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Day 1

If you only have one day to visit, spend half a day on a taxi tour around the island past beautiful beaches and lovely vistas. Have your driver let you off in Charlotte Amalie for lunch and a stroll through Charlotte Amalie's byways and back ways. The heart of the island's shopping scene, the stores crammed full of merchandise on the waterfront side of town date to the 17th and 18th century when they served as warehouses. Filled with sugar, molasses and other goods awaiting export, they held products from the island's plantations. In those days, the waterfront was at their doorstep. A mid-20th century landfill created the waterfront highway called Veterans Drive, and the warehouses were turned into shops with entrances at both ends. The stores on the inland side of Main Street were always shops with storeowner families living upstairs.

Start your tour at the 17th-century Fort Christian, the oldest building in St. Thomas. With its small museum, the fort sets the pace with old guns and ramparts ripe for exploring. Across the street toward the harbor sits the Legislature Building, home to the sole lawmaking body in the territory. Heading west and inland, Emancipation Garden provides a pleasant respite for tired sightseers. The park was built to commemorate the 1848 slave emancipation, which actually happened in St. Croix.

Continue up hill to Government Hill, home to slews of historic homes and public buildings. The list includes the Hotel 1829, Government House, and the Seven Arches Museum, tucked behind the Lieutenant Governor's office. The 99 Steps leads to Blackbeard's Hill, home to Haagensen House, a restored historic home, Inn at Blackbeard's Castle, and the Green Iguana Hotel, both located in historic buildings.

After returning to the town proper, go east a block to visit the historic Frederick Lutheran Church. Tucked up behind Main Street on Crystal Gade sits the historic St. Thomas Synagogue. The congregation dates to 1796 although this building went up in 1833. It has a sand floor to commemorate the flight of ancient Jews out of Egypt across the desert.

Day 2

While the air is still cool, stop by the lovely Magens Bay Beach for a few hours of swimming, snorkeling and relaxation. This palm-fringed beach is the island's most popular. With fresh-water shower facilities to make clean up a breeze, it makes a perfect first stop on a day spent exploring the island north and east of Charlotte Amalie. Visit Drake's Seat for great views and the lovely restored St. Peter Greathouse Estate & Gardens while poking around these less crowded roads.

Day 3

If you are touring on your own, spend the day exploring the island's South and North Coasts. You first stop might be the Havensight area for a jaunt up Paradise Point Tramway. The views are stupendous. Follow the southern Route 30 and then Route 32 to Red Hook, where it is fun to watch the ferries to St. John arrive and depart. There are several restaurants and shops in the area perfect for whiling away a bit of time. From Red Hook, head west along Route 38 past luxury resorts. Feel free to stop at anyone of them to enjoy the beach and the resort's restaurants. Coral World, a unique marine park with petting tanks and an underwater observatory, sits just off Route 38 in Smith Bay.