Getting into St. Thomas, I had forgotten how touristy and commercial these American ports can be. The actual port area seemed to be one huge tax exclusion zone that catered for American tourists. That being said … the prices were pretty awesome on jewellery, sunglasses and liquor.
If you’re into all the shopping and wandering around the tourist complex of the port, then you can stop reading now. The typical highlights tour of St Thomas will include
- A swim at some great beach
- A drive to the “mountaintop”
- A dip in Magens Bay.
Who am I to deny that this is a decent way to spend 8 hours?
First, we headed to spit at Great Bay. From here you can walk to two separate beaches across the street. The Ritz Carlton is located on Great Bay …
… From Great Bay, you can walk across the street to Muller Bay
After more driving around the island and enough winding mountain roads, you’ll get to the “mountaintop”.
From the view and the annotated picture included, you’ll see great views of the British Virgin Islands, Magens Bay, more Islands, as well as being able to see many of the beaches of St Thomas, and St John in the distance.
As for the other touristy, commercial aspect of the “mountaintop”, I suggested you pass on the highly watered down, poor banana daiquiris, especially if a tour bus just pulled in. They say that the drink was invented here, but the drink that they serve and the drink that was invented are very, very different.
After the “Mountaintop”, there is another vantage point where you can get the same view without the touristy nonsense, just up the road.
Everyone talks about Magens Bay, it’s kinda like how we talk about Maracas Bay, except that Magens Bay is prettier, less over run with tourists and doesn’t have tons of shacks selling stuff now.
As for Magens Bay, there is very little to explain that a couple pictures wouldn’t do a lot better. Thankfully, our local guy Kurt got us into the Bay area without paying (I’ll leave that to the Americans :D) . The pictures show the view sweeping from right to left and as you can see, it’s pretty difficult to take a bad picture on this beach with the combination of white sand, turquoise waters and great foliage.
After driving around and seeing the beaches, going back to the port and shopping is a let down for me, but the ladies definitely had a grand time window shopping in St Thomas.