What could be better than lounging on a beach on a tropical island? If you’re planning on a vacation to the U.S. Virgin Islands, there’s a good chance that you’re imagining days spent soaking up the sun and swimming in the ocean, but St. Thomas has a beautiful history and plenty of sites to see within the island. If you want a day to explore the land and get to know the history and culture of St. Thomas, there is no shortage of things to do and places to see.
Best of St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands
Top Places to Go in St. Thomas U.S. Virgin Islands
Named after the wife of the King of Denmark, Charlotte Amalie is the capital of St. Thomas, and is centrally located along the southern end of the island. The town was founded in 1681 and you will find beautiful cobblestone streets, colorful buildings, several historical sites, shopping, restaurants, and more. If you’re wanting to explore the area, try walking along the 1.2 mile Long Bay Waterfront, which will take you around Frederiksberg Point, by the St. Thomas Historical Trust Museum, and to the seaplane base at Cay Bay.
The 99 Steps
If you’re looking for a quick workout, make your way to the historic 99 Steps. There are several steep stairways throughout Charlotte Amalie, but these stairs lead you to Blackbeard’s Castle and right past the World Amber Museum. What makes these stairs particularly noteworthy, is that the bricks that make up the steps came from the ballasts of Danish sailboats. The steps are shallow and the stairway is lined with flowers and plants, so the trip up or down the steps is fairly easy and beautiful.
Named after Sir Francis Drake, this scenic overlook will provide one of the best views of the island, including mountains, beaches, and the nearby islands Inner Brass and Hans Lollik. The lookout is located north about 1.5 miles north of the 99 Steps. The stone wall that you can rest on is said to be a watching spot for Drake when the explorer was on the lookout for Spanish ships leaving the port. Be mindful of when you visit the overlook; the daytime may be busy with tourists whose cruise has docked for the day, so going at night to watch the sunset may be ideal.
If you made it up the 99 Steps, keep going just a little further and you’ll reach Blackbeard’s Castle. Named after the black beard of the pirate Edward Teach, the location is said to be a hiding spot for his treasure. Originally named Skytsborg Tower, the castle was used as a watchtower to protect the island from enemies and pirates. The tower was built in 1679 and is a great place to see views of the island, the waters that surround it, and possibly get in some people watching.
What to Eat
After a few hours of exploring the island, you’ll want to get a taste of the food in St. Thomas, which is a mixture of cuisines. There are dozens of restaurants that you can try, so wherever you end up, make sure you try a few local favorites:
Fungi: A Caribbean-style polenta, often served with fish.
Johnny Cakes: Similar to pancakes that make for a great breakfast or snack.
Bull Foot Soup: Have a craving for cow’s heel? This soup is a blend of yellow split peas, spices, and vegetables.
Kallaloo Soup: Similar to gumbo, this soup is filled with leafy greens, okra, onions, and fish.
Conch: Get your fill of seafood! Conch is similar to clams and is often served fried.
Exploring the island of St. Thomas is a must if you’re visiting the U.S. Virgin Islands, but you’ll also want to make sure you spend some time on the waters as well. Sail VI offers sailing charters in St. Thomas and St. John. Our crew will bring you to breathtaking beaches, point out various sea creatures, and provide an experience of a lifetime. The sailboat Liberty and the catamaran Justice are spacious and beautiful, making it the perfect opportunity for you and your family and friends to get a unique view of the island and the surrounding waters. We offer a delicious lunch, plenty of snacks, and all of the drinks you could want. And for an up-close view of sea life, you can go snorkeling!
If you’re ready to experience St. Thomas, book your sailing charter with us today!