St Thomas Vs St Croix? Which is BETTER for Vacation?

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St Thomas vs St Croix for vacation? Most of the people who plan to visit the US Virgin islands often face this conundrum. Both St Thomas and St Croix are major islands in USVI and feature some of the most beautiful beaches in the Caribbean.

While both St Thomas and St Croix are considered to be part of the US Virgin Islands, they are quite different. They both provide very distinct experiences and appear to exist in whole different worlds. So, which is a better vacation destination for you?

St Thomas is better for vacation if you’re looking for lively white sand beaches, vibrant nightlife, upscale dining, and an excellent shopping scene. St Croix is a better vacation if you’re looking for peaceful, tranquil white-sand beaches as well as world-class snorkeling and a plethora of cultural activities.

ParametersSt ThomasSt Croix
Average Cost of a Trip 
$4078 (For a couple)$4320 (For a couple)
Known for👍Beautiful beaches, fantastic shopping scene, upscale dining, vibrant NightlifeBeautiful and secluded beaches, Culture and history, local food, world-class snorkeling, and scuba diving spots
Beaches🏖Beautiful white sandy beaches that are Lively and a little crowded but are well developed and well equippedBeautiful white sandy beaches that are Secluded, relaxing, and offer an authentic Caribbean feel
Activities🏄🏼‍♂️Snorkeling, shopping, ziplining, hiking, divingSnorkeling, Art and cultural tours, hiking, diving, horseback riding
Popular Tourist Attractions🏛Magen’s bay, Coki point beach, Coral world ocean park, Black beard’s castleBuck Island, rainbow beach, Christiansted town, Salt River Bay National Historical Park
Best Place to Stay🏨Charlotte AmalieChristiansted

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St Thomas Vs St Croix: Vibes🙌🏼

St Thomas

St Thomas Vibes

St Thomas exudes lively, cosmopolitan vibes. It is best suited for those who are looking for cosmopolitan vibes/comforts with pristine white sandy beaches.

St Thomas is the most commercialized and most crowded island of all US Virgin Islands. Also, it is the busiest cruise port in the Caribbean and also home to the international airport which explains why it is more popular among tourists than St John and St Croix.

That is why, although being a part of the US Virgin Islands, St Thomas appears to be in an entirely another world than its neighboring laid-back islands like St John and St Croix.

As a major cruise port and popular tourist destination, St Thomas offers a multitude of upscale dining, shopping, and nightlife options. It is also home to a wide range of dining and accommodation options that cater to the needs of every kind of visitor.

St Croix

St Croix Vibes
Image by Андрей Бобровский via Wikimedia Commons

St. Croix, on the other hand, is known for its laid-back and relaxing vibes. St Croix, in contrast to St Thomas, is low-key and slow-paced. It has a small, secluded Caribbean island feel that St. Thomas does not have. It is ideal for those looking for a relaxing vacation with secluded white sandy beaches and a peaceful atmosphere.

Even though St. Croix is the largest island in the US Virgin Islands, it is still less developed and frequently overlooked by tourists in favor of St. John and St. Thomas. As a result, St. Croix has retained its authentic Caribbean charm.

Apart from its beautiful beaches and laid-back vibes, St Croix is also known as the cultural and historical center of the USVI.

St Thomas Vs St Croix: Beaches🏖

St. Thomas and St. Croix both have some of the Caribbean’s most beautiful beaches. Both have stunning white sand beaches with swaying palm trees and clear blue waters. If you enjoy the beach, you will find both of these destinations to be ideal beach getaways. However, there are some significant variances.

St Thomas

St John Magens Bay
Magens Bay, St Thomas island

Beaches on St Thomas are lively and a little congested because it is a major cruise port and tourism hub. Beaches in St. Thomas, on the other hand, are extensively developed and, as a result, fully equipped with modern facilities.

Coki Beach
Coki Beach

In addition, St Thomas is home to some of the world’s most stunning beaches, including Magen’s Beach and Coki Beach, which consistently rank among the top ten most beautiful beaches in the world.

Another significant benefit of visiting St Thomas is its proximity to St John. The majority of beachgoers that visit the US Virgin Islands visit St. John, which is the Caribbean’s unspoiled beach paradise and home to some of the most stunning beaches in the world, such as Trunk Bay

It is simpler to visit St John from St Thomas than St Croix because St John is only 10 kilometers away from St Thomas and 70 kilometers away from St Croix.

St Croix

St Croix beaches

Beaches of St. Croix, on the other hand, are secluded and relaxed. St. Croix, too, offers some of the Caribbean’s most magnificent beaches, including Turtle Beach, Cane Bay Beach, and Sandy Point Beach.

They are less popular and congested than St. Thomas. In other words, the beaches of St. Croix provide a unique blend of soul-pleasing relaxation and heart-warming Caribbean charm.

St Thomas Vs St Croix: Snorkeling and Scuba diving🤿

Scuba diving

Both St Thomas and St Croix have some of the best snorkeling sites in the Caribbean. Honestly, I think St john offers a better snorkeling experience than St Thomas and St Croix.

But, if I had to choose between St. Thomas and St. Croix for snorkeling and scuba diving, I would go with St. Croix.

Buck Island, which is 1.5 miles off the coast of St Croix, is the reason why I and so many other divers and snorkelers love St Croix. Buck Island Reef is an 880-acre national monument that the US government has designated as a protected area in order to preserve the Caribbean’s most impressive coral reef system.

This small volcanic island is surrounded by an impressive coral barrier reef which is home to a plethora of marine animals and plants. Clearwater with good visibility, an impressive coral reef system, and diverse marine life makes this place a paradise for snorkelers and divers.

In fact, many people believe that Buck island has the best diving sites in the Caribbean. That’s why thousands of snorkelers and scuba divers visit this place every year.

When it comes to St Thomas, it, too, has many world-class snorkeling sites like Coki beach and Cow and Calf rocks. Especially, Coki beach is considered the best snorkeling spot for families.

Coki Beach has calm water, a plethora of marine life, and is well-equipped with facilities such as beach chairs, umbrellas, and snorkeling equipment. However, it is generally busy, making it an unsuitable option for peace seekers.

If you are looking for a quiet snorkeling gateway on St Thomas, then Cow and Calf rocks are a better option than Coki beach.

St Thomas Vs St Croix: Activities🏄🏼‍♂️

St Thomas


When it comes to activities, obviously, St Thomas, as the major cruise port and as the most developed island in USVI, has a lot more to offer than St Croix. St Thomas is known for duty-free shopping, upscale dining, nightlife, and a wide range of adventure activities.

Especially, ziplining on St Thomas is must to do activity for those who want to take in the spectacular views of the island and sparkling ocean surrounding it.

St Thomas offers fantastic shopping scenes. From perfumes, clothes to beautiful diamonds you can shop anything, but its jewelry shops are particularly more famous among the tourists.

There is no doubt that for shopaholics, St Thomas is the best place in the USVI.
Apart from its fantastic shopping scene, St Thomas offers the most number of bars and hotels and is well known for upscale dining.

St Croix


When it comes to St Croix, it may not have a vibrant nightlife, a fantastic shopping scene, and a wide range of entertainment options like St Thomas but it is the perfect place for art, culture, and history lovers in USVI. St Croix is known as the culture and historical center of the USVI.

If you love to explore local culture then you will definitely love Christiansted. Christiansted is one of the most important towns in St Croix which is known for its rich history and culture.

Christiansted was the capital of the Danish West Indies in the 18th century. Fortunately, the 18th-century Danish architecture and culture are still meticulously preserved in the St Croix.

You will find many historical buildings, cobblestone walkways and old churches in Christiansted along with modern restaurants and a good shopping scene.

Aside from Christiansted, the Caribbean Museum Center for the Arts is a must-see for art enthusiasts. It is an open-air gallery displaying art from all across the Caribbean. This museum was founded to preserve and promote Caribbean artistic heritage.

This island is truly a haven for art enthusiasts interested in learning more about the Caribbean’s artistic traditions. It is also well-known for its world-class snorkeling areas, such as Buck Island and Cane Bay Beach, as well as its delectable local cuisine. Indeed, many people believe that if you are a foodie, you cannot afford to miss St. Croix.

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St Thomas Vs St Croix: Accommodation🏨

When it comes to accommodation, both St Croix and St Thomas offer a wide range of accommodation options that offer spectacular beachside views. However, St Thomas is a little cheaper as compared to St Croix.

St Thomas is a highly commercialized island and major cruise port that receives millions of tourists every year. That’s why St Thomas has the most number of hotels than any other island in USVI.

Due to such a vast number of hotels, accommodation price on St Thomas is also a little cheaper than St Croix and St john. In other words, it doesn’t matter if you are a budget traveler, family vacationer, or honeymooner, St Thomas has a wide range of accommodation options that accommodate all kinds of visitors.

When it comes to St Croix, it may not have a huge number of accommodation options like St Thomas but still has quite enough to accommodate all its visitors.

However, accommodation prices may be a little more expensive on St Croix than on St Thomas. Also, keep in mind that St Croix is the least developed island in USVI. So, unlike St Thomas, on St Croix, it may be hard to find close-by restaurants and grocery stores.

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St Thomas Vs St Croix: Road Connectivity🚗

Without a doubt, St Thomas is the clear winner when it comes to road connectivity. St Thomas is well connected with the US mainland and its international airport. You can easily find flights to St Thomas from many US cities. On the other hand, there are very few flights from the US mainland to St Croix.

Also, it is quite easy to visit St John and the British Virgin Islands from St Thomas as compared to St Croix. There are many regular ferries from St Thomas to BVI and St john. St John is approximately 20 minutes whereas BVI is a 1-hour ferry ride away from St Thomas.

St Thomas Vs St Croix: Nightlife🙌🏼

When it comes to nightlife, undoubtedly, St Thomas is the clear winner. It is the nightlife center of the USVI. As the major hub of tourism and the most developed island in USVI, St Thomas is brimming with numerous bars and clubs.

On the other hand, St Croix is the least developed island in USVI and is known for its laid-back and slow-paced life. In other words, a vibrant nightlife is almost non-existent in St Croix. So, if you are a partygoer, then undoubtedly St Thomas is a better option for you than St Croix.

St Thomas Vs St Croix: Safety🦺

When it comes to safety, both St Thomas and St Croix are quite safe destinations for travelers. Violent crimes are quite rare. Even petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing are also quite low. So, it doesn’t matter whether you choose st Thomas or st Croix both are quite safe destinations for vacations.

St Thomas Vs St Croix for Family vacation?👨‍👩‍👧‍👦

St Thomas is a better alternative for a family vacation than St Croix. St. Thomas offers a diverse choice of lodging and dining alternatives. It is also less expensive than St. Croix and St. John. Its gorgeous white sandy beaches are fully equipped and developed, making them ideal for families. Furthermore, St Thomas has a much greater variety of family-friendly activities and entertainment options than St Croix.

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St Thomas Vs St Croix for Honeymoon?👩🏻‍❤️‍💋‍👨🏼

Both St Thomas and St Croix are excellent options for a honeymoon. Both have world-class white sandy beaches and a plethora of activities to do. Eventually, it boils down to what kind of honeymoon destinations you want.

If you are looking for lively beaches with vibrant nightlife, upscale dining, and a fantastic shopping scene then St Thomas is a better option for you. If you are looking for secluded beaches with romantic and authentic Caribbean vibes along with some cultural activities then St Croix is a better option than St Thomas.

🏖Suggested read: Maui or Oahu for Honeymoon? An Honest Comparison to Help You Choose!

Resources on visiting the USVI

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About the author
Chetan Patil
Hello there, wanderlust. I've been traveling around the world with my friend Aditya for the last three years since finally quitting my job, and life has been a thrilling roller coaster ride so far. Traveling is a spiritual experience for me, not just something I do for fun. Traveling has taught me that "the only certain thing about life is uncertainty." So, embrace uncertainty and make the most out of every moment.

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