1/2 day or full day tours and prices can range from 250.00 all the way up to 1000.00 dollars per day, depending on the number of people and the size/range of the catamaran.  This is a spectacular day and if you can swing the price, it's definitely worth the trip!  Jost Van Dyke is GORGEOUS! ...more on that in another post!...

Finally, we'll cover Coki Beach, which is situated on the far side of the West Bay of St. Thomas.  This beach is famous for celebrity sightings and snorkeling.  The fish are so used to being fed doggy biscuits that they will literally swarm you when you get in the water, which can be fun or creepy, depending upon your bend toward ocean critters.  I was a little skeptical, but YMMV.  Coki Beach is also just next door to Coral World, which has an underwater aquarium.  It's a neat experience, but be forewarned that the Coki is surrounded by local vendors and bars.  This makes the beach feel crowded at times, and very often visitors first impression of Coki is that it's a little dirty.  It's small and crowded, but there's a vibe at Coki that you can't get at most other beaches on St. Thomas, so don't be afraid to try it. 

Just one of many places to stop and take photos!

Downtown shopping!!  This is only a very small slice of what's available on the island!

CRUISE terminal!!  Often, they'll be 4 or 5 ships in port in St. Thomas. I'd skip that day to shop!

My kids playing in St. Thomas at Magen's Bay.

The ferris wheel at the top of the sky tram.  You can take a tram to the top the "Pointe" and there's a spectacular view and, of course, the ferris wheel and bungee. 

No need for a caption's just gorgeous!

Magen's Bay

Get out there and experience all that life has to offer!!  St. Thomas is a great place to start because it offers so much and most of the islanders can communicate very well with English speaking tourists. They also take US dollars and give you correct change back in US dollars.  If you've never traveled much, this makes St. Thomas a wonderful starting place to get your feet wet...pun completely intended, and if you've traveled a lot, there's still plenty of organic experiences to be had on St. Thomas!!  Happy travels, everyone! 

No comments:

Post a Comment