Want to float on your back in crystal clear water? Lounge under a palm tree? Sip rum in the sun?
An easy flight from the US, St. Thomas is a blast, especially if you rent a car and go exploring. These are the must see spots:
Lindquist/ Smith Bay Beach
My favorite on the island. Sea grape trees line the bay and the sea is a lovely contrast of crystal clear blue and darker blue above the sea grass. Locals and families fill the beach. There are no concessions but there are restrooms.
Cost: $2/ person
A bit trickier to get to but an absolute must to visit. Park in the Crown Bay Marina and get a parking pass from the marina office, which is on the second floor of the building just past Tickles restaurant. The ferry leaves from right outside Tickles and takes ten minutes to get to the small island. From where the ferry drops you off walk straight up the road. You’ll see the beach to your right in ~5 minutes. There’s a restaurant, bar, restrooms, and sea turtles frequent the grassy sea beds! The water is clear and calm. Take bug spray! The mosquitoes are no joke on this beach.
Cost: $5 for the parking pass, $10 for the roundtrip ferry
Baths, Virgin Gorda
This place is so spectacular that it’s worth visiting from St. Thomas for the day. Interisland Boat Services has a ferry on Thursdays and Sundays from Red Hook. It’s a two hour ferry through beautiful Caribbean water. When you get to Virgin Gorda you go through customs and pick up a cab right outside to take you to the Baths. The Baths is a unique granite rock formation that has created sea caves. It’s incredible to walk through. The best bit might be that once you’ve made it through the rocks you arrive at Devil’s Bay, one of the most beautiful beaches I’ve ever seen. There’s a restaurant, bar, and restrooms before you go through The Baths.
Cost: $90 for the round trip ferry, $28 for customs, $4/ person for the cab ride, $35 for parking in Red Hook
The horseshoe gem of calm, clear water is picture perfect, on any day a cruise ship isn’t in port. There’s a restaurant, bar, and restroom facilities.
Cost: $4/ person+ $2/ car
Another lovely beach, just down the road from Lindquist. It has a stunning view of St. John. The water can be a bit choppy if the wind has picked up. There’s a restaurant, bar, and restrooms.
Just down the cliff from the well done Marriott this is a great beach for catching an iguana running across the sand. The water is clear and the bay is stunningly blue. It gets deep pretty quickly. There’s a restaurant, bar, and restrooms.
Coki is lovely for its clear, calm water and view of Thatch Cay. The many colorful fish have been trained by the many visiting tourists to come say hello, hoping for a treat. If you bring dog treats they will flock to you, which is terrible for their ecosystem but a pretty cool experience for you. Waist deep water is like standing in an aquarium. There’s a restaurant, bar, and restroom facilities.
Cost: $5/ car
Renting a Car
You will need a car to do this itinerary. I used one of the local providers, Dependable. They were fine and significantly cheaper than the lowest option on Hotwire (about $100/ week less). These are the local providers that won’t show up on Hotwire or Priceline: Dependable, Discount, and Amalie. Here are a few more pointers:
- Verify if your car is allowed to go over to St. John (there’s a car ferry).
- Double check with your regular car insurance that you will be covered. Save a copy of your car insurance on your phone.
- Remember to drive on the left!
Ok to go Solo?
Absolutely, but rent a car and be careful in the towns at night.