Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Caribbean Islands (
-   -   St. Thomas side trips? (

mustardmindy Aug 16th, 2007 01:47 PM

St. Thomas side trips?
Hi all, My husband and I are going to St. Thomas for our 5 year anniv. for 10 days in early October. Staying at Secret Harbour resort.
We will be renting a car on St. Thomas and plan to take it over to St. John for day trips - any recommendations?
My husband is an avid scuba diver - where is the best spot for diving?
Also, is it worth it to fly to St. Croix for a day?
Thanks so much!!!

virginia Aug 16th, 2007 04:02 PM

you are gonna love secret harbour. they have a dive company at the resort. the snorkeling off their beach is really good. walk down past the bar/shop/gym and go in just before the ironshore starts. then out around the point. we saw turtles, rays and all the regular smaller fish. also out maybe 10 yds from the swim float is a smaller reef.
you can snorkel off the beach at wyndham sugar bay - drive right past the gate/gaurd and park in the lots to your left, as close to the beach/resort as possible. then just walk through their pool area onto the beach. also shortly (a min or 2) after you go through red hook towards coki beach and wyhdham you will see a small blue sign with an airplane on it. just after that is as right turn onto a dirt road with permanently open chain link fence across. go down there approx 1/3 mile to lindquist beach. very deserted, very pretty, good snorkel at the reef breaking out to the right.
make sure your car rental company allows you to take their car to st. john. some do some don't. some advise as jeep for st. john.
don't know if you plan to cook in the large kitchen you will have but about 2-3 miles before you reach secret harbour road is a great grocery w/ liquor dept. on the left as you head towards sh.
also another market right in red hook across from ferry dock - more deli and gourmet items.
the blue moon cafe at sh is very good and their beach bar is fun too. another bar nearby thats a little more happening is duffy's love shack in the parking lot in red hook. you can't miss it.
for a special anniv dinner you might consider havana blue at the marriott frenchmans reef, which you will also pass just out of charlotte amalie on way to sh. it's very beautiful and has wonderful food. try to get a table at sunset.
another nice option is tony romano's italian on the coki world road.
i would not even consider trying to get to st. croix. it is much further away than you think. bvi's are much closer and have some very good diving.
an excellent excursion (not to mention cool web site) is:
goes from sapphire beach marina to st. john. then the baths, a tiny island for lunch, snorkeling and finally a stop at the famous soggy dollar bar - home of the painkiller. basically you go around tortola. if you like the look of this trip reserve it asap - they book months ahead, and will allow you to cancel w/24 hrs notice once you're on island if necessary.
i don't dive so will not attempt to advise on that.
do mind the driving. it is odd at first, especially those right turns but ppl are patient normally. also driving on st. john is said to be umm not for the faint of heart. narrow roads and some switchbacks.
have a wonderful trip.

doug_stallings Aug 17th, 2007 05:17 AM

It's technically possible, but not really feasible or advisable to try to do a day-trip to St. Croix. You would have to fly on the seaplane and then rent a car, and it's just not worth it, either in terms of expense or time. If you want to do more side-trips, go to the BVI. These are all reachable by ferry, and The Baths on Virgin Gorda is an extraordinary beach.

Jimmie Aug 17th, 2007 06:34 AM

The dive shop at SH will know great places to go. One place very close by is Cow and Calf rock -- I've seen lots of divers there.

beachplum Aug 17th, 2007 07:21 AM

Here's the link to the PADI dive center at Secret Harbour
Not sure that they include dives at the Rhone but Chris Sawyer is well known for his dives there.
Rather than flying to St. Croix take a ferry to Virgin Gorda and explore the wonderful beaches there. Devils Bay and Spring Bay (and the Crawl) are an excellent option to the Baths - same scenery but fewer people. You could take one of the powerboat day charters as well but a day sail to Jost is a great day at sea. I'd rather be sailing! JMO, I'd also rather spend a relaxing day or days rather than rushing to get all of it in one day altho folks do love that New Horizons trip. Sapphire has good snorkeling out by the Point and it is one of the prettier beaches on St. Thomas.
There are good options in Red Hook for dining and you might want to check out Robert's at the Elysian for dinner which is just a bit further down the road from Secret Harbour. But there are lots of good choices for dining out even tho Blue Moon at SH is excellent too.
Stop at the National Park Hdqts. on St. John to the left from the ferry and get maps and info about the Park, hiking trails, beaches, etc.

mustardmindy Aug 17th, 2007 08:51 AM

Thanks so much for the advice! We are really looking forward to our trip!

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 08:47 PM.