In the heart of Apple Bay, Nan’s Gallery (no phone) is a roadside stand specializing in hand-painted calabash gourds. Proprietors Nan Thomas and Benito Potter harvest the gourds, sand them, polish them, and paint them with colorful designs. They also sell hand-painted bowls and watercolors. The gallery is open daily from mid-September to early June.
Also in Apple Bay, Caribbean Landscapes Art Gallery (Little Apple Bay, 284/494-6244) showcases the work of artist David Thrasher, as well as other painters and photographers. Stop here for one of Thrasher’s unique hand-drawn maps of the west end of Tortola. The gallery is at the rear of Coco Plums Restaurant.
There are some nice shops along the boardwalk at Nanny Cay, a full-service marina and hotel complex located about midway between Road Town and West End. Arawak Gifts (284/494-5240) sells clothing, jewelry, and beachwear. About 20 yards from the waterfront, on the main road to the marina, you will find Bamboushay (284/494-0393), which has locally made pottery and other arts.
Soper’s Hole, a marina and retail complex at West End, has several nice shops, including Latitude 18 (284/495-4347), which sells island-style clothing and footwear. Samarkand Jewellers (284/495-4137) and Zenaida’s (284/495-4867) are good places for unique jewelry.
© Susanna Henighan Potter from Moon Virgin Islands, 4th edition