St. Thomas is all about the beautiful beaches and the luxurious shopping experience. It’s home to the US Virgin Islands’ capital, Charlotte Amalie, which boasts a rich and vibrant history and culture. If you want a lively and high-energy experience, St. Thomas is the place to be.
On the other hand, St. Croix is a serene and calm paradise. It’s all about relaxation and nature. Being the bigger of the two islands, there’s a variety of attractions that one can explore. If you want to sit back and relax, St. Croix is definitely the place to visit.
Of all three main islands in the US Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is the most visited and most popular. Despite it being more modern and cosmopolitan, it still has that Caribbean touch that makes a trip to St. Thomas more exciting and unique. With all that’s happening in St. Thomas, it’s truly an island pulsing with energy.
People coming from the port in St. Thomas are welcomed with a lot of luxurious shopping experiences. This is paired with exciting water activities and world-class attractions. There’s nothing less to expect from St. Thomas because its landscape, to start with, is already breathtaking. Add to it the wonderful and rich history, and there’s nothing more you can ask for.
What Makes St. Thomas Unique?
When it comes to history, Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas takes the center stage in the whole US Virgin Islands. St. Thomas offers a deeper view of what it has gone through to reach what it is now. There are many attractions that you can visit that have played a big role in St. Thomas’ history.
Here are some of the best historical attractions to visit in St. Thomas:
Blackbeard’s Castle can be found in Charlotte Amalie, and it’s one of the most famous historical attractions in St. Thomas. It’s one of the five National Historic Landmarks in the US Virgin Islands. Its history is based on pirates and smugglers.
The Blackbeard’s castle, a simple tower in reality, was built in 1679. It was originally a military watchtower that the Danish colonists erected. Here, tourists take guided walking tours to get to know more about the castle.
The Haagensen House was once the home of Danish banker, Hans Haagensen and his wife, Sarah Julia. On the whole island of St. Thomas, the Haagensen House stands out because of its grand interior. The house was built in 1827. But it’s now home to West Indian antiques that give visitors an idea of how wealthy the Danish people were back then in the US Virgin Islands.
The Emancipation Park is a small garden and park in St. Thomas. The park celebrates and commemorates the 1848 Emancipation Proclamation. The freeing of slaves happened on July 3, 1848, and is one of the most significant parts of the history of St. Thomas.
In this park, you’re able to see a replica of the Liberty Bell and a statue of Danish King Christian. These are both key images that show the heritage of St. Thomas.
With a roomy and convenient location, the garden is home to many celebrations and events that the government holds. Most of the events that happen here are during the Emancipation Day and inauguration days of the US Virgin Islands.
In Charlotte Amalie, you can find a large fort that is the oldest standing structure in the whole Virgin Islands. It is named after the Danish King Christian V. The fort was originally built in the 1600s to defend Charlotte Amalie from attackers. More than this, the fort served as the center of administration in St. Thomas. It was the residence of the first Governors of the island.
Rum and Food
A trip to St. Thomas is never complete without getting a taste of the delectable and memorable rum. The US Virgin Islands is known for some of the best rums in the whole world, and St. Thomas is one of the places you should look for the best rum. Many rums are proudly made in St. Thomas, and once you taste them, you’ll never want any other.
It’s not only the rum that completes a St. Thomas trip. The Caribbean cuisine of St. Thomas is enough to let you enjoy the beauty of the island to its fullest. In St. Thomas, there are many Caribbean classics that you should not miss! From fish tacos to Kallaloo to Conch, these are all food that defines how diverse and beautiful St. Thomas is.
You can enjoy authentic Caribbean cuisine, alongside international cuisine. The fresh seafood is also to die for. A beach experience while dining with the freshest and tastiest seafood is no match for any other.
Don’t be fooled by St. Thomas’ size because it’s overflowing with many activities and things to do. Even if you stay at St. Thomas alone in the US Virgin Islands, you will never run out of exciting places to explore and sights to see.
Experiences in St. Thomas all feel exquisite and brand new. Whatever adventure you want to try, they will all leave you feeling like you want to stay in St. Thomas forever.
Here are some of the activities that you should try in St. Thomas:
Visit the Coral World Ocean Park
The Coral World Ocean Park is one of the most famous attractions in St. Thomas. The Coral World Ocean Park is a series of exhibits and hands-on experiences by the ocean with different kinds of marine life. It’s a great place to learn and immerse in the diverse marine life of the US Virgin Islands.
No matter what age you are, there’s a wide array of activities that you can do. More than the activities, this place also offers educational tours and conservation projects.
Sailing and Kayak Adventures
A sailing or kayak adventure is what will complete your St. Thomas experience. Exploring the coastline through these fun adventures will bring you to the best spots and encounters.
There are many sailing boats in St. Thomas that can deliver you to the best places for utmost relaxation and adventures. Sailing usually allows you to see parts of St. Thomas that aren’t saturated with other tourists.
For those who are more into adventure than relaxation, it’s best to kayak in St. Thomas at night. The water will be lit by the kayak, and it’s definitely a unique experience to try.
Enjoy the Landscapes With a Ride
St. Thomas doesn’t only offer experiences by the ocean of the coastline. It offers just as much with its landscape. You can maximize the beauty that St. Thomas has to offer by going on a horseback-riding experience in the countryside.
If you want to embark on this adventure, the Golden Age Ranch is one of the few horseback-riding establishments on the island of St. Thomas. Here, you don’t need any horseback-riding experience because they match you with the horse that best suits you.
Luxurious Shopping Experience
Nothing beats the St. Thomas shopping scene. It’s an unparalleled experience. Many people, especially those coming from cruise ships, visit St. Thomas for the extensive range of duty-free shops.
In St. Thomas, you’ll feel like you’re having the best luxury shopping experience ever, but everything is so worth it. Nothing can clearly define “shop until you drop” better than the shopping adventure that St. Thomas offers.
If you’re looking for the best shopping vibes and experience, nothing can ever be better than what awaits you in St. Thomas.
In St. Thomas, you can freely indulge yourself in some of the most top-rated and beautiful beaches in the whole world. People really have nothing but beautiful words to say. Sometimes, there’s really nothing to say. This is because the beautiful white sand and clear turquoise waters leave you feeling speechless.
Here are some of the beaches that you should not miss in St. Thomas:
Magens Bay Beach
This cove partnered with clear sky-blue waters isn’t one of the Caribbean’s best for nothing. This mile-long (1.6 kilometers) stretch of silky soft sand gives plenty of space to all the tourists and locals enjoying the beauty of Magens Bay Beach.
If you want a beach that’s buzzing with life and activities, this isn’t to be missed. The crowd gives you a positive, pulsing energy that you can only feel on a top Caribbean beach. Spending time in Magens Bay Beach gives off that perfect tropical vacation that you thought you can only see in photos.
Hull Bay Beach
Hull Bay Beach, just west of Magens Bay Beach, is a calmer and less-crowded experience than the famous Magens Bay. If you want to explore the beach that locals love the most, this is the place to be. It’s also famous because it’s one of the best fishing spots in St. Thomas.
Despite being calmer than most St. Thomas beaches, Hull Bay offers a wide range of water activities. Most activities allow you to interact with the diverse marine life scattered all throughout the beach’s waters. This tranquil stretch of powdery white sand should be on top of your St. Thomas beaches list!
St. Croix is the largest of all three main US Virgin Islands. Because of its size, you know that there’s a lot you can expect.
St. Croix is the best tranquil and serene location for all kinds of individuals. Whether you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, or you just want to enjoy a tropical paradise, St. Croix is a great option. It’s a seemingly untouched beauty that wants your attention and appreciation.
If you’re looking for a more laid-back experience in the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix should top your list. It offers a great selection of activities, adventures, and food and drinks. It truly is a unique Caribbean island that’s surrounded mostly by a barrier reef.
What Makes St. Croix Unique?
When people say that the sunrise in St. Croix is something else, it really is. In St. Croix, you can watch the beautiful and breathtaking sunrise before anyone else in the United States.
In St. Croix, you can go to Point Udall, which is the easternmost point in the whole United States. It’s a special site for tourists wanting to catch the first sunrise of each new year. There’s also a giant sundial in this location that marks the right spot. However, any other day in the year is a great time to see the sunrise in this place.
The Point Udall has a breathtaking panoramic view of the island of St. Croix and most of the Caribbean. On days when the sky is clearer than most, you’re even able to see more islands than usual.
Grand Canyon and Yosemite are some of the places that come to mind when we think of national parks. However, not a lot of people know or realize it, but St. Croix is home to many national parks protected by the United States National Park System.
Despite St. Croix being only 82 square miles (212.38 square kilometers), you can find three national parks on the island.
Here are three of St. Croix’s National Parks:
Buck Island Reef National Monument
The Buck Island Reef is the only underwater national park in St. Croix. It’s also one of only three underwater national parks in the whole United States. Established as a National Monument in 1961, it only keeps growing to preserve the Caribbean Sea’s finest marine life. This national park offers sights and adventures both above and below the water.
Buck Island has a hiking trail that brings you to its highest peak. Once you’re there, you will be met with a breathtaking view that only nature can give. Also inside the national park is the beautiful and pristine Turtle Beach where you can stroll along and wind down.
Underwater, you can enjoy the overflowing amount of diverse marine life. You can see everything from coral reefs, to fishes, and even the endangered hawksbill turtle. There’s also an underwater trail that you can only access through snorkeling tours. Through this underwater tour, you can learn more about marine life in the Caribbean.
Salt River Bay National Historic Park and Ecological Preserve
The Salt River Bay is an important park both ecologically and historically. The park has archaeological sites, mangrove forests, coral reefs, and a bioluminescent bay.
The Salt River Bay is important historically because it documents the human and natural world of the Caribbean. It dates back even to the earliest indigenous settlers of the island. This place also documented the first conflict between Europeans and Native Americans. This place is known as Columbus Landing because this site is where Columbus landed in 1493.
Salt River is now a tropical ecosystem supporting many different endangered species. However, it is no longer a freshwater supply. The 1,015-acre park (411 ha) is home to many different adventures that you can access for free.
If you do want to learn more about the area, its history, and what it houses, a historical and ecological tour is available. Salt River is truly one of the places that make St. Croix the unique haven that it is.
Christiansted National Historic Site
The Christiansted National Historic Site was first founded on March 4, 1952. This is the first National Park Service unit in the United States Virgin Islands. It became this way because of local citizens pushing to preserve the historical structures of the site.
With over 7 acres (2.8 ha) of this park, this national historic site shows the Danish influence on the island. These include the colonial administration, international trade, architecture, and military establishments. On this site, you will also see the interactions of people from Europe, the West Indies, and North America during the Danish era of the Virgin Islands.
Laze Around with the Pigs
St. Croix is known for its beer-drinking pigs. In the hills above Frederiksted, tucked into the rainforest, is a little bar called Mt. Pellier Hut Domino Club. In this small bar, there are giant hogs that can drink a can of nonalcoholic beer on demand. Those looking for a unique experience are invited right into this gem of a place.
The beer-drinking pigs of St. Croix are definitely a spectacle not to be missed. What’s amazing about this beer-drinking sight is that it started decades ago, when one of the pigs of the bar’s owners helped himself to a guest’s beer. From then on, people flock to the bar to see these cute but big hogs destroy cans of beer.
Top-Notch Food and Drinks
St. Croix is a generally isolated island, which means that most of the food here is imported and expensive. Despite that, it’s a cultural tradition on the island to have a farm-to-table meal. When in St. Croix, it’s best to look for meals that are local and fresh, whether it’s seafood or chicken. Whatever you plan to eat in St. Croix, you can be assured that you will never have a bad meal.
One of the things that you should never pass up when you get to St. Croix is Cruzan rum. When you take a rum tour in St. Croix, you can taste 39 different kinds of rum!
We all know that Caribbean rum is to die for, but Cruzan rum is great because it does not cause hangovers. This means you can enjoy your tropical vacation with a delicious glass of rum without having to worry about a headache the next day. Rum is St. Croix is this way because it does not contain any kind of impurities that other alcoholic drinks have that causes hangovers.
Drinks in St. Croix don’t end there because local bartenders are more than happy to mix up custom drinks for customers. So, when you’re in St. Croix, pass up on your usual drinks and ask for a customized drink based on your preferences.
Thanks to the perfect weather and beautiful natural wonders of the island of St. Croix, there are a lot of things you can do during your stay here. Despite its reputation for being tranquil and laidback, there is actually an endless list of things to enjoy and sights to see in St. Croix.
No matter what kind of traveler you are, there is something for you in St. Croix. Here are some of the adventures to do in St. Croix:
Christiansted and Frederiksted
Christiansted and Frederiksted are two diverse downtowns of St. Croix. Every traveler must explore these areas. Beyond the beautiful beaches of St. Croix are these two locations that give you a glimpse of the rich history of St. Croix.
A walking tour of both downtown areas will transport you back in time, where time feels slower and everything sounds quieter. Despite being transported back in time in these two areas, you can actually enjoy modern-day activities. Bar hop until you drop in Christiansted, where you can have both a good beer and a great conversation.
St. Croix knows how to party! One of the best festivals you can enjoy in St. Croix is the Mango Melee and Tropical Fruit Festival. It happens annually, and it’s a great showcase of the culture of St. Croix.
This annual summer event is done to develop a bigger appreciation for the island’s tropical fruits. More emphasis is given to the Queen of Tropical Fruit, the mango. In this event, people learn how to grow and use mangoes and other tropical fruit. This is also the time when St. Croix offers workshops and activities that help raise funds for different programs on the island.
Water and Land Activities
There is never a shortage of both water and land activities to do in St. Croix. Whether you’re up to get wet and be one with the marine life, or you want to experience the beauty of nature on land, you have plenty of choices.
In St. Croix, there are many places where you can hike. Jack and Isaac Bays, Goat Hill, and Tide Pools, are some of the places with breathtaking hike trails that hikers of different expertise can enjoy.
After hiking, it’s also a good idea to have a picnic at Ham’s Bluff Lighthouse where you will be met with a serene and breathtaking view. Horseback riding, rainforest tours with an ATV, and off-roading are also great adventures to try in St. Croix.
When it comes to underwater, St. Croix does not hold back. St. Croix has an underwater trail that you can snorkel through on Buck Island. Scuba diving is also an activity you can do to immerse yourself in the beautiful marine wildlife of the island. However, if you’re not the snorkeling type, you can also kayak into the mangrove forests of this beautiful island.
Which Island Is Better – St. Thomas or St. Croix?
It’s not a surprise that both St. Thomas and St. Croix are highly visited islands in the US Virgin Islands. They both have beautiful beaches, endless attractions, and adventures. And most of all, they both have the tropical vibe that travelers of all kinds would enjoy. However, one is better than the other if there are certain things that you’re looking for in your vacation.
St. Thomas is an island overflowing with history, luxury, and energy. If you want to always end your days on a high note, St. Thomas is the place to be. St. Thomas is always filled with people looking to experience a unique kind of luxury that’s mixed with the richest histories in the Caribbean.
When it comes to parties and shopping, St. Thomas is the go-to, so you can expect this island to never run out of people you can enjoy the place with.
On the other hand, St. Croix is calmer and more serene. But don’t be fooled by the quiet surrounding this island because it’s also filled with the best kinds of experiences you will ever have. With a rich history to match, it’s hard to not fall in love with St. Croix, especially when it offers all the best that nature has.
In the end, it’s all a matter of whether you enjoy history matched with high energy or a history matched with nature’s best. Objectively speaking, you will have more to see and explore in St. Croix given that it is larger. However, St. Thomas has gems that no one should miss, too.
All you have to ask yourself now is whether you will visit St. Thomas or St. Croix first. Should you end with St. Thomas to cap off your trip on a high note? Or should you visit St. Croix last, to ensure that your trip ends with a calm, Caribbean vibe stuck to it?
Which Is Safer – St. Thomas or St. Croix?
Because St. Thomas and St. Croix are both in the US Virgin Islands, they have a similar feel when it comes to your safety. Both islands are relatively safe, but because of the fact that St. Thomas is smaller, it’s safer for most travelers.
However, even when you’re traveling to these beautiful and safe islands, you should always remember to err on the side of caution. This is to ensure that your trip will be enjoyed to the highest degree without any kind of worries. Remember that some problems relating to safety still happen even in the safest places.
St. Croix vs. St. Thomas Crime
Generally speaking, crime happens in both St. Croix and St. Thomas. Crime rates are relatively low in the US Virgin Islands. According to statistics, St. Thomas experiences more violent crime than St. Croix. However, these crimes are said to be “local on local”. This means that no crime in St. Thomas or St. Croix is targeted toward visitors.
Visitors to both islands can travel without worrying about any crimes happening. This is especially because both islands are known to be friendly and warm to tourists. However, it is still always safe to only travel to places you’re comfortable with.
Is St. Croix Cheaper Than St. Thomas?
There are a lot of things that are similar between St. Croix and St. Thomas because they’re housed in the US Virgin Islands. This includes the costs when traveling. St. Croix and St. Thomas are almost the same when it comes to the cost if you plan to stay and explore the islands.
However, St. Croix accommodations are generally a little cheaper compared to those in St. Thomas. Also, since St. Thomas is known for its luxury and shopping experience, you can expect to spend more in St. Thomas. This is especially if you plan to “shop until you drop” like what it encourages many visitors to do.
Is St. Thomas or St. Croix Better for Families?
Both destinations offer endless attractions and activities for travelers of all kinds. Whether you’re going as an individual, a couple, or a whole family, you can enjoy both St. Thomas and St. Croix to the brim.
However, because St. Croix has a more peaceful and relaxing reputation to it, most families prefer to stay here. St. Croix offers many kinds of attractions, especially those that are related to nature. The friendly atmosphere does nothing but helps attract more families towards it. It’s perfect for families looking for a unique kind of adventure.
St. Thomas, on the other hand, is better suited for individuals looking to party and always feel the energy. This doesn’t mean, though, that it’s not a great location for families to have their vacation. The wide array of activities and beautiful sceneries also offers a great place for families to strengthen their bond.
Which Has Better Beaches – St. Thomas or St. Croix?
St. Thomas is known for its world-class beaches, while St. Croix is known for its natural parks. It’s easy to identify that if you’re looking for a place with better beaches, St. Thomas is the place you should go to.
All you have to see is the Magens Bay Beach and Hull Bay Beach to be convinced that St. Thomas has some of the best beaches. They’re the best not only in the US Virgin Islands but also in the whole Caribbean.
The silky, soft white sand, paired with azure waters, is enough to make you fall in love. But it’s the watersports and other people enjoying their time that will lure you into St. Thomas beaches. What’s great is that St. Thomas has a beach for every kind of traveler.
On the other hand, St. Croix has beautiful and calm beaches. More relaxed vacations to beaches should be done in St. Croix. It has equally beautiful and breathtaking beach views that everyone can enjoy. However, we cannot deny that in the beach department, St. Thomas has more to offer.
Scuba Diving in St. Croix vs. St. Thomas
Scuba diving in St. Croix and St. Thomas are both great experiences for a traveler. However, they have their strengths and weaknesses.
St. Thomas offers great wreck scuba diving experiences. These are unique and allow visitors to get a glimpse into the rich marine wildlife and history of St. Thomas. However, if you want your breath to be taken away by the beauty, St. Croix should be the place you scuba dive at.
St. Croix generally has more underwater attractions that people can see. It’s also a plus that there’s an underwater trail that visitors can enjoy.
Is St. Croix the Same as St. Thomas?
St. Croix and St. Thomas are the same. It may be hard to tell them apart because they’re two of the most visited islands in the US Virgin Islands, but they are not the same. They offer very different kinds of experiences. The similarities between the two main islands end with the fact that they’re both great destinations to be in the US Virgin Islands.
It’s also important to note that a very big difference between the two is the vibe. St. Croix is quieter while St. Thomas is busier.
Is St. Croix Near St. Thomas?
Considering that they are both in the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix and St. Thomas are near to each other. They are only 44.7 miles (72 kilometers) away from each other. A short seaplane ride from St. Croix to St. Thomas will not take you any more than an hour, including transfers.
The fact that St. Croix is near St. Thomas makes it great to include both destinations on a trip if you’re planning to visit one of the two.
Can You See St. Croix From St. Thomas?
If you go to strategic locations in St. Croix like the Point Udall, you will be able to see St. Thomas. Not only this, you will be able to see the whole US Virgin Islands.
The same can be said for St. Thomas. If you go at the peak that’s high enough, the rest of the US Virgin Islands can be seen. It’s truly a breathtaking view.
How Far Is St. Croix From St. Thomas?
St. Croix is only around 44 miles (70 kilometers) away from St. Thomas. It’s a short ride down south from St. Thomas to St. Croix, depending on what kind of transportation you plan to take.
How Far Is St. Croix From St. Thomas Airport?
You only need to travel anywhere around 44 miles (70 kilometers) to get from St. Croix to the St. Thomas airport. Going from “downtown to downtown” of St. Croix to St. Thomas will not take you more than half an hour. This is if you’re going to use an airplane as your mode of transportation.
Is St. Croix Bigger Than St. Thomas?
Yes. Of all three main islands of the US Virgin Islands, St. Croix is the biggest. St. Croix is almost thrice as big as St. Thomas. St. Croix is 28 miles (45 kilometers) long, and 84 square miles (217.5 square kilometers) in area. St. Thomas, on the other hand, is only 32 square miles (82 square kilometers) in area.
Can You Get From St. Thomas to St. Croix?
Yes, you can get from St. Thomas to St. Croix, and travel is relatively easy. You have the option of taking an airplane ride or a ferry ride.
Is It Easy to Get to St. Croix From St. Thomas?
Yes, because of the accessibility of different modes of transportation, it is very easy to get from St. Thomas to St. Croix. There are scheduled ferry rides, but airplane rides are more accessible to those looking to get from one place to the other faster.
How to Get to St. Croix From St. Thomas
There are two ways you can get from St. Thomas to St. Croix. Your first option is a scheduled ferry ride, and the other is a flight – which includes a seaplane ride from harbor to harbor
When it comes to ferry rides, there are schedules that may not work for all travelers. The ferry usually only operates 3 days out of a week. A ferry ride from St. Thomas to St. Croix will only cross the sea to get from one place to the other, so it’s a relatively short ride for ferries.
On the other hand, you can take a flight (a seaplane ride) from St. Thomas to St. Croix. It will be a memorable ride from the Charlotte Amalie harbor to the Christiansted harbor.
St. Thomas to St. Croix Flights
There are many airlines offering flights from St. Thomas to St. Croix. Depending on when you plan to take the trip, you can choose from more than 50 flights that go from St. Thomas to St. Croix.
Airlines such as Cape Air and Silver Airways offer accessible flights from one island to the other.
How Much Is a Seaplane From St. Croix to St. Thomas?
The price of a seaplane ride from St. Croix to St. Thomas varies depending on a lot of factors. However, prices usually start at around US $100 for a one-way seaplane ride from St. Croix to St. Thomas.
Is There a Ferry Between St. Croix and St. Thomas?
There are regular ferry rides going from St. Croix to St. Thomas and vice versa. However, these ferry rides do not operate every day, so some travelers on a tight schedule may not be able to experience them.
How Far Is the Ferry Ride From St. Thomas to St. Croix?
The ferry ride is approximately 40 miles (64 kilometers) away. It does a crossing of the sea between St. Croix and St. Thomas.
How Long Is the Ferry From St. Thomas to St. Croix?
The crossing of the ferry to get from Christiansted to Charlotte Amalie will take anywhere around 90 minutes. It’s only a short ferry ride.
How Much Is the Ferry From St. Croix to St. Thomas?
The price of a ferry ride from St. Croix to St. Thomas always varies, depending on what kind of trip you’re having, and a lot of other factors. However, the price of a one-way ticket usually starts at US $60.
Is There a Car Ferry From St. Thomas to St. Croix?
Yes, there is a car ferry from St. Thomas to St. Croix and it follows the regular ferry schedule. The transport of items using a car ferry is around US $0.50 per lb.
How Long Does It Take to Get to St. Croix From St. Thomas?
The time of travel to get from St. Thomas to St. Croix depends on what mode of transportation you decide to take. There are two options, and one takes faster than the other.
If you plan to take a scheduled ferry ride, you should expect to spend at least 90 minutes traveling from St. Thomas to St. Croix.
However, if you take a seaplane ride, you will only need to allot around 25 minutes to travel from one island to the other.
How Much Does It Cost to Get From St. Thomas to St. Croix?
Getting from St. Thomas to St. Croix starts at US $60 for a scheduled one-way ferry ride and it starts at US $100 for a one-way seaplane ride. Ferries cost cheaper than flights, but they will take you more time and you will have to follow a schedule that doesn’t travel every day of the week.