Question about St. Thomas
Good afternoon, we are looking into moving and based on the information we have so far St. Croix sounds like our ideal island. Mainly because it has less tourism and we would like to live out of town in a more secluded area.
I am just curious if St. Thomas has secluded locations like that or if the island is pretty much crowded everywhere?
We will be coming to visit later this year in order to decide which island we prefer, I am just curious what St. Thomas is really like.
Thanks for your help!
In my opinion, STT is only crowded downtown/Havensight, where the majority of cruise ship passengers congregate, and Red Hook, where there are numerous condo developments, resorts and timeshares. The vast majority of the island is quiet and without tourists. Most visitors only venture downtown and to Red Hook, areas that are easy for most residents to avoid, which allows the majority of the island to reflect a quiet, residential nature.
Also, St. Thomas is so close to St. John and Water Island you get three islands to play on. St. John is only a 20 minute ferry ride from St. Thomas' East End ($10 round trip) so you get the best beaches, the best shopping on St. Thomas and you can hop over to Water Island if you really want to get away from it all. The North-side of St. Thomas is lush green and very secluded same as the West End. Plus the British Virgin Islands are also a half an hour ferry ride away. They're great fun and a beautiful place to escape to. If you are a boater you may want to consider St. Thomas because of its proximity to so many different islands. St. Croix is just far enough away that it doesn't have all the above, although it's got it's own beauty-of course.
That's something we have been considering. Not only do we want to live in the USVI, we want to make the most of our time there and be able to afford a lot of exploring and sightseeing. It seems it would be easier to explore other islands from St. Thomas. I love the idea of St. Croix, more so than St. Thomas but am concerned we won't be able to see much else but St. Croix if living there. Thanks!
Real estate prices need to be considered. Property values have sky rocketed throughout the VI in the past eighteen months.. Given that STX started from a lower base you may find more affordable homes and condos on STX. If money is no object then STT & STJ are wonderful.
STX is approximately twice the size of STT. On the south shore you find cattle ranches and many other tracts of vacant land. There are also large tracts of vacant land on the north shore and the west end.
Also be cause the terrain is not as rugged on STX as STT it tend to feel more open.
Currently we have a ferry to stt so you can get to all the islands mentioned in Shawn's post. Or you can take a much easier and nicer way to travel and just take an island jumper plane to those islands. Not all island hoppers go to the same place or at the same time but alot quicker and easier. In season the planes are of coarse a little on the expensive side but then so would be any of those island accommodations if you went for a weekend trip. Off season is a great time to explore the islands and even the nicest resorts (like peter island in bvi) will offer a local rate to Caribbean locals. If you have a boat on the other hand I don't see how it would matter which island you live on. Have friends that go to bvi or stj in their boats.
Everyone is going to like something different. My husband was offered a post in stt several times but there is no way I would live there. I don't claim to be a local but it does feel too crowded to me. I like being able to go to my just about any beach and quite often being by myself. But on the other hand stt does offer more in stateside conveniences and it will be easier to find work there. And real estate in stt in much higher then here, which will hopefully be good for stx at some point.
Thank you Betty and Jim Dandy for more info.
Financially STX is definitely the best choice for us. It sounds like we would get more for our money when buying and buying is definitely the plan after we've been there 6 months or so.
Without actually being there, I think that the north and west ends of STX are more desirable to us based on the beauty and being less populated. Do you recommend living near or in the rainforest? What are the pro's and con's? Do any cruise ships come to STX anymore? I know that most don't but I thought that some still would. Is it possible to get a cruise from STX?
If not, the way it looks we could take a seaplane to STT and hop on a ship to have at least a few hours at numerous locations. Cruising sounds like the way to go at first until we would find a place that we fall in love with and then could make more trips just to that location.
West end of the island is definitely not underpopulated. North end is more sparelsy populated but it is harder to build there because of the steep terian and often much more expensive to buy because o the wonderful views. South shore on the east end is pretty empty and is mostly flat. But that is where many of the farms are. While its always nice to have privacy I dont know that I would want to be too isolated from my neighbors here. Its good to know your neighbors and look out for each other here. Pros of living in the rainforest (talking about inside rainforest)--its 10 degrees cooler, beautiful, land is cheap (land without seaview). Cons far from everything and bugs and critters. But you'll have plenty of time to discover all this and make your own views if you're planning on waiting. 🙂
If a cruise ship comes here it is to refuel and that is very far and few between. It is not going to change anytime soon.
Melissa - if you want to cruise the island chain, your best bet is to hop over to San Juan since that is the starting point for many southern Caribbean itineraries on several major cruise lines. Sometimes you can get great deals if you can travel with just a couple weeks notice when ships have empty cabins available for locals who can pack fast and jump on board. You also get more islands per week on the southern Caribbean itineraries to give you more opportunities to find places you want to go back to for longer stays. Boarding the ship in either STT or STX would mean you miss the first day or two of the cruise... and the ship will return to its homeport in San Juan for you to disembark and fly back to STT or STX. The USVI are not starting/ending point islands for cruises.
Sydney - We have lots of attorneys in the islands, but there always seems to be more work than they can handle. Most attorneys on St. Croix operate out of Christiansted. There are lots of neighborhoods within a 15 minute drive of downtown, so you would have many options that would still have you close to work.