The best time to visit Charlotte Amalie is during low season when crowds are thinning out, and prices come down on flights and hotels. The low season runs from mid-April to the December. The weather during this time is still warm and sunny but keep in mind that some businesses may choose to shut down, and some hotels use the low season to do renovations or limit their facilities. Hurricane season also coincides with low season so it’s also a good idea to keep an eye on weather reports and get cancellation insurance just in case.
Charlotte Amalie is the capital of the US Virgin Islands and located on St. Thomas. It is also one of the most popular cruise ship ports in the Caribbean. Two of the main reasons to visit the popular port is to explore the many beautiful beaches nearby, and to shop. Charlotte Amalie is well-known as one of the best destinations in the Caribbean for duty-free shopping, much of which can be done on Main Street. There is also good shopping to be had in Heavensite by the cruise ship dock.
Start with a visit to Magens Bay Beach, a stretch of white sand that has landed a top spot on many travel publication’s lists of must-see beaches. The water is calm and the white sand and turquoise water are further enhanced by the backdrop of vibrant green hills. The beach has changing facilities, a taxi stand, food vendors, and water sports equipment rentals like kayaks and paddleboards. Magens Bay lies about 3 miles (5 km) outside of Charlotte Amalie.
A good way to get to take in and learn about all of the major sights the city has to offer is via a walking tour of the central area. Tours can be arranged through the St. Thomas Historical Trust and take one hour.
Water Island, a short ferry ride from Charlotte Amalie is another worthwhile spot to visit. With only 100 inhabitants and a much slower pace, it’s ideal for a quiet escape.
Getting around Charlotte Amalie can be done in several ways. Many of the main sights, shops and attractions can be easily visited on foot. To get to other areas of interest, namely beaches around Charlotte Amalie, a car can be useful and can easily be rented at the airport or at the ferry dock. Book car rentals in advance during high season and be mindful that driving is done on the left. Taxis are another option for getting around the city and area easy to find. It’s a good idea to get the driver’s card in order to have someone to call for pick-ups and drop-offs, as well as for tips about what to see and do. There are also buses that start in Charlotte Amalie and circle the island.
Unless you’re renting a car, the best way to get from the airport (STT) into Charlotte Amalie is by taking a taxi. Taxis are readily available upon leaving the airport.