As the first port of call for the visitors of the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is the gateway to a tropical paradise. Its sun-kissed beaches are not easy to resist.
St. Thomas' time as a European colony has greatly influenced its culture, but the natural allure of this Caribbean gem has remained unspoilt over the ages.
One of St. Thomas' most gorgeous natural bays is Magens Bay. With lush greenery behind you, white sand underneath and the wide open ocean in front, you'll just want to bask in the sun.
The next beach you should check out is the most popular: the one at Coki Bay. The dazzling blue water is so enticing, that you may end up spending most of your trip right here!
On Coki Point Beach, you can relax under the sun and get your hair braided. It's a good way to get yourself in the Caribbean spirit of the island by changing your look!
You should pay a visit to the original residents of Coki Bay - its thriving marine wildlife. Coral World Ocean Park is a marine park with a rich collection of sealife, and there's an underwater observatory for you to enter.
But if you feel like getting up close and personal with the fish and the Caribbean coral reefs, you should go snorkeling into the deep. There's an old shipwreck you could explore near Buck Island.
Just a short ferry ride away from St. Thomas, the neighboring island of St. John has its share of tropical beaches for you explore: Caneel Bay, Maho Bay and Trunk Bay among others.
You can rent a canoe and set off on an excursion onto open water. There's nothing like a bit of rowing to get your blood pumping!
If you're a seasoned angler, you can engage in sport fishing competitions and try to beat the records of local deep sea fishermen. See if you can hook the biggest catch!
Back ashore, you should swing by the Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden of St. Thomas for one stunning display of orchids after another (over a 1000 orchids grow here). Before you leave be sure to buy an orchid or bromeliad plant as a souvenir.
Delve into the pirate lore of the Caribbean at the Pirates Treasure Shipwreck Museum. Besides having fun at a few excitingly interactive exhibits, you'll get a close look at rare coins, artefacts and weapons from that swashbuckling era.
Continue your journey through the history of the Virgin Islands at Blackbeard's Castle in Charlotte Amalie, which was built by Danish colonists back in 1679.
A vacation in St. Thomas is also a vacation from the sales tax. That's right, shopping is duty-free with an allowance of up to $1600 per person!
Due to its natural harbors and rising popularity, St. Thomas has become a sought-after port of call for cruise ships. From here, you can set off on an unforgettable Caribbean cruise to a destination of your choice.
If you go further inland, you'll find patches of thriving greenery. Explore the terrain by hiking up to the highest point of the island: the gorgeous summit of Crown Mountain (1,555 ft).
But soon enough, you'll find yourself drawn back to the vast ocean. Try your hand at sailing, by chartering a boat from the marina.
For an unbeatable view of the island and the ocean, you can go zip lining. Soar above the trees and beaches at top speed for a thrilling conclusion to your Caribbean adventure!