10 Things to Do in St. Thomas
The running theme I found at Frenchman's Reef was that every restaurant, bar and hotel room has an incredible view. Whether you are dining on the beach at CoCo Joe's, enjoying a buffet brunch at Aqua Terra which has stunning island and harbor views, or spending the evening star gazing at the Rum Bar, the resort has incredible picture taking options wherever you turn -- and even has selfie stations where you can snap the ultimate photo. Or you can just sit on your balcony each morning, greet a bird and snap a photo. Just use the Twitter handle @FrenchmansReef #TravelBrilliantly if you'd like to share your photos while you're vacationing.
Favorite restaurant in St. Thomas: Havana Blue
The Marriott provides a free shuttle service that takes you to all of their properties and that definitely comes in handy after you've taken a long stroll to the beach and are too tired to walk back to your room. While we were able to dine at all the restaurants located near the hotel, our favorite was Havana Blue, an upscale latin inspired dining option with ocean views, a fabulous wine list, cocktails and desserts that were out of this world. The service was phenomenal, and the food was spectacular. My daughter couldn't get enough of the snapper special and I was partial to the s'mores cocktail. Just be prepared -- the prices at Havana Blue are incredibly expensive but if you're looking for an amazing dining experience, then it's a can't miss when visiting St. Thomas. Right below Havana Blue is the Sand Bar, a less expensive dining option for couples and families that's located right next to the beach and also offers a weekend brunch.
I have to say that the best part of our visit to St. Thomas were the excursions we took each day. Right in the lobby of Frenchman's Reef is the Adventure Center where you can pretty much book any type of tour, snorkeling trip and island hopping package to keep you on your toes throughout the week. While there are hundreds of activities to choose from, we opted for a snorkeling tour, a sunset sail, a visit to St. John, night kayaking, paddle board lessons and once my daughter was instantly hooked, she also tried paddle board yoga.
The dock for all our activities was conveniently located right near our hotel so all we needed to do was walk down a few flights of stairs and then hop on a catamaran or ferry boat to take us to our destination. You can also purchase ferry tickets at the Adventure Center too. A one way ferry ride is $7 per person.
Book all your St. Thomas excursions with the Adventure Center
Best Snorkeling Trip & Sunset Sail: The Cat
A trip to St. Thomas wouldn't be complete without a visit to the shops in town. We were pretty strategic with our trip. Since it costs between $6-8 per person to take a taxi into town, my husband and son decided to stay back at the hotel while we took a cab to the shops. We first strolled through an open air market where we could bargain our way to the best price on a knock off bag, beads, jewelry and more.
There are tons of jewelry stores in St. Thomas and you can get some really great deals on tanzanite. We managed to score a pair of tanzanite earrings, a necklace and a ring from a shopkeeper who actually had someone who directed us to his storefront since he was a little off the beaten path. We also picked up a few pairs of Laramar earrings -- another stone that's indigenous to St. Thomas and we even found some gorgeous paintings that we purchased that were created by a local artist.
While we had an awesome time aboard The Cat for our Sunset Sail, one of the best moments of the trip took place when we went night kayaking (sorry no photos since I was too busy getting freaked out by big fish under my boat). If you've never tried that before, it's pretty amazing. After you get a brief kayaking lesson on shore you hop into a boat with a glass bottom that glows in the dark. Once you're on the water, you can literally watch as sea turtles, stingrays and a host of other very large fish travel right under your kayak. I also loved that we paddled out to the home of the owner of the Bellagio Hotel which kicks off a light and cannon show every night for onlookers.
Can't Miss Evening Adventure: Night Kayaking
Spectacular Views & A Mouth Watering Menu: Mafolie
One of the most romantic restaurants in St. Thomas is Mafolie -- set high atop a mountain, the restaurant boasts fantastic views of the island and ocean, delicious Caribbean fare and a tasty wine and cocktail list too.
Another highlight of the trip was our ferry visit to St. John. While you can take a full tour of the island that includes a visit to a rum plantation and some time at the beach, we decided to hop aboard the ferry and spend the day on our own time. Luckily, we managed to find a very friendly taxi driver named Chris who directed us to a deli for breakfast and then took us to a more secluded beach, Cinnamon Bay where the kids got to paddle board again and I continued reading my book.
Breathtaking views & secluded beaches: St. John
While it is pretty hot and humid in St. Thomas in August, the good news is, wherever you look, there's the pool or the ocean and even a swim up bar if you don't want to get out of the water to enjoy a cocktail.
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