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Help a Crucian learn about St. Thomas.

 
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

Hey all,

My gal and I will be spending a few days on St. Thomas later this month. We live on STX. The reason we're going? Just for the hell of it! 🙂 We've been to STJ many times, Jost Van Dyke a couple times, Tortola, Virgin Gorda, St. Martin, Puerto Rico, Anguila, etc, but have never spent much time on STT other than on layovers. So, we figured it's high time to get to know our sister island a bit better. (Plus, the Ryan Montbleau Band is playing at Fat Turtle on 3/31 which was the cherry on top. They rule. If you haven't seen them, do so.)

A few questions:

1. Any good hotel recommendations? We don't wanna spend a lot. $100 a night would be nice, but I know that might be a bit low for the island in season. We could care less about amenities, as long as it has a comfortable bed.

2. Details on the car ferry to STJ? How much does it cost and how often does it run? We'll be renting a car and would like to visit some friends in STJ for a day.

3. Best bars/resturaunts/nightlife spots? We're not gonna be reading in our hotel rooms at night, that's for certain! 🙂 We here on STX love to have a good time and we assume there's lots of fine watering holes on STT, so we wanna know which ones are the best. If you know of specific bartenders or servers to ask for, that's always a plus. 🙂

4. Beaches? We realize we won't be able to check them all out, so which ones are the must sees? For example, if someone were visiting STX, we'd say the must sees are Cane Bay, Rainbow Beach, Sandy Point, Shoy's and Turtle Beach (on Buck Island). On STJ, they'd be Cinnamon, Hawksnest, Maho Bay, etc. So, which are the best beaches on STT?

5. Any other special things we should see? For example, in STX, I'd say that you simply MUST visit the Domino Club w/ beer drinking pigs, you MUST take a trip to Buck Island, etc. So, what's the stuff we should do/see on STT?

Of course, if there's anything else that you think we should know, by all means say so.

Well, that about does it. Thanks in advance.

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Topic starter Posted : March 9, 2011 3:07 am
roadrunner
(@roadrunner)
Trusted Member

Thank you for posting this! I'm excited to see people's responses. Can't add anything of my own, as I live on STX and have never been to STT. I'd be curious to see answers to the same questions for STJ as well. Hoping to do some island hopping sometime soon.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 9:19 am
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

I wrote you a book, and just as I was posting, my Internet dropped off! So...in a nutshell...

Two Sandals guest house in Red Hook
Numerous happening nightspots in Red Hook. You can walk from one to the other (probably 8-10 places)
If you have a chance to see The Fiddler, catch the show. He's a STT tradition.
Might check to see if there is anything going on at the Reichold Center.

Sapphire Beach
Coki Beach (best snorkeling)
Secret Harbor (laid back)
Magen's Bay Beach MUST do! It's on the north side.
There is a little shack on the road to Magen's with adult milkshakes....my fav is the Jumocko!! (Somebody help me remember the name!)

Paradise Point Tram (great view and busy happy hour)
Parasailing
Mountain Top
Coral World is pretty cool and something we don't have on STX.

Check the cruise ship schedule and try to plan on some of these on lighter days.

If you have a rental car, be sure you can take it to STJ. The car ferry runs often and is reasonable. Don't remember particulars.

My personal, absolutely MUST DO on St. Thomas....Home Depot!!! (But that's just me. lol)

Enjoy, and let us know what you did and how you liked it.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 12:16 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

"Udder Delights" (next to St. Thomas Dairies)

The adult milkshake place!

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Posted : March 9, 2011 1:23 pm
CAtoSTX
(@CAtoSTX)
Trusted Member

We're stopping on a cruise at the end of the month - Also interested in the STJ ferry info - 🙂

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Posted : March 9, 2011 3:14 pm
noOne
(@noOne)
Trusted Member

"Udder Delights" (next to St. Thomas Dairies)

The adult milkshake place!

Oh God yes. I generally never drink milkshakes, but make it a point to go to Udder Delights at least once per vacation.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 9:01 pm
brooksleann
(@brooksleann)
Advanced Member

Beaches - Sapphire, Secret Harbour, Coki and Lindquist. I'm personally not a Magen's fan since you get somewhere just as nice for free!
I love the Botanical Gardens at St.Peter's Great House. If you go to Coral World make sure to go there during the feeding times, I think the first one is 9:30. Take a walk through Yatch Haven Grande, some of the yatchs are amazing.

The car ferry in St.John runs about every half hour on island time and costs between $42-50. Not all rental car companies will allow there cars to go to STJ, so check that before you book your car.

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Posted : March 9, 2011 11:56 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

VISIT Frenchtown the Restaurant Capitol of STT -- walkable and many owner operated stores!!

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Posted : March 10, 2011 5:01 am
DL
 DL
(@DL)
Advanced Member

For hotels, try the Galleon House. It's on a hill behind the Post Office on Main St. Rates are around $100/night with breakfast included.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 7:41 am
Bassman
(@bassman)
Advanced Member

In Red Hook, the bar that is the most fun has got to be Duffy's Love Shack. The last time I was there I was having the worst day I've ever had in the islands. As soon as I stepped in they started playing my absolute most favorite song. Turned my night around 180 deg.

Megans bay is a must at least once in your life. Even if you have to pay a few dollars to get in.

Go to Coral World early and grab a parking spot for the day. They have locker rooms and showers that you can rent. So after you're done looking at the fishies you can change into swim ware and head next door to Cokie beach. Your Coral World admission will let you have access to that facility all day.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 12:42 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

Beaches - Sapphire, Secret Harbour, Coki and Lindquist. I'm personally not a Magen's fan since you get somewhere just as nice for free!
I love the Botanical Gardens at St.Peter's Great House. If you go to Coral World make sure to go there during the feeding times, I think the first one is 9:30. Take a walk through Yatch Haven Grande, some of the yatchs are amazing.

The car ferry in St.John runs about every half hour on island time and costs between $42-50. Not all rental car companies will allow there cars to go to STJ, so check that before you book your car.

I don't think the car ferry runs that often. The passenger ferry runs every hour (from Red Hook, less often from town). I think the car ferry is more like every 1.5 hours. There are a couple of different ones and they are staggered. DO keep checking on that. The last one back is before dark, I'm pretty sure. Don't want you to get stranded based on what we're telling you, and, as I've said, I haven't lived there for a few years, so I could be wrong. All things are subject to change!!

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Posted : March 10, 2011 1:05 pm
Leebug72
(@Leebug72)
Active Member

I haven't really found any beaches like cane bay or rainbow here 🙁 I miss them all the time. The closest thing to Brew Pub is a place in redhook called Island Time Pub, they make possibly the best pizza on STT. As for night life, there are a bunch of bars and things in redhook, Fat Turtle is pretty good, and so is Greenhouse. What they say about planning things around big cruise ship days is true, things get pretty chaotic but it makes for great people watching.

Have fun 🙂

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Posted : March 10, 2011 2:36 pm
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Paradise Point has something going on every night now, and locals can ride the tram for $7. The Wed sunset party with Top Notch Band is very popular.

Check out The Butterfly Farm with Bird Show at Havensight. They, too, have a local discount. This is a MUST if you're an animal lover.

You should also tour Blackbeard's Castle. St Croix had a plantation economy and St Thomas had a merchant economy, so the historical buildings are different. I don't think they give local discounts, though.

I've always wanted to try that underwater scooter thing, and I don't think they have that in STX. I think it's called BOSS or something like that.

This month Hugh Masekela is at Reichhold.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 3:29 pm
LongTimer
(@LongTimer)
Advanced Member

The above did a good job! Check out mountain top, Greenhouse on for 2 for Tues, Paradise ponit for sunset on Wed, Friday is a Fat turtle night to end up in french town at stereo, saturday is a Duffy's night in redhook. 🙂 have fun!!

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Posted : March 10, 2011 5:38 pm
Juanita
(@Juanita)
Expert

The underwater scooter is called BOB, and they do a similar "helmet" type breathing apparatus at Coral World, but you don't ride. You just walk on the bottom.

Something I forgot...If you feel you have the time, you can take a day trip over to BVI. New Horizons does a fantastic trip. The itinerary is something like....leave early in the morning from Sapphire, zip up to The Baths, at Virgin Gorda, so some snorkeling in the area, lunch at a local restaurant, over to Jost Van Dyke for the beach and home around 5:00, or so. I used to have a job selling tours on STT, and this trip was by far the most popular trip we sold.

I know that's not really doing something on St. Thomas, but it's an opportunity to do something you can't do from St. Croix. There are several companies offering the same, or very similar, trips. They are all good.

Remember to take your passport, just in case. (Did they ever make the passport a law, or is birth certificate plus picture ID still OK?)

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Posted : March 10, 2011 7:06 pm
Niuhuskie34
(@Niuhuskie34)
Advanced Member

I want an adult milkshake

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Posted : March 10, 2011 7:26 pm
NugBlazer
(@NugBlazer)
Advanced Member

Wow, thanks for all the responses everyone. Very helpful stuff! If anyone else wants to add anything, by all means please do.

Paradise Point has something going on every night now, and locals can ride the tram for $7.

Check out The Butterfly Farm with Bird Show at Havensight. They, too, have a local discount. This is a MUST if you're an animal lover.

This month Hugh Masekela is at Reichhold.

What is Paradise Point, a bar/resturaunt I assume? And, what's the tram for? Can you not get there by car?

The Butterfly Farm... is that one of those things like they have at the zoo with tons of butterflies? I love those.

Who is Hugh Masekela and where/what is Reichold?

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Topic starter Posted : March 10, 2011 9:07 pm
VIsnorkeler
(@VIsnorkeler)
Trusted Member

At least once a week, the bf and I do the car ferry to St John. We like the 8 o'clock or the 10 o'clock ferry. Buy a round trip ($4 for the port authority and $45 for the ferry) and you get to come back on THE latest ferry returning to Red Hook, the 7PM. That means The Tap Room for a happy hour cocktail or beer and sunset overlooking St Thomas at The Beach Bar before you have to catch the ferry. Then, you can go back to St Thomas for dinner.

My favorite beach on STT is Secret Harbour, for sure. The snorkling there is the best I've experienced so far, and we've tried A LOT of them here. Not crazy about Magen's, but love Udder Delights. Frenchtown has amazing restaurants -- Epernay, Craig & Sally's, The Pie Whole. Red Hook is where I play (and work, too.) Fat Boyz is fun; Monday is rib night. Heath fires up that grill and makes unbelievable ribs and wings. They're known to sell out before the night is over, starts at 7, I think. Island Time is another favorite. Get there early, though. Locals love it for happy hour. We always seem to end up in Caribbean Saloon sooner or later (usually later.) I like it there much better than Duffy's.

Have fun! My boyfriend and I plan to make it to YOUR island before summer. Maybe you can return the favor of your must do spots.

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Posted : March 10, 2011 9:46 pm
lc98
 lc98
(@lc98)
Trusted Member

The car barge runs on the hour from Red Hook to Cruz Bay. There are two companies that make runs; if you buy a round trip it will be cheaper but then you have to go back with that company's boat (usually not a problem, but if they have a mechanical breakdown, you may be delayed). Depending on what day of the week you go, it's $40 to $50 round trip, plus a $3 port fee on St. Thomas (pay at the little gate before you pull into the loading area). Make sure you know what time the last barge leaves for the day -- I think it's around 6 from Cruz Bay. Have a great time!

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Posted : March 10, 2011 11:53 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Trusted Member Registered

Who is Hugh Masekela? A fine and established musician -- google him.

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Posted : March 11, 2011 4:06 am
ms411
(@ms411)
Expert

Paradise Point is the name of the tram/skyride attraction on STT. It's kind of like a ski lift up the hill, and offers amazing views of the harbor and town. Once you get to the top, there's a bar and restaurant and some shops. The signature drink is the Bailey's Bushwacker, and they have mini carnival shows several times a day. The last show is supposed to be at 3:15, so if you get there by 3, you can enjoy the show (well, it might not be too exciting for someone who lives in the Caribbean!), walk the nature trail, and have snacks/drinks before the Wed sunset party.

The very short nature trail takes you further up the hill. This time of year is a good time to take it all in, because it is HOT, HOT, HOT on that hill in the summer!

Yes, that's a fairly good description of The Butterfly Farm. I've never been to one in the States, so I don't know how this one compares, but you get to see the various stages of the butterfly. They suggest coming early (I think they open at 9) if you want to see the most activity (butterflies emerging) or late if you're hoping to take good photos.

Hugh Masekela is a legendary, South African trumpet player who was also involved in anti-apartheid activities. You should rent the movie "Amandla" if you're interested in musical/revolutionary history.

The St John Blues Festival is also weekend of March 18. The FREE jam session at The Beach Bar on St John should not be missed if you're here!

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Posted : March 12, 2011 3:48 pm
Ronnie
(@ronnie)
Trusted Member

The car ferries, if all are running, do run every half hour. Boyson on the half hour and Capt. Vic and the Roanoke on the hour. I think Boyson is a little bit more than the other two. The other two exchange RT tickets. Boyson does not. Last one back is Roanoke at 7. Just clearing up the barge issue as I do realize in your original post that you had been to St John and the BVIs before and want to see St Thomas. No need for you to worry yourself with that!

For CAtoSTX the St John ferry that leaves from Charlotte Amalie leaves at 10, 1 and 5:30. Last return is 3:45(arrives CA 4:30) just in time for your ship departure. It's doable. The Red Hook ferries leave every hour on the hour.

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Posted : March 14, 2011 10:24 am
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