St. Thomas is rightly known as a shopping mecca - with its duty-free status and hundreds of stores clustered around the cruise ship port of Charlotte Amalie, it has some of the best shopping in the Caribbean. Most visitors spend their $1600 duty-free allowance on jewelry, liquor, crystal, and perfume, and to a lesser extent art, antiques and clothing. However, not all shops are created equal - some offer better variety, quality and value for money than others.
AH Riise is a great place for one-stop shopping for a whole range luxury items, from jewelry, to crystal, to china, to perfume, plus cigars, sunglasses, cosmetics and liquor. One of the oldest and largest merchants in St. Thomas, Riise's prices are reasonable, the sales staff are not pushy, the variety of brand names is huge, and they deliver to the airport and cruise ships.
For unusual one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces, Bernard Passman and H. Stern are highly recommended. Passman specializes in jewelry made from rare black coral, while H. Stern makes wildly creative high-fashion designs that have graced the pages of Vogue and the necks of celebrities.
If art is what you're looking for, take a taxi a short way to the Mango Tango gallery on Raphune Hill, which highlights local artists and has a huge selection. Unique nautical antiques can be found at SOS Antiques on the waterfront, which sometimes feels more like a museum than a store.
Don't forget to check out some of the smaller, lesser-known shops, which offer great deals on clothes and accessories. The Longchamp Boutique specializes in everything leather, from handbags to belts, while the Essentric Shoe Boutique has a selection of ultra-feminine shoes, purses, hats and costume jewelry. Mr. Tablecloth, on Main Street, has over 200 styles of tablecloths, plus bedsheets, pajamas, and baby wear.
Electronics are not as much of bargain on St. Thomas as they should be, but if you want to haggle for a flat-screen TV or camcorder, Boolchand's is the place to go. And for those with a sweet tooth, head to the Belgian Chocolate Factory on your way back to your ship, so you don't have to carry your candy around in the melting heat all day. The handmade delicacies make for great snacks, or gifts.
37 Main St
At A. H. Riise Gift & Liquor Mall (perfume and liquor branch stores at the Havensight Mall)
Route 38 at Al Cohen's Plaza between Tutu and Raphune Hill.
Tropical art gallery featuring local and international artists... read more
5195 Dronningens Gade, Ste. #2
5093 Droninngens Gade #3 (AH Riise Mall)
25 Main St