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There are many options for getting around Charlotte Amalie, as well as the rest of St Thomas. The best way to get around to see the area is to combine several of these options, making the best use of different methods of transportation for different areas of St Thomas. Options include:
Taxis are available throughout the island both for short destination trips and for longer guided tours. Two hour tours are commonly enjoyed by tourists as a way to initially get acquainted with the island and downtown Charlotte Amalie as well as for seeing the major local tourist attractions. This is also safer than personally driving, since the driver will need to focus two hundred per cent on driving, while the the co-pilot oftentimes helps navigate. Taxi tours allow for both to enjoy the sights and magnificient views without worrying about driving. More information about taxis is online at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g14...
Taxis are readily available at resorts and in town. Rates are based per person. The minimum for any ride is $6 per person (for even a 5 minute drive) but negotiation may save a dollar or two. A family of four can easily spend $50 or more going around town each day by taxi, so car rental could be an option to save a little. Many drivers may be happy to share their phone number so you can call them for pick up during your stay, which also can save a little over the course of a few days.
Driving can be done in Charlotte Amalie, but it is not recommended for everyone. Parking is very limited. The city is not even a mile from one end to the other, and other than the main four lane Waterfront Drive, is basically contained on two shop-lined one way streets, Main Street going west, and Back Street going east. Little side streets and shop-lined alleys connect them all. You'll spend too much time looking for a place to park in the actual downtown area. If it's not Carnival Time, you can usually find paid parking in the public lot across from the Territorial Court House on Waterfront Drive. For people with limited mobility, large families, or who have trouble dealing with the heat, a designated driver could leave their passengers at a pre-arranged reunion spot, best on the city's east end such as the U.S. Post Office there, then park in the public lot, and take about a 10 minute walk back.
Drivers are reminded that driving is on the left side of all roads which takes some people a little bit of adjustment from their normal driving styles.
While driving in Charlotte Amalie itself may not be practical, renting a car to drive around the island to its many beaches and place of interest can be an adventure: interesting and fun, although a little stressful. Roads are not well marked so you will need a good map and navigator. Car rental runs about $30-$50 per day and for a family of four, going from a resort to lunch and back, and out to dinner and back, a car can be a little less expensive, and give the the family a chance to explore the island at their own pace.
Driving speeds are low in all of St Thomas (posted 35 - 40), even more so in Charlotte Amalie (15-20), so drivers should leave any impatience at home and be their courteous best. Local drivers often stop without notice for friends, goats and other assorted reasons contrary to any traffic rules. The drivers left hand extended out the car window and either pointing or waving down is a slow down signal. Honking when a traffic signal light turns green is not a sign of impatience. Information on rental cars is available at http://www.tripadvisor.com/Travel-g14... .
Many people make good use of their own two feet during their excursion into Charlotte Amalie. This is considered a terrific way to really see and experience the heart of the city. It offers visitors a chance to slow down and stroll while seeing the sights or sampling local foods. Many people combine walking and shopping to make a whole day of enjoying the city. Always bring a water bottle to stay hydrated.
These covered open air vehicles are similar to the regular taxis, but look for those that are carrying the locals. These are only $1-2.00 per person to get from one side of the island to another. Ask the driver before you get on. These safaris basically circle the island and you have to be patient in getting to your location as they stop at common (local) shopping areas. They also don't drive into the resorts, but you can at least get within walking distance to wherever you need to go. Fun, cheap & easy transportation, especially with children.