Thursday, August 16, 2012

What To Do In St Thomas When You Are a Bored Local?

You do tourist things!

So a few Sundays ago, Shannon and I were bored, and decided to go on a local road trip to some tourist attractions.

We have never been to Mountain Top when it is open. When we were here in January 2010 we went up there to find the place had burned down! Well like a phoenix rising from the ashes, Mountain Top is open again.

A few myths about Mountain Top. First, the elevation according to the Mountain Top website is 2100 feet, all other sources say the elevation is 1480 feet. Second, Mountain Top is NOT the highest peak in St Thomas, that honor goes to Signal Mountain at 1486 feet. Believe it or not, Signal Mountain and Mountain Top are taller than the highest point in 8 states!

Mountain Top is a large gift shop with a large bar serving up banana daiquiris and a observation deck. To be honest here, we always have friends looking to shop for trinkets to take home and the selection to has not been great.  In the future, we are just going to take them here as the selection was huge!  The banana daiquiris were tasty, but really not worth $9 (the cost of a bottle of banana rum at any grocery store). The views, well how can you complain about this?

It was very slow as it was near closing and no cruise ships in town, so we had the deck to ourselves. We even got a chance to meet the owner and his son. Nice men, the owner is an immigrant from Israel and has been living in St Thomas for 20+ years. His son said he about had a heart attack with the rebuild, but life is good again now they are open.

On to our next stop. Drake's Seat.

We driven by this place, but have never stopped here. So with cooler in had of cold beer we stopped to take in the views of the world famous, Megan's Bay. Then I noticed why they call it Drake's Seat, there is a bench on the other side of the parking area. We took a seat in Drake's Seat and had a beer. The view was great, but even more fun was people watching with the cars going by, they really don't notice you, so made for some good laughs.

Here is a tid bit of history about this spot:

It is named Drake’s Seat after the British privateer Sir Francis Drake, who was commissioned by Queen Elizabeth I. He used just this spot to spy on enemy ships of the Spanish Fleet passing through Drake’s Passage, where the Atlantic Ocean joins the Caribbean Sea. In 1568 while delivering the victims in his ship a Spanish fleet took him by surprise. He was captured and eventually escaped only due to his outstanding ability to swim. From then on he devoted his life to working against the Spanish Empire who considered him a pirate and an outlaw. To England he was simply a sailor and a privateer.

What to do now?  We are hungry. Latitude 18 restaurant on the water in Red Hook for dinner as they are having Trinidad food!

Latitude 18 is a great outdoor restaurant, that sometimes has live music. The best part is being able to sit right on the water. To get here, go east out of Red Hook. About a half mile there is a yellow fruit/bar stand on the left, the road goes to the right, stay straight up the hill (this is the road to the Ritz Carlton). At the stop sign on the steep hill, make a left, then make your next left down a little hill and some speed bumps. The road then goes up a hill with one half finished. The road splits again, stay left and take the terribly bumpy road until the road ends, you are at Latitude 18!

We had for Trinidad food, some fried bread, potato like cakes with indian dipping sauces and a calla loo soup which was like creamed spinach. Pretty good stuff.

So it was a fun Sunday to be a tourist!

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