Things to do in St. Thomas: Best excursions, attractions, beaches, nightlife, shopping

A Caribbean destination that attracts visitors by both air and sea, the island of St. Thomas is one of the U.S. Virgin Islands and is characterized by stunning beaches, a rich underwater environment and attractions that will take your breath away. Because of the variety of things to do and see, you'll quickly note that planning your dream vacation is actually quite easy and fun. Cruise ship passengers will enjoy the attractions and excursions that only take a small part of the day while those who are staying on the island for a week or so will enjoy the attractions that last longer, as well as the shorter ones. If you're looking for some great duty-free shopping, you'll find plenty of that here as well.

If you're planning to visit the island during Carnival, then you'll quickly notice that the attractions, excursions and beaches fill up very fast. Because of this, you'll be smart to reserve your tour spot early.

Best excursions on St. Thomas

If you're looking to take a tour or two while on the island, you'll be happy to hear that there are lots of great options to select from. Some are short and only last about an hour while others take the entire day. Because of this variety, you can really customize your trip and plan each day based on how much adventure you're looking to enjoy. If you're visiting the island from your cruise ship, however, you'll want to focus on tours that are shorter in length. That way you'll still have time left over for other island attractions.

Virgin Islands Snuba Excursions

Have you ever heard of snuba before? It's a mix between snorkeling and scuba diving and it's quickly becoming one of the more common ways for visitors to explore the underwater world of the Caribbean. With this tour you'll find yourself under the surface exploring the water world off of Coki Beach. The tour itself lasts about an hour and half, making it so that you can still enjoy a beach day afterwards. The minimum age allowed is eight years old.

  • Adult: US$84.00
  • Child: US$84.00

>>>Tickets for the Virgin Islands Snuba Excursions

Caribbean Buzz Helicopters

Offering a half hour tour that aims to impress, Caribbean Buzz Helicopters is well known for offering a bird's eye view of the island and beyond. With this particular tour you'll fly over to the east of the island before flying over the north shore of St. John and then over the west end of Tortola. In addition you'll also fly over Jost Van Dyke and various cays between. You'll want to bring along your camera to capture memories of the experience.

  • Adult: varying
  • Child: varying

Best attractions on St. Thomas

Whether you're visiting the island with your family in tow or with a loved one, you'll find some pretty great attractions all around St. Thomas. These attractions vary, meaning that each person you're traveling with should be able to find something that they like. However, there are a few that may not be as exciting and fun as others. That's why we've gone ahead and listed the top two attractions to visit, below.

Magic Ice

The very last thing you would ever expect to see on a Caribbean island, Magic Ice surprises in every way possible. This sub-zero experience allows you the chance to see various forms created from both snow and ice, including a bar. This attraction allows you the feeling of being up in Scandinavia while actually being on a Caribbean vacation. Because this attraction is so unique, it has become one of the more popular things to do on the island. And because you packed for an island getaway and not a northern experience, you'll find that the attraction provides warm clothes, gloves and shoes. This attraction is only for adults as drinks are served.

  • Adult: US$25.00

Coral World Ocean Park

Spanning five acres, Coral World Ocean Park is easily the most popular attraction today on the island. Great for all ages, you'll find that you can easily spend most of your day here. Some of the great activities you can partake in include Sea Trek, a Sea Lion Swim, the Turtle Encounter and the Shark Encounter. You'll just want to note that these activities cost extra, meaning that they are not included in the park admission cost. However, all of the exhibits are included in your admission ticket, including the touch pool.

  • Adult: US$20.00
  • Child: US$11.00

>>>Tickets to Coral World Ocean Park

Best beaches on St. Thomas

As St. Thomas is a Caribbean island, it's completely acceptable to expect nothing but the best when it comes to the beaches. Luckily, you'll find just that. Here there are several different great beaches to walk and explore, though you'll most likely only have time to visit one or two if you're coming to the island on a cruise. If that's the case, then you'll want to try to check out the two beaches listed below.

Magens Bay

A famous beach made beautiful due to its long stretch of white sand, Magens Bay is a great choice for your beach afternoon. When here, you'll find people swimming, jogging and walking the beach from end to end (a mile in total). The water here is also very clear, so you can snorkel if you'd like, though you may not see much outside of a sandy bottom. You'll also note that this beach does get pretty crowded, though the crowds don't seem to bother many.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Hull Bay

Here you'll find the opposite of Magens Bay. Instead of just a relaxing beach that's made for people watching, here you'll find a hotspot for water sports. With a boat ramp right on-site, visitors here will find lots of boating, paddle boarding and kayaking. This is also a good place to snorkel, as long as you're aware of the fishing boats nearby. Though there is a lot happening here, you won't find a big crowd, making it so that you can easily find a little bit of privacy in comparison to some of the other beaches on the island.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Best nightlife on St. Thomas

One of the things that the island of St. Thomas is known for is its extensive nightlife. Here you'll find nighttime entertainment ranging from the theater to music performances at the big resorts. Of course, there are also some pretty big events happening on the island during certain portions of the year as well. But if you're not planning your vacation around one of these events, then you'll want to take a look at two great nightlife options below.

Starz Nightclub

Attracting both visitors and locals, this nightclub spices up the night with two different bars, VIP, bottle service and a state of the art sound system. You'll also find lots of special events hosted here, ranging from blues and jazz nights to stand up comedy. The club is located right next to the Havensight Mall, making it so that you could easily visit both.

  • Adult: varying

Pistarckle Theater

A small theater that offers visitors a number of different performances and plays to watch, the Pistarckle Theater is a great option if you're looking to do something at night but aren't into the nightclub scene. Plays here run from October to May, so make sure to take note of that when planning your vacation. Also, prices vary depending on your seating choice, meaning that you can really budget your attendance.

  • Adult: US$20 and up
  • Child: US$20 and up

>>>Tickets for the Pistarckle Theater

Best shopping on St. Thomas

If shopping is your game, you'll find lots of fun places to play while on the island. Here, you'll also find duty-free shopping. Though you'll find duty-free shopping throughout the Caribbean, St. Thomas is known for giving visitors an allowance of US$1,600 each. This is double that of the other islands. Because of this, you'll find visitors buying up as much as they can.

Havensight Mall

A mall like what you would find back home in the states, Havensight Mall offers a nearly endless amount of stores, all lined up, making it easy for you to shop one to the next. When walking through the mall you'll find some shops you've never heard of along with some familiar ones, such as the Caribbean Surf Company and Pandora. The mall itself is literally right next to the docked cruise ships, making it conveniently placed. Also, don't worry about having to look elsewhere for food as there are several great restaurants to eat at as well.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

The Shops at Yacht Haven Grande

Though you may not think that shopping at a marina would be any good, the shops at Yacht Haven Grande are sure to impress. Here you'll find a variety of different shops ranging from local shops to those that focus on visitors with a larger budget. You'll also find lots of dining options to enjoy, making it so that you can shop all day without having to leave the area for a bite to eat.

  • Adult: free
  • Child: free

Photos provided by Flickr users Chad Sparkes, Daveynin, Ruthdaniel3444 and Roger W.




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