Flights to St. Thomas


 

St. Thomas is one of three islands (St. John and St. Croix are the others) that make up the United States Virgin Islands. Early in its history, the U.S. territory passed through the controlling hands of the Netherlands, Denmark, and Britain, before the United States bought it in 1915 as part of its strategy to control the Panama Canal during World War I. U.S. citizenship was granted to residents in 1927.

Located about 100 nautical miles off the east coast of Puerto Rico, St. Thomas is 32 square miles and has the largest population of all the U.S. Virgin Islands.

The capital is Charlotte Amalie, a popular cruise ship port located in the center of the island on the southern coast. The town is so hilly, the Danes built step streets throughout. The most popular one is called 99 Steps (although it has 103), a picturesque, floral-lined climb.

To truly appreciate the island’s beauty, Drake’s Seat provides a jaw-dropping 360-degree view of Magens Bay and neighboring British Virgin Islands.

Located two miles west of Charlotte Amalie, Cyril E. King Airport (STT) is one of the busiest airports in the eastern Caribbean, and it also serves St. John Island. The airport serves 12 domestic and regional airlines, including Delta Air Lines. There is one runway and a two-story terminal with 11 gates in two departures areas. One area serves flights to the U.S. and Puerto Rico. There is a restaurant, a bar, a souvenir shop, and duty-free store. Visitors arriving from the U.S. or Puerto Rico who are 18 or older receive a free sample of Cruzan rum.

Taxi service at the airport is typically provided in shared van rides. Drivers will wait until the van fills before it departs and will make multiple stops en route to your destination. Official taxis are clearly marked with placards. It is advised you negotiate your fee before getting in the vehicle. Gypsy taxis are unlicensed and unregulated.

Snorkel St. Thomas’ many beautiful beaches. Sapphire Beach is a long stretch of white sand shaded with sea grape trees on one side and an underwater ledge that attracts marine life. Coki Point Beach is a small beach with calm, clear water and a reef close to shore.

Commune with sea turtles, sharks, and stingrays at Coral World Ocean Park marine park. Other attractions include an undersea observatory, marine garden, and a touch pool. The park uses an open-water system that circulates water from the ocean through the exhibits and back out to sea.

Imagine the days when pirates sailed the seas around St. Thomas at Blackbeard’s Castle, also known as Skytsborg Tower. Built in 1679 in the center of Charlotte Amalie, it was a lookout for enemy ships entering the harbor. Visitors can climb to the top of the 40-foot structure on a spiral staircase to take in extraordinary views of the island.

Hit the links at Mahogany Run Golf Course, designed by George and Tom Fazio. Opened in 1980, the 6,000-yard, par-70 course is located between hills and shoreline on the north end of the island. There is a pro shop and dining options, too.

Fisherman’s Reef and Morning Star Marriott Beach Resort is a prominently positioned hillside resort surrounded on two sides by water. Adding to the beauty of this all-inclusive resort are lushly landscaped grounds. Spend the day on the beach, in the spa, or the fitness center, and drink and dine at one of seven bars, coffee shops, and restaurants.

For a remote setting 900 feet above the sea, Mafolie Hotel & Restaurant has been hosting visitors to St. Thomas since 1940. One of the big attractions here is the large sparkling pool surrounded by stunning views. There’s bar service and cabanas, too.

Bellavista Bed & Breakfast is designed for visitors who just want to get away from it all. With just four guest rooms, two with harbor views, this is a quiet getaway for those seeking some privacy. This quaint, hillside property is renowned for its superb, two-course breakfast.

St. Thomas has a tropical climate, which means it is hot year-round with average highs ranging between 84 and 90. The hottest months are June through October with average highs in the 90s and average lows in the high-70s. Rainy season is May through December, but the wettest months are September, October, and November, when average rainfall is 5.5 to 6 inches a month. The least rainy months are February and March.