The capital city of Basseterre is on the southern coast of St Kitts. The Basseterre Port is a leading commercial depot in the Leeward Islands. Basseterre has two main harbours: Deep Water Harbour, a docking port for cargo and cruise ships, and Port Zante, which is exclusively for large cruise ships.
White sand beaches dot the coastline stretching from Basseterre to the South East Peninsula. These include Frigate Bay, Turtle Beach, Sand Bank Bay and Friar’s Bay South. The beaches become darker in hue the farther north they are from Basseterre, their sands going from gray to volcanic black.
While Basseterre is a very small town, it is the primary commercial and industrial centre of St Kitts. Many of its business and financial establishments are laid out in a grid pattern along the town’s main streets.
Two plazas define the heart of Basseterre. Independence Square contains the Basseterre Co-Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception, the Courthouse and other old buildings built in the Georgian and Creole-West Indian architectural styles. Once infamous for slave auctions, Independence Square is now a popular parade and festival ground. The other is The Circus, a small roundabout lined with shops and other buildings. In its centre is the Georgian-style Berkeley Memorial, which has four clock faces for every street going into the roundabout.
Basseterre’s historic district also includes the Cenotaph, St. George’s Anglican Church, the National Museum, and the St Kitts Sugar Factory. The St Kitts Scenic Railway Train, once used to transport sugar, now brings tourists to the scenic parts of the island from Sandy Point to Basseterre.