St. Thomas' Secret

Article excerpt

Here's the best of capital city Charlotte Amalie

Had Shakespeare ever visited St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands, he might have had his tempest-tossed protagonists wash ashore here. St. Thomas has endless ribbons of pristine beaches, rolling emerald hills and a temperate tropical climate. Nestled between three sloping hills and kissing the Caribbean Sea, the capital city Charlotte Amalie is actually known as the Virgin Islands' industrial hub, as well as the place to duty-free shop until you drop. You can save 30% to 50% on items such as spices and Waterford crystal.

* Who's who: St. Thomas is 85% black. A hidden but living St. Thomas treasure is Glenn Davis (340-775-6380). This oral historian gives impromptu recitations and makes this enchanting island even more magical through his renditions of Ashanti Jumbi (ghost) and Anansi (trickster) tales.

* Good eats: Virgilio's (340-776-4920) Italian seafood dishes and pasta can be enjoyed in this intimate setting on 18 Dronningens Gade ... Traipse up Government Hill to Hotel 189 (340-7761829) to experience the continental cuisine and elegant ambience of this restaurant situated in one of Charlotte Amalie's historic buildings ... Then head over to the Greenhouse (340-774-7998) on Veterans Drive for daiquiris and other tropical drinks.

* Music & more: It's jazz and traditional West Indian cuisine at Glady's Cafe Jazz Club (340-774-6604). This sister-owned spot is located at Royal Dane Mall West . …