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Caribbean-On-Line » Caribbean Travel Advisor » Sidetrips » St. Thomas » Sidetrip: Which Way to the Rum Punch? A Guide to a Virgin Island Historic Monument

Sidetrip: Which Way to the Rum Punch? A Guide to a Virgin Island Historic Monument

skytsborg.jpgIn the US Caribbean, they're drawing in tourists at the historic Blackbeard's Castle in St. Thomas with the promise of a free rum punch and a great view. Buyers beware: it takes a while to find the elusive quaff but hopefully you'll enjoy the view along the way. Start at the top with the "Skytsborg" or sky tower, built high on a hill overlooking the town of Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas. Chosen over three centuries ago as a vantage point to spot enemy ships, the tower was built by the Danes in 1679 to complement Fort Christian, located less strategically at the bottom of the hill. It's now registered as a US National Historic Monument, and the $12 admission includes a bevy of additional attractions, including The Brittania House, Villa Notman (a restored brick house) and last but not least, The Haagensen House or rum factory outlet where you get your liquid reward. By the way, the Blackbeard connection to this castle appears dubious. While the famous pirate used to frequent the area's waters, it appears he had nothing to do with the tower that now bears his name. Blackbeard's Castle is an easy walk from town via the 99 Steps, a staircase built in the 1700s by the Danes to connect parts of the town. Ironically, there are actually 103 steps, all made of ballast bricks from Danish ships.

Tip: Take a dip in the tower pool on a hot day, perhaps while sipping a Yellowbird available at the adjacent bar. Get the rum punch on the way down the hill. If it's a hot day you'll need some more encouragement to go on.

Beach alert: Don't miss nearby Magen's Bay. It's fabulous.

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Comments (1)

mary beth said: quote-icon-20.gif

Definetly a place I'd like to visit the next time I'm spending time on St. Thomas. Thanks!

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