Government Hill isn’t the only lookout point on St. Thomas. In fact, the island’s rolling central mountain range offers near-countless unmatched panoramic photo ops.
Route 40, also known as Skyline Drive, provides a number of designated lookout points, including the heralded Drake’s Seat. Surrounded by lush botanical gardens, the post is named after the 16th-century pirate Sir Francis Drake, who supposedly stationed a lookout point here to spot Spanish ships sailing back to Europe laden with gold and jewels from the New World. Today, Drake’s Seat serves as a viewing platform to relish breathtaking views of St. Thomas’ northern coastline, the lauded heart-shaped Magens Bay beach, and neighboring Virgin Islands.
To the west of Drake’s Seat along Skyline Drive, Mountain Top, the oldest and highest attraction on St. Thomas, stretches to an elevation of more than 1,500 feet. A raging fire burned the former structure to the ground in 2009, and the new, improved Mountain Top opened in early 2011. Visitors should try Moutain Top’s world-famous banana daiquiri, a refreshing drink made using a recipe that originated at the property in the 1950s.
Nestled within the hills nearby Mountain Top sits St. Peter Great House and Botanical Gardens. The stunning 20,000-square-foot estate is surrounded by flourishing gardens, streaming waterfalls, tropical-bird aviaries, fish ponds, and more than 400 species of Caribbean plants, fruits, and flowers. The setting has become an extremely popular venue for special events and weddings.
The St. Thomas Skyride to Paradise Point is a different way visitors can breathe in the beauty of the island’s panoramic vistas. The entrance to the Skyride is conveniently located just a short walk from Havensight Mall.
Every seven minutes, a suspended cable car carrying up to 24 people ascends the 700-foot-high Flag Hill. At the summit, guests are greeted not only by several retail shops, a small ferris wheel, the Sky Jump trampoline, and a daily cultural carnival show with mojo jumbos and fire dancers.
Stop at the Paradise Point Bar to taste one of its famous Baileys Bushwakers. The frozen treat is a concoction of U.S.V.I.’s Cruzan rum, vodka, Baileys Irish Cream, Kahlua, amaretto, a chocolate-flavored liqueur, and a splash of coconut milk. Head down on the same tramline or continue on to the winding quarter-mile nature trail and explore additional overlooks of the island. The reward is an excellent view of Magens Bay, heralded as one of the planet’s most exquisite beaches.