Here at Sunny Liston Tours we love our beautiful island of
St. Thomas! We know you will too. Take a look at some of the fun facts about
the United States Virgin Islands.
Places to See
The Beaches in the US Virgin Islands are known for their white sand beaches, including Magens Bay and Trunk Bay. Also important were their strategic harbors, including Charlotte Amalie and Christiansted. Most of the islands, including Saint Thomas, are volcanic in origin and hilly. The highest point is Crown Mountain, Saint Thomas (1,555 ft/474 m). The National Park Service owns more than half of Saint John, nearly all of Hassel Island, and many acres of coral reef.
Each year, about 700,000 people visit the park. Virgin Islands National Park is spread out on 14,689 acres (59 km2) of land. It became the 29th U.S. national park in 1956, when Laurence Rockefeller visited the area and thought the land was incredibly beautiful.
St. Thomas is home to world renowned shopping! Hundreds of duty free shops line the streets and alleys of the capital, Charlotte Amalie. Multiple buildings in Havensight, where most cruise ships dock, house shops and boutiques. There are smaller malls around the island and even the larger hotels offer shopping!
The best buys on St. Thomas include jewelry, alcohol, china, crystal, perfumes, art, clothing, watches and cameras. We also boast of one of the highest duty free allowances in the Caribbean of $1,600! You may include five liters of alcoholic beverages in your duty-free exemption, but one of them must be a product of the USVI! This is a great chance to buy some Cruzan Rum!
The greatest density of stores is in Charlotte Amalie. The principal street there is Dronningens Gade, better known as Main Street. Parallel to Main Street is Back Street and Waterfront. Stores line each of these main roads, and in between the three roads are side streets and alleys where even more shops are located. In the alleys, like Royal Dane Mall, Palm Passage and Riise Alley, you will find many unique shops and boutiques. The stores in Charlotte Amalie are housed in and among historical buildings; so shopping and sightseeing in one trip is easy. Small cozy restaurants and a couple fun bars are located among the stores, perfect for lunch or a refreshing drink.
Duty Free Shopping (applies to US residents returning to the
Charlotte Amalie Store Hours Monday through Saturday, including Holidays: 9am - 5pm
Sunday Hours: While Sunday hours are usually half day, closing time 1pm; there are exceptions created by the number of ships in port. When there are no ships in port, some stores won't open at all. If there are several ships in port some stores might stay open until 3pm.
Havensight is the location of the second large agglomeration of stores that cater to visitors. It is right next to the primary cruise ship dock and the shopping area is made up of Havensight Shopping Center, Buccaneer Mall and Port of Sale. Long buildings house some 60+ stores. Shop for jewelry, clothes, perfumes, liquor, electronics, music, sunglasses, hot sauces and souvenirs. You can have lunch in Havensight also, there are several good restaurants to choose from.
When To Visit The USVI
There is very little temperature difference between summer and winter and the sea is warm year round. Because of the park's typically hot weather a park visitor is recommended to bring sunscreen, a bathing suit, sunglasses, and shorts. The tourist season is from December to April and outside of those months prices for accommodation drop considerably. Camping is available in the park, as well as lodging.
The island is serviced by the Cyril E. King Airport.
The United States Virgin Islands is the only place under United States jurisdiction where the rule of the road is to drive on the left. This was inherited from what was the then-current Danish practice at the time of the American acquisition in 1917. However, because St. Thomas is a U.S. territory, most cars are imported from the mainland United States and as a result, the steering column is located on the left side of the vehicle.
At Sunny Liston Tours, we drive an open-air cabs, also known as the "safaris".
The island has many regular taxis from compact size to large vans, as well as open-air, covered trucks called "safari cabs" with bench seats. The latter usually operate only between high-traffic points, e.g., cruise ship terminals at Havensight and Crown Bay and downtown Charlotte Amalie.
Passenger and limited car ferry services to neighboring islands such as Water Island, St. John, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands run regularly out of the Red Hook Terminal, Charlotte Amalie, and Crown Bay Marina.
The official language is English, although Virgin Islands Creole, an English-based dialect, is spoken in informal situations. The Virgin Islands Creole spoken on St. Croix, known as Crucian, is slightly different from that spoken on St. Thomas and St. John.
Because the U.S. Virgin Islands are home to thousands of immigrants from across the Caribbean, Spanish and various French creole languages are also widely spoken. As of the 2000 census, 25.3% of persons over the age of five speak a language other than English at home.
Electrical outlets in St. Thomas use the same 110 volt currents as North America. If there is a storm you should not be concerned that it is typical for the power to go out in some parts of the island.
The currency used on St. Thomas is the U.S. dollar. Foreign currency can be exchanged at most major banks on St. Thomas and there are local bank branches throughout the island.
All major credit cards and traveler's checks are widely accepted, but it is good to bring cash with you.
U.S. and Canadian citizens traveling to St. Thomas require only an original birth certificate to gain entry, though carrying a valid passport is a fail-proof way of avoiding trouble. For tourists from other countries, a passport is required.