If you love to shop, you’ve come to the right island! St. Thomas is famous for its duty-free luxury goods, handmade items and island-made rum. Let’s explore some four of our favorite locally made souvenirs to bring home from your next St. Thomas shopping trip.
U.S.V.I. Flag Gear
Show your love of the Virgin Islands by taking home a souvenir branded with our famous flag. It’s a motif you’ll see often throughout the islands - a yellow eagle holding laurel in one talon to symbolize victory and three arrows in the other to represent St. Thomas, St. John and St. Croix.
Where to find it: We recommend V.I. Swag, a company owned and operated by St. Thomas local Jody Olson. She started the company while doing relief work after Hurricanes Irma and Maria hit the islands. Jody needed to keep essentials handy in a fanny pack, but wanted one that represented her love of the Virgin Islands. V.I. Swag was born, and today it offers everything from hats to fanny packs to dog leashes.
You can win your own V.I. Swag! Leave a comment at the end of this blog and let us know if you’d like a V.I. Swag hat and fanny pack or a dog collar and harness. The giveaway includes free shipping to locations within the Virgin Islands or continental U.S.
Caribbean artisans are known for their use of precious jewels and natural materials. Look for jewelry made of Larimar, a rare pale blue gemstone found only in the Dominican Republic. Another U.S. Virgin Island specialty is the hook bracelet, typically made out of gold or silver with a horse-shoe shaped hook at one end. Island lore states that when the open end of the hook is pointed toward your heart, it signals that your love is taken. Wearing it the opposite direction means you’re open to finding new love.
Where to find it: Small boutiques, like Naia Boutique on Sapphire Beach. It’s walking distance from our Sapphire Dreams and Sea Haven condos!
This is the place to purchase high-end items like electronics, watches, fine jewelry, perfume and top-shelf alcohol. St. Thomas shopping is duty-free, which means that you don’t pay import duties or taxes on up to $1,600 of goods. That’s double the limit of other islands! Remember to keep your receipts, as customs may request them when you re-enter the mainland.
Where to find it: Check out the stores in Havensight Mall, Yacht Haven Grande and downtown Charlotte Amalie. We recommend Diamonds International in the AH Riise Mall or Jewel House in Havensight.
Rum and Rum Cake
What started as the drink of pirates and smugglers is now one of the most famous Caribbean exports. Rum is distilled on neighboring St. Croix and is a key ingredient in some of the islands’ most famous drinks, including painkillers, bushwackers and of course, banana daiquiris. You can bring home up to four liters duty-free, plus an 5th extra liter if it is a locally produced brand. Don’t drink? Bring home one of the island’s delicious rum cakes, which contain only trace amounts of alcohol after they’re baked.
Where to find it: Pick up a rum cake at Mountain Top, a scenic lookout and shopping spot in the hills above Charlotte Amalie. You can grab a bottle of your favorite Virgin Islands rum at any gift shop or grocery store.
Attention foodies! The Caribbean is famous for its hot sauce, which we like to put on everything from traditional fried conch to burgers and chicken. Flavors range from standard habanero to pineapple, lemon and orange. Try the Blind Betty brand, made on neighboring St. John, if you want to experience a taste straight from the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Where to find it: Any of the downtown Charlotte Amalie shops
St. Thomas Shopping: Your Treasure Awaits!
Need help finding the best deal on the island? Our concierge service is available to help Island Luxury guests find the best shopping spots and arrange transportation to and from their condo or villa. Find out more about our unique concierge service here!