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 hoping to find some souvenirs or gifts you should consider visiting St. John Brewtique, which is located in Cruz Bay, in northern the USVI. St. John Brewers have created six bottled brews, a ginger beer, a root beer and a Green Flash Energy drink. They also offer apparel, bar swag, beer signs, boat flags, hats and more. Try calling them at (340) 715-7775.

Another place to consider is Estate Whim Museum Store, which is located 44.5 mi. (71.6 km) to the south of St. John Brewtique. The Estate Whim Museum Store sell a variety of traditional gifts that are perfect keepsakes of your trip to the Virgin Islands. The majority of crafts are a product of West Indian Culture, though they do also branch out into modern Caribbean culture as well. You'll be able to find them at 52 Estate Whim, on St. Croix.

A third shop you might enjoy is St. John Spice. If you are looking for Caribbean flavor and the tastes of St. John, then St. John Spice is the right place. At St. John Spice you will find all of the cooking needs of anyone looking to recreate the local cuisines. They're located on Prince and Strand Streets.

View the table just below to find out more about gift and souvenir shops located in this area.

Gifts and Souvenirs In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Adorn Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 227-1343 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Anything in a Basket Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 778-8114 St. Croix St. Croix
Baci Duty Free Duty Free Store (340) 773-5040 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Captain's Corner Cruz Duty Free Store (340) 776-6284 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
Dilly D'Alley Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-5006 Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Estate Whim Museum Store Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 772-0598 1.4 mi. South-Southeast of Central Frederiksted St. Croix
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
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop -- Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Island Fancy Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 776-6940 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Jolly Dog Gift and Souvenir Shops (802) 489-2901 0.1 mi. Northeast of Central Coral Bay St. John
Pink Papaya Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 779-4110 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Portico Gifts, Souvenirs, and Handicrafts (340) 776-9600 0.2 mi. Northeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Southern Exposure Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 774-6767 Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
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
Valentine Gifts Raadets Gift and Souvenir Shops (340) 777-9494 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

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 more interesting speciality shops is Cane Bay East. This shopping venue is found in downtown Christiansted. This St. Croix dive center has the skills and expertise to handle all of your dive and training needs, plus a love for the sport that is evident with each excursion. Customers can contact them at (340) 718-9913.

Another option is Cane Bay Frederiksted, which is located 11.9 mi. (19.2 km) from Cane Bay East. Owner Hal Rosbach opened the first Cane Bay Dive Center back in 1990, and with the help of an expert staff and word-of-mouth recommendations, this operation has grown to have three stand-alone locations and one resort location around the island. Guests will find them at 1 Strand Street, on St. Croix.

Coki Beach Dive Club: Voted the "Best Dive Operators in Beach and Boat Diving in the Virgin Islands" by the Daily News readers, Coki Dive Center focuses its attention on beach dives, boat dives, and training new and previously certified divers. If you are looking for something specific and want to call before booking a room, do so at (340) 775-4220.

Take a minute to read this table for more information.

Specialty Shops In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Admiralty Dive Center Dive Shop (340) 777-9802 0.9 mi. West of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Aqua Action Dive and Water Sports Center Dive Shop (340) 775-6258 East End St. Thomas
Aragorn Studio Art Gallery (284) 495-1849 The vicinity of St. Thomas and St. John None
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
Blue Island Divers Dive Shop (340) 774-2001 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Camille Pissarro Gallery Art Gallery -- Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
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
Caravan Gallery Jewelry Store (340) 779-4566 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Coki Beach Dive Club Dive Shop (340) 775-4220 1.2 mi. East-Northeast of Central Anna's Retreat 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
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. John Experience Gallery Art Gallery (340) 690-4852 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Tillett Garden Arts and Crafts Gallery Art Gallery (340) 775-1929 Anna's Retreat St. Thomas

Clothing and Apparel

Hoping to find some new clothing during your vacation? Consider dropping by St. John Beach Bum -- it's found within downtown Cruz Bay. They are open daily from 8:30 am to 8:00 pm. If you have questions and want to call before booking a room, you can do so at (340) 777-4286.

A second option is Made on St. John -- which is found a short distance from St. John Beach Bum. Offering locally made apparel that has been designed and screen printed on the island of St. John, this shop which is located in one of the most popular shopping centers on the island has quiet the apt name: Made on St. John. If you want to call ahead of time, do so at (340) 776-6638.

A third option for clothing is Hot Look Sunglasses. A Caribbean chain, Hot Look has the largest inventory of sport and designer sunglasses. They offer popular brands like Costa, Ray Ban, Gucci, Oakley, Prada, Tory Burch, Maui Jim and more. To talk to them, call (340) 777-3978.

Lots of the apparel shops located in the USVI are shown in the table 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
CLASSIC USVI Clothing Store (904) 410-8390 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Centipede The Outdoor Store Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 773-4482 Christiansted St. Croix
Clover's Shoe-Tique Shoe Store (340) 714-7220 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop (340) 777-3978 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Hot Look Sunglasses Sunglasses Shop -- Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
I Levin Women's Clothing and Accessories Store (340) 774-2060 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
Just Beach Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 776-6256 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
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
Naji's Shoe Store Shoe Store (340) 773-6622 1.0 mi. South-Southwest of Central Allandale St. Croix
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
St. John Beach Bum Swimwear, Beachwear and Sportswear Store (340) 777-4286 Downtown Cruz Bay St. John
Terry's Children Wear Children's and Infants' Clothing and Accessory Store (340) 778-5538 3.2 mi. West-Southwest of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
The Dancing Rooster Clothing Store -- 0.0 mi. North of Central Coral Bay St. John
Violette Boutique Boutique (800) 544-5912 Downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Zora of St. Thomas Clothing Accessory and Handbag Store (340) 774-2559 0.1 mi. North of Central Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas

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 located in downtown Cruz Bay. Island Cork, known as the popular meeting place for wine lovers, has now moved locations and upped their game. Once located at Mongoose Junction, you can now find them at the Wharfside Village Shopping Center. If you would like to call in advance, you can do so at (340) 228-2090.

A second place to consider is Starfish Market, which is found less than a mile to the southeast of Island Cork. The Starfish Market sells fresh fruit and vegetables, meats, dairy, and all the normal grocery store wares. In addition, the market also contains a fully operational deli, so you can pick up fresh sandwiches and freshly cut lunch meats. If you're looking to call before you go, you can do so at (340) 779-4949.

Moe's Fresh Market: Dedicated to offering their customers only the finest ingredients and freshest foods, Moe's Fresh Market is the premier shop for gourmet foods in the area. In addition to their top food choices and friendly, knowledgeable staff, they also specialize in helping their guests find the perfect wine pairing for every meal. You can find them at 6205 Smith Bay Road, on St. Thomas.

View this table to learn more.

Food and Grocery Stores In the USVI
Name Type Phone Location Island
Belgian Chocolate Factory Confectionery and Nut Store (340) 777-5247 Downtown Charlotte Amalie St. Thomas
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
Moe's Fresh Market Grocery Store (340) 693-0254 0.9 mi. East of Central Anna's Retreat St. Thomas
Muhsen's Supermarket Grocery Store (340) 775-3027 The vicinity of Charlotte Amalie, Northern part of the USVI St. Thomas
Nature's Nook Fruit and Vegetable Market -- 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
Pueblo Supermarket Golden Rock Grocery Store (340) 718-0118 1.0 mi. West of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
Pueblo Supermarket Villa La Reine Grocery Store (340) 778-2311 3.9 mi. Southeast of Central Cane Bay St. Croix
Seaside Market and Deli Grocery Store (340) 719-9393 0.7 mi. East of Central downtown Christiansted St. Croix
St. John Market Groceries Grocery Store (340) 776-5322 0.3 mi. Southeast of Central downtown Cruz Bay St. John
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 4.8 mi. East of Central downtown Christiansted 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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