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St. Thomas, US VIrgin Islands

A Cryptic Description of St. Thomas

St. Thomas is one of the United States Virgin Islands in the Caribbean Sea.  It is surrounded by several minor islands, with nearby St. John and St. Croix to the south making up the three major islands.  The British Virgin Islands are just to the northeast a few miles.  There are about 42,000 permanent residents and St. Thomas has a land area of about 32 square miles.  Its capital and main port is Charlotte Amalie, located in about the island center.   Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1493 on his 2nd voyage to the mainland.  It has quite a varied history, being occupied throughout its history by the Dutch, the Danes and the British.  The United States purchased all three Virgin Islands in 1917 for $25M in gold.

St. Thomas Attractions

The local capital of Charlotte Amalie has a vibrant downtown with plenty of duty-free shops, great restaurants and a recently-remodeled water front.  It is a cruise ship port and hosts the Yacht Haven Grand, a docking area for the large boats of the rich and famous.  There are many historical buildings dating back several hundred years which can be viewed as you walk throughout downtown.

Our condo is located on the east end of St. Thomas, close to the town of Red Hook.  Red Hook has more of a local flavor and is not frequented by the cruise ships.  It has a relaxing, small town feel with many shops, restaurants and places where you can simply hang out, sign up for relatively inexpensive snorkel outings (Ocean Surfari) or take the St. John Ferry to Cruz Bay in St. John.

The US Virgin Islands are well know for their many great beaches.  Some are touristy, like Meghan Bay.  Some, like Coki Beach, cater mostly to the local population.  Others, like Secret Harbor, are uncrowded gems that offer great snorkeling or sunbathing while having great on-site restaurants and bars.  Every beach on St. Thomas has public access, even the Ritz Carlton, which is directly adjacent to Cowpet Bay East!

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