St. Thomas is one of the most popular cruise destinations in the Caribbean. It is known primarily for its duty-free shopping and for its beaches. 1.5 million cruise ship passengers visit St. Thomas each year.
This island along with St. John, St. Croix and 65 smaller islands
makes up the United States Virgin Islands, which is an organized unincorporated territory of the United States. Residents are United States citizens and the U.S. dollar is the currency.
Tourism is the largest component of the island’s economy.
Accordingly, the island is well-developed for tourism.
Charlotte Amalie is the capital and urban center. It sprawls around a fine natural harbor on the south side of the island. In addition to cruise ships, the bay is usually populated by numerous sail boats and yachts.
St. Thomas is volcanic in origin. Vegetation-covered hills rise up abruptly a short distance from the sea.
Although the island was under Danish rule for centuries, everyone speaks English.
St. Thomas enjoys summer-like weather all year round with
temperatures ranging from 73 to 89 degrees Fahrenheit. The island does not receive much rain but brief tropical showers are not uncommon, particularly in May and August through November. It is in the hurricane belt. Such storms are most likely in August and September although the season officially is from June through November.
Above: The Legislature Building built in the 1870s is the
home of the Senate of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Below: Government House, built in the 1860s, is the
administrative headquarters for the USVI.
Charlotte Amalie has several historic religious sites
including the Dutch Reformed Protestant Church (1844)
(above) and the Frederick Lutheran Church built in 1820
(left). Indeed, the St. Thomas Synagogue (Beracha
Veshalom Vegmiluth Hasidim) built in 1833 is the oldest
synagogue in continuous use under the American flag.
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