The harbor city of Charlotte Amalie sits inside of a sheltered cove. At one end of the city are docks that host cruise ships on a regular basis. Nearly 1.5 million visitors spend time in St. Thomas annually. The city has a wide assortment of attractions, and one of the most popular is the Paradise Point Tram, on the edge of downtown. The aerial tramway is designed to haul visitors 700 feet above sea level to a lookout area on top. With a few hours to kill, during a stopover, we decided to enjoy the view from this hillside attraction.
Old World Feel
Passing along the main route through town, we spotted a large complex in downtown. Evidently, these are old warehouses that at one time were used by pirates. Our minds could picture the scallywags sailing into port to store their loot. We are sure that rounds of rum were flowing as these lawless scourges of the sea got liquored up. These days, those old buildings are still standing, but now hold different treasures. Visitors can weave their way through the passageways stopping at a variety of shops and restaurants.
Passing these old warehouses, we made our way to the entrance of the Paradise Point Tram. After purchasing our tickets, we loaded into cable cars. Each held about 6 to 8 persons and offered 360 degree views. They travel in sets of three cars, and the ride takes approximately eight minutes to reach the top. Everyone was excited to enjoy the view, and it change as we scaled the hillside. After the short trip, we were deposited at a complex 700 feet above sea level.
Once you step through the doorway, you can enjoy the view from high above the city. From here you can see both sets of docks, as well as many of the nearby islands. A short staircase took us down to the bar area. Here guests can purchase a wide variety of frozen drinks, with most packing a powerful punch. We chose to try the “Bushwhacker”, which is touted as the signature drink of St. Thomas. This coffee-chocolaty concoction tastes so good that you forget it has a healthy dose of alcohol included. A covered patio beckons visitors to sit and enjoy the views, as they savor their drinks. The bar/restaurant area also serves up some food items.
Enjoy the View
As we sipped your drinks, we can strolled among the shops located nearby. They offer a wide selection of souvenirs and apparel, as well as one jewelry shop with many interesting handmade pieces. The length of visit is optional, and we remained at the top for about an hour. The ride back down the Paradise Point Tram is just as picturesque, so be sure to bring a camera. Ticket prices during our visit were $21.00 per person, but have risen to closer to $25 by now. If you find yourself with some free time, the ride is a good alternative that offers a different perspective of the island.