Hike the heights above picturesque Charlotte Amalie. Start at the Seven Arches Museum, a lovingly restored 19th-century house, then head west on Kongens Gade and take the famed 99 Steps to the summit of Government Hill. Near the top, visit Fort Skytsborg, now known as Blackbeard’s Castle, and Haagensen House, an early-19th-century banker’s home graced with terraced gardens. Retracing your steps to Kongens Gade, walk east to take in one last panoramic view of the magnificent harbor from the red-roofed Government House.
Treat your taste buds to a West Indian feast – callaloo stew, lobster, fungi, and fried plantains – accompanied by steel pan music. Then get moving to the sounds of calypso and reggae – they don’t call St. Thomas the “Nightclub of the West Indies” for nothing. For a little uptown culture, see what’s playing at the Reichhold Center for the Arts, a showcase for Caribbean playwrights, jazz, dance, and symphony orchestras.
Waterfront warehouses that held trade goods 200 years ago are now filled with the finer things of modern life – crystal, china, cameras, perfumes, and jewelry – all of it tax-free. Savvy shoppers will know in advance exactly what they want and its price back home. For something you won’t find at your local mall, visit the Native Arts & Crafts Cooperative downtown, run by local artists.