The best place to shop in Road Town is along Main Street, which has the greatest concentration of shops and a pleasant atmosphere. Most shops are open by 10 a.m. and close around 5 p.m. Many are closed on Sundays. Some of the best Main Street shops are Latitude 18 (Fonseca Corner, 284/494-3811), which sells beachwear; The Gallery (102 Main St., 284/494-2096), which features framed and matted paintings; and Allamanda Gallery (124 Main St., 284/494-6680), a photo gallery opposite the Road Town Bakery.
Another good place to browse is Little Denmark (147 Main St., 284/494-2455), which has an intriguing mix of goods including Cuban cigars, jewelry, luggage, and kitchenware. For jewelry, go to The Jewelry Box (101 Main St., 284/494-7278) for gold or silver pieces, or Samarkand (94 Main St., 284/494-6415), which specializes in the Virgin Islands gem, larimar. You will be hard-pressed to leave Sunny Caribbe Spice Shop and Art Gallery (121 Main St., 284/494-2178) empty-handed. Here you will find a wide array of spices, sauces, relishes, and body products, as well as Caribbean postcards, prints, and crafts.
Bamboushay (109 Main St., 294/494-0393) sells colorful locally made pottery, and Hucksters at the Old Customs House (111 Main St., 284/494-7165) is a well-stocked gift shop with table settings, bedspreads, home decor, and jewelry.
The best place for books is Serendipity Books (151 Main St., 284/494-5865), which also has Internet access and a coffee bar upstairs.
Around Road Town
Across from Main Street, facing the waterfront, is Crafts Alive, an open-air market of brightly painted Caribbean-style houses. Space is rented to local artisans, but, sadly, the local art is overshadowed by cheap tourist goods—T-shirts, bags, and hats. But if you look hard, you can also find locally made hot sauce and preserves, crafts produced by senior citizens, and locally produced soaps. There are benches and, during the season, live music, making this a pleasant place to relax.
If you are in the market for brand-name jewelry, browse the display cases at Jewels (Administration Dr., 284/494-3730), Tourniro (Romansco Place, 284/494-8661), and Columbian Emeralds (Romansco Place, 284/494-7477), all of which offer fine jewelry and watches.
For surfer-inspired clothing and gear, head to Cane Garden Bay Surfboard Company (Christopher Building, Mill Mall, 284/494-5423), in the shopping plaza opposite Banco Popular in Road Town.
Other shops of note include Cantik (Inner Harbour Marina, 284/494-7927), which sells imported and stylish gifts and home decor. It is next to Jewels, on the road to the cruise ship pier. Even harder to find, The Ark (Wickham’s Cay II, 284/494-9151) has a wide range of housewares and gifts imported from Indonesia at its store, next to Tico beverage supply, just off the four-lane highway east of town. While you’re in this part of town, check out HIHO (Wickham’s Cay II, 284/494-0337), a BVI-based brand of Caribbean-inspired clothing and beachwear. Come here for sundresses, hats, swimsuits, surfer shorts, and windsurfing gear.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition