Charlotte Amalie is the capital and biggest city of St. Thomas in the US Virgin Islands. Resorts are not located in downtown although there are many cute bed and breakfasts. I stayed in the Bunker Hill hotel, literally 2 blocks from Main Street and 3 blocks to the water. The cruise ships do dock in downtown and many ferries leave from there as well – to St. John, Tortola, Water Island, and other ports nearby.
So if you’re staying on St. Thomas, or just passing through, take at least 1 day to visit downtown Charlotte Amalie! I spent 3 days there and could not see it all but here’s the most “fun” sites I recommend:
Let’s jump right into drinking spots – go to Rum Bones where you pay $8.95 to sample the different samples and pour as much rum as you want into your drink! The rum is one kind and their very own. The Pain Killer and Bushwacker are the two most popular flavors but there are many daiquiris to choose from. Rum it up and continue on the waterfront as this is in the middle of everything to be seen!
Blackbeards Castle and 99 Steps
There’s quite a lot of history in St. Thomas – pirates arrr! A few blocks up from Main Street (aka Jewelry store row) you will walk up hills and come across 99 steps. These are great to walk up, slow or fast! They’re wide so you will feel it in the thighs, so take a break and get some selfies while you’re there.
Blackbeards’ Castle is a bit further up past the steps, you will see pirate flags, some crazy women statues, and the castle.
It is open to the public but its’ hours are not frequent – Monday through Thursday from 9am-2pm. It makes it a bit hard to go inside so if you can see it from the outside, it’s still worth it.
So the most obvious may be to visit the waterfront in downtown Charlotte Amalie. It’s scenic with many hills and boats going in and out of the bays. But don’t spend your time shopping or checking out all the malls. There are so many of the same stores to accommodate the rush from the cruise ships.
Instead, walk down the paved pathway to the east or to the west. You will come across blue tents which feature an outdoor market. You will see the locals walking around, catching the bus, or going to work. You can take in the view and sip on a drink while watching the sky. There’s no shortage of bars or restaurants.
If you take the waterfront down to the west, you will walk into Frenchtown. It’s a bit tiny, but it’s French, it’s cute, and it’s different! Take a break at the small French bar across from the Museum and see the Eiffel Tower. I got reviews from the locals that they enjoy all the restaurants there and I got a special review for the Deli by the harbor. Great sandwiches!
What recommendations do you have for downtown Charlotte Amalie?