My family of 6 adults will be visiting St Thomas at Christmas. We would like to stay in an area where we might be able to walk to restaurants, etc and stiil be near a beach. Any ideas?
Walking isn't a good idea on STT. It just doesn't work that way. The roads are tight, no sidewalks, could be pretty dangerous. Cabs are expensive.
Rent a car, that's the best way to go.
www.vrbo.com is a website to find accommodations at private villas and condos. Don't restrict yourself to Sapphire Beach. There are lots of other condos worth looking at including, Bolongo Bay, Paradise Point, Cowpet Bay, the Ritz Carlton. Secret Harbour is also definitely worth looking into although those units rent through a management company, not through VRBO. There are lots of choices. Most of the condos are located on the East End of the Island, within a short drive (no walking) of Red Hook with its restaurants and shops.
We recently enjoyed staying at Sapphire (resort, not the village) and we loved it there. The property is beautiful, and we were lucky to find an owner who lives there and has several condo rentals available, all beautifully renovated.
The proximity to the Sapphire marina is great for a day sail. And the 2 minute drive to Red Hook adds a variety of dining options as well as the ferry to STJ and especially to the BVI. Just so many other islamds become easily accessible when you stay neat RH.
There is a sidewalk much of the way from Sapphire to RH, but as others said it's not recommended at night. A taxi is usually available at the Sapphire lobby, and there is also an excursions desk there.
Wherever you stay just take a taxi or rent a car - you are on vacation for the holiday!Edited: 11 July 2011, 00:23
I would also take a look at Secret Harbour. It is a short drive to Red Hook.
I agree with everyone...look into Sapphire, Cowpet Bay, Secret Harbor and if you can afford it, I would also check into the timeshares at the Ritz. All are within a 5 minute drive from Red Hook. You can find a lot of options on vrbo.com.
Do not walk down here because of the lack of sidewalks and street lights. Taxis charge per person each way so by the time you are done with your vacation, you would spend more on taxi fares then what it would pay for a car rental.
I love staying in the Red Hook area (my family owns at Cowpet Bay) because of the proximity to the different beaches, restaurants, and the ferry dock that will take you to St. John and the BVI's. I find it quieter on the east end (IMO but others might differ).
I hope this helps!