St Thomas, USVI
Updated: Mar 17
Finally had the opportunity to engage in some sun therapy in the beautiful St. Thomas, USVI!
I originally planned to visit St. Thomas in August 2020 but... corona. When the opportunity presented itself to visit in 2021 I JUMPED on it!
I decided to stay at Pavilions and Pools . The selling point for me was the private pool for each condo/unit. I was able to book my condo through Airbnb (here's the link to the unit I booked) but it's also possible to book directly with Pavilions and Pools.
Overall I’d say my stay at P&P was fine. In my opinion this wasn't the nicest place but it was quiet, clean and definitely safe. This place ultimately had the brownie points with the private pool!
I booked my flight with American Airlines
Before I travelled to St. Thomas I had to take a coronavirus test; I opted to do the self-administered oral swab (everyone has their preference/opinion; I'm not doing the nose swab). I had to log on to the USVI travel portal and upload my results. The test and results had to be within five days of departure. I took the test that Monday, received my results Tuesday and uploaded my results to the portal on Thursday (departure day was Friday). The travel portal sent me a QR code. I presented this QR code in Charlotte when I boarded my layover flight to St. Thomas. Upon arrival to the island our QR codes were scanned again (along with a check of ID/passports).
I was fortunate to have a friend who lives in STT so I didn’t have to worry about getting around the island. Other transportation options you can consider during your STT visit: rent a car
safari men (local drivers who ride folks around the island. I wasn't able to catch an official company's number or website, but you see them frequently around the island. Locals and tourists use safari men to get around the island. If you know where you're going and feeling a little adventurous, this is a cool option to get around).
VITran (local public bus transportation system) another cool option to get around if you know where you're going!
Taxis VI taxi association 340-774-7457
TIP: wine and alcohol are pretty accessible around the island. I was able to grab bottles at local liquor stores and gas stations.
I checked into Pavilions and Pools.
For dinner I went to a local pub called Caribbean Saloon. There was a cute view from my dinner table!
** I 'm working on my foodie post for this trip! I'll post on Instagram when that blog is up!
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First I stopped at Drake’s Seat for some photos. Drake's Seat overlooks Magen's Bay beach.
There is a fee per person to enter and park at Magen's Bay ($2 per person for locals, $5 per person for tourists and a $5 parking fee).
I ordered breakfast to go and ate on the beach; a peaceful way to start my Saturday!
For lunch I went to The Meat Up; my appetizer and meal was so good! I tried conch fritters for
the first time here.
I chilled out at the condo for a while then grabbed dinner. I went to a BBQ restaurant; to be honest I wasn't a big fan of my meal *which is why I'm not going to mention them in this post.
Call it shade, oops.
I started my Sunday with breakfast at Gladys' Cafe.
Sunday was a relaxation day. I chilled out at my friend's apartment; soaked in the sun on the
balcony and did some reflecting.
I woke up early and went to Coki Beach . If you get to the beach early enough you may be able to avoid paying the $5 parking fee. If not, be prepared to pay!
Of course I had my tourist moment and took some pics.
I tried pate, which is reminiscent of a beef patty or empanada, but the pastry used is
much softer like a Johnnycake.
For traveling back to the mainland I absolutely recommend getting to STT airport 2-3 hours earlier than departure time (more to the 3 hours if you’re checking a bag. That line was long!)
I arrived 2 hours before departure. I was interviewed by US customs, then had a second checkpoint before going through TSA (ID and boarding passes are checked twice).
Lines for everything are long and move steadily, but kind of slow.
TIP: TSA will let you bring pates through. When questioned by customs and TSA I was honest and let them know I had pates in my bag (they’ll ask if you have any food). TSA *politely* asked me to take it out my duffel and show it to them in the brown paper bag. Everything was cool and I was able to enjoy my treats in the airport, on the plane, and when I got home.
American Airlines has two stairways to board the plane just as there were two stairways to get off.
As y'all can see all I really did was eat, go to the beach and relax. Many of the adventures and excursions I wanted to do were still closed because of COVID-19. Since we're still in the middle of a panny I didn't feel 100% comfortable going to bars or hanging out for an extended period of time in restaurants. Hopefully when I go back I can knock some excursions, restaurants and other activities off of my USVI list.
Composed with humility and truth,