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Planning Your Trip

Brimming with history and ringed with white-sand beaches and spectacular snorkeling destinations, St. Thomas, known as the gateway isle of the U.S. Virgin Islands, offers visitors a wide array of activities from historic tours to watersports. Here’s what to bring to take advantage of the best of the island.


Beach Vacation

With 30 acres of pristine oceanfront, The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas is ideal for swimming, sunning and generally relaxing on the water. Pack these essentials to make the most of your R&R:


  • Bring a few bathing suits. It’s best to have a fresh suit waiting while the suit from the morning’s dip is drying.
  • While the weather is generally in the 80s during the day and averages in the low 70s at night, it’s wise to bring a light layer or pashmina both to shield yourself from the sun and to ward off any chill from the air conditioning inside.
  • Be prepared for lots of sunny days on St. Thomas — bring sunglasses, a hat and sunscreen with SPF.
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Resort Essentials

Life on the property is largely quite casual — bathing suits and flip-flops are de rigueur — so pack your favorite summer staples made for relaxing.



  • A fun caftan to throw on over a bathing suit or cotton or linen shorts and shirt outfit are good versatile items that will take you from a beachside cabana to a casual poolside lunch.
  • “Resort casual” is the dress code at Bleuwater and Alloro restaurants — meaning bathing suits and, for men, sleeveless shirts are not permitted — so bring an easy change of clothes if you’re planning on a dinner reservation at either spot.



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Outdoor Adventure

There is a lot to do both on- and off-site, from sailing on the resort’s private catamaran to a day of private island hopping. Here’s what to bring to take advantage of every opportunity: 


  • For hiking to hidden beaches as well as exploring shorelines on private isles, bring a pair of sturdy, nonslip and water-resistant shoes.
  • While snorkeling gear is included on any snorkeling activities, consider wearing a rash guard to protect skin, particularly children’s, from the sun.
  • Rainfall peaks in May and again around September. While the total rainfall often isn’t significant, it’s wise to bring a light waterproof layer.   




U.S. citizens traveling to St. Thomas are allowed a duty-free shopping quota of $1,600 — significantly larger than anywhere else in the world. If you plan on shopping, consider bringing an extra carry-on to bring home your purchases.

It’s no wonder that St. Thomas is the most well-known of the three major U.S. Virgin Islands — pristine white beaches, elevated dining experiences, exciting outdoor activities and year-round sunshine make it an ideal destination. Here’s what to schedule before you visit to make the most of your time.  

Outdoor Excursions

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There are so many ways to enjoy the outdoors while at the resort. Plan on spending a day trying out the resort’s stand-up paddle boards, kayaks, Hobie Cats, or snorkel equipment for a day on the water, or hop on the Lady Lynsey II for a day sail on the Caribbean Sea. For a bit of R&R, reserve one of poolside cabanas or the exclusive beach gazebo for the day.

Dining Reservations

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Reserve ahead at Bleuwater for Asian-inspired cuisine with local sashimi, stir fry and an Asian take on the fresh catch. At Alloro, enjoy authentic Italian fare and an extensive wine list while dining indoors or eat alfresco to the soft Caribbean breezes. Dine beachfront at Coconut Cove, with St. Thomas specialties and Caribbean influence.

Spa Appointments

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Indulge in a day of pampering at the spa. Of particular note are the Seaside Cabana Massage, performed to the soundtrack of gentle waves and the sea breeze, and the Island Indulgence Massage, an aromatherapy massage combined with a hydrating foot mask and hot coconut oil hair treatment.

Day Trips

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Spend a day off-site experiencing the history of the island with a visit to the picturesque “99 steps” (actually 103) that cut through the hills near Charlotte Amalie harbor; the nearby Blackbeard’s Castle dating back to the 1600s; or the St. Thomas Synagogue with its unique sand floor. Take a scenic drive to Mountain Top — the highest point on St. Thomas; visit 11 acres of private botanic gardens nestled atop the island’s volcanic peaks; or visit Coral World to enter the Undersea Observatory Tower — an underwater viewing gallery that allows visitors to see marine life up close and in their natural habitat.

As the gateway island to the U.S. Virgin Islands, St. Thomas is ripe with history and dramatic scenic beauty. Its capital city, Charlotte Amalie, was founded by Dutch explorers in the 17th century and is now a major cruise ship port, as well as a popular destination for snorkelers, scuba divers, eco-tourists and beachgoers. With vibrant blue water, pristine beaches and plenty of museums, landmarks — including a pirate watchtower — and fine bars and restaurants to explore, St. Thomas is primed for both relaxation and adventure. 


Island Adventures

Open water, blue skies and white-sand beaches make St. Thomas the perfect island getaway. And after your beach time, there are plenty of opportunities for active exploration — from snorkeling or scuba diving trips to hiking, zip-lining and more. Over three days, you can get an entire island experience and, as always, you’ll return to The Ritz-Carlton, St. Thomas for the rest, relaxation and rejuvenation you’ll crave after an adventure. 


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The Perfect Weekend

Although beautiful beaches and world-famous snorkeling are the top attractions on St. Thomas, the gateway to the U.S. Virgin Islands, there are also countless other things to explore. Museums, parks and historic landmarks abound, while colorful restaurants and bars give visitors a taste of local flavor. There’s so much to see and do, and a weekend on St. Thomas gives you ample time to get a solid sense of the island. 


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