St. Thomas. The US Virgin Islands.

With temperatures in November in the high eighties, and over forty sugary white beaches where you can snorkel, dive, fish or just sunbathe, St. Thomas is a quintessential Caribbean beach destination. Sun seekers should head north to Magens Bay, the perfect beach, with pelicans and gulls flying overhead, or try the lesser-known Lindquist Beach, on the east side of the island, shaded by sea grape and palm trees, reports the New York Times.

But the island is not just a tropical tourist playground. There are visits of historical interest too. Stop at the lookout at Drake's Seat, perched above Magens Bay, where Sir Francis supposedly watched his fleet in the late 16th century, or head into the town of Charlotte Amalie and visit Emancipation Garden, a small park where freedom for the island's slaves was announced, nearly 15 years before Lincoln's proclamation.

Just north, up Government Hill, near gardens with basking iguanas, climb the vine-draped 99 Steps, constructed partly of old ballast bricks from Danish ships, to Blackbeard's Castle, built in the 1660's by the Danish military. And the oldest synagogue in continuous use on United States soil, St. Thomas Synagogue, is to be found on Crystal Gade.

Come night time, there’s plenty of reggae, hip-hop and soul music to keep you entertained, with much of the action centered around Red Hook, at the island's east end. There are excellent restaurants, from The Old Stone Farmhouse in the grounds of the Mahogany Run Golf Course, to Cuzzin's, in Charlotte Amalie, one of the best spots for West Indian fare.

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