Duty-free shopping

St. Croix is known for its duty-free shopping – with kitchenware, crystal, jewelry, perfume, cosmetics, liquor, and cigarettes priced up to 50% below what you’d pay elsewhere. Visitors are allowed up to $1,200 in duty-free shopping, along with up to five cartons of duty-free cigarettes and five fifths of liquor. An extra fifth can be taken if it is a U.S. Virgin Islands product such as Cruzan Rum.

Of course, it’s always nice to buy local arts and crafts to bring home as well. Be sure to spend some time in downtown Christiansted, where most of St. Croix’s shops are located. Frederiksted also has some shops along the waterfront and is home to The Market Place, selling island grown produce and tropical herbs.

Two of the most popular souvenirs from St. Croix are Cruzan Rum and the Cruzan hook bracelet. You shouldn’t have any trouble finding these items. The cheapest places to buy alcohol are Cost-U-Less and the island’s two K-Marts.

As far as stocking your villa with the necessary staples, there are a number of supermarkets on the island. There are two Plaza Extras supermarkets that we have found to be clean and well-stocked. One is a few blocks east of the Sunny Isle shopping center, and the other is on Centerline Road (Queen Mary Highway). The Food Town at 5 corners is also a good place to shop; they have a very good bakery. You’ll find that the selection is best on Wednesdays and Thursdays, after the shipments have come in from the mainland. Another option is to have your villa stocked with food before you come. Schooner Bay Market (340-773-3232, www.SchoonerBayMarket.com) provides this service. This is also a nice place to shop for prepared foods and specialty items.

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