10-14 Jul 2017 St. Thomas (U.S. Virgin Islands)

Transportation and Lodging > Local Information

This is the official USVI office of tourism web page:



Money/credit cards

The USVI uses US dollar.

Major credit cards are accepted at bigger restaurants, supermarkets, shops, etc. At smaller places, or if buying from street vendors, cash is needed.

There are ATMs available at many locations, including one (Banco Popular) at the University.

The banks here are not common on the mainland, and most banks (including the big banks) on the mainland are not in the USVI. Hence you may be charged a fee when using ATMs here with a card from another bank. To avoid that, it may be a good idea to bring some cash.



Expect a mix of sun and cloud, with some showers. Daytime high will be 85-90 degrees Fahrenheit, while overnight low will be 70-75 degrees Fahrenheit. The weather stays roughly constant year round.

It is important to properly protect yourself from the Sun if you are outside during the day, as the Sun is strong here and you can easily get a sunburn.

The Atlantic Hurricane season runs from June to November, with the peak season from August into October, as in the southeast US.


There are dining options at the recommended hotels near the airport.

For other options, head east, towards town. West of campus there are residential ares, but very little if anything in terms of dining and shopping. Please be aware that service may be slower than at similar establishments on the mainland.


Tickles Dockside Pub in Crown Bay Marina: Pub, also nice breakfast menu

Victor's New Hideout, above Crown Bay: West Indian food

French Town has many restaurants, try for instance Hook, Line, and Sinker for a seafood restaurant.

Downtown (where the streets have Danish names, typically something “Gade”) there are many restaurants and bars, especially close to the water.

The big shopping street downtown is Dronningens Gade.


Supermarkets: The nearest supermarket to the University is Pueblo (on Veterans Drive, the main road from the University to town, near Crown Bay). Another Pueblo is downtown. While Pueblo has most of the things you'll expect from a supermarket, they look a bit different inside. For a more regular looking supermarket, try Plaza Extra Tutu at Tutu Park mall, or Food Center near Red Hook (East end). For more upscale markets, there is one in Crown Bay Marina.


Crown Bay is about 30 minutes walk from the hotels near the airport. At night it may not be advisable to walk there alone. A car or a taxi may be your best option to get there, and certainly for more distant locations.


Other Touristic Information

Use the promo code "STAR", we receive a 20% discount on any tour at http://viecotours.com/

Beaches in St. Thomas:

  • Brewers Bay (behind the University): great snorkeling spot, presence of showers and changing rooms. Free. Good for kids and family. Sea turtles, sting rays are often present.
  • Lindquist Beach: towards the east end  (after Red Hook area). State Park (entrance is $5) with bathrooms and changing rooms. No vendors (food or drinks). Pristine Beach, great for snorkeling, photoshooting. Turtles often present, sting rays, and corals (nino's favorite)-
  • Coki Beach (east end): $5 parking. Great snorkeling, food vendors and gear rentals. Near Coral World park. Good especially for kids.
  • Megan's Bay (north side): largest beach on island. Often crowded with tourists. $5 to enter. Vendors, rental shacks and facilities. Great for families.
  • Sapphire beach: entrance is the same of "Sapphire condos and villas", just say at the gate that you are going to the beach and ask where to park. Vendors and rental shack. Good snorkeling area. Great view of St. John.
  • Visit Water island: http://www.vinow.com/waterisland/gettingthere_wi/

Going to St. Johns:
Take the ferry from Red Hook (to Cruz Bay). We suggest take the Barge ferry and go over to St. John with the car to explore the island better. http://www.vinow.com/travel/virgin-islands-ferry-schedules/

Best beaches in St. John: Solomon beach/Honeymoon Beach (secluded), Oppenheimer Beach (yes the physicist), Cinnamom bay (just beautiful), Trunk bay (snorkeling, but it can get packed), Maho beach.


  • Room with a View
  • Epernay
  • Blue Orchid
  • Gran Crue

Further entertainment options:

  • Latitude 18 (live music): a bit far, on the east end
  • Iggies (live music and show)
  • The Keys dueling piano

Aquatic Activities and Excursions: (check with them for attendees discounts)


Zika Disease in the US Virgin Islands Q&A

Update on March 1st, 2017: the number of reported and tested positive cases has been dropping steadily. Here is the Feb 28, 2017 report which includes also the aggregated data from the past year.

Comment: The Zika outbreak has been identified in spring 2016. CDC has immediately activated a first response to the territories, promptly activating a vast campaign to minimize the spread of the virus. While more studies where conducted and cases where identified, CDC has established an headquarter here in St. Thomas.

Due to several reasons (prompt response, increase information spread among the population, and the end of the hurricane season) it reasonable to think that by the time of the conference it will be safe to travel to the US Virgin Islands and the chance to be infected are drastically reduced. Here are some more information about the  Zika virus and the US Virgin Islands.


Q: "What is Zika?"

A: Zika is a disease transmitted to humans via mosquito bites. The mosquito are the same that transmit other tropical diseases (e.g. dengue), so their are well known "offenders". It is confirmed that the virus is connected with microcephaly syndromes (although I have not see the tables). Also there are indication that can be sexually transmitted.


Q: "Is there Zika in the US Virgin Islands?"

A: Yes, in the last 12 months CDC has confirmed 565 cases in the 3 islands, 60% in the St. Thomas island (http://www.cdc.gov/zika/geo/united-states.html)


Q: "What has been done to solve the situation?"

A: " CDC has used the USVI has their testbed for first response in this type of epidemics: they have been on island for 12 months and have established their headquarter for zika response here. In the last 2 months the number of cases have been DROPPING steadily"


Q:"Am I in danger to be infected while at St. Thomas?"

A:"There are numerous actions that you can take to minimize your chances, but you should know that the mosquitos are generally found around stagnant waters, so mostly inland. The area where the conference is (UVI campus) and the south side of the islands (mainly the town of Charlotte Amalie) are not zone at risk.

For obvious reasons CDC does not disclose the exact location of the positive cases. 


Q:" What precautions can I take to minimize the chances to be bitten?"

A:"There are obvious precautions to take to minimize the chance to be bitten by the mosquitos.


REMEMBER: not all mosquitoes carry Zika.


Q:"Is there a vaccine?"

A: As of November 2016 there is no vaccine know. With the outbreak in florida and the increase effort in searching for vaccine it is reasonable to think that by next summer zika may well be under control by spring 2017.


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