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Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrSt. Thomas is one of three islands comprising the United States Virgin Islands . The others are St. John and St. Croix. The capital of all three islands is Charlotte Amalie which is located on St. Thomas. Steeped in history with beautiful clear blue waters, this island has become a paradise for vacationers worldwide. Tropical weather year-round offers travelers sail boarding, swimming, parasailing, sunset cruises, and the opportunity to just relax and have an island drink brought to you while you are soaking up the sun.
HistoryThe island is said to have been discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 on his second sailing to the New World . Not finding anything of interest, he sailed on to Puerto Rico. The indigenous tribes that were originally on the island disappeared all together after disease brought by European immigrants, Spanish settlers making raids from neighboring islands, while some immigrated to other Caribbean islands, wiped them out completely. For a couple of centuries, the island was left unprotected and became a haven for pirates with all the sheltered bays and protected beach areas. The Dutch India Company was granted a charter by King Christian V and tried bringing over convicts to work the plantations. Most of the convicts died either on the ships bringing them over or they died after they arrived. This caused a very slow growing community until Dutch settlers from neighboring islands started arriving. The Dutch continued to govern the islands until negotiations began with the United States on and off from 1865 until 1916, when they finally settled on a purchase price and the United States took ownership of the three islands.
What to Do
Blackbeard’s CastleBlackbeard’s Castle offers a walking tour for only $ 10 USD that is led by a tour guide giving travelers a glance into the pirates' and the towers' history. The tower, originally known as Skytsborg Tower, was actually built on the highest point of Government Hill and provided a lookout for the Danish to watch for ships invading their waters. Blackbeard was known to frequent the island, and folklore has created wonderful stories that this was a lookout he used for his own personal piracy adventures.
Magens Bay BeachMagens Bay Beach has long been distinguished as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. They offer hiking nature trails, paddle boating, kayaking, and sail boat rentals besides sunbathing on the beach or swimming.
St. ThomasSt. Thomas is famous for the duty-free shopping, and all of the streets of Charlotte Amalie are overflowing with shops offering savings on everything from diamonds to their famous rum.
Sunset cruises are a very popular activity, and if you decide to do one of these they offer not only a beautiful sunset, but all of the rum punch cocktails, beer, and soft drinks are complimentary. They do a short tour of some of the islands before they drop the anchor to view the sunset.
Coral World Ocean Park and Underwater ObservatoryCoral World Ocean Park and Underwater Observatory offers visitors the chance to view marine life without getting wet. View life on a coral reef from the observatory that is underwater, or feed a shark or a stingray. Bring your swimsuit if you would like the opportunity to swim with the sea lions.
Mountain TopMountain Top offers spectacular views of all 22 Virgin Islands belonging to the U. S. and the British. An impressive 1,500 feet above sea level, there is no other place on the islands that can offer visitors this view. There is a restaurant which offers a world-class banana daiquiri for when you are tired of looking at the magnificent view.
Historic walking tours are available in the downtown area of Charlotte Amalie. Tours usually last two hours and give details about historic buildings and the history that surrounds this area.
Of course there are day trips to the other islands, but be sure and bring your passport if you are going to the British side.
Where to StayResorts are plentiful and the all-inclusive places offers the best deal. You just relax, eat, drink, and soak up the sun without worrying about what it is going to cost you.
How to get ThereAll of the major airlines fly into St. Thomas’s Cyril E King Airport. Shuttles and taxis are available to take travelers to their resorts.
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Author: 30literbackpack. Last updated: Nov 21, 2014