8 Hours In St. Thomas, U.S.V.I
In February my husband and I got to travel to St. Thomas, U.S.V.I. as it was one of the stops on our weeklong cruise in the Caribbean. It was our first time there, and we had not researched a lot about what to do prior to stepping off the cruise ship. We figured we would just go with the flow and have a fun day of walking around, eating and enjoying the beach. In this post I am going to share with you the perfect itinerary of places to see, eat and do if you only have 8 hours, like we did.
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Before I jump into telling you all what to see, do and eat while in St. Thomas, I thought I would share a little about me incase you haven’t stopped by my blog before.
Hi! I’m Jane and I started Plain Jane Lifestyle as a fun creative outlet to write about food, travel and blogging!
If you are thinking about starting a travel blog, or any type of blog for that matter, here are a few of my most popular past posts that will help you get started: What Every Blogger Needs To Know About Blogging Legally and Start A Blog In Less Than 10 Minutes With Siteground (affiliate).
Okay, now let’s get to wonderful St. Thomas, U.S.V.I.
Upon exiting the cruise ship we passed through a gated area with shops, restaurants and bars. This is mainly geared towards all the tourists getting off the cruise ship. It’s not the “real” downtown St. Thomas. However, it’s a nice spot to grab a last minute souvenir or cocktail before returning to the cruise ship at the end of the day. More on that later.
Conveniently there are a ton of open air van-like taxis just waiting to take cruisers to wherever you would like to go. Downtown…Magen’s Bay beach…whatever you like. We thought it would be best to start off in downtown and do some shopping before heading to the beach because we figured if we reversed it then we would spend our afternoon in our wet bathing suits, so we decided to take a taxi downtown.
Here’s a tip: From the cruise terminal it is actually completely doable to walk into downtown St. Thomas, we learned later. But the taxi’s don’t want you to know that, and they do take you a roundabout way so you think you needed the taxi. We later learned that we could have walked and not spent money. But you live and you learn I suppose.
So we headed to the downtown area of St. Thomas and were dropped off on a sidewalk that overlooked the ocean. It was stunning. But because it was 9:00am in the morning we found that none of the shops were opened. If we hadn’t eaten breakfast on the boat previously than we absolutely could have enjoyed a coffee and pastry on a nice patio. Instead we decided to grab a taxi to take us to Magen’s Bay beach to spend our first half of the day there.
The taxi took us on a magical ride up the top of a mountain with many switchbacks. Also, the cars drive on the opposite side of the road than we are used to, so that made the ride extra fun.
Finally we arrived at Magen’s Bay state park and had to pay a $5.00 park fee for the day. Let me tell you it was well worth it.
There was an option to rent beach chairs, but since we were only planning on spending half the day at the beach we opted not to get beach chairs. Instead we sat at one of the picnic tables and used our towels we had brought with us to lay in the sand.
There is one restaurant on the beach that offered beer, mixed drinks and snacks. Which is wonderful if you are planning to spend your day at the beach. We didn’t want to ruin our appetites as we planned on a lunch in downtown St. Thomas later on.
We enjoyed spotting sea turtles and angel fish as we waded in the salty ocean water. Magen’s Bay is a must do if you are visiting St. Thomas.
Time to head to downtown St. Thomas and get some lunch. We hopped on a taxi that transported us back to downtown, just about a 12 minute ride.
After walking through downtown, I overheard a group of tourists say that they wanted to eat lunch at The Green House, and that it was just around the corner. We figured we would follow suit and give that a try, as we didn’t have a place in mind.
The green house overlooks the ocean on one of the main streets of downtown St. Thomas. We sat at a table for two in the open air restaurant and ordered fish tacos and nachos which were delicious!
Time to do some shopping. St. Thomas is known as the “shopping capital” of the Caribbean. The main reason is because this area is condensed with a lot shops selling gold jewelry, watches and diamonds tax free. While there are also some clothing stores, most stores are geared towards fine jewelry.
Ride the St. Thomas gondola to the top of the mountain side, take pictures and enjoy a cocktail at Paradise Point! This is well worth the $21.00 adult fare to ride the gondola and take in the breathtaking view of St. Thomas.
Returning to the cruise ship area from paradise point is a piece of cake. Just a 10 minute walk will get you back to the gated area where shops, restaurants and bars occupy the entry to the cruise dock for re-boarding.
We decided to take a seat at The Dockside Bar and enjoy a drink before heading back to the ship. I ordered a pina colliada while Nathan got a corona. It was a delightful end to our day at St. Thomas!
Want to know how to spend 8 hours in St. Thomas, U.S.V.I? This was one of the stops on my weeklong cruise back in February. If you only have 8 hours to check out this beautiful island, than check out my post on what to do.