St. Thomas or St. Johns for 2 couples?

Aug 12th, 2009, 01:31 PM
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Posts: 35
St. Thomas or St. Johns for 2 couples?

We are trying to determine whether to stay in St. Thomas or St. Johns. We are looking for nice beaches, we do not need a ton of nightlife a couple reastaurnant bars would be great. We are nervous about driving on the left side. Can you stay in either of the islands without a car? do they have a buses or taxi's? Ideally we would like a condo or house 2/2 bath with pool. A hot tub would be a plus. Any recommendations on island or lodging would be greatly appreciated. Also can anyone recommend a guidbook? I am guessing fodors has one, but if there is a better one let me know. Thanks in advance for the help.

townsend12 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 02:59 PM
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First a little geographical clarification - I think you mean St. John, the island adjacent to St. Thomas not St. Johns which is the capital city of Antigua.

While both St. Thomas and St. John have their share of nice beaches you'll find St. thomas to be a much busier island - more restaurants, more shops, more of everything than St. John. The only think St. John has more of is "price" - it's a more expensive island.

You can get around both islands by taxi but the cost will be high. Driving on the left is not all that difficult so if someone in your party is a relatively good driver you really should consider renting a car. You see, finding a taxi is not always easy, especially if you are not "in town". You won't find cabs "cruising" for fares like you find in big cities. If you do decide to go the taxi route you should consider getting the driver's name and phone number so you can call him regularly whenever you will be needing transportation.

Buses are not really a viable option - you'll spend have you vacation waiting around for the busses and the other half walking to/from the bus stop and your intended destination.

There are lots of condos and rental villas on St. Thomas. St. John has mostly rental villas rather than condos. Of course both islands have resorts, and Inns.

As for guide books, Fodor's, Fromer's and Loney Planet have guide books on the US Virgin Islands but you can find out as much or more information by doing an internet. I dare say, guide books are becomming a thing of the past. Type in St. John or St. Thomas in your search engine and you'll find tons of information. Do a search for "rental villas + NAME OF ISLAND" and you'll find links to just about every villa and condo available.

Hope this helps.
RoamsAround is online now  
Aug 12th, 2009, 03:05 PM
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Posts: 35
Thanks Room Around. So do you perfer staying on St. Thomas? I think we are going to have to figure out the driving. Is there a side of the island we should focus on when we are searching for condos?

Thanks again for the help.

townsend12 is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 05:56 PM
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 1,503
Re: the question about guide books for St John, I would recommend Feet, Fins and Four Wheel Drive by Pam Gaffin or St John, Off the Beaten Track by Gerald Singer. We have Feet, Fins and Four Wheel Drive and it is a great book, I'm just not sure when it has been updated. Lots of changes in the last few years, but the trails, snorkeling and beaches are the same. Just different landmarks. We used it a lot our first few trips. Singer's book I am not personally familiar with, but it is similar and has the added benefit of color pictures. It also says that it has been updated since the original publishing. Here is a link. This seestjohn website also has loads of information about the island. Choose from the links at the left of the page.

As for driving on the left, we were intimidated at first too. It's really not that bad because the steering wheel is on the left. Just think shoulder to shoulder. The roads are steep and twisty though. You really need a vehicle on either island to get around. We tried it on St John and it just doesn't work well. I'm confident that it would be the same way on St Thomas. St John is quiet. The town of Cruz Bay wraps up around 10:00pm with the exception of a few pubs. There are more options for later night life on St Thomas. The beaches and snorkeling on St John can't be beat. There is a beautiful beach around every corner on the north shore road and you will often have them to yourselves.
brenandg is offline  
Aug 12th, 2009, 07:10 PM
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on st. thomas the area around charlotte amalie/airport is congested. town is large with tons of duty free shopping. st. t has a few historical sights, lots of excursions, restaurants.
a good resort for you might be it's on the east end (away from charlotte amalie) all rooms are condo style. you could get 2 studios, 2 1bedroom or 1 2bedroom. the beach is very nice with sandy entrance to water, shade, snorkeling, fun beach bar and excellent restaurant. 2 grocery nearby. it's near the ferry to st. john (20 mins), several restaurants, coki world.
st john is much more laid back. lots of beaches, lots of snorkeling. most ppl stay in hillside villas. most villas offer pools, a lot with hot tub or jacuzzi. this is one good site:

you will need a car on either island. to do's and dining are spread out all over both islands. i actually like driving on the left. i always rent a car w/steering on normal side.

re guide books. when i first traveled i bought every one i could find for given island. turned out they were all pretty much the same.

these sites will help you:
virginia is offline  
Aug 20th, 2009, 04:32 AM
Join Date: Jun 2009
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Ultra Distance Marathon Comes to St. Croix

St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands – August 18, 2009 – The St. Croix Scenic 50 starts at 5 am on January 24, 2010 and is a fifty mile endurance run from Fort Christiansvaern to Fort Frederik and back, ending at The Bucaneer’s Mermaid Beach. This race represents the first “ultramarathon” (anything over a full 26.2 mile marathon) held on St. Croix and a new challenge for endurance athletes on island and around the world.

From water’s edge to mountaintop to water’s edge and back, the St. Croix Scenic 50 promises to be as challenging as it is beautiful with views of the whole island.

The course: Starts in Christiansted at the historic fort and leaves town heading west towards Salt River. Runners will then climb Scenic East Drive and follow the Scenic Drive, across the top of The Beast, descending by Ham’s Bluff. The course runs along the shoreline to Frederiksted, looping through town before returning runners along the same route back to Christiansted. Finally, runners continue east past Fort Christiansvaern to The Buccaneer, finishing on the beach.

Participants will be supported through a number of aid stations approximately 5-6 miles apart. The event will feature an early start for those who may need more than the 13.5 hours allotted and will also be open to 2 person relay teams. The St. Croix Scenic 50 will conclude with an awards banquet and a whole lot of tired feet.

Check out for more information and race updates.
mrl38 is offline  
Aug 21st, 2009, 01:44 AM
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 207
St. John has much nicer, less crowded beaches than St. Thomas. Taxies are available. If you are not committed to a condo, Caneel Bay Resort has seven exquise, sandy, private beaches No need for taxies. Good deals through Nov 17.

Another thought is Little Dix, Virgin Gorda, BVI. Fabulous 1/2 mile beach with complimentary boat drops to many others Special offer available through December is 50%off second room. Rooms are lovely and first rate.
Dianebridles is offline  
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