The closest restaurant to the Villa is the newly opened Root 42 (2.6 miles), It’s a pool side bar located at the Flamboyan Resort on the corner of 35 and 42. It has a nice view of the Bay and is great place for a quick lunch or dinner. The new menu is not at all your typical bar food. There is no question that they have a chef, not a cook.
Next up in proximity is a local bar & restaurant, Brooks Bar (2.7 miles), which has been around for 50 years and has fantastic local cuisine. It is a typical local roadside dive bar with a pool table, but great food with local flavor. Most of our guests call up and order take out at least once during their stay.
The Old Stone Farmhouse (3.3 miles), just down 42 a short distance, has excellent up scale cuisine and a very nice Sunday Brunch and a lovely setting.
CURRENLY CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE Just past The Old Stone Farmhouse is The Mahogany Run Golf Course, which has The Grille (3.7 miles) Simply give your name to the guard and state that you are eating at the Grille and they will let onto the grounds without a problem. The food is good and the atmosphere is that of an old time gentleman’s club. No view to speak of however.
Mafolie Rastaurant (4.2 miles) Has a world famous view of Charlotte Amalie and a fantastic French Chef! It has become our habit to stop in for lunch before or after airport runs, since it’s right on the way. The seared Ahi tacos are simply to die for! They are also a very popular spot for Sunday Brunch. They are seasonal, so check ahead of time to be sure they are open.
Iggies at Bolongo Bay (8.9miles) is terrific, currently located poolside, just steps from the water! Great burgers, Mahi salads, fantastic fish tacos, etc.
Abi Beach Bar (8.3miles) Has been Bob and my favorite place to enjoy a day off! They have live music Sunday afternoon, Thursday nights and Saturday night. There are also an array of beach activities such as volleyball and cornhole as well as water sport rentals like kayaks and snorkels.
The Greenhouse in Charlotte Amalie (5.0 miles) on Veterans Blvd is also excellent! The have Happy Hour every day from 4:30 to 7pm, with 2 for 1 drinks and discounted appetizers. They also offer a $19.99 lobster tail special 2 days a week (Tuesday & Friday). They have a fantastic view of the sea planes landing in the water as an added perk!
Just down the block from the Greenhouse is Greengo’s Cantina (5.1miles), a very cool place just off the main drag.
The Banana Tree Grille (5.6miles), located on the historic Bluebeard’s Castle property, has one of the best views on the Island of Charlotte Amalie and delicious food!
CURRENTLY CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE Room with a View (5.6miles) is also located at Bluebeards Castle Resort. The cuisine is upscale and amazing! Reservations are a good idea, as it is a pretty small place. Family owned and operated with terrific service! I personally recommend Bryan as your server!
Rancho Latino (5.8 miles) Located near Havensite and the yacht harbor has received rave reviews from some of our guests. If you are looking for a more traditional West Indies type of food this would be a good place to try.
French Town, down Veterans Blvd headed toward the airport, is a delightful area just full of quaint little places to eat. The Pie Whole (5.9 miles) has awesome pizza and pasta and the best beer selection on the Island, including lots of micro brews! The Twisted Cork, Bella Blu and Hook Line & Sinker are also located in French Town and are all excellent.
CURRENLY CLOSED DUE TO STORM DAMAGE Oceana is just behind Frenchtown. The location is on the water with a view of Hassel Island and Water Island. The food is upscale and well worth a visit!
Hull Bay Hideaway (6.2 miles), is known as the “The Original beach bar” on the island, with live music on weekend nights. Happy hour is every day from 4pm to 6pm. The food is quite good as well, with everything made from scratch, including the dressings! The beach there is also quite pleasant; it’s easy to make a full day of it!
The Mirador (6.6 miles) Located at the Point Pleasant Resort, is a terrific little restaurant with a fantastic view! The food is excellent and the location is fabulous! It’s small, so if you have a large group, call ahead.
These are just a few of the many fabulous places to eat on St. Thomas. There are great places all over the Island!
Visiting some of our neighboring islands is pretty easy to accomplish and quite worthwhile. Several can be reached with just a short ferry ride.
Water Island is hands down one of my personal favorites! Just $10 per person round trip and a short 8 to 10 minute ferry ride from Crown Bay Marina. Dinghy’s Beach Bar and Grille on Honeymoon Bay has a lovely laid back atmosphere and good food and drinks. There’s a wonderful Gilligan’s Island feel about the place.
St John , the home of the world famous Trunk Bay, is also a must! The majority of the island is a National Park, so it is lush and not as developed as St Thomas, with scores of beautiful isolated beaches. Just $14 round trip per person and a short 20 passenger ferry ride from Urman Victor Fredericks Marine Terminal Red Hook A car ferry is also an option for St John, but be sure your car can handle the very steep roads. Parking for the ferry in the terminal lot is very limited, so the lot is usually full (Currently it is closed due to construction). Some people park on the road to the ferry (on the opposite side of the road as you approach) which is free, but a bit of a walk. Sunshine parking lot, just past the terminal behind Moe’s Market on the right usually has plenty of parking.
Hands down, one of the most popular excursions is the multi island boat trips to the BVI’s. I have tried both the New Horizons Breakaway and the Bad Kitty Catamaran. My personal favorite is the Breakaway, which is a very comfortable speed boat, with lots of shade and comfortable seating. The Bad Kitty has lots of below deck seating with tables, but can tend to cause sea sickness if you have the tendency for it. Both are all day trips to 4 or 5 of the British Virgin Islands, each starting the day at the famous Virgin Gorda Baths National Park. This is a multi group trip.
If you forgot to bring your passport and you have a small group and do not want to charter a private boat, New Horizons has a very economical all day sailing trip in the US waters near St John and includes all your drinks and food for the day! A terrific value and a wonderful day on the water with 2 snorkel stops. New Horizons also offers a dinner cruises as well as a fireworks cruise on the 4th of July.
If you have a large group you are traveling with (10 or 12) you can book your own private excursion at a nearly a multi group rate, which I highly recommend!
One of our favorites is The Meow! With their simple pricing, willingness to take groups as small as 6 and add in the fact that they are all inclusive with TERRIFIC customer service a 5 star captain and first mate . . . . . . you can’t go wrong!
New on the charter boating scene here on St Thomas, but not new to boating is Rich and Kristie of The Stormy Petrel and Pirates Penny Charters This is a phenomenal company and Rich and Kristie are amazing! They can accommodate whatever your needs may be, whether it is a weeklong charter, a full day island hopping, half day or a sunset sail! I would put them right at the TOP of the list of who to call first!
The St Thomas Boat Rental is also FANTASTIC! A group of up to 10 can book the 30′ Innovation 1 for just over $100 per person and a group of up to 12 can book the 32′ Innovation 2, also for just over $100 per person. That price is for excursions in the US waters and includes the boat, gas, captain fee and gratuity. If you want to tour the British waters you would need to add $45 per person for customs. Still a terrific deal for a private charter! And . . . . . YOU pick your destinations and schedule! It’s a memory of a lifetime! One of our favorite stops is Sandy Spit which is in the BVI’s and truly magical! Many a wedding has been planned there. Jost Van Dyke, also in the BVI’s is only 8 square miles and home of the world famous Soggy Dollar Bar The originator of the Pain Killer. There is a gorgeous white sandy beach with plenty of things to do and places to eat. A fairly new addition to Jost Van Dyke is the Man Jack Creamery, offering probably the very best ice cream I have ever had the pleasure of tasting! Norman Island has some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean and is famous for their caves, which was the inspiration for Robert Louis Stevenson novel “Treasure Island”. This is only to name a very few of the many amazing nearby destinations.
Scuba Diving: I like personally The St Thomas Dive Club located at the Bolongo Bay Resort, which has easy parking and tranquil uncrowded feel. There are several other locations for scuba, like Coki Dive Center, which is closer to the Villa, but more difficult for parking and usually has huge crowds of people. Both are good choices for scuba however.
If you are thinking of getting your dive certification while in the Caribbean, you can do so in just 2 days. There is an online that must be completed first however. This link is connected to The St Thomas Dive Club course. This link is for the Coki Dive Center course
Places to see & Things to do on St Thomas:
Coral World is a must if you have children, however most adults will enjoy it as well! Anyone who is unable to snorkel or dive will be treated to a first hand view of the underwater delights while viewing the Caribbean Reef Encounter. The Nautilus Semi Submarine offers an hour long trip which includes a small shipwreck and lots of tropical fish. Or, if you prefer, you can swim with the critters or enjoy the touching pools. There is plenty to do for everyone!
The Adventure Center, located on the Marriott Resort property offers a fascinating night time kayak tour. The kayaks are retrofitted with clear bottoms and strong LEDS for viewing the abundance of night time sea life! The tour lasts about 1&1/2 hours and costs only $49!
Mountain Top, home of the world famous Banana Daiquiri, Is the shoppers mecca with a vast array clothing, swimwear, souvenirs, jewelry etc. The prices are fair and you will not have to deal with negotiating the prices, which is customary at all of the roadside vender kiosks and most of the shops down town. In my opinion, the biggest reason to visit Mountain Top is the absolutely amazing views to be seen on their large observation deck just behind the daiquiri bar. It’s the highest view of Magen’s Bay and on a clear day you can see many of the BVI’s. There are several map quides to show you what you are looking at, which makes it much more interesting!
Phantasea Tropical Botanical Garden is a beautifully designed horticultural paradise with a huge array of gorgeous tropical plants and many places to sit and enjoy the beauty of the lush gardens. A great way to take advantage of an overcast day. Admission is $18 for adults, $10 for children. The rates on their website are incorrect.
Paradise Point has a terrific view of the cruise ship harbor and Charlotte Amalie. The sunsets there are quite special with the town and cruise ship lights aglow it’s spectacular! There are 2 ways to get there, the tram, which is $21 per person or you can drive up, parking and admission is free. The road up is right next to Harley Davidson St Thomas in Havensite. Check to be sure they are open first, as they follow the cruise schedule more often than not. My recommendation is, take the tram up after 5pm on Wednesday night, which is “locals night”. The tram is only $5 at that time and they have live music from 7pm to 10pm. Enjoy the bar, restaurant, shops and view!
Drakes Seat on Hull Bay Rd is another beautiful view point of Magen’s Bay. Not as high up as Mountain Top, but just as beautiful!
Skyline Drive Overlook has a spectacular view of Charlotte Amalie as well as some vender kiosks for light souvenir shopping. It’s a wonderful photo opportunity.
Blackbeards Castle is located just above downtown. The entrance is on Maude Lightfoot Dr. With the purchase of the tour ($12.50), you will also have access to the famous 99 steps , several beautiful colonial homes that date back to the 1800’s, and the lovely castle grounds and swimming pool, so bring a swim suit if you are so inclined.
Fort Christian has been under renovation since 2005 and to the best of my knowledge is not yet open. However, it is a local landmark and quite beautiful. It is located on the waterfront and you pass it on the route to the Villa from the airport.
Red Hook is where you will want to go if you are looking for any sort of night life. It’s a quaint little community with shops, restaurants and bars lining both sides of the street. It’s also the home of the world famous Duffy’s Love Shack. Interestingly it is located in a parking lot with zero view, but has so much character and such fabulous drinks that it is crowded all the time. Across the street from Duffy’s on the second level are several restaurants the over look the marina. The view is quite stunning.
Magen’s Bay Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, is the closest beach to Paradise Found and a has all the amenities. It’s a gorgeous place and you should not miss it! However, check the cruise ship schedule first and plan a your visit to Magen’s Bay on either a non cruise ship day or a light day. When 5 ships are in dock, it’s zoo and your better off enjoying the pool here at Paradise Found.
Hull Bay Beach Is frequented mostly by local families and boaters. It’s a great beach to go to on cruise ship days since they never stop there. It’s a tranquil beach and the home of Hull Bay Hideaway a restaurant and bar just off the beach.
Coki Beach is quite lovely and not to be missed, but also one to be avoided when there are a lot of cruise ships in dock. Lovely white sand, dive and snorkel shop, cocktail servers right on the beach and several restaurants right on the sand. Coki Beach and Point is also the home of Coral World so you can easily make a day of it.
Bolongo Bay Beach is a small resort nestled in a scenic little bay where there is always a cooling breeze. It is also the home of Iggy’s restaurant and bar. Head over for an early lunch and spend the rest of the day lounging in the colorful Adirondack chairs or swing in the hammock. St Thomas dive club is also located there, for snorkeling and diving excursions.
Secret Harbor Beach which is on the road to the Ritz Carlton, is another quaint lovely little bay similar to Bolongo. Eat, drink, snorkle or just relax! A perfect day!
Linquist Beach at Smith Bay Park located on the road to Red Hook is another popular beach destination. Lots of white sand, some tide pools and great for swimming! There is a $5 per person entrance fee as well as a $2 parking fee.
Sapphire Beach is known for it’s water sports and beautifully colored water. It’s free to park and enter the beach area. Not much of a selection for food and drinks however.