Secret Harbor St Thomas Snorkeling
Entry: BeachAccess: Free Parking and Beach AccessFacilities: Snorkel Gear Rentals & Dive Shop, Beach Chair Rentals, Beach Bar, RestroomsLook Out For: Boats- the second reef is further out into the ocean, so be aware of your surroundings.
Yet another great Virgin Islands snorkeling spot for families and people of all abilities, Secret Harbor is a protected bay with calm water, quite a bit of underwater life, and is one of St. Thomass best snorkeling beaches. Many people head for the rockier right side of the beach, but the double reef is actually a bit further out on the left of the beach. Youre likely to see plenty of colorful coral, lots of fish, maybe a turtle in the middle, and, if youre lucky, possibly even an octopus.
The resort has a restaurant on site, and there is a local dive shop on the beach where you can get a snorkel rental. St Thomas is a popular island with a cruise port, but Secret Harbor remains relatively calm and secluded. As always, I recommend you check in with the dive shop for recent tips on where to snorkel and what marine life has been seen lately. Theyre always a treasure trove of information.
Along with Sapphire Bay, Secret Harbor is one of our top picks for places snorkelers will LOVE to stay!
Best Western Plus Emerald Beach
As the name says, you have access to the emerald-green waters and pristine sands of the Emerald Beach, should you choose to stay at the Best Western Plus Emerald Beach.
At this resort, your Caribbean vacation will feature delicious food at the onsite restaurant and yummy cocktails at the fun pool bar, as well as fun water sports you can rent equipment for the water sports on the beach.
The guestroomsall feature beachfront balconies time to get the Gram jealous with an awesome backdrop in yourfamily pictures .
Things To See And Do In Ca West
- Lindberg Beach is overlooked on many itineraries, but this just means you get to enjoy more of it to yourself
- Brewers Bay Beach gets a little busier thanks to the student population, but also has some budget-friendly restaurants along the street
- Interested in a spot of golf? Herman E Moore Golf Course is one of the most popular on the island, with gorgeous views over the airport and sea
- Head down to Crown Bay Marina there are a few companies in the area offering boat hire at favourable prices
- Whilst youre there, pop into Tickles Dockside Pub their beers are among the cheapest on the island, and youll also get to enjoy charming views of the marina
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Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
Accommodation: Bolongo Bay Beach Resort
If you’re looking for an all-inclusive experience, then check out Bolongo Bay Beach Resort. The property has an all-inclusive plan, as well as a room-only rate should you not wish to have meals here.
The small resort has 25 oceanfront rooms with direct access to the sea 39 rooms with ocean views and 10 rooms with no ocean views, which are a good choice if you want to experience the resort’s amenities and beautiful location at a more budget price.
Bolongo Bay sits on a thousand-foot-long stretch of sand backed by sparkling turquoise sea in Charlotte Amalie. There are two restaurants to choose from with a la carte menus here. The poolside restaurant Iggie’s Oasis is one choice that is open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
The hotel offers a range of included beach water sports and has its own catamaran named Heavenly Days. It does half-day cruises that let you swim with sea turtles, as well as sunset cruises. Diving and island tours can also be arranged.
Address: 7150 Bolongo, 00802, St. Thomas
Flamboyan On The Bay Resort & Villas
Accommodation: Flamboyan on the Bay Resort & Villas
The laid-back Flamboyan on the Bay Resort & Villas is a great choice for budget conscious travelers who don’t need a super luxe resort to have a good time.
The property features clean and tidy studios and villas. These all come with kitchenettes should you wish to cook for yourself. The larger villas are popular with families. Kids under 11 also stay free. Most of the units here also have sweeping views of Magens Bay, and furnished private balconies.
There are two restaurants on-site: One serves Italian fare the other cooks up burgers, pizza, and sandwiches by the swimming pool. There is also a coffee shop where you can grab breakfast. Other amenities include two hot tubs, a small fitness center that offers yoga and Zumba classes, massage services, and tennis courts.
Address: 6200 Magens Bay Road, 00802 St. Thomas
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Red Hook And The East End
The area around Red Hook is the best part of St. Thomas to stay in because of the proximity to tours, the best beaches, nightlife and restaurants. Our 3 top picks for where to stay are all just outside of Red Hook.
The east end near Red Hook, with more of the popular beaches is the ideal place to be centrally located to all of the best snorkeling on the island. The ferry to St. John runs from Red Hook, and many boat charters do as well. The town of Red Hook itself is just a few blocks of shops, restaurants, and marina access, so there arent any places to stay within walking distance and cars or cabs will be required.
The East End is home to the majority of the phenomenal beaches such as Lindquist Beach, Sapphire Beach, Great Bay, and Secret Harbor Beach, which are all within a 10 minute drive from each other. This is our top pick for the best area to stay in St. Thomas for beach bums and snorkel lovers.
Peaceful Villa In Red Hook Villa Nautilus
Located in nearby Sapphire Beach, Villa Nautilus is a calm little hideaway for those that want to stay close to nightlife without compromising on a peaceful nights sleep. The stunning interiors draw on Caribbean style to create a unique vibe that sets this apartment from other modern accommodations on the island. Youll be so relaxed youll never want to leave!
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Best Hotels In St Thomas
There are several St. Thomas boutique hotels to choose from, with most being near Charlotte Amalie. Something to keep in mind is that Charlotte Amalie is built into the mountainside, and therefore driving on the steep, tight roads with hairpin turns can get a bit stressful. Also, nearly all of these hotels arent great for people with limited mobility, as there are many stairs. Since St. Thomas is relatively small, you can choose to stay at one of these great hotels, and take day trips out to all of the fantastic beaches. Here are the top 3 St Thomas hotels.
What Neighborhood In Saint Thomas Island Should I Stay In Based On Why Im Traveling
If you are traveling to Saint Thomas and prefer a bustling city area with shopping and restaurants, then staying in Charlotte Amalie is a good option, as this is where most conveniences are located. Charlotte Amalie is very accessible, with all of the islands bus routes, so you can get here with routes 101, 201, 301, 401, 501 and 601. You can stay at Saint Thomas Island hotels in Charlotte Amalie, such as Winward Passage Hotel and Hilltop Villas at Bluebeards Castle by Capital Vacations. You can also find cheap hotels in Saint Thomas Islands Charlotte Amalie, such as Galleon House Hotel. If you are traveling and prefer a calm area that is family-friendly, then Magans Bay is a good option. This area has shallow beaches and calm waters, as well as fewer crowds than the area around Charlotte Amalie. You cant get to this area with the bus routes, but it is possible to bike or take a taxi here. You can book hotels in Saint Thomas Islands Magans Bay, such as Flamboyan On the Bay Resort and Villas. For travelers searching for nightlife, the east coast area around Pelican Beach is filled with bars and clubs lining the beach. You can get here with route 401, and you can stay at cheap hotels in Saint Thomas Island, such as the Villa Bonne Vie.
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A Local’s Guide To St Thomas: Where To Stay
Options for where to stay on your vacation can determine how long youll visit your destination or even whether youll visit the destination at all. You want a place that will feel like a home away from home when youre travelling. When planning a St. Thomas vacation, youll most likely start with searching for island hotels, resorts, or rentals, and fortunately your options are plentiful to find a place to lay your head that fits your specific needs and desires. To simplify your search, Ive put together a local guide on where to stay in St. Thomas based on the type of temporary home youre looking for:
St. Thomas Airport Hotels- If youre looking to stay in St. Thomas for a short period of time and are searching for hotels near the airport, these locations are what youre searching for. Dont get the wrong idea though. These arent the enclosed, plain Jane hotels youre used to at airport locations. Both of these hotels are located on one of the most beautiful beaches in St. Thomas, Lindbergh Bay.
- Best Western Plus Emerald Beach Resort
St. Thomas Island Resorts & Larger Hotels- St. Thomas has many notable brands throughout the island if youre looking for a familiar name or to maintain brand loyalty with certain hotels. There are also larger hotel properties that arent brand affiliated that will offer the familiar hotel feel along with the million dollar views St. Thomas resorts have to offer.
Getting Around St Thomas Usvi
There are a few ways to get around St. Thomas, USVI. If you feel comfortable driving on steep roads, off-road, and on the left side of the road, renting a car maybe an option for you. However, keep in mind parking can be challenging as well. I opted to take taxis and the safari taxis locals take, which was quite an adventure in itself. Taxis on the island have set prices based on where you are going and coming from. There are no meters. From the airport we paid $32-35 for two people and our baggage. If we took shorter trips from Red Hook to Margaritaville it would take $7 per person.
However, if you take the local open air taxis referred to as Safari Taxis expect to pay $1 USD or $2 USD depending on how far along the route you go. The safari taxis take a little longer, and run on a set one way figure eight path. But it helped save some money. It really depends on your own travel style.
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What Popular Events Take Place In Saint Thomas Island
If youre looking for a vibrant event to highlight your trip, plan your vacation around the St Thomas Carnival that takes place in Charlotte Amalie every year. This carnival is held every April and includes lively local performances and Calypso shows. You can get to the carnival with routes 101, 201, 301, 401, 501 and 601. Another popular event is the St. Thomas International Regatta at the end of March. During this event you can follow the race from Charlotte Amalie, which is reached by bus routes 101, 201, 301, 401, 501 and 601.
Best Places To Eat On St Thomas
The food of the U.S. Virgin Islands is a result of history and, as such, a mix of the cuisines of the original Indian or native population, European conquerors, African slaves, and Asian immigrants. As far as drink is concerned, its rum, fruit smoothies, or a drink called sea moss, which is made with seaweed, milk, sweeteners, and spices. Popular dishes are stewed oxtail, goat, chicken, beef, salt fish, yams, fried plantains, dasheen , and cassava.
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For Families Or Groups
- Pavilions & Pools is a collection of 25 villas set in tropical gardens, not far from much-lauded Lindquist Beach. Multi-room villas are ideal for families or groups, and feature private BBQ areas, swimming pools, terraces and well-equipped kitchens. The hotel has its own restaurant, and there are plenty more nearby. A great choice for independent-minded families or friends.
- Bolongo Bay offers simple, comfortable accommodation overlooking the ocean in the south of St Thomas. Two-bedroom apartments sleep up to four guests, and the resort has tennis courts, a swimming pool, great watersports and three restaurants. There are also excellent sailing lessons! For active families or groups.
St Thomas Vs St John: Which Should You Visit
Ive been traveling to the U.S. Virgin Islands for years and could tell you which one is my favorite, but that wouldnt be fair to you. Okay fine Ill spill, but Im not telling you until the end. First, lets dive into how these two islands stack up against each other so you can make the best choice for your own needs.
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Dreamy Apartment In Ca West Verda Apartments
This is a bit of an upgrade for those on a budget but still way more affordable than other apartments and villas on the island. Youll have your own private pool with a scenic Caribbean backdrop. The house itself is rustic, with traditional interiors and exposed stone architecture. Its also walking distance from the airport perfect for a short stay on the island.
Hotels Near St Thomas Airport
It always makes sense for short trips to stay around the airport. Several St Thomas hotels near the airport are not only convenient for transportation, but also come with fantastic beaches. Although a bit further from the main tourist areas and best snorkeling beaches, these hotels can provide a great relaxing beach vacation, even for those short on time. The airports proximity to downtown Charlotte Amalie makes these a great choice for business travelers and people who love to shop, but also want to enjoy the beach.
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Where To Stay On St Thomas
If youre in a rush to find accommodation, just go with the three below. These are your absolute favourite places in St Thomas! For those who want to stay in a specific neighbourhood, keep on scrolling and youll find exactly what youre looking for!
Weve also searched high and low to find the right accommodation options for both luxury and budget travellers. Whether youre looking for a bay resort with private beach access, a hot tub, a fitness centre and tennis courts. Or, maybe you just want somewhere on a budget thats close to a beautiful beach. Well, weve got you covered.
Us Virgin Islands Vacation Rentals
Consider this: Martha Stewart spent the holidays luxuriating in a private villa on St. Croix one year, and former Vice President Joe Biden is a regular visitor. While all three islands have vacation homes targeted toward the ultra-rich, do-it-yourselfers will find plenty of more wallet-friendly options.
On St. Croix, choices include Cottages by the Sea or Villa Margarita, a villa close to Salt River National Park, home to the islands bioluminescent bay. You can also arrange rentals through a private owner using VRBO or Airbnb.
Before you book, make sure you ask the owner whats included. Wi-Fi, air conditioning, a pool and the use of beach equipment such as noodles or lounge chairs are always nice to have.
U.S.V.I. Vacation Rental Resources:VRBO.com
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Lindquist Beach At Smith Bay
Entry: BeachAccess: $5 per adult $2 per vehicle parkingFacilities: Picnic areas, Fantastic Restrooms and Showers, Lifeguard on DutyLook Out For: Rough waves at the reef on windy days
The seagrass as you enter the beach is a great place to spot turtles and rays. As you swim out a bit further, youll find a beautiful and long reef. Make sure to heed any warnings about strong surf. On especially windy days, the area around the reef can have large breakers that really toss you around.
Our favorite part about this beach is the lack of crowds. Its seems to be a local favorite, and is not frequented by cruisers. So, even mid-day, the beach is usually sparsely crowded.
Smith Bay was the sleeper hit of our most recent trip the St. Thomas. Within 5 minutes of being in the water, Id seen 3 turtles and an eagle ray and is now one of our favorite spots for snorkeling St. Thomas..
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Sapphire Bay Beach Resort
Best for: Families, couples, snorkel lovers
Pros: all have balconies or patios right on the beautiful beach with good snorkeling, nice views of St. John and other islands, short distance from Red Hooks shops and restaurants, full kitchens, 2 level pool
Our tip: Book a ground floor unit with walk out access to the beach
Cons: Each condo is individually owned and managed, so there are significant differences in quality.
Amenities: all condos have kitchens and decks or patios on or overlooking the beach. beach chairs are provided and set up on request, a 2 level pool, snorkel, kayak, and many other rentals are available, fantastic snorkeling from the beach, and a beach bar on site.
Since the units are all individually owned, youll need to book them directly through VRBO.
Our preference is a ground floor unit, as they have patios with direct beach access.
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