Shopping in the USVI

People flock to the US Virgin Islands every year just for the shopping

Photo credit: © Sharon B12
 

In addition to the relaxing setting and opportunity to spend time at the beach, the Virgin Islands offer great deals on designer products, making shopping yet another reason to book a trip.

...traditional souvenir of the U.S. Virgin Islands: the Caribbean Hook Bracelet...

 

Where to Shop

St. Thomas

In St. Thomas, Charlotte Amalie is where you will find the best shopping around. Three streets within walking distance, Main Street (or Dronningens Gade), Back Street, and Waterfront are lined with duty free shops. Clothes, jewelry, housewares, artwork, and more make up the goods that can be found in this area of the island. Also in Charlotte Amalie, is the Vendor Plaza. Here, local entrepreneurs set up booths selling handicrafts, imitation products, and funky souvenirs. You can also purchase snacks and beverages, get your hair done, or get a picture taken with a donkey! Right near the primary cruise ship dock in Havensight, visitors will find a collection of shops that cater directly to cruise passengers. Duty free, tax, free, and filled with souvenirs, the hours of these stores directly coincide with whether or not a ship is docked. Elsewhere on the island you will find shopping centers that are mainly frequented by locals, but keep your eyes peeled, because you never know when you will find a good deal.

St. John

One of the most popular spots to shop in the U.S. Virgin Islands is at Mongoose Junction on St. John. This is a great place to find quintessentially Caribbean items, like hand made crafts, artwork, batik, and shell jewelry. There are also a few chain shops in the area, including department stores that American visitors will be familiar with. Wharfside Village is the island's other major retail area, which is immediately accessible to ferry travelers. This shopping center is much like Mongoose Junction, which is within walking distance. The Coral Bay area is another great place to find souvenirs like t-shirts and jewelry. Visitors will also find duty free shopping at many of the resorts, however, prices will typically be higher in these facilities than out on the streets.

St. Croix

Christiansted is St. Croix's shopping center. Danish-inspired storefronts provide a welcoming atmosphere, and the prices on high end goods keep that good feeling going. Kings Alley Walk and Strand Street in Christiansted offer shops that sell jewelry, clothing, housewares, and more. Along the water in Fredericksted, there is a decent mixture of shops and street vendors, selling a variety of those high end goods at discounted prices that everyone is after, as well as the locally made items that are perfect for people in search of something that is one of a kind.

Gifts and Souvenirs

There are many locally made handicrafts that serve as excellent souvenirs including batik, olls, shell jewelry, and woven items. Don't leave for home without picking up the traditional souvenir of the U.S. Virgin Islands: the Caribbean Hook Bracelet.

If you're looking for some gifts or souvenirs you might enjoy a visit to Natural Livity Store, which is located in downtown Charlotte Amalie. Stop by the Natural Livity Shop and pick up some vibrant Caribbean clothing and gifts. This store is more festive than it is serious, and the items here make a wonderful gift or keep sake to remember the tropical and vibrant feeling of the island. They're located at 9A Norre Gade Street, on St. Thomas.

Another possibility is Friends of the Park Store, which is found 9.0 mi. (14.5 km) from Natural Livity Store. The Friends of the Park Store is open from 9:00 am to 9:00 pm daily. They're located on N Shore Rd.

Still another option is Estate Whim Museum Store. If your idea of a souvenir is an authentically made crafts in the traditional custom of native population and other items deep in history, than the shop at the Estate Whim Museum is a place you should look into. Operated by the St. Croix Landmarks Society, you can be sure that the shop pays close attention to detail in making authentic gifts. You'll find them at 52 Estate Whim, on St. Croix.

The chart right below summarizes more details regarding 20 of the gift and souvenir shops located in the USVI.

Gifts and Souvenirs In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Adorn Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 227-1343 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Boolchand's Havensight Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-0302 0.7 mi. Southeast of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Boolchand's Main Street Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-0794 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Captain's Corner Downtown Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 774-8435 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Captain's Corner Havensight Duty Free Store (340) 774-7959 Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Captain's Corner Mountain Top Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 777-4708 Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Duty Free St. Thomas Duty Free Store (340) 776-2303 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Estate Whim Museum Store Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 772-0598 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
Friends of the Park Store Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 779-8700 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Get Charmed Airport Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 775-6381 2.9 mi. West of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Get Charmed Main Street Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 344-6186 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop (340) 777-3978 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Island Fancy Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-6940 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Natural Livity Store Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 715-1992 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Now and Zen Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 714-1088 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Pink Papaya Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 779-4110 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Sparky's Cruz Bay Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-6284 Cruz Bay, Northern part of the USVI St. John
St. John Brewtique Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 715-7775 0.2 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
St. John Spice Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 693-7046 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Sugar Birds Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-6909 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John

Specialty Shops

If you are looking for a great deal, be on the lookout for items that would normally be expensive back home. Art, cameras, china, clothing, electronics, jewelry, leather goods, linens, perfume, and spirits can often be found at discounted rates in the Virgin Islands. When choosing a perfume, why not go for the tropical scents, made from the plants of nearby islands?

One of the area's popular specialty retailers is Cane Bay East. This shopping venue is located in downtown Christiansted. Although not as extensive as their flagships store's offerings, this dive shop has a full selection of dive apparel and merchandise. Most people visit them for the daily scuba diving adventures, arranged to fit divers needs rather than the schedule of the shop, and the full list of PADI certification courses. If you would like to call ahead of time, you can do so at (340) 718-9913.

Another option is St. Thomas Diving Club, which is located 41.1 mi. (66.1 km) from Cane Bay East. Jump in the water and dive with the local diving experts at the St. Thomas Diving Club. Voted the best dive operator for 2010, 2011, and 2012, you can be sure you will be diving at the best spots in the area with the St. Thomas Diving Club. Guests will be able to find them at 7147 Bolongo Bay, on St. Thomas.

Tillett Garden Arts and Crafts Gallery: Local artists, mainly those working in the studios, sell their works at the on-site galleries. You can get prints for as low as $20 and originals are available as well. They're located at 4126 Anna's Retreat Main Road, on St. Thomas.

The chart just below enables you to get more information about the specialty shops located in the USVI.

Specialty Shops In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Admiralty Dive Center Dive Shop (340) 777-9802 Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Aqua Action Dive and Water Sports Center Dive Shop (340) 775-6258 East End St. Thomas
Bajo El Sol Art Gallery (340) 693-7070 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Bambini Fine Arts Gallery Art Gallery (340) 514-1200 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Best of Both Worlds Art Gallery (340) 693-7005 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Cane Bay Dive Shop Dive Shop (340) 773-4663 0.2 mi. South of Central Cane Bay St. Croix
Cane Bay East Dive Shop (340) 718-9913 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Cane Bay Frederiksted Dive Shop (340) 772-0715 0.2 mi. Northwest of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
Coki Beach Dive Club Dive Shop (340) 775-4220 East End St. Thomas
Fish Face Art Gallery (340) 775-5129 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Gallery St. Thomas Art Gallery (340) 777-6363 Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Jonna White Gallery Art Gallery (340) 774-1201 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Mango Tango Art Gallery Art Gallery (340) 777-3060 Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Maria Henle Studio Art Gallery (340) 718-0372 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Mitchell Larsen Studio Art Gallery (888) 307-8183 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
N2 The Blue Dive Shop (340) 772-3483 0.2 mi. North of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
St. Croix Ultimate Bluewater Adventure Dive Shop (340) 773-5994 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
St. Thomas Diving Club Dive Shop (340) 776-2381 2.1 mi. South-Southwest of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Tillett Garden Arts and Crafts Gallery Art Gallery (340) 775-1929 Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
True Blue Art Studio Art Gallery -- Christiansted, Southern part of the USVI St. Croix

Clothing and Apparel

Interested in shopping for clothing? You might want to try Made on St. John -- it's located in downtown Cruz Bay. Operating hours November through May are from 10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m. If you are looking for something specific and want to call before you go, do so at (340) 776-6638.

Another good option is Bamboula -- which is located just a few steps away from Made on St. John. Bamboula has for sale a selection of themed clothing, art, decorations, and musical instruments. Whether you're shopping for something to wear, home decor, or novelty items, you'll have a great time browsing the treasures at Bamboula. Visitors can reach them at (340) 693-8699.

A third clothing shop to consider is Olga Gloves. Olga Gloves features gloves for ladies, gentlemen, teens, and youth. They also offer accessories such as hand bags, wallets, belts, and roller brief cases. If you're looking to call before booking a room, do so at (340) 776-4340.

Many apparel shops located in the USVI are listed in the chart below.

Clothing and Apparel In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Bamboula Boutique (340) 693-8699 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Big Planet General Clothing Store (340) 776-6638 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Bougainvillea General Clothing Store (340) 693-7190 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Centipede The Outdoor Store Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 773-4482 Christiansted St. Croix
Essentric Shoe St. Thomas Shoe Store (340) 774-7800 Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Fabric Mill Boutique (340) 776-6194 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop (340) 777-3978 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop -- Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Island Tribe Women's Clothing and Accessories Store (340) 719-0936 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Love City Beach Shop Women's Clothing and Accessories Store (340) 776-4202 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Made on St. John T-Shirt Shop (340) 776-6638 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Mr. Tablecloth Clothing Store (340) 774-4343 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Olga Gloves Boutique (340) 776-4340 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Scuboutique Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (877) 567-1367 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Scuboutique Frederiksted Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 773-5994 Frederiksted, Southern part of the USVI St. Croix
Sea Leather Clothing Accessory and Handbag Store (340) 626-2419 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
St. John Beach Bum Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 777-4286 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Sunglass Hut A.H. Riise Sunglasses Shop (340) 774-9030 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Turquoise Turtle Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 714-2696 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Violette Boutique Boutique (800) 544-5912 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix

Food and Grocery

Cruzan rum is brewed on St. Croix, so this makes for a great gift as a symbol of locally produced product. Jams and jellies, hot sauce, and spices are a few other edible options.

Hungry? Island Cork is situated in downtown Cruz Bay. They are open Monday though Saturday from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm and Sunday by appointment. You can contact them at (340) 228-2090.

A second option is Belgian Chocolate Factory, which is found 9.2 mi. (14.7 km) from Island Cork. Indulge in the sweet treasure of Belgian chocolate from the Belgian Chocolate Factory. You will be able to find everything chocolate related here, so if you or someone you know is a chocoholic, this is the place to be. Find them at 37 Main Street, on St. Thomas.

Laline Drake's Passage: Look your best with the products and gifts from Laline Body Store. You will find everything from moisturizers to lipstick on the shelves at Laline. They are located on Main Street.

Review the table below for more information about your options.

Food and Grocery Stores In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Baked in the Sun Bakery (340) 693-8786 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Belgian Chocolate Factory Confectionery and Nut Store (340) 777-5247 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Cost-U-Less St. Thomas Grocery Store (340) 777-3545 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Fish Trap Seafood Market Fish and Seafood Market (340) 639-9994 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Food Town Supermarket Grocery Store (340) 718-9990 2.7 mi. West-Southwest of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Island Cork Beer, Wine, and Liquor Store (340) 228-2090 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Laline Crown Bay Nutrition and Body Care Store (888) 525-4637 1.9 mi. West-Southwest of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Laline Drake's Passage Nutrition and Body Care Store (340) 775-1382 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Moe's Fresh Market Grocery Store (340) 693-0254 0.9 mi. East of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Pine Peace Grocery Store (340) 693-8725 Cruz Bay, Northern part of the USVI St. John
Plaza Extra Centerline East Grocery Store (340) 719-1870 2.6 mi. West-Southwest of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Plaza Extra Centerline West Grocery Store (340) 778-6240 1.2 mi. East of Central Allandale St. Croix
Seaside Market and Deil Grocery Store (340) 719-9393 0.7 mi. East of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Starfish Market Grocery Store (340) 779-4949 0.3 mi. Southeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Ziggy's Island Market Convenience Store (340) 773-8382 1.0 mi. West-Northwest of Central Cotton Valley St. Croix

...bargaining and haggling is not common...

 

Duties, Taxes, and Tips

Shopping is made easy for American travelers, who can shop without having to exchange their money for foreign currency. The official currency in the U.S. and British Virgin Islands is the United States Dollar (USD). Despite being outside of the U.S. Customs Zone, travelers may bring home up to $1,600(USD) worth of duty-free products with them. This is nearly twice the amount you can purchase anywhere else in the Caribbean.

Though every shop is different, the typical shopping hours in the Virgin Islands are between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday through Saturday, though many shops offer extended hours when a cruise ship is docked nearby. If a shop is open on Sunday, it will typically only be for half of the day. Click here to read more about hours of operation of businesses.

While it is possible to find a clerk who will float you a deal, bargaining and haggling is not common and may be considered rude. Always remember your manners, and greet each salesclerk with a friendly “Hi, how are you, today?” before asking your question. Manners are important on the islands, and you will see a huge difference in the service you receive if you are rude.

With high limitations on duty free shopping, many vacationers head the Virgin Islands with plans to shop. If this is you, make sure you bring extra luggage, or you'll end up having to buy that, too!

 

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