For an island, there is actually quite a lot of choice when it comes to shopping.
Let’s start with the fun stuff and leave the practical things for later.
Tortola Pier Park
This is the newest addition to Tortola shopping. Recently opened and primarily built for the cruise passengers visiting the island, Tortola Pier Park is open to everyone and houses 54 different shops. Heading into town, take Waterfront Drive and just after the Road Town ferry terminal turn right at the light at Administration Drive. The shopping park is located at the very end of this road along the water. There you will find jewelry, perfume, clothing, shoes, restaurants, local arts and crafts, a pharmacy, the BVI Tourist Board and even a cigar bar.
Historic Main Street of Road Town
Also in Road Town but a “little” older is the historic section of Main Street. For shopping, Sunny Caribbee has one of its stores there so you can stock up on citrus pepper or sea salt to brighten your dishes. Next door to Sunny Caribbee is another favorite of ours – Hucksters and Island Roots Cafe. They are located in the Old Customs House, and there is amazing coffee, sandwiches and other lighter fare to sit and enjoy while you gaze at the local artwork along the walls. Further up the street is Serendipity, the bookstore on the island…so if you want to pick up something to wile away the hours, this is the place to find it. As Road Town is the capital of the BVI there are many other shops along the streets, and tucked into the side streets. Let us know if you find a new favorite.
Near the Road Town Ferry Terminal
Across the street and a little bit farther down the road from the ferry terminal you will find Nutmeg Designs. A very eco-friendly place, they create functional items from recycled materials – think beautifully crafted handbags or toiletry kits from old sails or truck tarps and custom made furniture from reclaimed wood. Nutmeg also carries the locally owned organic toiletry and cleaning line of products from EC Soap Co., also known as Eastern Caribbean Soap Company.
Wickhams Cay II
Just west of Road Town, further along Waterfront Drive, is Wickhams Cay II. One of my favorite go-to areas for provisioning…but we will get to that later.
For shopping you also have some great choices. Images is an art gallery/framing store where you will find an eclectic collection of local artists’ work. Right next door is House. The quintessential home store with beautiful items to make each moment that much more special – from household goods to decorative items. Their inventory is constantly changing. Next door to them is Hiho, a clothing store created by a family who moved to the BVI in 1969 and was inspired by the casual life here.
Road Reef Plaza
Headed west from Road Town, coming back towards Tingalayo on Waterfront Drive, you will pass a local hangout called “The Pub” on your left. Shortly thereafter will be the small shopping complex of Road Reef Plaza on your left. There is a smaller Riteway grocery store there and tucked inside, down the hall and through their back door is Arawak. Officially known as a home goods store, its owner has relationships with carvers and craftsman in Bali and brings the Bali style to Tortola. It has unique home decorative items and is a wonderful place to browse around. Arawak also has apparel shops in Nanny Cay and Soper’s Hole.
If you continue west on Waterfront Drive, you will come upon Nanny Cay. Turn left at the curved wall entrance on Waterfront Drive and head toward the water. There is a small shopping area to serve the boats coming in and out of the marina. In the early 1960s a developer from the UK had the concept to build a marina out of three cays that existed on this spot. Many years and adventures later, Nanny Cay is here and thriving. There is a boatyard, marina, hotel and many service industries located on site. Aside from the typical shopping available at dock, there is a local pottery store where you can even take classes. It is called Bamboushay and many of the sconces you see around Tingalayo came from there.
Soper’s Hole Marina
Closest to Tingalayo is Soper’s Hole Marina. If you look out at the vista from the Great House you can see the collection of boats across from the West End ferry terminal. It is easy to get to. Just go down the hill, turn right (remembering to drive on the left side of the road), and head toward the West End ferry terminal. Hang a left at the large group of signage indicating what is to be found at Soper’s Hole. After you cross the causeway, turn right and Soper’s Hole Marina is just up ahead. There are some cute shops along the wharf for you to explore.
And if you want to carry a memory home with you, many of the photos shared on this website came from Don Hebert. He does a wonderful job of capturing the essence of the Virgin Islands on film.