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Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

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Richmond, Virginia
posts: 11
reviews: 37
Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

Hello friendly travelers,

I look to your expertise for advice in planning an upcoming (January/ February 2013) trip to the Caribbean to fit the following preferences:

- beachfront accommodations, preferably a villa/ cottage rental rather than large hotel or resort

- decent beach snorkeling within walking distance of accommodations (at least one good spot nearby is preferable. We don't mind having to drive to explore others, we just don't want it to be a necessity to do everything.)

- a location with some options for drinks and dining out, preferably at least one or two within walking distance as well

- a beach environment that is not super crowded or over-developed

- within budget of $1500-$2800 for a week's accommodations

I have been looking into Providenciales, Anegada, Anguilla, St John, Virgin Gorda, Vieques or Culebra, and the Out Islands of the Bahamas, but am having trouble coming to a decision. Recommendations for other locales not included in the list are welcomed, and suggestions regarding those mentioned are appreciated!

Thanks in advance,

Leah

Pa.
posts: 580
reviews: 54
11. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

No bashing done or intended. STT doesn't suit our style. We just don't care for the populated islands and don't minimize people that care for that type of vacation. Our best friends swear by STT. We just have different travel styles and likes, no harm. We are planning a day trip over to STT next trip to explore more of the island.

St Thomas
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
posts: 10,108
reviews: 15
12. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

Well maybe when you have that opportunity to spend a little more time on STT than on just one main well-traveled road you'll find that off the beaten track (all of five to ten minutes away) is the "real" St Thomas. The hubbub of town and the tourist areas aren't to my taste any more either - and the other end of the spectrum is easily found by visitors too if they're interested.

Pa.
posts: 580
reviews: 54
13. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

Can you recommend a good snorkel/not crowded beach to see while there? Lunch spot? We will go see Magen's Bay since it is always raved about, but don't want to spend the day there or anything.

I was looking at Sapphire,Coki,Secret Harbour, but not sure about any of them.

Edited: 9:56 am, October 07, 2013
Boston...
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas, East End
posts: 2,875
reviews: 14
14. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

If you really want to get a feel for St. Thomas then here is what I recommend.

Start of at Magens for a short visit. Then come toward Red Hook and stop at Smith Bay Park. Smith Bay beach is a big beautiful beach that gets very few visitors. (no amenities) Then head to Sapphire to snorkel, and if you want to be alone on a beautiful beach walk down to Pelican, which is sort of a continuation of Sapphire but has no development so usually I am the only one on the beach.

Next head to Secret Harbor for a late lunch at their beach restaurant and do some snorkeling there if time allows.

I think you may have a very surprising visit if all you have seen is the trip from airport to ferry.

St Thomas
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
posts: 10,108
reviews: 15
15. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

Coki, Sapphire and Secret Harbour all have very good snorkeling right of the beach and are all on the East end. Coki is the busiest beach of the three on heavy cruise ship days - idyllic otherwise - with Sapphire and Secret Harbour less crowded in order. You can grab lunch at any of them, or you're very close to Red Hook where there are plenty of restaurant options.

If you get over to STT early I would go to Magens first and enjoy breakfast there - the cafeteria opens on the dot at 9AM and they serve a really good breakfast. Magens early in the morning is awesome - you can walk/swim the 1-mile long beach to work up an appetite and, if you're in the mood for more exercise, the hiking trail is delightful. From there you could drive the North shore and see Hull Bay, Dorothea, Njelteberg, etc.

You can check the cruise ship schedules here. Scroll down to the cruise ship photo and you'll find a link to the monthly schedule:

http://www.vinow.com/general_usvi/cruiseship/

Pa.
posts: 580
reviews: 54
16. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

Thank you all for the input, look forward to our time there!

17. Re: Which island(s) for upcoming trip?

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