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St. Thomas, one of the three United States Virign Islands, along with St. Croix and St. John, St. Thomas is one of the most beautiful island destinations in the world, dressed with powdery beaches and sun-drenched weather. St. Thomas is located in the Lesser Antilles, 1,600 miles south, south east of New York City; 1,100 east, southeast of Miami; 70 miles of San Juan. St. Thomas and its nearby neighbor St. John, lay between the Atlantic and the Caribbean.

St. Thomas offers the natural beauty of the islands with a sophisticated and cosmopolitan atmosphere. Charlotte Amalie, the capital of the U.S. Virgins, is one of the most breathtaking harbors in the world and the most visited port in the Caribbean. Exquisite dining, spectacular nightlife, and the finest duty-free shopping in the world are abundant in Charlotte Amalie. Its reputation as the shopping capital of the Caribbean draws hundreds of thousands of visitors annually from throughout the Caribbean region and the world.
A mountainous island with shimmering bays, powdery white beaches, flowing green hills, and a near perfect climate year round make this destination one of the most desirable in the world.

The second largest of the United States Virgin Islands, St. Thomas spans 32 square miles of tropical beauty. The island is bounded by the Atlantic Ocean on the North site and the Caribbean Sea on the South. Its highest peaks rise to 1,550 ft. above sea level, providing breathtaking views from almost every direction.

St. Thomas is the liveliest island of the three U.S. Virgins, and, perhaps, the liveliest in the Caribbean, with attractions including everything from sightseeing and shopping to sailing, swimming, snorkeling, diving, windsurfing, and kayaking. Or, simply find your favorite sandy spot and relax.

Drakes Seat above Magens Bay is an excellent spot for panoramic and photographic vistas of this beautiful bay and the surrounding islands. Local lore has it that Sir Francis Drake used this for his lookout. Mountain Top offers the best north side and down-island view from one of St. Thomas' mountain peaks. There you will find shops, a restaurant, and a viewing deck.

Black Beard's Castle, originally known as "Skytsborg," is a historic landmark. Its tower is considered the "oldest extant historical structure in the Virgin Islands." Pirates reportedly once called this area home. Blue Beard's Castle, according to local lure, was a home of a 19th century pirate.

Government House, the center of official life in St. Thomas since it was built in the mid-1860's, is famous for the 99 steps from Government Hill to Lille Tarne Gade (Danish for Little Tower Street) is well known. Most streets in town retain the Danish "Gade" name pronounced "Ga-da".

Emancipation Garden is a charming park at east end of Main Street, commemorating the freeing of slaves in 1848. The two statues link the island's heritage: a bust of Danish King Christian and a scaled down replica of the American Liberty Bell.

Fort Christian is the oldest standing structure on St. Thomas that was built between the years 1666 and 1680 with additions in 1874. It served as the center of the first Danish settlement and the fort survived fires and hurricanes that devastated much of the town of Charlotte Amalie in the 18th and 19th centuries.


SIZE
St. Thomas - 32 Square Miles
St. John - 19 Square Miles
St. Croix - 84 Square Miles

POPULATION
St. Thomas has 52,000 residents
John has 4,300 residents
St. Croix has 54,000 residents

LANGUAGE
There are many West Indian dialects which you may hear, most of them are predominantly English based. There are people from all over the Caribbean living here so If you don't understand what has been said to you, politely ask for the person to repeat what they have said. Preface all questions and requests with a greeting first. Customarily, "Good Morning" or "Good Day" will get you prompt service and many smiles.

CURRENCY & CREDIT CARDS
The currency of the US Virgin Islands is the US Dollar. Major credit cards are accepted in almost all - but not all - establishments. Ask before you make a purchase or order food. ATM machines are located in banks and at other commercial locations. There is a free-standing ATM machine on the West Indian Company Cruise Ship Dock next to the Welcome Center.

BANKS
The following banks operate in the US Virgin Islands:
Banco Popular
First Bank Virgin Islands
Scotiabank

TAXATION
There is no sales tax in the Virgin Islands. Residents pay income tax to the USVI government. There are no state income taxes. See Customs & Immigration for customs information.

MAIL
The US Virgin Islands are a territory of the United States and therefore use the same postal system and US mail rates. You can mail an unlimited amount of locally purchased gifts back to the states. These will not count in your total USVI Duty-Free allowance.

DRESS
We are more than just a beach destination and bathing suits worn elsewhere, especially in the downtown areas, tends to offend the local residents. So, please, wear proper attire (no bare midriffs or chests) in town and public areas away from the beach.

PHONES
The Virgin Island area code is 340. There are public phones throughout the commercial areas. You can make calls just as you would in the United States using credit cards or by calling collect. There is an AT&T Calling Center located in Havensight, across from the cruise ship dock on route 30.

CELLPHONES
Your cell phone may work here as well. AT&T, Sprint and Innovative Wireless all have local service and will allow you to make calls based on your rate plan. Roaming may or may not incur additional charges. Check with your provider for specific rates and coverage.

MEDICAL
For 24 hour medical care call Red Hook Family Practice at 775-2303 (St. Thomas office) or 776-6789 (St. John office) or call Doctors on Duty 776-7966. St. Thomas Hospital phone number is 776-8311.

ISLAND CREATURES
The mongoose take care of our snakes, the scorpions sting but aren't poisonous. If you are prone to allergies you may have similar reactions to various insect bites and stings.


Information provided by www.VirginIslandsthisweek.com

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