St. Thomas

St. Thomas lives up to its billing as a duty-free shopping destination. Even if shopping isn't your idea of how to spend a vacation, you still may want to slip in on a quiet day (check the cruise-ship listings—Monday and Sunday are usually the least crowded) to browse. Among the best buys are liquor, linens, china, crystal (most stores will ship), and jewelry. The amount of jewelry available makes this one of the few items for which comparison shopping is worth the effort. Local crafts include shell jewelry, carved calabash bowls, straw brooms, woven baskets, and dolls. Creations by local doll maker Sally George—like her school-uniformed West Indian children and Mocko Jumbie dolls—have been little goodwill ambassadors, bought by visitors around the world. Spice mixes, hot sauces, and tropical jams and jellies are other native products.

On St. Thomas, stores on Main Street in Charlotte Amalie are open weekdays and Saturday 9 to 5. The hours of the shops in the Havensight Mall (next to the cruise-ship dock) and the Crown Bay Commercial Center (next to the Crown Bay cruise-ship dock) are the same, though occasionally some stay open until 9 on Friday, depending on how many cruise ships are anchored nearby. You may also find some shops open on Sunday if cruise ships are in port. Hotel shops are usually open evenings as well.

There's no sales tax in the USVI, and you can take advantage of the $1,600 duty-free allowance per family member (remember to save your receipts). Although you can find the occasional salesclerk who will make a deal, bartering isn't the norm.

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  • 1. Fruit Bowl

    Food/Candy

    This grocery store is the best place on the island to go for fresh fruits and vegetables. There are many ethnic, vegetarian, and health-food...Read More

  • 2. A.H. Riise Liquors and Tobacco

    Wine/Spirits

    ...Read More

  • 3. Al Cohen's Discount Liquor

    Havensight | Wine/Spirits

    This warehouse of a store holds an extremely large wine and liquor selection. ...Read More

  • 4. Boolchand's

    Havensight | Cameras/Electronics

    This store sells brand-name cameras, audio and video equipment, and binoculars. ...Read More

  • 5. Cardow Jewelers

    Crown Bay | Jewelry & Watches

    This store is a chain—with gold in several lengths, widths, sizes, and styles—along with diamonds, emeralds, and other precious gems. You're...Read More

  • 6. Cost-U-Less

    Food/Candy

    This is the Caribbean equivalent of Costco and Sam's Club and it sells everything from soup to nuts—in giant sizes and case lots—without a membership...Read More

  • 7. Diamonds International

    Crown Bay | Jewelry & Watches

    ...Read More

  • 8. Diamonds International

    Havensight | Jewelry & Watches

    At this major chain shop with several outlets on St. Thomas, just choose a diamond, emerald, or tanzanite gem and a mounting, and you can have...Read More

  • 9. Duty Free St. Thomas

    Havensight | Wine/Spirits

    This giant duty-free liquor outlet offers a large selection of tobacco (including imported cigars), as well as cordials, wines, and rare vintage...Read More

  • 10. Gourmet Gallery

    Food/Candy

    This is where visiting megayacht owners (or their staff) go to buy their caviar. There's also an excellent and reasonably priced wine selection...Read More

  • 11. H. Stern Jewelers

    Havensight | Jewelry & Watches

    This Brazilian jeweler is known for the modern settings and designs of its offerings. The jewelry vault design center is located on Main Street...Read More

  • 12. Jewels

    Jewelry & Watches

    Head here for name-brand jewelry and designer watches in abundance. Locations also at Havensight Mall, Crown Bay Center, and the Ritz-Carlton...Read More

  • 13. Kmart

    Toys

    This giant discount chain store has five aisles of toys for boys and girls: Barbie dolls, hula hoops, computer games, dollhouses, talking teddies...Read More

  • 14. Kmart

    Toys

    ...Read More

  • 15. Little Switzerland

    Ceramics/Glassware

    The major Caribbean duty-free chain carries crystal from Baccarat, Waterford, and Orrefors; and china from Kosta Boda, Rosenthal, and Wedgwood...Read More

  • 16. Local Color

    Havensight | Clothing

    Local Color has clothes for men, women, and children among its brand-name wear such as Jams World, Fresh Produce, and Urban Safari. There's...Read More

  • 17. Mango Tango

    Art Galleries

    This gallery sells and displays works by popular local artists—originals, prints, and note cards. There's a one-person or multiple-person show...Read More

  • 18. Plaza Extra

    Food/Candy

    This large, U.S.–style supermarket sells everything you need from produce to meat, including fresh seafood, an excellent deli, and a bakery...Read More

  • 19. PriceSmart

    Toys

    This giant emporium carries everything from electronics to housewares in its members-only warehouse-size store. The meat, poultry, and seafood...Read More

  • 20. Royal Caribbean

    Crown Bay | Cameras/Electronics

    ...Read More

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