St. Thomas

St Thomas island is the most developed and popular of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Settled by Denmark, the leaders of St. Thomas immediately went about constructing the strongest port in all of the Caribbean, in the capital city of Charlotte Amalie. Nowadays, most every boat coming into harbor is a cruise ship, full of passengers just waiting to explore St. Thomas island. A enticing blend of normal American life with a jaw-dropping setting leads many to choosing a St. Thomas vacation.

And the island is certainly built for it. Despite the popularity of Jamaica and Aruba, St. Thomas island continues to attract the most vacationers, a great deal of them from the mainland. Often considered the least adventurous of all the Caribbean islands, it's not necessarily a bad thing. Sure, anyone who wants to escape from the daily grind of American life might be at a loss on a St. Thomas vacation - the rich cultures that can be found on many of the Caribbean islands is resolutely missing here (even the influence of the Danes, who ruled the islands until 1917 is virtually absent), displaced by the ever-reaching hand of the U.S. And even as resorts and St. Thomas hotels crowd the idyllic beaches, but that doesn't mean the island has nothing to offer. There's a reason that the Virgin Islands are called "America's Paradise," and it begins with the St. Thomas beaches. They are certainly some of the finest in the known world - there's not a beach activity that you can imagine that cannot be done here. Diving and sailing are key, however. Also, the St. Thomas beaches on the eastern side of the island are somewhat immune from crowds, especially at the untamed Vessup Beach or the translucent waters that touch shore around Red Hook harbor. The windsurfing here is wildly popular, as is kayaking and snorkeling. Here is one of the few spots where the locals consistently outnumber the tourists, which is always a good sign when choosing which St. Thomas beach to enjoy.

Another major selling point of a St. Thomas vacation is the hotels. Budget travelers often skip the Caribbean, considering it too pricey - even the hostels on many islands will run you higher than hotel rooms in other exotic locales. But St. Thomas hotels are some of the best bargains you will find anywhere in the area, which can range from tiny villas to gigantic estates. The American ideal that nothing is ever big enough is alive and well on St. Thomas island, and the tourism industry is unashamed of it. But the benefit of such strenuous competition in the tourism industry is that many St. Thomas hotels offer low prices for lodging, even during the peak winter months.

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