St. Thomas
U.S. Virgin Islands

Charlotte Amalie's original name was Tap Hus, Danish for "rum shop," in honor of its most popular product.

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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.

Heart-shaped Magens Bay was named one of the world's 10 most beautiful beaches by National Geographic.

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.

The St. Thomas countryside reminds many travelers of France. In fact, just outside the busy downtown is a place called Frenchtown.

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.
Honest pirates who paid their bills in gold and behaved while in port were always welcome.

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.

If you prefer development on a smaller scale, you might prefer Trunk Bay or Cinnamon Bay on neghboring St. John. (See ferry schedule to St. John)

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