St. Lucia is world-renowned for its natural beauty, but the Caribbean island also boasts a gorgeous selection of art galleries and boutiques that are perfect for infusing your wardrobe with a chic dose of St. Lucian style.
Of course, this plentiful array of artisanal chic—dispersed in corner shops and villages around the island—can be enough to intimidate the overwhelmed traveler. To that end, we've rounded up the 10 best places to go shopping in St. Lucia, so you don't have to buy all your souvenirs at the airport. Read on for some artistic and stylistic island inspiration, and get ready to start planning your next trip.
Also of note: St. Lucian vendors will often accept U.S. dollars, making your purchasing experience even more seamless.
Established in 1891, this open-air market in the St. Lucian capital features hundreds of vendors, selling everything from local coffee and cocoa sticks to straw bags and calabash bowls. The market closes at 6 p.m., though you will want to arrive early to skip the heat and the crowds. Afterwards, hike up the Morne Fortune to appreciate the glorious ridge-top view of the capital below.
Alternately, make it a full-day excursion by booking a tour with St. Lucia Eco Adventures for a guided trip through the street markets of Castries. Either way, you will be sure to leave satisfied, with a newly-acquired knowledge of St. Lucian culture and a shopping bag full of Caribbean treats and delicacies.
If you're looking for high-fashion styles to show off on the beach, check out the seaside gift shop at Sugar Beach. A word of warning: The prices at this Viceroy Resort are on the steeper side, though the labels are top-notch. The gift shop at nearby Ladera Resort is another chic option for travelers looking for a festive coverup or sun hat to match the tropical ambiance of the island.
Sea Island Cotton Shop
Sea Island Cotton Shop is the island's largest duty-free souvenir shop. There are two locations: one in Bay Walk Mall in Rodney Bay, and the other in La Place Carenage in Castries. For those in search of the perfect souvenir, Sea Island Cotton Shop has all the classic items, including rum, soap, and cocoa. Be sure to stock up before you return home.
St. Lucia is a chocolate lover's dream destination. The best way to experience the process and history behind this home-grown delicacy is via a Tree to Bar experience with Boucan by Hotel Chocolat. Not only will you get to tour the hotel's cocoa estate, you will also get to create your very own chocolate bar. After you've labored over this yummy treat, you can buy many more (that weren't handmade by you) for friends back home.
This pastel-hued establishment in Castries is both a restaurant and an art gallery. Plan to head their early in the evening to check out the gorgeous pottery and textiles on display (and for sale)—and stick around for an elegant dinner of fresh seafood and specialty cocktails.
Caribelle Batik St. Lucia
Located in the 214-year-old Howelton Estate, the Batik boutique opened in 1979 and has been delivering colorful, handmade Batik items ever since. There's no better way to commemorate a Caribbean vacation than with a print that will give off the energy and spirit of the tropics whenever (and wherever) you wear it.
Choiseul Art Gallery
Choiseul Art Gallery is a must-visit for collectors and artistically-inclined travelers, though you don't need to be fluent in the art world to enjoy the quality and uniqueness of the products. From prints and oil paintings to local crafts and greeting cards, there are many hidden gems just waiting to be discovered within the gallery's walls. As there's so much to see, allocate up to an hour of browsing time.
The Image Tree
If you're looking for a shop that will have a little bit of everything (including St. Lucian rum), then the Image Tree is your best bet. Located on Bridge Street in Soufriere, this purveyor of artwork and souvenirs has you covered.
The aptly named Zaka Art Cafe in Soufriere is a must-visit for artisanal coffee and artistic crafts. The Zaka Masks—carved from hard wood and painted in a variety of colors and expressions—are the perfect (and instantly recognizable) gift to hang on your wall back home.