Your vacation is booked and now you are wondering about sightseeing and what to do in St. Thomas? You can explore some of the parks and reserves by taking a nature hike, or on a kayak excursion. How about zip lining in St. Thomas? You can learn about fascinating marine animals at Coral World. There is the butterfly garden, tramway to Paradise Point, and the Botanical Gardens. Beautiful vistas are plentiful and an island drive makes seeing them easy. Head to the hills on St. Thomas island for a stop at Mountain Top; or down towards the sea to the capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands, Charlotte Amalie. Charlotte Amalie is filled with history -- old churches, historic houses, watch towers and a fort! It is also home to the winter wonderland, Magic Ice. Visit popular areas like Frenchtown and Red Hook for a lunch break, or a stroll. What are you going to see on your St. Thomas vacation?
Take flight at the Butterfly Garden. Enter a lush tropical botanical garden home to butterflies from around the world. During your 25 minute tour, knowledgeable guides will entertain you with fascinating facts about the extraordinary life cycle of these beautiful creatures as they change from eggs to caterpillars to butterflies through the miracle of metamorphosis. Wear bright colors and perfumed lotions to attract the butterflies to you! Double the fun and take a stroll through the outside botanical gardens showcasing a wide variety of local plants and butterfly species. Located next to the Cruise Ship Dock in Havensight. Open 8:30am-4:00pm daily. Summer Hours May-October will vary; please call.
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Spend the day at Coral World Ocean Park, one of St. Thomas's Greatest Attractions. Get up close and personal with the beauty and magic of Caribbean marine life in a stunning setting. View life on a coral reef from the unique Undersea Observatory. Pet a shark, hand feed a stingray or a rainbow lorikeet! There are several gift shops, cafes and shower facilities. Additional activities include Sea Lion activities, Sea Trek Helmet Dive, Snuba Diving, Shark and Turtle Encounters, and the Nautilus Semi-Submarine. Located next to Coki Beach. Open 9-4 daily, November - May. Summer schedule will vary.
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Soar through the rainforest on a gratifying 2 1/2 hour zipline canopy tour starting with a fun and exciting ride in a six wheel drive pinzgauer to the top of St. Peter Mountain. Be amazed by unbeatable views from eight aerial platforms, fly high above the forest on six exhilarating ziplines and soak up the sun on our breathtaking skywalks as our professionally trained guides lead you through the experience of a life time. Hang with us and you will also experience the only zipline of its kind in the Caribbean... the Yo-Yo! It's the only way to fly on the Island! Book online or call us!
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Every year Virgin Islands EcoTours receives Best of Awards such as: Kayak Tours, The Best EcoTour and Best Attraction by the readers of the VI Daily News. Kayak Hike & Snorkel Adventures are offered at three locations: St. Thomas Mangrove Lagoon; St. John Honeymoon Beach; and Historic Hassel Island. Professional guides lead ecological and historical tours where you kayak, hike and snorkel in one unforgettable adventure of fun and learning. VI EcoTours received the Certificate of Excellence by Trip Advisor. Wedding, corporate and private groups receive personalized service. Book online or call toll free.
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St. Thomas is mountainous and offers beautiful views. The most popular lookouts are Drakes Seat and Skyline Drive Overlook. Drake’s Seat was built in 1933 by Arthur Fairchild. In those days navigating the hills of St. Thomas involved traveling by horse or foot. He thought the spot where he put Drake’s Seat was a nice place for a rest. You too can take a break and enjoy the fabulous view from the famous seat! About 2 minutes drive away is Skyline Drive Overlook. It offers a panoramic harbor view including Charlotte Amalie, Hassel Island, Water Island and more! Both spots are popular with taxi tours. Bring your camera.
Mountain Top is located on Signal Hill which is 1,480 feet above sea level. It is one of the highest points on the island; the highest being Crown Mountain at 1,556 feet. Signal Hill was used in the 1940s by the U.S. government as a strategic communications location. The spectacular view from the hilltop includes Magens Bay, Drake’s Passage and neighboring islands. It was once voted one of the top vistas in the world. To facilitate taking in the view is Mountain Top, a scenic lookout, large souvenir shop and bar rolled into one attraction.
The scene within the Charlotte Amalie harbor on most days of the year includes large cruisers. From a distance these engineering marvels look pretty big; but stand close to one and you’ll surely grasp their huge proportions. The world's largest ships call on St. Thomas, including Allure of the Seas and Oasis of the Seas; both measuring 1,187 feet! Visit the West Indian Company Dock in Havensight; or the Crown Bay Cruise Center in Subbase to get a closer look at these behemoths of the sea. While at the cruise ship docks you can grab lunch and do some shopping. For information on ships calling on St. Thomas visit: Cruise Ship Schedule.
Frenchtown was settled by immigrants from the French Caribbean island of St. Barthelemy in the late 1800's through mid 1900's. The area became a fishing village. The French community has preserved a high degree of cultural identity including their fishing traditions. In the early morning you can watch fishermen coming in with their small fishing boats, or cleaning and selling their catches from the dock and from the Quetel Fish Market. In the middle of Frenchtown is a hill crowned by St. Ann's Catholic Church. The small French Heritage Museum in Frenchtown is worth a stop if it’s open. Frenchtown is a popular spot for its assortment of bars and restaurants, from casual to chic!
The French Heritage Museum is housed in two small houses; both are fine examples of traditional vernacular architecture once common in Frenchtown; and to some degree still in use today. Look around the hills in Frenchtown and you will see an assortment of traditional houses mixed in with more recent designs. Step inside the museum and view century old artifacts like fishing nets, accordions, mahogany furniture, pottery, tools and photographs that tell the story of the French-Caribbean people of St. Barthelemy that settled in St. Thomas and of their descendants. The museum is run by volunteers; call to check hours.
Local legend says pirate Bluebeard built the tower! History says the Danes built it around 1689 as a watchtower. It was called Frederik's Fort and is on the site of an earlier fortification project. Today the tower is incorporated into Bluebeard's Castle Hotel, as is Frederiksberg. In 1818 the colonial government sold the watchtower and surrounding lands to a merchant and in the 1820's the large residence of Frederiksberg was constructed. Despite changes to accommodate being used as the hotel lobby and offices; the columned portico, staircase and parts of the interior retain the original look. A lovely view of the Charlotte Amalie harbor can be enjoyed from the hotel’s restaurants and pool deck.
The Caribbean Genealogy Library is a treasure trove for genealogists and historians. Its mission is: to identify, preserve, and provide access to Caribbean genealogy, history, and cultural heritage information resources for the Virgin Islands and the Caribbean, and to promote and encourage their use for family history documentation, education and scholarship. Resources include books (many on Virgin Islands history), Danish West Indies census records and passenger lists, St. Thomas cemetery database, funeral booklets, and more. If you have roots in the Virgin Islands this is the place to research them, or stop by to read some of the interesting books. The library conducts regular workshops and presentations.
Silkscreen artist Jim Tillett opened this artists’ enclave on the site of a former Danish Farm in the 1960’s. While it has been changed in order to facilitate its current uses; it is one of the few old farm buildings on St. Thomas that is open to the public. Tillett described the garden as "a peaceful sanctuary of creativity and wonderment". In the shops at Tillett Gardens you will find silkscreen prints, paintings, jewelry, candles, photography and other local art products. There is a restaurant and bar on site. Local arts and crafts shows and music concerts, including classical, folk and jazz; are held at Tillett Gardens throughout the year.
Red Hook is the proverbial anchor of the East End of St. Thomas. The little hub packs in a lot! There is: a marina; fishing and boating excursions; ferries; island-style shops; restaurants and bars; offices; banks and more! Take a stroll along the marina to admire the boats or to peek at what anglers have caught and brought to shore. Stop at ‘A’ dock and snap a photo with the replica 1073lb blue marlin. The large fish earned angler Annette Dallimore a Women’s IGFA ‘All-tackle’ world-record for a blue marlin catch! Stroll, shop, have a drink or dine.
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