One of the highlights of my summer so far is my trip to the U.S. Virgin Islands. We found a great flight deal from NYC to St. Thomas shortly before our trip. Not only did we get a great deal, we also took advantage of the Virgin Island’s $300 credit promotion to celebrate it's 100th year anniversary. Yes, you get $300 dollars to spend during your trip to the USVIif you travel in 2017! You can use your credit at awesome restaurants, gift and clothing stores, select excursions and water sports and jewelry stores such as Tiffany’s. Below, you’ll find a recap of our trip to St. Thomas and St. John. Before reading the recap, I do want to make one important note. Driving in St. Thomas and St. John’s isn’t for the faint of heart. If you’re not a great driver, proceed with caution. The roads are steep, mountainous and very narrow. It’s definitely cheaper and more flexible to rent a car, but please keep your driving skills in mind.
We truly enjoyed our stay at Villa Marabella Suites, which is located in the Frenchmen’s Bay district in St. Thomas. The owners are warm, welcoming and super helpful if you have any questions about touring the island or suggestions on things to do. The location wasrelatively close to everything we did but tucked away on the end of a quiet street, which offered peace and quiet and privacy. The property houses an on-site pool, and the view by the pool will thrill you with its spectacular beauty. If you're a dog lover, you will love the owners' friendly dog. If you do decide to rent a car, the owners also have a car rental service. They’ll meet you at the airport when you arrive and when you leave, and you can complete the car rental paperwork with them when you check into the suites. I loved how seamless this process felt. A+ in my book.
Dining in St. Thomas
My two favorite restaurants in St. Thomas turned out to be Iggie’s and Gladys'. The first night, we dined at Iggies, which is a chill casual restaurant right by the beach. The menu offers a nice variety of tropical drinks and the food was delicious. While we did not stay for the live music, I hear the music is great at night. The next day, we enjoyed a hearty authentic St. Thomasian breakfast at Gladys'.
Beaches and Activities
Coki Beach is one of the most popular beaches on St. Thomas. The beauty of this location is that it’s right next door to Coral World Ocean Park where you can see marine life and do a number of activities. This is a great place to visit with children. We visited Coral World where we toured the park and watched a Sea Lion presentation before heading to Coki Beach. You can rent chairs and water sports equipment right on the beach and also order food and drinks. We settled in right in the middle of the beach area and spent the afternoon sunbathing , swimming, enjoying great food and drinks, and listening to the sweet sounds of reggae music. I needed this R&R.
You must take the ferry over to St. John for a day trip if you visit St. Thomas. You must, it’s just that beautiful of an island. On the advice of a local, we took the car ferry over so it would be easier to explore St. John. We arrived early morning, just in time for breakfast at the Westin. I’m giving a thumbs up to the breakfast there thanks to those passion fruit mimosas. A local tour guide suggested that we visit Cinnamon Bay beach since, because it was more rustic and less touristy than the most popular beaches. Beautiful and pristine, words cannot fully capture Cinnamon Bay's beauty, so I’ll let the photos below speak for themselves.
After swimming and sunbathing at Cinnamon Bay beach, we visited Coral Bay for a late afternoon lunch, shopping and a self-guided walking tour.
A few scoops of ice-cream later and we headed back to the Ferry to St. Thomas.
What beautiful islands and what an amazing trip!