By Marcus Hall
Photos & Edit By Andrea Romero
Best Island for Celebrity Spotting: Saint Barthelemy
St. Barthélemy, affectionately known as St. Barts with its exquisite coves, gingerbread-trimmed Creole cazes, and stone-wall-trimmed emerald hillsides, is counted among the northernmost arc of the Caribbean’s Leeward Islands. The rich and famous flock here for the tropical climate and the laid-back atmosphere. Despite the island’s stratospheric prices, gourmet eateries, and duty-free couture boutiques, sarongs and denim cut-offs and often little else on the beaches and yachts are common. While the island is French by custom, most locals speak excellent English and the U.S. dollar is accepted everywhere
At just eight square miles, packs a lot of punch in the world of the glitterati, perhaps more than any other Caribbean destination. Especially during the peak winter months, don’t be surprised to see celebrities wandering the streets of Gustavia, enjoying a glass of fine French wine in an open-air restaurant or puttering around the island in a little vehicles.
Without a doubt, St. Barts attracts the high-end market and its prices reflect this. Prices are some of the highest in the Caribbean. A look at the merchandise of the little shops in the capital city of Gustavia will confirm this.
Best Island for Shoppers: St Thomas
To most Caribbean travelers, St. Thomas means shopping. Although the island has dreamy tropical beaches and historic buildings, its primary lure is the hundreds of duty-free shops that do a brisk business here. Most of the major shops are located along Main Street and the Waterfront Highway or in the alleys, malls and passageways that connect them; others can be found in Havensight Mall. Many hotels have shops as well, with comparable prices.
Stores are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. During the season when cruise ships are in port, most of the larger shops are also open on Sunday mornings. Some tourist attractions, like Paradise Point and Mountain Top, also have gift stores with liquor selections. Havensight Mall is open until 9 p.m. on Fridays, and most hotel shops also have evening hours. Duty-free shopping is also available in Cruz Bay on St. John.
Best Island for Adrenaline Junkies: Montserrat
Throughout the island you will always be surrounded by verdant sceneries and spectacular coastal vistas. For the more active, you can hike one of our nine world-class trails, or maybe dive, snorkel and kayak our volcano-inspired waters, or simply relax on our secluded black sand beaches or “Lime” with our friendly residents. Even make your way to marvel at our world-famous active Soufrière Hills Volcano, which rendered two-thirds of our island an Exclusion Zone, and created a modern-day Pompeii – the buried capital city, Plymouth.
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