World-class shopping and a wealth of historical sight-seeing await travelers in Charlotte Amalie, famous as the capital of the US Virgin Islands. Resting on the south shore of St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie’s population of 18,000 earns it the title of the biggest city in the Virgin Islands, six times larger than second largest Christiansted.
While many visitors arrive directly at the Cyril E. King Airport ( STT ) in St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie jumps to mind as a cruise-ship port, with about a million cruise passengers visiting a year. The attractive mix of modern excitement and historical antiquity never fails to draw people to vacation here again and again A veritable metropolis, Charlotte Amalie acts as the heart of St. Thomas for all shopping, sight-seeing, and nightlife.
Easily accessible by streets and alleys, the major shops live on Main Street where high end clothing, perfumes, jewelry, and folk art novelties can be bought. To the north of Main Street, Back Street also offers many shops but selling at less expensive prices. To the west, a large open-air market resides in Market Square, where farmers arrive daily with fresh produce.
Of course, no visit becomes complete without a trip to Havensight Mall, located in the east of Charlotte Amalie. Cruise passengers disembark right near the mall and can browse through more than a hundred duty free shops. Shop for exquisite jewelry and exotic souvenirs, visit some amazing art galleries, and enjoy a meal or drink at the many restaurants and bars at affordable prices!
Try exploring Emancipation Park, an important historical landmark commemorating the liberation of the slaves in 1848. From there, visitors can easily walk to many other historical buildings, such as the Legislature, Fort Christian, and Government House. Close to Government House, the Seven Arches Museum displays a wealth of 2-century-old Danish artifacts. The famous 99 steps nearby challenges those devoted to elevators with a staircase built by the Danish in the early 18th century. Interestingly, it actually counts 103 steps, each made of ballast brick taken from Danish ships.
To the north stands St. Thomas Synagogue, the second oldest synagogue in the western hemisphere and the oldest synagogue still in use under the American flag. Further north lies Magens Bay, a beach renowned for its fine white sand and turquoise water. A variety of activities await the traveler: snorkeling, diving, and sailing, all with the beautiful scenery as a backdrop.
Cuisine in Charlotte Amalie offers an eclectic mix of Spanish, Italian, American, and other cuisines. Experts rate the dining in this city among the best in the West Indies. Plentiful hotels, inns, and tourist accommodations give visitors many choices in lodgings. Many places charge moderately so visitors can enjoy a pleasant and affordable stay.
World-famous bargain shopping, places to visit that echo with history, and the incredible fine dining make Charlotte Amalie the most exciting and metropolitan destination in St. Thomas.