Paris Permenter & John Bigley's
Caribbean Family Tripper travel guide

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Shopping in the USVI

St. Thomas

St. Thomas's Charlotte Amalie is one of the top shopping destinations in the Caribbean, the place to come for jewelry, perfumes, leather goods, and gemstones.

The Waterfront Highway (Kyst Vejen), Main Street (Dronningens Gade) and Back Street (Vimmelskaft Gade) run parallel to the waterfront of Charlotte Amalie. These streets, and the alleys that connect Waterfront Highway and Main Street, are filled with non-stop shops.

Start near the Vendor’s Plaza (good for crafts purchases and inexpensive kids' T-shirts and caps), then begin your walk down crowded Main Street, where the sidewalks are always packed with shoppers and the street is continually lined with taxis and jitneys.

Our favorite shops are tucked in the alleys, refuges from the crowds where you can shop, dine or drink in a little peace. Here the walls are brick, recalling the area’s history. In the 19th century, this was the Danish warehouse district.

St. Croix

Shopping in St. Croix means a trip to Christiansted or Frederiksted. Until recently, most shopping took place in Christiansted, the larger of the two communities, but as the cruise ship business has grown, Frederiksted is offering more duty-free shops aimed at those who have only a few hours to shop.

Look for larimar, the light blue semi-precious stone known as “the gemstone of the Caribbean,” sold at many shops on St. Croix. It's fairly inexpensive and a unique Caribbean souvenir.

A unique memento of your St. Croix visit is a mocko (rhymes with cocoa) jumbie, seen at Carnival and other special celebrations. The mocko jumbie sways high above the crowd on tall stilts covered with bright pants and wears elaborate headgear. A remembrance of an African tradition, the mocko jumbie is now a Virgin Islands cultural icon.

St. John

Most of the shopping in St. John features hand-made items: clothing, pottery, jewelry, and artwork.

Most shopping is found at Mongoose Junction in Cruz Bay across from the National Park dock. Check out the Donald Schneel Studio, where kids can buy “worry stones” made of sand and glass for just a few dollars.

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