There is tons of shopping in St. Thomas. There are plenty of jewelry, liquor and duty free shopping to be had. There are also several clothing stores and souvenir shops. Make sure to know the prices of items you are looking to purchase before you go shopping. Be a savvy shopper and make sure you are getting a deal.
Unique Suggestions: Stick to shops that are recommended by previous shoppers and that have multiple locations in different areas. Most stores guarantee your purchases for 30 days.Related to:
- Romantic Travel and Honeymoons
Maybe I went there on an off day, but Magen's Bay was by far, the worst thing I spent my money on while I was in St. Thomas ($20 taxi round trip per person + $4 admission fee). We left our resort around 9am and arrived around 9:20. Now I know that Magen's Bay has been rated as one of the top ten beaches... why, I'm not sure. My mother visited there a couple of years ago and told me I would love the clear and calm water and the clean powdery beach. Well on this particular day, the water was extremely sandy (could not see the bottom), there were a lot of waves, and the sand just reminded me of the Jersey shore beaches- nothing special.
We planned to stay the whole day but ended up leaving after a few hours and spending the rest of the day at our resort's beach.
Unique Suggestions: As expected, there were a lot of tourists, just like myself. Getting there at 9am did assure us a great spot in the sun. When you get there, make sure to keep walking left... you'll find less crowded sections of the mile-long beach.
Fun Alternatives: I heard great things about Sapphire Beach, wish I could have visited there.Related to:
don't buy anything from the street people until you get it half off. Also don't buy the iron on t-shirts as they come off on one washing....buy the embroidaried ones. This is a good place to get jewelry though.
Downtown shopping area
This area is soooo crowded that you have a hard time breathing. People are jammed while walking and standing in front of the stores to look for purchases. Inside the stores even gets more packed. It is not my type of venue.
I first traveled here 30 years ago and even then it was crowded on the main shopping street.
Unique Suggestions: Stay away unless off season, or buy early in the day.
Fun Alternatives: Go outside of town a bit and maybe have more arm roomRelated to:
- Arts and Culture
The whole island is a tourist trap
That being said, my impression of the island is very sour after living there for 18 months. I experienced discrimination for the first time in my life with restaurants the refused to serve "my kind". If your cruise ship stops here, stay on board, or get off for a bit get the cheap liquor and smokes and get back on.
Fun Alternatives: An Alternative? Any other island that truly appreciates your business.
If you are a historical traveler, you will definitely be disappointed if you purposely decide to spend extra money on your trip to St. Thomas specifically to learn more about pirate history. We were sad to see that this castle was more like a single lookout tower, and did not have much historical reference to whom the castle was named. All in all, I would say stop in if you have time, but do not make this the reason for your trip!
Unique Suggestions: Head out for some beach time, instead!
Fun Alternatives: http://www.bluebeards-castle.com/
the bloody cruise ships
I hate to sound down on the island, but St. Thomas itself is a tourist trap, the island has pretty much given in to being the bastard child of the cruise ship industry.
By design there are hundreds of shops within walking distance of the cruise ship pier and no less than three cruise ships dock in Charlotte-Amalie each day, some days this number balloons to six or seven cruise ships… Granted the majority of the cruise ship crowds never leave this area, and thus, they can be avoided. As result, Havensight and Charlotte-Amalie, the two towns closest to ground zero for the cruise ships are the worst…but thanks to the abundance of taxis, the cruise ship crowd can (and will) invade every inch of the island. It’s no use; wherever you try to hide they will find you and tell you how wonderful cruise ships are…
I could spend hours ***ing about how much I hate cruise ships and the people who subscribe to them, but it would all be futile I am sure…
Fun Alternatives: Here's an idea, if you spend more than six hours on island you may actually learn something about what it has to offer or might even get to understand its people and history....don't get back on the cruise ship...stay awhile, slow down, you're on vacation...Related to:
Charlotte Amalie - Avoid when cruise ships dock
The atmosphere for the entire Charlotte Amalie area changes when multiple cruise ships dock for the afternoon. If you have your choice of staying at the hotel when this happens do your self a favor, stay at the hotel or got to the beach to work on your tan. Best to do your shopping when the crowds are reasonable. If you like people watching you might enjoy it.
Unique Suggestions: Have drink...no worries..... you're on vacation!!!!
St. Thomas Hotels
Magens Bay Road, , 00802, Caribbean
Good for: Couples
7338 Estate Bakkeroe, Charlotte Amalie, Caribbean
Good for: Business
The hotel rooms were old and the bathroom's were rusty, dirty, and downright disgusting. The food...more
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