Retail is sparse among the islands; most folks here seem more interested in forgetting the rest of the world than buying something from it. There are, however, a few shops such as Hero’s Welcome (Rte. 2, North Hero, 802/372-4121, www.heroswelcome.com ), a general store stocked with Adirondack chairs, books on and maps of the area, squall jackets, and assorted gadgets.
And if you didn’t find what you were looking for there, odds are it’s on the shelves—along with seemingly every other object on the planet—at New England Via Vermont (4 Milk St., Alburgh, 802/796-3665, www.newenglandviavermont.com ). No one disputes that the place is a souvenir shop, but the question, souvenirs of what?, has not yet been settled. Civil War buffs will find plenty to buy among the antique-bullet selection and book section dedicated to the war. Those hoping to take a piece of Vermont  home will do well to pick up any of the maple or cheese products or videos and books on the state; natural-science lovers, meanwhile, thrill to the fossilized shark teeth and rocks.