The best places to go shopping in the British Virgin Islands come in a surprising variety, considering this isn't thought of as a prime retail destination. Visitors are mostly drawn to the islands for the chance to sail, snorkel or soak up the sun in this paradisiacal corner of the Caribbean. You’ll find most of the variety of goods on sale in Tortola and nearby.

    Souvenir hunters might take home a Pusser’s rum cake, handmade pottery or a framed print to hang on the wall. Meanwhile, those seeking local color – or the makings of a picnic – will appreciate the weekend produce market. Forgetful packers will be relieved to find a selection of clothing and other easily overlooked items such as sunglasses and sun lotion. Looking where to shop in the British Virgin Islands? Here’s where to start.

    1

    Tortola Pier Park

    Browse what’s on offer at the cruise ship port

    Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park is the premier shopping destination in the British Virgin Islands. Largely catering for cruise ship guests, this mixed-use site houses a clutch of retailers alongside restaurants, wellness providers and tourism services such as automobile rental and tour agencies.

    Purchase phone accessories and portable speakers at Klass Electronics, or a special occasion piece of jewelry at Diamonds International or Little Switzerland. There are also clothing and footwear stores where you might shell out a few dollars for a pair of Crocs or a new pair of sunglasses.

    Location: Road Town, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 6 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 284-494-8775

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    photo by JeffChristiansen (CC BY 2.0) modified

    2

    BVI Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market

    A weekly market for fresh local produce

    • Shoppers
    • Budget

    The popular BVI Farmers’ and Fishermen’s Market sets up each Saturday morning at Sir Olva George’s Plaza in Road Town. The folks from Good Moon Farm and Pleasant Valley Farm anchor the market. Local growers selling produce from nearby farms and smallholdings accompany them.

    The emphasis at the farmers’ market is on sustainability and, where possible, the use of organic techniques. That makes this the ideal place to stock up on some fresh mangoes, bananas, papayas, pumpkin or cut cane – whatever’s in season.

    Location: Main St, Road Town, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Saturday mornings

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    3

    Aragorn’s Studio

    An arts center and shop based in Trellis Bay

    • Shoppers
    • Photo

    Aragorn’s Studio is a local arts center and shoreside store in Trellis Bay. Close to the beach, it’s supplemented by direct sales from the boat that artist/owner Aragorn himself loads up each morning to trade in the waters of Trellis Bay from.

    The studio acts as a distributor for traditional Carib works of art but is best known for its hand-printed T-shirts. These use an etching technique transferred to silkscreen to achieve a clean design. Don’t leave without admiring the fire sculptures – spheres of steel carved with intricate designs. Each full moon, Aragorn fills them with firewood and sets them alight on the beach.

    Location: Trellis Bay, Beef Island, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily 9 am to 7 pm

    Phone: +1 284-495-1849

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    4

    Bamboushay Pottery

    Practical and beautiful ceramics

    • Shoppers

    Bamboushay Pottery is a successful pottery store in the British Virgin Islands that opened in 2001. Much of the pottery and artwork is made in Bamboushay’s workshop on the island of Tortola. The rest takes shape on Nevis, where the owner’s family originally came from.

    Ceramics in the store’s signature shades of blue and green evoke the Caribbean landscape. Wrapped carefully, your purchase of mugs, plates, pitchers, vases and wall sconces will make excellent souvenirs to take home. Alternately, you can ask for your items to be shipped.

    Location: 109 Main St, Road Town VG1110, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Tuesday–Thursday from 10 am to 5 pm, Friday from 10 am to 6 pm and Saturday from 10 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 284-494-7752

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    5

    Nook Bookstore

    A popular Tortola bookstore stocking novels, poetry, and more

    • Shoppers

    Nook is a bookstore in Road Town that opened in December 2020 but quickly made a name for itself as a favorite among visitors and islanders. That’s in part because of its role in supporting British Virgin Island authors, stocking a wide selection of written material with local roots.

    Another popular feature of this bookstore is the attached café. Pick up your reading material and, if you can’t wait to get started on what you’ve bought, simply pull up a chair and hang out for a while.

    Location: Waterfront Drive Road Town, VG1110, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Friday from 8.30 am to 5 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm

    Phone: +1 284-346-2507

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    6

    Nutmeg & Co

    A Road Town gift store and gallery rolled into one

    • Shoppers

    Nutmeg & Co is a locally owned store in Road Town specializing in unique gifts, home furnishings and accessories. This eco-friendly business is known for its Annie Macphail branded bags made from recycled sailcloth in an assortment of designs.

    The store also sells a wide range of other items including souvenir dish towels, scented candles, jewelry, chocolate and Sunny Caribbee spices and sauces. Artwork hangs off every inch of wall space. A resident artist who runs a successful framing and gallery business shares the retail space.

    Location: 164 Waterfront Dr, Road Town, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Friday from 9 am to 5.30 pm and Saturday from 9 am to 1 pm

    Phone: +1 284-494-1426

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    7

    Pusser’s

    A well-established Caribbean brand with a navy connection

    • Food
    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife

    Pusser’s Co. Store and Pub sells nautical and tropical-themed clothing, plates, mugs, and luggage alongside the rum and cake served at its bar. The name Pusser’s derives from purser; a corruption stemming from the way naval seamen referred to the person who oversaw their supplies.

    Today, that naval connection is also evident in the sale of Pusser’s rum – sailors would be given a daily grog ration containing rum – and Pusser’s Rum Cake. The curiously named Painkiller Cake takes things a step further as it is based on a rum cocktail called the Painkiller.

    Location: Waterfront, Road Town, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 11 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 284-494-3897

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    photo by erocka (CC BY 2.0) modified

    8

    Soper’s Hole Wharf and Marina

    A pretty anchorage with a range of retail outlets

    • Shoppers
    • Photo
    • Budget

    Soper's Hole Wharf and Marina on Tortola contains a cluster of retailers selling everything from provisions to clothing. Alongside well-established brands such as Pusser’s and Arawak, you’ll find Amanda Baker at the Allamanda Gallery. This talented photographer sells framed prints, coasters, magnets and greetings cards featuring images she’s captured from around the islands.

    Pick up dive maps and sun-safe clothing at nearby Island Surf and Sail. Kit yourself out for yoga or paddleboarding at Breeze Activewear; they also stock nifty non-tippable Toadfish wine tumblers for when you’re ready to chill.

    Location: West End Box 601, West End, Tortola VG1130, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily 7 am to 5 pm

    Phone: +1 284-346-5501

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    9

    Arawak

    Kit your place out at this popular homewares store

    • Shoppers

    Arawak is a homeware and furniture store that has been a fixture on the British Virgin Islands since 1995. Owner Roy never intended to run a shop; in fact, he came to the BVIs after responding to a job advert for a windsurfing instructor. But sometimes life leads us down an unexpected path. His new friends and neighbours learnt he had a keen eye for decor and bought pieces they’d asked him to source. The idea of Arawak was conceived and the business has gone from strength to strength since.

    At Arawak, you can buy teak furniture made in Bali and Java or beautiful home accents including lighting, art, and soft furnishings. 

    Location: Road Town, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Monday–Saturday from 9 am to 5 pm (closed on Sundays)

    Phone: +1 284-494-5240

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    10

    Foxy’s "Foxhole" Boutique

    A boutique store attached to the famous Foxy’s bar

    • Shoppers
    • Nightlife

    Foxy’s is a boutique store and bar that’s been a fixture on Jost Van Dyke, the smallest of the BVI’s 4 main islands, since 1968. That was when Philicianno “Foxy” Callwood opened a bar for visiting sailors. A warm welcome, live music and plenty of good food and drink cemented Foxy’s reputation among the yachtie crowd.

    Foxy’s wife Tessa oversees the Foxhole Boutique. It sells hats, T-shirts, stickers and other themed merchandise. Choose from the classic foxtail design or a popular skull and crossbones motif.

    Location: Belle Vue, British Virgin Islands

    Open: Daily from 9 am to 2 am

    Phone: +1 284-442-3074

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    Julia Hammond | Contributing Writer

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