Frequently Asked Questions
What is the weather like in the Virgin Islands?
Click here to get a daily weather report. The Virgin Islands climate is subtropical. The temperature remains fairly constant at 70-80 degrees, tempered by trade winds which help keep the humidity down to a comfortable level. You may want a long sleeve shirt in the evenings when it cools down. Of course you always have to plan for the possibility of rain, although, we are not visiting during the rainy season
What kind of clothes do people wear?
Residents wear typical American clothing. There are clothing stores on St. Thomas, St. Croix and St. John. In Charlotte Amalie, St. Thomas you can find name brand clothing like Tommy Hilfiger and Polo. Stores like Gap, Express, Macys are not available. There are no malls comparable to large US mainland malls. In terms of what people wear - Virgin Islanders dress casually but fairly conservatively. Younger people will don more provocative outfits. The hot weather year round means no fall, winter, spring cloths, the same cloths can be worn year round so only one wardrobe is necessary. T-shirts, shorts, summer dresses are often the norm. Virgin Islanders like to dress to a T when attending shows at the local Center of Performing Arts, church or school shows. This is true for St. Thomas and St. Croix. St. John's residents are fairly casual.
What are telephone charges in the Islands
Depending on long distance service provider it can average between 10 cents to 25 cents per minute. Some cellular phone plans include free long distance to the mainland. Calls between islands within the US Virgin Islands are toll free, they are considered local calls
What kind of Restaurants and Fast Food are in the Virgin Islands?
Many American chain-businesses are to be found in the fast food establishments. You will find on St. Thomas and St. Croix only, Wendy's, McDonalds, KFC, Pizza Hut, Cold Stone Creamery and Dominos Pizza. Subway is the only fast food chain on St. John at this time. You will not find Carl Jr., Burger King, Arby's, Dairy Queen, Taco Bell, Starbucks, Dunkin Donuts, Jack in the Box, Boston Market, Chick-Fil-A, Hardee's. Local food vendors sell Caribbean foods and American foods like burgers and hotdogs. The islands are also home to wide selection of wonderful restaurants.
How do we travel around the Islands?
While in the Virgin Islands you can move from place to place using various means of transportation such as taxis and rental cars. You can take ferries between the islands and take open air taxis to land based locations. Of course if you want you can island hop by sailboat!
What kind of Shopping is available?
Shopping is one of the many reasons people travel to St.Thomas. Whether you shop in Downtown Charlotte Amalie, Havensight or even the Mountaintop, you will have a wide variety of goods to choose from. Make a day of it! Our islands are duty free - each guest is allowed $1600 woth of goods to bring back home. The biggest discounts are on purchases of jewelry, electronics and alcohol- but don't stop there- you'll also find beautiful clothing and Caribbean art as well.
What kind of Nightlife can I expect?
The three U. S. Virgin Islands have been described as three children in the same family. They all have the same "genetic" make-up, but each Island Child is unique and different from the other two. St. Thomas is known as the Outgoing, Party Child. It loves the nightlife and offers everything from a solitary moonlit walk on the beach or a sunset dinner cruise to dancing to live bands late into the night. Many restaurants and lounges offer live music.
Do I need to rent a car?
Renting a car is the best way to get around the island while sight seeing at your own pace. Whether you want to be adventuresome and rent a jeep for 4-wheeling fun or relax in a nice air conditioned sedan for comfort, St Thomas has it all. KEEP LEFT is not just a slogan on a bar coaster! We drive on the left hand side of the road here. The roads are windy and narrow in the mountains of the island and the locals who know the roads drive fast, so you will want to pay attention... AND STAY LEFT! To rent a car, your U.S. drivers license will do, but check with your rental company if you are under the age of 25. Many rental companies will not rent cars to those under 25.
Are the beaches public or private?
All of the Virgin Island beaches are open to the public. Some of the beaches are part of of resorts and while the beach itself is open to the public, the amenities there are usually reserved for the guests of that resort. At some of these, public guests may be able to rent an umbrella or a chaise lounge. Please remember that nudity on any of the US Virgin Islands is against the law, so you WILL have tan lines to show your friends when you return home!
What kind of water activites are there?
There is no shortage of things to do ON and IN the water in St. Thomas. You can stay completely dry in an air conditioned submarine to see the life aquatic OR immerse yourself totally and walk underwater with a special connection to the surface that allows you to breath- with out a tank! Get closer to underwater life with snorkeling tours. Make your own adventure! Rent a kayak (tours are available as well). Other exciting alternatives are available... parasailing, powerboat rides, jet skis, paddle boats and much more!
What kind of land-based activites are there?
Although St. Thomas is only 31 square miles- it packs quite a punch of activities. Explore historic sugar plantation ruins, take a tram ride into the hills for the most exquisite
Learn about sea life up close- and of course- work on your golf game. Remember- take your time- relax and enjoy. You are on vacation!
What kind of Art Galleries and Studios can we see?
The Caribbean inspires artists in many ways. The color of the water, the sunsets, the beautiful flowers and foliage that blanket the island and views as far as the eye can see are all inspiration. Artists convey this beauty in the form of paintings, art glass, pottery, sculptures and so much more. You can take a piece of St. Thomas home with you for memories that will last forever. If you can't make it to St. Thomas to make your orginal art purchase, check the artists websites. Most allow you to buy their works on-line.
What kind of boating and fishing activites are there?
You will probably want to spend some time enjoying the waters that surround St. Thomas. After all- you are in the most beautiful waters in the Caribbean! Choices abound! Sail boats providing day sails are abundant. This way you'll get a private tour of some of the surrounding islands, snorkel exotic spots and relax to the setting sun.Looking for adventure? St. Thomas holds numerous world records in sportfishing. The North Drop (a very deep ledge that runs parallell to the north side of the island) is a favorite hang-out for marlin, wahoo, mahi mahi and other game fish. Captians are extremely knowledgable in their field. They provide everything for your half or full day fishing charter- no experience required!Another option is to rent your own power boat for the day to explore the other islands. Remember, however, any trip taking you out of U.S. Territory requires a valid passport and you must check in with customs!
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