Shopping in U.S. Virgin Islands

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St. Thomas has a protracted historical past of buying and selling and commerce, relationship again to colonial instances and the Danish West India Company. It upholds at the moment a protracted custom as one of many Caribbean’s first obligation free ports since 1724. Here patrons discover bargains on all method of luxurious gadgets, however largely jewellery. Most shops goal cruise ship passengers that come for the day to buy diamonds, liquor, fragrance, watches, cameras, porcelain and leather-based items.

They head first to Havensight Mall, instantly adjoining to the cruise ship port and full of obligation free outlets. It is a brief journey to downtown Charlotte Amalie, the place jewellery shops line Main Street. Shoppers can discover one among a sort outlets and galleries, nevertheless, within the alleys and aspect streets off Main Street and alongside the waterfront. For a fair nicer, extra in depth number of native artwork and different distinctive buys, head to Cruz Bay, a brief ferry experience away on the island of St. John.

This checklist compiles the most effective buying facilities of St. Thomas, plus some choose galleries and shops that stand out from the same old model of knickknack mart. The clever shopper can have completed some homework earlier than setting out on the streets of St. Thomas. Compare store on-line and at different shops to be sure that an obligation free purchase really is a discount. Because keep in mind, St. Thomas’ heritage additionally has just a few pirates in its closet.



Mountain TopPhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

High atop St. Peter Mountain sits “the island’s largest gift shop,” restaurant, bar and commentary level with sweeping views of the British Virgin islands. Among the huge stock you will discover an intensive assortment of each positive and costume jewellery, beachwear, hats and footwear. As a bonus, the bar serves up the world-famous banana daiquiri, which isn’t for the faint-hearted. Repeat guests to St. Thomas could not acknowledge this up to date model of Mountain Top, which differs significantly from what existed earlier than a devastating fireplace in 2009. However the drinks and views are nonetheless simply pretty much as good, and the merchandise is considerably cheaper than what you will discover down the hill.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Besides a wonderful view and engaging banana daiquiris, this huge mart supplies a complete one-stop buying expertise.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Go early or late to keep away from the busloads of cruise ship passengers.

Read extra about Mountain Top →


Native Arts and Crafts CooperativePhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

Find the work of greater than 150 artisans gathered below one roof at this arts and crafts gallery. The items are continuously altering because the craftspeople create new designs, however in style choices embody hand-carved calabash bowls, spice racks created from domestically harvested wooden, hand-woven baskets, straw dolls, quilts and crocheted buying luggage. Hand-painted observe playing cards, native music, meals gadgets and regional cookbooks are additionally out there. When you store right here, you’re actually supporting the local people – together with the schoolchildren, senior residents and folks with disabilities who’re among the many artisans. The co-op is situated on the downtown waterfront, simply reverse Vendor’s Plaza and subsequent door to the Welcome Center.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: The co-op provides an outstanding assortment of Caribbean-themed crafts and memorabilia.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: The 19th-century brick constructing that homes the co-op is the previous headquarters of the U.S. District Court in St. Thomas.

Read extra about Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative →


Silk-screen artist Jim Tillett and his spouse based Tillett Gardens in 1959 as a display printing studio and artwork gallery. Since then it has expanded right into a wide- ranging arts and crafts middle the place native artists and craftsmen make and promote pottery, candles, jewellery, baskets and artisanal meals and leather-based merchandise. Many of the artisans work on-site so you’ll be able to watch the crafts take form, and a few supply workshops. Tillett Gardens can be house to a few eating places, a music studio (which provides classes) and the Pistarckle Theater, which phases about performs and musicals all year long. The facility additionally hosts a number of classical and modern musical performances through the island’s excessive season

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Tillett Gardens provides nice one-stop searching for domestically made arts, crafts and jewellery.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: If you determine you REALLY love Tillett Gardens, you’ll be able to keep there: the on-site visitor home (Rhoda’s) provides finances rooms for a day or every week.

Read extra about Tillett Gardens →



Camille Pissarro, one of the well-known impressionist painters of the 19th century, was born in St. Thomas in 1830. The island impressed a lot of his portray. The constructing at 14 Main Street, which is now house to his namesake gallery, as soon as housed the household’s dry items enterprise. They lived within the flat upstairs. Several of Pisarro’s Caribbean impressed works are on show on the gallery, together with works from about two dozen different artists together with Jenine Wesselman, Sylvia Kahn, Lee Coplea, and Jan Dunn. These modern works, that are completed in oil, watercolor, gauche, rock, sculpture and print, can be found on the market.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: A strong mixture of historical past and artwork on the Camille Pissaro Gallery captivates guests.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Look for prints of one among Pisarro’s most well-known native work, Two Women Chatting by the Sea, circa 1856.

Read extra about Camille Pissarro Gallery →


Vendors Plaza is an out of doors market subsequent to Fort Christian and the Legislature constructing, simply on the fringe of downtown Charlotte Amalie. Local distributors arrange tents and cubicles to promote an assortment of hats, knockoff designer luggage, cheap jewellery, t-shirts, sundresses and varied low-cost trinkets. You also can get your hair braided or purchase some west Indian meals and ice cream from the meals distributors who arrange across the perimeter. The plaza is open from 7:30 a.m. to five:30 p.m., totally on days when cruise ships are in port. Bring money with you – these are small-time retailers, and few, if any, settle for plastic.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: The stalls at Vendor’s Plaza supply a quintessentially touristic assortment of trinkets, trash and treasure.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Haggling is okay right here, however do not insult the distributors with too low of a proposal. Bring money in small payments.

Read extra about Vendors Plaza →


Mango Tango Art GalleryPhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

Just exterior the hustle and bustle of Charlotte Amalie, this in style, long-standing gallery sells works by native and internationally acknowledged artists who spend all or a part of their time within the Caribbean. In addition to work, sculpture and images, the gallery, which is greater than 20 years outdated, additionally carries crafts, ceramics, glasswork, textiles, ironwork, wooden sculpture and extra by the likes of Don Dahlke, Brian Murphy, Dana Wylder and others who’ve gained world renown. The ethereal gallery additionally provides framing providers, a powerful number of historic Caribbean maps and Haitian artwork.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Mango Tango carries distinctive and modern works by island artists and artisans.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: During month-to-month artwork reveals December via May the gallery presents the work of rising artists and the creations of Caribbean artists with worldwide recognition.

Read extra about Mango Tango Art Gallery →


Cruz BayPhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

A brief ferry experience from both downtown Charlotte Amalie or the island’s east finish at Red Hook will get you to the docks of St. John, conveniently situated within the midst of the island’s primary city of Cruz Bay, nicknamed the “Love City.” Shoppers undoubtedly fall in love with the compact city stuffed to the brim with charming boutiques, galleries, outlets, bars and eating places. Shopping facilities occupy historic buildings or new buildings made to look historic. They embody Mongoose Junction, Raintree Court, Wharfside Village and The Marketplace. One-of-a-kind specialty shops promote handmade jewellery, spices and low beans, tropical house décor, soaps and candles, beachwear, watercolor work and eccentric sculptures.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: The flip aspect of economic Charlotte Amalie, Cruz Bay supplies an escape to boutique buying.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Try Bajo el Sol Gallery for quite a lot of island expertise starting from oil work and pastels to blown glass, ceramics, sculpture and wooden works.

Read extra about Cruz Bay →


Havensight MallPhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

This mall greets cruise ship passengers who disembark on the West Indian Company dock and is likely one of the main buying areas on the island (in addition to downtown). It encompasses greater than 100 obligation free and memento outlets, plus varied service suppliers comparable to banks and a submit workplace. A lot of jewelers have branches right here, the place you should purchase every thing from black coral to Austrian crystal to French fragrance to Swiss watches at glorious costs. There are additionally varied beachwear outlets, an electronics retailer, a bookstore, a gourmand grocer and a music retailer. Ancient mahogany timber line the streets, and informal eateries such because the Delly Deck and Senor Frog’s present tasty, cheap grub for refueling stops.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Convenient to the cruise ship port and simply walkable, it’s the solely buying some guests expertise.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: Visit the Butterfly Garden within the mall to present the children a enjoyable break from buying.

Read extra about Havensight Mall →


Charlotte AmaliePhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

Main Street and the waterfront of downtown Charlotte Amalie supply a powerful array of retailers catering to cruise ship passengers and resort friends. Everything from an vintage retailer that carries recovered booty to liquor emporiums to chocolate outlets line its primary avenues and hidden 17th century alleyways, with the vast majority of shops specializing in jewellery, watches and free gems. On the aspect streets and fringes of downtown you will discover in style cafes comparable to Gladys’ Café and Amalia Cafe, plus the Camille Pissaro Gallery, the Native Arts and Crafts Cooperative, and Vendor’s Plaza. Sometimes the crass commercialism of downtown Charlotte Amalie can crowd out the appeal, however for those who duck right into a quiet cobbled alleyways, you’ll be able to nonetheless get a way of the quaint colonial city that after was.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Main Street Charlotte Amalie is floor zero for gems, jewels and artwork.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: For genuine native meals, hit Gladys’ Cafe when starvation pains strike.

Read extra about Charlotte Amalie →


Yacht Haven GrandePhoto courtesy of Karen Elowitt

Yacht Haven Grande is an upscale waterfront growth that features a luxurious yacht marina, residential condos, eating places and greater than 40 high-end buying boutiques. You will discover numerous dear designer manufacturers represented right here, together with Louis Vuitton, Coach, Gucci, BCBG Max Azria and Bulgari. But there are additionally mid-range chains comparable to White House Black Market, Bebe, Cache and Aqua Beachwear, plus a magnificence salon and non-chain boutiques promoting swimwear, youngsters’s clothes and sun shades. Dining choices embody informal Fat Turtle, Grande Cru for positive dinner, tasty Fresh Bistro and Bad Ass Coffee. During excessive season there are commonly scheduled outside live shows, events and different particular occasions.

Recommended for St. Thomas’ Best Shopping as a result of: Upscale outlets and various eating places give this buying middle multi-faceted attraction.

Chelle’s knowledgeable tip: If you’re buying with youngsters, drop them off at Kool Kidz to observe a Disney movie when you make the rounds.

Read extra about Yacht Haven Grande →


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