Monday, April 15, 2013

Soaking Up the Sun in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands - Part One

My Caribbean dream became a reality when I scored a good deal on a hotel on the east end of St. Thomas along with decent airfare through American Airlines. My dream of traveling through the US & BVI's was on the radar and I immediately began planning out how I could island hop for 5 days.
When I arrived on the island, I immediately had to adjust to island time. I scored a great deal on Priceline for a five night stay with the name your own price option at Sugar Bay Resort. Sugar Bay was a very clean hotel, with an amazing view of the beach, a nice pool and a really cool iguana sanctuary.  I would not recommend the all inclusive package at this resort, the food is not that great!

The iguanas were the source of beachside entertainment, hopping up on beach chairs and sipping cocktails. You will see many iguanas on St. Thomas. Ladies, if you are wearing red toe nail polish watch out! Iguanas can confuse your toes for red bell peppers and will snap at you!

If you want to go down to Havensight to check out the marina, go in the evening after the cruise ships leave. The Fat Turtle was a cool little place to listen to live music, watch the boats and enjoy the Caribbean breeze. 

The best live music I heard in St. Thomas was downtown Charlotte Amalie. A local middle school  had a lunchtime steel drum band performance in a small park. It was so awesome, and the kids really enjoyed having an audience!

Another cool little spot to check out while downtown is Blackbeard's Castle. Again, try to go on a day when the cruise ships are not in town. Locals refer to this place as the Williamsburg of the Caribbean. You can pay to go into the exhibits or go on the free tour. Start on top, the climb down the 99 Spanish steps is alot better than the climb up!

My best memory of St. Thomas was the last night I spent on the island watching the sunset over the sea for happy hour at the Mafolie Hotel. The view was amazing, off the beaten path and away from the hustle and bustle of Charlotte Amalie airport.

The St. Thomas Bucket List
  • Local Island Cuisine: Glady's Cafe
  • Date Night: Blue Havana at Marriott Frenchman's Reef
  • Tourist Trap Beach: Magan's Bay
  • Marina Side Hang Out: Fat Turtle in Havensight
  • Happy Hour With AView: Mafolie Hotel
  • Island Foodcart Experience: Off The Grid BBQ (Sapphire Beach Resort Parking Lot)
Pack appropriately for your trip to the islands, that means loading up your suitcase with snacks and dried goods. Food is very expensive on the island. A bottle of rum is cheaper than a gallon of milk! Also, don't forget your bug spray, sun screen and after sun lotion. Local gift shops sell these items for $15-$20!

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