Things To Do

Area Attractions

Stroll through historic Charlotte Amalie

Yes, the shopping’s great, but when you want to dip into some of the island’s history, head out on a self-guided tour through the USVI’s capital. Walk through Fort Christian, a Dano-Norwegian fort that dates back to 1680, or Government House, a three-story classical white home from the 1860s that serves as the offices for the territorial governor.

Visit the Botanical Garden to see incredible tropical plants

St. Thomas’ newest attraction is the Phantasea Botanical Garden, home to more than 1,000 orchids, hundreds of bromeliads, heliconias and gingers, palms and other flora you don’t see back home. The park has taken 20 years to create and is now a serene place to escape the bustle of St. Thomas and an education in island botany.

Climb the 99 Steps

Charlotte Amalie -- the main city in St. Thomas, and home to the cruise port -- is built on steep hills, kinda like a shorter, warmer San Francisco. But the Dutch who first built the city used stairs instead of streets to keep much of the city connected. The longest staircase is the 99 stairs (actually 103, but who’s counting?) that cut through Downtown, made of bricks used as ship ballast in the 1700s and flanked by flowers.

Ditch the crowds and lay out on a lesser-known beach

While Magens Bay is the beach of your tropical vacation dreams, you’re likely to run into everyone from your ship, as well as the other ships in port and maybe a few that left yesterday. Head over to Coki, Sapphire, or Morningstar Beaches for far fewer people.

Sip a daiquiri from a mountaintop

You can get great panoramic views if you know where to go. Head to the Mountain Top bar at the highest point on St. Thomas, order a banana daiquiri, then spend the afternoon on the observation deck looking out at the Virgin Islands.

Meet the pirates of St. Thomas

St. Thomas’ newest attraction is a museum dedicated to pirate history and the shipwrecks of the Caribbean. At the Pirates Treasure Shipwreck Museum, you’ll see rare coins, ancient weapons, and gold and silver bars, plus plenty of pirates for the obligatory photo ops. It’s also full of interactive exhibits where you can play with high-tech underwater exploration equipment.

Revel in the view from Blackbeard's Castle

The name “Blackbeard’s Castle” is a little misleading, since there’s no proof the famous pirate ever did anything with this place other than maybe look at it from his ship. It’s actually a cylindrical tower built by Danish soldiers in 1679, where a trip to the top rewards visitors with a 360-degree view of St. Thomas.

Shop like you've never shopped before

Main Street in Charlotte Amalie is like the world’s biggest duty-free shop, where alcohol, tobacco, crafts, and colognes are all available with a $1,600 duty-free allowance. For authentic, locally made items, stop by Zora of St. Thomas for a pair of custom-made sandals or head to Vendors’ Plaza for handmade crafts and artwork.

Explore the underwater world

Even those without scuba certification can experience the wonders of a coral reef at Coral World Ocean Park. The 5-acre park features a trek through an underwater coral reef, snuba tours, as well as shark, stingray, and sea turtle encounters.

Sail through the islands

A peaceful way to tour through the 80-plus islands of the US and British Virgin Islands is aboard a sailboat. If you’re not a burgeoning yachtsman, St. Thomas has plenty of tour operators who will take you out on the water for full and half-day sails.