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St. Thomas has a long history of trading and commerce, dating back to colonial times and the Danish West India Company. It upholds today a long tradition as one of the Caribbean’s first duty free ports since 1724. Here buyers find bargains on all manner of luxury items, but mostly jewelry. Most stores target cruise ship passengers that come for the day to shop for diamonds, liquor, perfume, watches, cameras, porcelain and leather goods.
They head first to Havensight Mall, directly adjacent to the cruise ship port and filled with duty free shops. It is a short trip to downtown Charlotte Amalie, where jewelry stores line Main Street. Shoppers can find one of a kind shops and galleries, however, in the alleys and side streets off Main Street and along the waterfront. For an even nicer, more extensive selection of local art and other unique buys, head to Cruz Bay, a short ferry ride away on the island of St. John.
This list compiles the best shopping centers of St. Thomas, plus some select galleries and stores that stand out from the usual brand of jewelry mart. The wise shopper will have done some homework before setting out on the streets of St. Thomas. Compare shop online and at other stores to make sure that a duty free buy truly is a bargain. Because remember, St. Thomas’ heritage also has a few pirates in its closet.