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Where to Go: Public Restrooms on St. Thomas

Public restrooms outside the Fort Christian fire station.If you weren’t shopping in a store or eating in a restaurant, it used to be difficult to find public restrooms on St. Thomas if you didn’t know where to look. But in the past few years, there’s been an increases in places "to go," and in most cases, you don’t have to buy anything at all.

One of the most popular areas is downtown Charlotte Amalie. Even on large cruise ship days, there are still a lot of locals that work in the area, stop in at the new Children’s Museum, go to the Post Office, or just have business downtown to take care of. One of the most well maintained bathrooms on the island is near Glady’s Café in Royal Dane Mall, and while the stalls are small, the insides are clean. Just pay the lady that maintains it $1 – she sits outside and hands you extra toilet paper – and you’re "good to go."

A few alleys down, the restrooms near Café Amici in the A.H. Riise Mall are also open to the public and remain unlocked during the day. But, with little maintenance, you should prepare to at least wipe down the seat and wait in line, since patrons at the restaurant frequent the bathroom, along with shoppers browsing in the nearby stores.

A little more maintained are the new portable rest rooms near the fire station in Fort Christian, which have been put up at the side of Emancipation Garden for visitors and residents going to Vendor’s Plaza or making other stops in the area. While there are also restrooms in the Fort Christian Parking Lot, there is no guarantee that the gate will be unlocked during the day, so the fire station port-a-potties are the next best thing.

If you’re walking around, however, a trip down the street to Yacht Haven Grande will get you to the best public bathrooms on island. With a range of parking spaces to choose from, Yacht Haven’s bathrooms are also private and they have working locks on the doors. The lights inside are motion sensored, the soap is filled and there is always both toilet paper and paper towel, which are really not a guarantee at most other places. And, if one set of bathrooms are filled, you can choose from four or five others nearby.

Havensight Mall also has two bathrooms, one near the post office and the other around the corner from the Medicine Shoppe, that remain unlocked during the day but on big cruise ship days, expect a line.

While Wheatley Center’s bathrooms are not public – you could ask a store owner if you’re in need – the bathrooms in “little” Kmart at Lockhart Gardens are used frequently by both shoppers and anyone just walking in. They are, however, exactly what you would expect from a department store bathroom that has large crowds moving through it, so unless you’re coming in the morning, you might have to look for some extra tissue in your pockets or purse and should make it a habit not to touch anything.

“You go into the Home Depot bathroom, you can sit down. Eat, even,” one woman said Thursday morning in Kmart. “Here and in Tutu, there’s nothing like that.”

Individual bathrooms at Havensight Mall.It is true that the Home Depot bathrooms next to Cost-U-Less are much cleaner and even with stalls, a lot more private. The staff is good about letting non-shoppers use the facilities, but once you’re in, it’s still easy to spend hours looking around at all the stuff you might be able to use in your house. And if Kmart in Tutu Park is not high on your list, there are public bathrooms in the mall at the back of the food court that are not as dirty as you might think.

In Red Hook, you will find a single woman’s and men’s room in the multi-level, multi-colored structure known as East End Plaza. They are well-maintained and not locked.

The ferry terminal has both men and women’s bathrooms that also are not locked.

Next door at American Yacht Harbor there are two bathrooms on the second story street side of the building. But you can’t count on them being clean early in the morning as there are several bars in the vicinity.

“There’s a lot of piss and barf,” said an occupant of one of the offices in the building, adding that the staff is good about cleaning it up early.

Across the street at Red Hook Plaza, you can find bathrooms on the second level, but you do need a key. However, all the businesses have one and are generally happy to share it with the public.

For those who might be running or bicycling from say, University of the Virgin Islands to town and/or back, or the walkers or runners who are found traversing the sidewalk adjacent to the Cyril E. King runway, there are bathrooms at the airport and also outside the water park underneath the Port Authority building.

There is also a little known place to go beyond the airport in the cargo area where FedEx, among other businesses, is found. All the way on the western end of the series of aviation related offices are two bathrooms open to the public. The women’s tends to be tidier … and isn’t that typical? 

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