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SI Swimsuit 2022 Destinations: St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands

This oasis is a cosmopolitan island paradise waiting to be experienced.
Magens Bay aerial view

Magens Bay in St. Thomas

SI SWIMSUIT 2022 DESTINATIONS: BELIZE | BARBADOS | DOMINICAN REPUBLIC | MONTENEGRO | USVI ST. THOMAS | USVI ST. CROIX

When Breanna Stewart, Sue Bird, Te’a Cooper, Didi Richards and Nneka Ogwumike made their way to St. Thomas to shoot content for SI Swimsuit’s 2022 issue, they were greeted by an island pulsing with the same energy to match theirs. Being a U.S. territory, St. Thomas is exotic yet American. As the most cosmopolitan of the four U.S. Virgin Islands, it’s a destination brimming with beauty, world-class dining, shopping and incomparable views of the Caribbean.

Staying at The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas, located at Great Bay, provided the cast and crew with spectacular panoramic views of St. John and the Caribbean. The resort offers a myriad of luxurious amenities, including oceanside dining at one of their four restaurants, an infinity pool (built after the most recent $100 million renovation) and access to the resort's own luxury catamaran—not to mention its world-class spa. The Ritz-Carlton St. Thomas is an obvious choice when visiting the spectacular Island.

St.Thomas is a versatile destination that can appease any party looking for anything. With so much to offer, we think St. Thomas should be your next destination!

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More from SwimLife

USVI FAQ: Part 1

Where is USVI?

The U.S. Virgin Islands are located in the Leeward Islands of the Lesser Antilles, surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

How do I get to USVI?

Flights operate out of most East Coast hubs. Day trippers can also visit by cruise ship, departing from Miami, Ft. Lauderdale and other ports.

Any interesting historic notes about USVI?

The United States purchased USVI for $25 million in gold. The USVI are one of the earliest U.S. locations to abolish slavery. St. Croix’s Point Udall is the easternmost point of the United States. The islands have flown seven different country flags, including the U.S. flag.

Royal Dane Mall St. Thomas

Royal Dane Mall in St. Thomas

What is USVI known for and why?

It’s known as America’s Paradise because of its beauty and all the familiar features for American travelers: currency, language, transportation and duty-free shopping up to $1,600 with no sales tax.

Tell us about the different islands in the USVI. What makes each so special?

The archipelago of the USVI, composed of St. Thomas, St. John, St. Croix and Water Island. St. Thomas is for the cosmopolitan traveler who wants a busy vacation. St. John is for the nature lover who can do without the crowds—and there’s no airport. St. Croix is the cultural sister, steeped in history but still full of vibrancy and world-class restaurants. Water Island, located in the St. Thomas Harbor, is accessible by a 10-minute ferry and extremely quiet. Rent a golf cart to tour and visit the beautiful Honeymoon Beach. You can travel between islands by ferry or seaplane.

What is the weather like in USVI?

82 degrees is the average year-round temperature. Summer months are hot, but you can cool off in one of our beautiful beaches. Like the rest of the Caribbean, we are on watch during Hurricane Season, June through November.

Best time of year to travel to USVI?

Our busy season is December through April, so rates are a little higher. With our year-round pleasant temperatures, it’s always a good time to travel to the U.S. Virgin Islands.

What is the topography like in USVI?

St. Croix, the largest of the islands, is the flattest. St. Thomas and St. John are most hilly with the highest elevation slightly over 1,500 feet. The islands are volcanic.

Must-have packing items for a trip to USVI?

  • Reef-safe sunscreen does not contain the chemicals oxybenzone, octinoxate or octocrylene, which studies show are extremely harmful to coral and thus have impacted our reef cover
  • Hat
  • Cover-up (yes, we have a public nudity law)
  • Bathing suit
  • Sundress
  • A good book
  • Sunglasses

What should I bring home from USVI and why?

Think local when looking for souvenirs and must-have gifts for your friends and family. There are lots of local jewelry makers with signature pieces recognized around the world.

Try locally produced soaps, body products and candles, handcrafted with island fragrances, or hot sauce—it’s fresh with a tasty burn

Kayaks on the beach at Magens Bay in St. Thomas

Kayak's on the beach at Magens Bay St. Thomas