U.S. Virgin Islands
Charlotte Amalie's original name was Tap Hus, Danish for "rum shop," in honor of its most popular product.
Third largest island in the
Virgin Islands chain, St. Thomas has 8 beaches, most
of them ideal for short walks as well as for snorkeling.
Charlotte Amalie, the main city, is one of the Caribbean's most popular cruise ports as well as capital of the U.S. Virgin Islands.
A walking tour is the easiest and most pleasant way to tour the waterfront, where most of the island's major landmarks are clustered.
But away from the harbor and
up in the hills, it's a different world. A more tranquil pace prevails
and you may even find cattle grazing in the emerald fields.
Pirates and the plunder they traded here turned, St. Thomas into a great port city.(See Charlotte Amalie history).
The Danes, who later sold the islands,
were canny enough not to drive off their best customers.
The Danes declared St. Thomas a freeport in 1724, and nothing has changed except today things are imported legally. You can still find a "steal" --that is, a bargain --compared to the price-plus-tax elsewhere.