Author: Island Mike

You Aren’t Staying at a Resort, Are You?

Amber, of Blue Sky Ceremony, is our guest today.  Amber was born and raised on St. Thomas.  She is the owner of a wedding and event planning planner.  Amber has assisted her clients with finding villas and hotels of every kind for groups ranging in size from 2 to 102. While she and I may debate this issue, I can’t really argue with most of her points.  So, I’ll shut my mouth and let her make her case… (Turning the keyboard over to Amber) Ok guys, as Mike said, I’ve helped a lot of people book rooms at hotels, resorts, B & B’s and villas.  And in my experience and based on the feedback I’ve gotten from my couples, villas are the best way to experience St. Thomas. Staying at a Villa is Cheaper On a per night basis, you can stay more affordably at a villa.  Too often, at first blush the room rate for a hotel or villa looks good, but then they tack on the room tax and resort fee (which can be as much as an extra $60-75 per night). One of your biggest expenses when visiting St. Thomas is food.  Food is expensive here on the island.  Add to the island’s already high prices the premium charged by resorts (how does $18 sunblock sound?) and you’ll see why you want to pack as much stuff...

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Getting Married in St. Thomas

St. Thomas Weddings and Vow Renewals Thousands of couples choose St. Thomas as their wedding destination. What Makes Getting Married in St. Thomas special? Amber, with BlueSkyCeremony, a destination wedding planner and expert, designs some of the most beautiful weddings and receptions on St. Thomas, offers a few reasons for choosing St. Thomas to get married.  (Also check out 13 Things You Must Know Before Having a Wedding in St. Thomas). 1 – There is no residency requirement, no waiting period or blood tests, and as a territory of the United States, your marriage will have the same recognition as...

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Map of St. Thomas Beaches

First, a word about getting around St. Thomas.  If you haven’t already heard, we drive on the left here.  No one really knows why.  Or, at least can give a satisfactory answer.  So STAY LEFT!  🙂 Once you get the whole “wrong side of the street” thing figured out, the hard parts come.  First, people here are not patient for vacationers.  You will get honked at, yelled at and be generally despised by locals if you hesitate for even a second at an intersection.  Best thing to do?  Ignore them.  You’re on vacation, they aren’t!!! Second, street names are all but useless.  I’ve lived in St. Thomas for years and I have no idea what route or street goes where.  Please forgive us for Share...

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The Best St. Thomas Beaches

If you are visiting St. Thomas for the day or a week, these are the beaches that you must visit if you want the idyllic island experience.  Each beach has its own character and feel.  And each beach is a stand out for different reasons.  This is your guide to beaches on St. Thomas.* See the Map of St. Thomas Beaches. (And be sure to also see All the Best Resorts and Hotels in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands) Magens Bay Beach If you are traveling to St. Thomas, you’ve probably already heard about Magens Bay Beach.  If you haven’t, it is widely considered one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. Nestled on the central-north side, Magens is not more than 15 minutes from most places in St. Thomas. So what makes Magens one of the best?  It starts with the sand.  The sand at Magens is often described as being like talcum powder.  It is soft and super fine. The beach is approximately .8 miles long, so there is plenty of it.  The beach is also relatively flat with plenty of room to stretch out. Next, the water.  Magens Beach is in a large bay protecting it from the sea, making the water pleasantly calm.  On many days, the water is as smooth as glass.  The fauna is spectacular. Magens is not know for its snorkeling, but to...

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Where to Eat in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands-East End Edition

The Best Restaurants in the East End of St. Thomas If you are staying in the East End area (Cowpet, Elysian, Sapphire, Ritz Carlton, Sugar Bay) you probably have seen the stretch of bars and restaurants in RedHook.  The whole stretch can’t be more than a 1000 ft, but it could take your entire vacation to hit every bar and eatery so I’ll just touch on a few favorites. (One of the best hotels on the island is located on the east of St. Thomas.)   Fish Tails   Fish Tails is a waterside restaurant, has all the fresh seafood you would expect of a Caribbean seafood restaurant.  The wide open dining area is comfortable and suitable for a long leisurely meal.  Ask the owner/manager Reggie what the fresh catch of the day is, which is hauled in earlier that day and brought fresh to this seaside restaurant. When I’ve gone to Fish Tails I tend to gravitate to their shrimp and clam Po Boys.  Might not be the first thing people look for when they’re going to get seafood, but I tend to be a creature of habit.  They also have a tuna chip dip on the appetizer menu which is excellent. There is a smallish wrap-around bar which is usually a great gathering place for small groups.   Latitude 18 Latitude 18 is technically not in RedHook, but...

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Top Ten Things to Do

1. Get Married
2. See the animals
3. Touch the animals
4. Snorkeling
5. Island hopping
6. Learn to - scuba, paddleboard, dive
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Weddings
Cocktails
Snorkeling
Beaches