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 The Caribbean Island of St. Thomas

st thomas-caribbean 

The Island of Saint Thomas is located the Caribbean, a county and constituent district of the United States Virgin Islands (USVI), an unincorporated territory of the United States. Charlotte Amalie is the island’s territorial capital and port. The island total land area is approximately 31.24 square miles (80.9 km2).


The island was originally settled around 1500 BC by the Ciboney people. They were later replaced by the Arawaks and then the Caribs. Christopher Columbus sighted the island in 1493 on his second voyage to the "New World". The Caribs barely survived the first decades of contact with Europeans, either due to disease, deportation or slaying.

The Dutch West India Company established a post on Saint Thomas in 1657. The Danish conquered the island in 1666, and by 1672 had established control over the entire island through the Danish West India and Guinea Company.


The land was divided into plantations and sugar cane production became the primary economic activity. As a result, the economies of Saint Thomas and neighboring islands of Saint John and Saint Croix became highly dependent on slave labor and the slave trade. In 1685 the Brandenburgisch-Africanische Compagnie took control of the slave trade on Saint Thomas, and for some time the largest slave auctions in the world were held there. Saint Thomas was known for its fine natural harbor, known as "Taphus" for the drinking establishments located nearby. In 1691 the primary settlement there was renamed Charlotte Amalie in honor of the wife of Denmark's King Christian V. It was later declared a free port by King Frederick V.

The religious training of the African slaves was not of interest to the Danish colonial government. In December 1732, the first two of many Moravian Brethren missionaries came from Herrnhut Saxony in present day Germany to minister to them. Distrusted at first by the white masters, they lived among the slaves and soon won their confidence. A small Jewish community was set up in Charlotte Amalie and set up a historic synagogue Beracha Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim, the oldest synagogue in continuous use in the United States.

While the sugar trade had brought prosperity to the island's free citizens, by the early 19th century Saint Thomas was in decline. The continued export of sugar was threatened by hurricanes, drought, and American competition. In 1848, slavery was abolished and the resulting rise in labour costs further weakened the position of Saint Thomas' sugar producers. Given its harbors and fortifications, Saint Thomas still retained a strategic importance, and thus in the 1860s the United States government considered buying the island and its neighbors from Denmark for $7.5 million, but failed to find domestic legislative support for the bid.

 Things to do in St. Thomas

Cyril E. King Airport Transportation

People go in and out of the island by the Cyril E. King Airport and the sea.
The United States Virgin Islands is the only place under the jurisdiction United States where driving on the left is the rule of the road. This was brought down from the then-current Danish practice at the time of the American purchase in 1917. However, because St. Thomas is a U.S. territory, most cars are imported from the mainland United States and as a result, the steering column is located on the left side of the vehicle.

There are open-air cabs, also known as the "dollar bus". It costs one or two dollars depending on one's destination, and is the cheapest way to navigate the island. There are set routes that it follows. One passes by every drop-off location about every 5-10 minutes.
Passenger and limited car ferry services to neighboring islands such as Water Island, St. John, St. Croix, and the British Virgin Islands run regularly out of the Red Hook, Charlotte Amalie, and Crown Bay marinas.

st. thomas attractionAttractions 

Bolongo Bay: The Bolongo Bay Beach can be located at the southern end of The Bolongo Beach Resort, this beach offers a variety of water sports and beach toy rentals.

Brewer’s Bay: Located near the University of the Virgin Islands campus, Brewer’s Bay is a family favorite for weekend picnics and gatherings. Visitors can relax in the shallow waters or sunbathe on the wide shore.

Coki Beach: Located on Coki Point, this white sand beach with crystal clear water offers excellent snorkeling and diving. Beachside eateries serve picnic table fare including burgers, sandwiches and some local dishes. There is a dive shop, Jet Ski rental and several vendors renting snorkel gear, beach chairs and floats. Right next to Coral World Ocean Park, it’s easy to make a day of visiting both attractions.

While visiting St. Thomas you can take a glimpse into 18th century city planning by walking up or down the 99 steps, view defense structures like a fort, canons and watch towers or learn about local history at museums and historic houses. More on Historical Sights.

Driving to the top of the highest mountain on St. Thomas for a fabulous view or stopping at the famous Drakes Seat for a stunning panoramic of Magens Bay. You can explore these lookout points and other interesting sites around the island on your own or on a tour with a knowledgeable guide.

Ride on a tram to a spot with a name that says it all; Paradise Point. Enjoy the underwater scenery at a marine park or by submarine.

The St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point, a modern aerial cable car, is your ride to the best sightseeing in the Virgin Islands. The trip is 7 minutes one-way and takes you 700 feet above sea level. Stay at the top for as long as you want and enjoy unique shops, a neat Bird Show (10:30am, 1:30pm & 3:30pm), a fun bar featuring the famous Bushwacker, a grill for a nice lunch and fabulous panoramic views of cruise ships, Charlotte Amalie harbor and neighboring islands.

Spend the day at Coral World Ocean Park, one of St. Thomas’s Greatest Attractions. Get up close and personal with the beauty and magic of Caribbean marine life in a stunning setting. View life on a coral reef from the unique Undersea Observatory. Pet a shark, hand feed a stingray or a rainbow lorikeet! There are several gift shops, cafes and shower facilities. Additional activities include brand new Sea Lion Splash, Sea Trek Helmet Dive, Shark and Turtle Encounters, Nautilus Semi-Sub, Parasailing and Snuba. Located next to Coki Beach. Open 9-5 daily, November - May. Summer schedule may vary.

Getting Married In St. Thomas

saint thomas marrage 

St. Thomas is bless with historic churches, centuries-old sugar mills and forts, romantic resorts, unique wedding locales, glorious palm-fringed beaches and easy marriage laws, the U.S. Virgin Islands is a natural aphrodisiac for budget-conscious couples or those for whom the ultimate ceremony has no price tag. you have the choice of three Island to choose from for your perfect wedding day.

St. Croix, the historic, free-spirited jewel

St. John, the unspoiled natural beauty
St. Thomas, the cosmopolitan sister
Whatever island you select, experienced resort and independent wedding specialists are available to offer an overwhelmed amount of help to plan a ceremony nothing short of amazing.

Services are available for first-time brides and grooms, those renewing vows or couples just interested in reaffirming their love for each other. Exchanging vows the traditional way, say in one of St. Thomas’s beautiful churches, remains en vogue with many couples. Synagogues, mosques, Moravian churches, Catholic cathedral, and other houses of worship can be reserved. Interested in something unconventional? Consider getting married underwater, aboard a charter yacht or in a lavish villa. For a reception like no other, dine surrounded by a coral reef aquarium, or enjoy drinks in a submarine immersed in the Caribbean Sea. Coordinators will take care of every minute detail, including incorporating family traditions; recreating special themes; helping with the menu selection; getting custom floral arrangements, photographers and musicians; and arranging for unique gifts and activities for you or any guests or family members.

Legal Requirements
St. Thomas is a U.S. Territory; it is easy for citizens of the United States and Canada to obtain a marriage license. There is no stay to meet a residency requirement or blood test needed before getting a marriage license. You must however be a signed, notarized and authorized application to the Territorial Court - Your Wedding Coordinator will arrange that for you.
It can take a minimum of seven working days to obtain the marriage license and must be arranged before you arrive on island. Follow these steps to obtain your marriage license, please allow a minimum of two months in order to ensure receipt.

Click here to Download the Marriage Application (PDF) and complete it. The Marriage Application must be submitted to the Territorial Court of the USVI at least one month prior to the ceremony date (see below for mailing address).

Marriage Application Tips:
1.Parents"- State both parents' names
2."Mother's maiden name"- For both Bride and Groom
3.Place of birth"- For both parents
4.Previous marriages - Certified copy of divorce or death certificate must accompany application
The following must accompany the Marriage Application:
 5. letter detailing arrival and departure dates, location of stay (Wyndham Sugar Bay Resort), On-Island contact: (Lorna Richardson, Wedding Coordinator, Wyndham Sugar Bay)
6. certified check or money order for $100.00 ($50.00 - Non-refundable for application fee and $50.00 - Marriage license fee)
Mailing the Application
It is recommended that you send this information via Federal Express or Express Mail in order to have a tracking number to confirm its receipt. You also have the option to send it regular mail. Make copies of the information that you send to the court, and bring them with you to St. Thomas.

Mail to:
Territorial Court of the Virgin Islands
Veterans Drive
St. Thomas, USVI 00804
Phone: (340) 774-6680, Ext. 6207
Once in St. Thomas you will need to pickup your license at the Territorial Court in Downtown, Charlotte Amalie. NOTE: If time allows, upon arrival, stop by the court on the way to your Resort from the airport.
The application will need to be notarized at the Territorial Court. There is no physical exam or blood test required.
There are no restrictions regarding arriving on island prior to your ceremony. you must go to the courthouse for the signing of the license. It is open Monday-Friday from 9:00am to 5:00pm, and Saturdays from 10:00am to 12:00 Noon Closed on Holidays. (There are 20 legal holidays observed in St. Thomas. Verify in advance with your Wedding Coordinator, that your dates are not in conflict with one of these holidays.)
The language of St. Thomas and the rest of the US Virgin Islands are English. The literacy rate in the Virgin Islands is around 90-95%.It is common to hear French Creole and Spanish spoken, particularly on St. Thomas and St. Croix. Spanish is spoken in the Virgin Islands by immigrants of Puerto Rico and Santo Domingo. French Creole is spoken by immigrants from St. Barthélemy, St. Lucia, St. Martin, Dominica, French Guyana, Guadeloupe, Haiti and Martinique.

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Our source: Over 70% of the information on this page was taken from the other information was  from knowledge of the island.