About St. Thomas

St. Thomas is one of the 3 U.S. Virgin Islands (the other two being St. John and St. Croix). Immediately upon arrival, you will experience the fun-loving and free-spirited beach vibe that is St. Thomas.

History

Christopher Columbus landed on St. Thomas in 1493, but quickly sailed on to Puerto Rico. The islands changed hands many times. For a period, St. Thomas was the home for many notorious pirates who preyed on the ships sailing between the U.S. and Europe. The two most famous were Blackbeard and Bluebeard. Both are memorialized by hills bearing their names in Charlotte Amalie (pronounced a-'mall-ya, the main business district and 'capital' of the USVI). The island was also the home to almost 50 sugar plantations at its peak. The remains of many sugar mills still exist. The United States purchased the islands from Denmark in 1917 for $25 million. The motivation was to have a strategic naval presence in the Caribbean and Charlotte Amalie was an excellent natural harbor. 

History is very evident in Charlotte Amalie. Besides Blackbeard's Castle which is now a hotel and restaurant, Fort Christian which guards the harbor is the oldest structure on the island. Hassel Island in the St. Thomas harbor is the home to many historic structures including a garrison building from the mid 1800's and a steam marine railway from 1840 that was built to haul ships out of the water for repair. Most of the streets in Charlotte Amalie are still designated by their Danish names such as Kronprindsens Gade (street). Today the city is a lively place of shops, cafes and restaurants.

Today, St. Thomas is one of the most popular ports of call for Caribbean cruise ships. It has two excellent port facilities - one at the historic Dutch West Indies Company dock at Havensight and another in the newly developed dock in the former U.S. Navy Sub Base. When the passengers disembark, there are numerous choices of activities that include some of the finest beaches in the Caribbean, the excellent Mahogany Run Golf Course played by President Clinton, duty-free shopping with no sales tax, the delights of Coral World Aquarium, a myriad of water sports and numerous cafes and restaurants of every stripe.

The Caribbean Virgin Island of St. Thomas offers a myriad of fun activities for you to venture upon during your vacation stay with us.

Beaches

One of National Geographics' Ten Best Beaches, Magens Bay Beach is 10 minutes by car down the north side of Mafolie Hill. This world famous Caribbean beach with warm, calm, clear water is seldom crowded.

There are many additional beaches on the island of St. Thomas and all are accessible to the public. Many also have water sports equipment available for rental.

Shopping

The Caribbean Virgin Island of St. Thomas is a favorite shopping haven for many guests from around the world and one visit will tell you why.

In addition to plenty of duty free shopping, you'll find ice cream stores, coffee bars and cyber cafes offering a cool respite from all the activity.

Dining, Golf, and Boating

A full range of restaurants from casual to sophisticated are always available for dinner in town and around St. Thomas and the rest of the Virgin Islands.

Boating and sailing are available in many forms. We highly recommend a private, full day sail to the Virgin Island of St. John during your stay because we think it is a 'must do' on any Caribbean vacation.

Vacation Rentals

St. Thomas vacation rentals are a perfect way to derive the most benefit of visiting the US Virgin Islands. There are many choices of vacation rentals in St. Thomas. Villas range from 1 bedroom to 5 bedrooms, from beach front to mountain side from plain vanilla to luxury. All offer magnificent weather and spectacular views of the Caribbean or the Atlantic.

When you consider vacation rentals, St. Thomas should top your list for ease of travel and variety of Caribbean life. When you choose St. Thomas, make Southwind Villa your home in the Virgin Islands.