Driving in St. Thomas

One of the more noticeable quirks of St. Thomas is driving. As the car rental agent hands you a map and your keys, she’ll smile and say “now remember, keep left!” A note on the dashboard, arrows painted on the roads and countless street signs reinforce the message.

You’ll be so focused on driving on the left that you will fail to see the real challenge—the streets are not named and only randomly numbered. Although the map that the agent handed you has clearly drawn route numbers, the streets winding in and out of the hilly terrain are rarely marked.

St. Thomians drive by landmarks, not street names. If you ask directions to Red Hook, don’t be surprised when you are told to go straight past “the Bridge to Nowhere.” Or if you’re headed to St. Peter Greathouse and Botanical Garden, be prepared to turn right at “the Tree in the Middle of the Road.” At some point you may be told to drive to “Four Corners.” (Don’t most intersections have four corners?) I still haven’t found this one.

But don’t be discouraged if you get a little lost. The locals will also remind you that St. Thomas is only thirteen miles long and seven miles wide. Just keep driving. Eventually all roads lead everywhere, and you’ll see many breathtaking sights along the way. Oh, and remember, keep left!

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