One week ago, exactly, we arrived back home from our trip to St Thomas. It’s so weird that it’s only been a week though – Jeff and I were talking over the weekend about how it felt like so long ago already. So, before I start to forget all the little details, I thought I would share some photos and a few spots that we really loved, for anyone that may be interested in a Caribbean vacation.
For those that don’t know, the Virgin Islands are split into a British side and a US side. We stayed on the US side, but we also took a day trip over to the British side, which I’ll be talking about in another post later this week (There were just too many photos to pack ’em all into one post).
Before I even get into the trip though, I think it’s worth mentioning that the weather is seriously unpredictable. As we got closer and closer to the day that we would be flying out for our trip, the weather forecast became a big ol’ bummer. Thunderstorms, rain, and cloudy days the entire time we were going to be there was what was predicted. And actually, we were so nervous about it, we almost cancelled our trip. It was a pretty pricey vacation and we didn’t want to spend all that money to sit in a hotel room. After thinking it over (and over and over), we decided to take a chance though, since we had heard that the weather is a bit unpredictable. And I am SO glad we did. The weather ended up being beautiful pretty much the entire time we were there. It didn’t rain once! So much for an accurate weather forecast, huh? So, definitely keep that in mind if you’re planning a trip. I’m pretty certain that most of the Carribean is like this.
Okay, so onto the trip details… The first beach we checked out was Lindquist Beach, which was only about a ten minute drive from our hotel and one of the top rated beaches in St Thomas as well. It was so amazing! We ended up going there three times in total before our trip ended. There were hardly any people there every time that we went and the water is that turquoise-y color that dreams are made of.
After a couple of days at the beach (and the pool), we spent the day in Charlotte Amalie. We ate at a little restaurant called Greengos Caribbean Cantina. The chicken tacos are delicious! And then we walked around taking pictures of all the colorful walls. There were a ton of jewelry stores there, if you like that sort of thing, and a few historic sites too.
As a side note, this seems like as good a time as any to say that I would highly recommend renting a car. As long as you feel comfortable driving on the wrong side of the road, definitely do this. It was so nice to have the freedom to go wherever we wanted at a moments notice, and not have to pay for a cab every time. Plus, it made the whole trip feel like more of an adventure.
We stayed at The Ritz-Carlton, which as you can probably guess, was pretty dang fancy. Everyone was so, so nice and the hotel grounds were really pretty. It wasn’t a cool boutique hotel, obviously, but there aren’t a ton of choices in St Thomas. At least not when we were going to be there.
The only negative I would say about The Ritz is that the food selection wasn’t the greatest. We ended up driving to Red Hook for lunch and dinner most of the time. XO Bistro was my favorite place to eat for lunch. It’s kind of a hole in the wall place (their website makes it look much fancier than it is), but their goat cheese salad was so, so good.
And finally…the sweets! I don’t know about you, but a vacation that I’m involved in would not be complete without satisfying my sweet tooth.
It was really hot, so we opted for ice cream most of the time. And definitely had our fill. In cone and sandwich form. I don’t discriminate.
That’s it for part one of our vacation. I’m planning to share the rest of the trip (St John, Jost Van Dyke, and more) later this week. So stay tuned for that. UPDATE: Part 2 of this travel guide is now up. You can read all about St John, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda, and more right here.
And if you have any questions about our trip, let me know. I’m happy to answer.
P.S. If you’re curious to see what I packed for our trip, you can take a peek at this post.
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As someone who lives on St Thomas I wanted to add some things. Mafolie Hotel and Restaurant is a super cute boutique hotel that sits above Charlotte Amalie and has great views of the city. Eating there at night is beautiful and relaxing. On Sunday they have a great brunch with bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s. 4 of my favorite beaches I will list in order 1) mermaids chair. It’s mostly one locals go to and you need a car to get to as you have to walk down about a half an hour to get to it. 2) Abi Beach. Sunday’s they have an all you can eat brunch buffet for 10.00. We like to go hang out and play volleyball , maybe pull up a chair next to Kenny Chesney when he’s back home in the Islands and have a drink, and they play live music. 3) Sapphire Beach the views are stunning of the BVI’s and St John, water sports available as well as live music and a friendly beach bar. 4) Coki Beach. Some tourists get nervous because of the area to get to it but the locals are harmless and very inviting. There is plenty to eat and music as well and great diving.
Red hook is the party side as we call the east end. XO has excellent food and I wouldn’t really call it a hole in the wall. Fish tails is also a great breakfast spot and they serve bottomless mimosas and bloody Mary’s on the weekends as well. Mo’s the grocery store in red hook has a great wine selection. As well had the freshest meat on island. Haven site is in the center of the island. It’s where most of the cruise ships come in. There is nice dining there. A martini bar, a dueling piano bar, and now since the hurricanes a bowling alley. They also have nice shopping and a great local coffee shop with one of my favorite clothing boutiques connected to it. You can avoid paying cab prices if you jump on the local safari. They are not going to come to the resorts but they circle around the entire island to get you places for 1 dollar if you’re going to Tutu park mall where Kmart is or 2 dollars if you’re going o havensite or charillete Amalie. You will find lots of locals on them as we all take them. We don’t bite 😉 It rains daily. At most 10 minutes. It won’t ruin your plans I promise. It’s actually beautiful watching the rain come across the islands. We have power outages sometimes daily as well. But you’re not on an island to hang out on your laptop in your room so don’t let it get you in a frenzy. We have seen many people come and get worked up. We live with it daily and we still wouldn’t trade it for moving back to the states. The seafood is all fresh. Local fisherman catch it daily 🙂 we say good morning, good afternoon and good night to everyone. The locals who are born and raised on the islands take offense when you come down to their home and acknowledge them with a good morning etc. It’s custom to say it when you walk into a business first. They will in turn great you politely. Also please don’t get upset when we don’t give you straws. We offer metal upon request but we care about our ocean life. Sunblock damages our reefs and eco system. Conconut oil works just as well and is safe for the ocean. We hope you love your stay.Rachel
[…] credit: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, […]D E S I G N L O V E F E S T » WEEKEND AT HOME / 59
Hi Donna. I think the two travel guides I’ve done for VI are the best tips I could give. 🙂 Have fun!Brittni
My husband and I are going April 29th through May 6th. Any pointers would be great.Donna
[…] *Image […]Wanderlust on a Wednesday
Hi Stacy. I don’t recall our food budget…and we weren’t necessarily trying to be thrifty on that side of things, to be honest. BUT there are plenty of places around that you can go to for affordable meals and a grocery store that has tons of stuff as well, if you’re into making your meals, etc. Hope thats helpful.Brittni
The hubs and I are trying to decide between a cruise or a week at St Thomas. Trying to figure out the difference in budgeting for both and if we have a preference. I had read about greengos and it s a definite in my list if we make it there. About what was your food budget for your trip.stacy
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Hi Sara. I don’t remember the exact street name of that building, but it’s in the downtown St Thomas area…There’s a little ice cream shop right next to it and it;s right across from the water. Hope that helps. Wish I could be more specific.Brittni
This is so random, but my husband and I will be visiting St. Thomas in May and I am obsessed with the Pink building. Do you mind sharing where that is??Sara
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This is a weird question but I really love the photo you took of the palm in front of the pink wall. Is there any way I could purchase a print or get the digital file from you to make my own? Just for personal use, nothing commercial. My twitter is linked in the website field if you would be willing to let me purchase or use the print.Sarah
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Amazing pictures! I love the color combinations so much.Abigail Hortegas
Aw, thanks Alex. We definitely had a great time.Brittni
Your vacation looks amazing, and your photography even better! I envy you!alex
[…] this week, I shared Part 1 in my mini travel guide for the Virgin Islands. And today I’m sharing Part 2, which covers St John, Virgin Gorda, Norman Island, and Jost […]Travel Here: The Virgin Islands, Part 2 | Paper & Stitch
Thanks Kel. I’m glad the rain stayed away too. I can’t believe how lucky we were with having no rain. Especially considering the original forecast.Brittni
The colors in these photos! So gorgeous. I’m so glad the rain stayed away and you had such an awesome time! Can’t wait to see the rest!Kelly @ Studio DIY
Gorgeous pictures, thanks for sharing!Anna S.
Thanks Carmen. It was definitely a great place to visit.Brittni
Such lovely photos. I’ve never been to the Virgin Islands! :] // itsCarmen.com â˜¼carmen
Thanks Alicia. Yes – I totally agree with you. Best to try to ignore weather reports…unless it’s a hurricane. That’s pretty serious weather.Brittni
That looks lovely, I’ve always wanted to visit. Glad the weather didn’t deter you- my husband also gets super obsessed with and stressed by forecasts before we travel, but I just try to ignore it (unless of course there is like a hurricane on the way or something).alicia
Thanks Amanda. I know – I wish he would let me take pictures of him. I don’t know anyone who likes having their picture taken less than he does.Brittni
gorgeous pics! seriously living vicariously through you two. only thing missing is my handsome brother jeff. 😉amanda toman
Right? It was such a great trip, Kirsten. And I’m not easily impressed. 🙂Brittni
Everything about this looks too good to be true! Thanks for all the helpful hints!
What a great place to vacation during your childhood, Ali. I was surprised by how much I liked it there. I knew it would be a fun trip, but it ended up being one of the best vacations Jeff and I have been on together.Brittni
I vacationed in St. Thomas every year during my childhood with my family (my uncle has a home there!) and I can attest that it’s a special, beautfiul place!Ali @ Inspiralized
What a great place for a honeymoon, Lyndsay. When we were there, two separate couples got married at the hotel, on the beach. And a third was married at another beach we went to for the day. I’m assuming they all honeymooned there as well? Such a nice place to just relax and do nothing.Brittni
We went to St. Thomas on our honeymoon, and these pics brought back great memories! What a beautiful vacation.Lyndsay
Oh! Hiking at Sequoia National Park sounds like a pretty great trip too, Juliana. I’ll be posting part two this Thursday. So definitely check back for that. St John and Jost Van Dyke were amazing.Brittni
The Virgin Islands was one of the destinations I wanted to go for our honeymoon but we ended up hiking at Sequoia National Park. I still want to go but it won’t happen anytime soon, so I’m sight seeing through your posts. Looking forward to part 2.