Ah, Charlotte Amalie. The capital and largest city of the US Virgin Islands receives millions of visitors every year, many from the cruise ships that dock in the deep water bay that Charlotte Amalie surrounds.
With all of those visitors, Charlotte Amalie was bound to grow and develop with services of interest to tourists. So, what are some of the fun things to see and do if you have time to explore this bustling island city?
The following are a few of the things that we’ve experienced and enjoyed while visiting Charlotte Amalie. Feel free to add highlights from your visits in a comment at the end of the post.
Duty Free Shopping
Duty free shops line many of the streets in the Waterfront area of Charlotte Amalie as well as Yacht Haven Grande and Havensight (right next to the cruise ship dock). St. Thomas offers one of the largest duty free quotas to US citizens in the Caribbean, so if you’re in the market for great bargains on items such as china, perfume, watches, cameras, fine jewelry, liquors and other spirits, island goods, and arts and crafts, this may be the place to get them.
You can walk from Havensight to Yacht Haven Grande easily. There is also a pathway from Yacht Haven Grande all the way around to the Waterfront shops, but it is a pretty good walk. If it’s very hot or you are short on time, you might consider getting a taxi.
Havensight is a large area just off of the cruise ship dock that consists of shops, bars and restaurants. Many of the shops here contain souvenir type items, although there are also some high-end jewelry shops.
Yacht Haven Grande
Yacht Haven Grande is an area just north of Havensight that houses some luxury shops such as Gucci and Louis Vitton. There are also a couple of nicer restaurants and yacht services. It’s areat place to grab a cold drink and check out the large yachts that dock here.
Charlotte Amalie Waterfront
North and west of Yacht Haven Grande is the Waterfront area of Charlotte Amalie. This area consists of several streets, Waterfront (Veterans), Front Street and Back Street and are all lined with a variety of shops, restaurants and bars. Check out the Vendor’s Plaza (west of Ft. Christian) Monday – Saturday for a variety of souvenirs, hair braiding and local food.
You can find everything from fast food to fine dining and everything in-between in Charlotte Amalie. Although we have yet to sample some of the higher end restaurants, here are a few places we’ve stopped at and enjoyed. Be sure to check our interactive St. Thomas Map to find the locations of the places listed here.
Big Kahuna Rum Shack on the Waterfront.
Great place to grab a sandwich, salad, wrap or flatbread and a cold drink and sit on the patio which overlooks the harbor.
Bones Rum, also on the Waterfront.
Order one of their tasty offerings, such as a Bones on the Beach, Kiss of Passion or Twist of Luck and add as much – or as little Bones Rum as you’d like! Be sure to purchase a bottle and bring it home. Right now the only place to purchase Bones Rum is at the shop in Charlotte Amalie.
da Lime in da Coconut
Great “smoothie” place in Yacht Haven Grande. Leave the rum out for the little ones, or add the rum for a really tasty frozen concoction. We ordered their signature smoothie da Lime in da Coconut, which consisted of pineapple and coconut with a hint of lime…and a shot of Cruzan rum. Very tasty and cold on a hot day.
Mojo’s in Havensight
A fun little bar that manages to feel a bit tropical, despite the fact it’s in the parking lot at Havensight. Swings for chairs and some tasty Cruzan rum drinks. We enjoyed a Mojo Wacker.
Other Things To Do
Hot and tired after a day of shopping in the Waterfront area? Magic Ice on the Waterfront will give you a temporary “body freeze” after entering an ice palace with sculptures, lighting, an ice slide for the little ones and an ice cold shot of Cruzan for the big kids.
Paradise Point Skyride
Want to see a spectacular view of Charlotte Amalie while enjoying the best Bushwacker’s around? Head to Havensight to board the skyride to the top of Paradise Point. You’ll be treated to a spectacular view, some shopping and really great Bushwacker’s. Just be careful. They’re potent!
There aren’t any good sandy beaches in Charlotte Amalie but if you just have to get your toes in the sand and only have a short amount of time, there are several options. A 5 minute water ferry from Crown Bay (just north of Water Island) can get you over to Water Island where you can spend time on beautiful Honeymoon Beach.
Lindbergh Bay or Bolongo Bay on St. Thomas are two other options, but are farther away (see our interactive map). Both have beach bars and would be a nice place to hang out for several hours.
What else have you experienced and enjoyed in Charlotte Amalie?
Find these attractions on our St. Thomas Map
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