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St Thomas is the second largest of the four major US Virgin Islands. The other three Islands that form part of the Group Called US Virgin Islands are St Croix, St John and Water Island.
St Thomas is 32 square miles and is Centre of commerce and trade for the US Virgin Islands.
The capital, Charlotte Amalie is located on St Thomas. In this article we will explore all the pros and cons of living in St Thomas.
The pros of living in St Thomas are its low crime rate, stable currency, beautiful natural scenery and incredible beaches. On the other hand, living in St Thomas has its cons such as the threat of natural disasters, the high cost of shipping to the island, power outages and traffic congestion.
Read on for comprehensive details of the pros and cons of living in St Thomas.
Pros Of Living In St Thomas
St Thomas is blessed with amazing beaches. Magens Bay is a beautiful one mile stretch of white sand.
Located on the Northern end of the island, this beach is the island’s most popular with both locals and tourists alike. The water is usually very calm which makes it perfect for small children.
Another well-loved beach on the island is Coki beach. In terms of snorkeling, Coki beach is one of the best options in St Thomas. This beach is perfect for beginners and individuals new to snorkeling.
A key feature in Smith Bay Park is Lindquist beach has clear turquoise waters ideal for swimming.
The beach area has several amenities which make it perfect for entertainment including tables, bathrooms and lifeguards.
Beautiful Natural Scenery
When it comes to beautiful natural scenery, St Thomas has a lot to offer. Mountain Top and Drake’s Seat are excellent spots with stunning views in St Thomas.
Mountain top is 1500 feet above sea level and provides a stunning view the other US Virgin Islands and the British Virgin Islands. From mountain top you can see a total of 20 islands.
Alternatively Drake’s seat offers an amazing view of Magens Bay, the other US Virgin Islands and British Virgin Islands to the East.
Mermaid’s Chair is also a location on the Rock City’s West Coast which is a must see on the island of St Thomas.
This area is a small strip that separates the Atlantic Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. It is best to visit during low tide if you will like to walk across this strip.
The Island Is Safe
Generally, St Thomas is a safe island. On a whole, crime on the island is related to domestic issues and not directed at visitors to the island.
According to The St Thomas Source, in an article published February 17th, 2021, there was a marked increase in crime on the island during the pandemic.
As per the Police Commissioner, Trevor Velinor in 2020 there was double the amount of robberies, a 14% increase in homicides, 24% increase in domestic violence calls and an increasing in shooting assaults when compared to 2019.
There was a total of 49 homicides of which 20 (41%) were on the island of St Thomas.
Locals and visitors to the island therefore should be extra cautious with their valuables. Avoid leaving laptops and electronic gadgets unattended.
Easy Access To Major International Cities
The international airport for the US Virgin Islands is in St Thomas and it is called Cyril E King. This airport is one of the busiest in the Eastern Caribbean.
Several airlines such as Continental Airlines, American Airlines, United Airlines and Delta Airlines provide both connecting and direct flights to the island. These flights serve persons visiting other US Virgin Island territories.
Additionally, Cyril E King airport is also an important connecting gateway for the British Virgin Islands where no direct international flights serve this island grouping.
Easy To Island Hop
Being a hub island in the US Virgin Islands, there are many ferries traveling daily to neighboring islands. These include the British Virgin Islands.
There are three areas on the island where you can join a ferry. These terminals are Crown Bay Marina, Red Hook Terminal an Edward Blyden Terminal.
Seaborne Airlines also offers sea plane service between the islands. Cape Air provides direct and connecting flights between Puerto Rico, St Thomas, St Croix and Tortola.
St Thomas is a dependency of the United States of America and as such uses the US dollars. This makes it convenient for tourists visiting from other islands as well as persons who are considering relocating to St Thomas.
Cons Of Living In St Thomas
The Threat of Natural Disasters
One disadvantage of living in St Thomas is the threat of natural disaster in particular hurricanes. The hurricane season in the Caribbean begins in June 1 and ends in November 30 of each year.
The last major hurricanes to affect St Thomas were hurricane Maria and Irma both in 2017 which hit the island as category 5 storms.
The location of St Thomas also makes it susceptible to earthquakes. The last major earthquake that affected St Thomas was in 1867 which led to a tsunami which caused major damage to the island.
Many households on the island have more than one vehicle and as a result during rush hours expect traffic delays.
Plan ahead and take into consideration instances where there is current road construction.
Over the past few months, there were a number of power outages on the island. These were not as a result of factors such as natural disasters.
If moving to the island, consider renting a place with a generator especially if you are digital nomad and dependent on power for your work.
Limited Access To Specialized Products
Being the hub for commercial activities in the US Virgin Islands, there is a presence of international brands on the island.
International brands such as Kmart, Walgreens and Home Depot all have outlets available on the island. Fast food chains such as KFC, Mc Donalds, Wendy’s also have a presence on the island.
Nevertheless, if you are taller, shorter or in need of specialized products you may find it difficult finding what you require on island. Online shopping is an option available for specialty products.
Shipping To The Island
St Thomas is part of the US Virgin Islands, however for shipping purposes it is treated as an international destination. Companies such as DHL and FEDEX charges international rates when shipping to St Thomas.
Nevertheless, USPS treats St Thomas as a US territory. Facilities such as next day delivery that apply if you live on the Mainland do not apply in St Thomas. When dealing with certain companies, there are restrictions on what you can ship to the island.
The pros of living in St Thomas are that the island safe, has easy access to international cities and amazing beaches. On the other hand, the cons of living in St Thomas are frequent power outages, the threat of natural disasters, limited access to the specialized products and traffic congestion.
If you are contemplating traveling to St Thomas or the rest of the Caribbean, cruising is an affordable option to consider. I have recently completed an informative course by cruise specialist, Emma Cruises which you should check out titled How To Cruise For Less.
This course provides detail tips and techniques on how to save money while cruising onboard, onshore as well as the importance of insurance. So if you if you are considering a cruise for your next Caribbean vacation, check out How To Cruise For Less.
Need More Information?
Feel free to browse our website for more content on the St Thomas and the Caribbean by using the search bar located at the top of this page. The following are some of our articles which we believe may be suitable for you.
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Pros & Cons of Living In The US Virgin Islands
Living In The British Virgin Islands (Pros & Cons)
Best Caribbean Islands For Solo Female Travelers
St Lucia Vs St Thomas: Which Island Is Better For A Vacation