Located on St. Thomas Island, the capital of the US Virgin Islands is a popular cruise destination in the Caribbean. It was named after Charlotte Amalie of Hesse-Kassel, queen consort of King Christian V of Denmark, and still boasts typical Danish colonial architecture.
Pick up a car at STT Airport and drive into town along Veterans Drive. Located in the center of the island, Charlotte Amalie is the perfect base from which to explore the rest of St. Thomas.
When arriving by car from the airport, follow Veterans Drive right until the cruise port. Located in a bay overlooking the green Hassel Island Historic District, the harbor not only offers picturesque views, but also easy access to the city center with all its historical sites and tons of duty-free shopping options. In fact, duty-free shopping is possible in the entire city and many visitors head to Vendors’ Plaza or Main Street to shop both mid-range and high fashion brands at advantageous prices.
Those who are more interested in the city’s colonial history can visit one of the many well-preserved historical buildings, such as Blackbeard’s Castle. This is actually just a watch tower dating back to the Danish period, but it’s fun to visit nevertheless.
Interesting as well are five historic buildings that offer a glimpse into life as it used to be in Charlotte Amalie. At the Britannia House, the Haagensen House, Villa Notman, and Hotel 1829, it seems as if time stands still. Last but not least, the Bankhus house, offers fine arts to marvel at.
The walk from the harbor land-inward goes uphill and is characterized by something typical for Charlotte Amalie: the step streets. These are alley-forming steps running up the hills away from the water. The most famous step street is the 99 Step, which, funnily enough, consists of 103 steps.
After running up and down the hills, you might need some refreshment. So, head down to the white sandy beaches for a dip in that famous clear blue water. For a more active day, strap on some scuba diving gear, go snorkeling, or fly high while parasailing.
With only three main streets, driving around Charlotte Amalie and out to explore the rest of St. Thomas is super easy. Driving does happen on the left there. But something you don’t need to worry about is finding the perfect car for your travel needs with us at Orbitz. Check out our wide range of rental cars at affordable prices, so you’ll surely find one you’re comfortable driving around in.