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Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

New Milford...
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Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

Hello, I'm in the process of starting to plan my honeymoon and am considering St. Thomas. I have heard of a few other islands that are relatively close (Tortola, Jost Van Dyke, Virgin Gorda etc.) Would it make sense to do day trips to these islands or are any of them worth spending a couple days at?

Thanks!

Ohio
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1. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

St John is the easiest day trip from St Thomas. it's a quick 20 minute ferry ride. If you are renting a car on STT (which I recommend, but not from Hertz), you can take it over it St John to explore a couple of the beautiful beaches there.

St Thomas
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2. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

There is more than enough to do and see on St Thomas on a first visit to the USVI without wondering what else is out there but, for most first-time visitors to STT, the highlight of their trip is a charter sail in local waters around St Thomas/St John. Second is enjoying a day on St John and it's gorgeous beaches via a ferry trip either on the passenger ferry or on the car barge in a rental vehicle.

Repeat visitors eventually explore further and enjoy more of the British Virgin Islands with ferry or charter trips to Jost Van Dyke, the Baths at Virgin Gorda, etc. but on a first visit you'll find more than enough to occupy you between St Thomas and St John.

Hurley, New York
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3. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

Pretty much agree with the previous two posts. If your trip is less than a week, stay on StT. If one week, spend one day on StJ or take a day-sail. If longer, you can travel more.

IMHO, Tortola is not a good day-trip. Don't forget that to visit the BVI you must have passports with you.

Steve

Los Angeles...
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4. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

I''ll assume you are on the young side with good energy and desire to explore and "not the plop in lounge chair and drink all day type" Virgin Gorda is totally worth spening a few days exploring. Most Day visitors only see "The Baths" durring rush hour (with all the other day visitor). If you stay a night or two you and go befor/after hours you'll have the palce to yourself. Additionally Savanha Bay is one of the top 5 beches in the world (IMO). The best snorkling in the carribean is found off the nail bay property (trunk). Spring Bay is beyond words in the late afternoon.

St John would make for nice day trip or even a night or two. The night life in Cruz bay has some very tasty dining and the night life is lively. St John is mostly national park and the majority of the beaches are undeveloped and close-to-pristine.

If I were in the island hoping mood and had a week to kill: 3 nights on STJ, 3 nights VG.

If you can only book day trips I'd stick with one to STJ (about 2hr round trip ferry) and VG (about 4hrs round rip ferry) Personally, I'm not a big fan of the day sails. I don't like being that close to stangers for that long or the way (most) micro manage passengers. Others don't seem to mind.

Many of the beaches in STT are developed with condo/hotel properties. I can think of two really nice beach-parks (ie no condos hotels) Magens and Lindqvist. If you want be lazy (afterall you only get one honeymoon) and close to the bar /bathroom, then STT is a good choice.

Edited: 9:31 pm, March 12, 2014
Los Angeles...
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5. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

forgot to add, If you're on budget look at st croix or vieques.

Ohio
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6. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

2dbirds - I have stayed on both St Croix and Vieques. While I enjoyed both islands, I would not recommend them for anyone wanting to island hop. You can't go anywhere without flying from St Croix. And the ferry to & from Vieques/ Puerto Rico is unreliable or Vieques/Culebra (if it is running at all). I also didn't think the beaches or the water on Vieques was as pretty as STT, STJ or STX.

Just my 2 cents.

New Milford...
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7. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

Thank you everyone! While we are adventurous we certainly are looking forward to some rest and relaxation while on our honeymoon as well. Our plan right now is to do about 9 nights so my thoughts were St. Thomas for 5, St. John for 2 and Virgin Gorda for 2. I'm not sure what order we will do that in because I need to think about flights as well (whether it makes sense to flight into/out of Virgin Gorda or go back to fly out of St. Thomas).

Do you have any suggestions on where to stay on these islands? We are willing to somewhat splurge because it is our honeymoon, but still would like to keep it somewhat reasonable. I don't believe any of these places are all inclusive so if they have good restaurants/nightlife or are near that it would be great! I have been to St. Thomas one other time as a stop on a cruise, but dont really remember how to navigate myself around the island!

Also, what excurisions would you suggest at any of the islands? I know we want to do the Baths in Virgin Gorda. We are very big hikers...I know none of these places are very mountain oriented but even a few trails to a view would be nice.

Thanks!

St Thomas
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8. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

You may have a problem finding accommodation for just 2 nights on St John as most places require a 3 night minimum. And as said earlier, St John is only a short ferry hop from St Thomas (15 minutes by passenger ferry and about 25 minutes on the car barge) so consider the practicality of packing up and moving versus making day trips.

St Thomas and St John are volcanic islands and VERY mountainous. There are some excellent hiking trails on St John maintained by the NPS. Not so much on STT but the Magens Bay trail is a good hike.

Not sure what you mean about flying into and out of VG. It's a very small airport only serviced by small planes, not commercial flights so you would have to fly into and out of STT anyway.

Alabamastan
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9. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

Can't help you with Virgin Gorda but St. John has many hiking trails - it is 2/3rds National Park, and is essentially one big hill poking out of the ocean. I'd forgo VG and stay on St. John for 4 days. Good places to stay would be Grande Bay, Lavender Hill, and Gallows Point. Staying there would allow you to walk into Cruz Bay for restaurants, bars, and shops.

Edited to add: http://www.seestjohn.com/trails.html

Edited: 8:55 am, March 13, 2014
Boston
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10. Re: Day Trip Suggestions to other islands

You should have a look at the BVI forum if you have not done so already. If it were me, I would plan on spending most of my time in the BVI. I am not a big fan of St Thomas and although St John is gorgeous, you cannot stay on the beach without spending an arm and a leg, which for me is a deal breaker.

I would plan my trip on a day when there is a direct ferry to Virgin Gorda from Charlotte Amalie and fly in and out of St Thomas. In VG I would splurge on Little Dix Bay (resort) or a villa at Mahoe Bay. If you want to island hop, from there you can go to Tortola and Anegada. You could also stay on Tortola which is a great base for island hopping in the BVI and from there you can spend a day on VG, Jost Van Dyke and Anegada plus a couple of smaller islands like Marina Cay, Peter Island, etc. I would spend most of my time in the BVI then come back to the USVI (because of the flight out of STT) for 1-3 days and would spend most of my time there on STJ. There is a lot of hiking and snorkeling there but as I said before, not much beachside accommodation. You could stay on STT on the east side of the island where you could stay on the beach, near the STJ ferry so you could go back and forth as it is pretty inexpensive to do so.

All of the islands except Anegada are fairly mountainous because they are volcanic, but the lower part of VG (where Little Dix Bay is) is pretty flat and easy to navigate and drive. Wherever you choose, you should try to do a day trip on a boat as they are a lot of fun and a great way to see a bunch of islands.

Good luck!