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USVI Virgin Islands, St. Thomas Insider Travel Tips

Travel Tips by Burleson Consulting

The USVI has approximately 110,000 citizen residents, the majority spread across the islands of St. Thomas and St. Croix.  St. Thomas is the main tourist island and the seat of the territorial government.  Busy and metropolitan, the main town in St. Thomas is Charlotte Amalie, a busy tourist trap featuring duty-free liquor and jewelry.  The island topography is stunning, with dozens of gorgeous mountains trusting up from the azure blue Caribbean ocean.  The Virgin Islands are one of the most beautiful of the Caribbean islands, and, as such, they are very over-crowded, with an almost New York City feel.  The local roads are well-maintained, but they are steep and treacherous and the local drivers move like maniacs through the jigbacks of the mountain roads. 

Local favorite foods include Kalalloo soup, local stew chicken, as well as the ubiquitous peas and rice.  The locals have a fondness for Texas-style barbeque, and local haunts such as Mango Joe’s serve-up huge helpings of smoked ribs and beef brisket. 

Many wealthy part-time residents have homes on St. Thomas and there is a natural friction between the local population (85% African American) and the wealthy homeowners.  Many of the local speak a island-specific English dialect that is often unrecognizable as English, and they can be very rude to visitors who they consider a blight on their island paradise.  Upon arrival at the USVI airport, expect to be harassed by aggressive baggage porters who will help themselves to your baggage in hopes of ransoming a tip.  Crime and homelessness are pervasive in St. Thomas and hobo’s can be found on almost every street corner.   

There are all the comforts of the USA with KFC and McDonalds and local movie theater (at the Marketplace Mall near Tutu Mall) that shows first-run movies.

The islands of St. Croix and St. John are primarily residential and many workers on St. Thomas commute via seaplane daily to the docks at Charlotte Amalie.  The cruse ship port is always busy on Monday through Thursdays with as many as four giant cruisers in the dock at any given weekday.  The best times to shop is later in the week when the ships are in other ports.





Note: The opinions expressed on these pages are the sole opinion of Donald K. Burleson and do not reflect the opinions of Burleson Enterprises Inc. or any of its subsidiaries.

Suggestions?  We are always seeking new tips for the professional at leisure, and any suggestions would be most welcome.  If you find an error or have a suggestion for improving our content, we would appreciate your feedback. 

Copyright © 1996 -  2010 by Donald K Burleson. All rights reserved.