St. Martin Shopping
St. Martin's economy went on an upswing after it became a duty-free port over fifty years ago and very little has changed since. Thousands of cruise ship passengers descend on St. Martin each year specifically for the great deals to be had here, but tourists staying on the island are certainly welcome to get in on the St. Martin shopping bargains as well. Duty-free St. Martin shopping can save the buyer up to 50% regular North American prices, especially on luxury goods such as crystal, leather, jewelry, perfumes, and liquor.
The best places to find a cluster of St. Martin shopping outlets are in Marigot on the French side and Philipsburg on the Dutch. Front Street is Philipsburg's main duty-free drag, with dozens of quaint shops and elegant boutiques to choose from. Look for Carat and Little Europe for an fine selection of china and jewelry. The rue de la Liberté and rue de la République in Marigot top French St. Martin shopping destinations, where a charming jumble of architecture houses the city's chic shops and duty-free boutiques. For cosmetics and perfume Lipstick is the place to be, while you could do practically all of your St. Martin shopping at Manek's, which sells a diverse group of duty-free favorites.
Quality St. Martin handicrafts are few and far between, so if your St. Martin shopping trip needs to include local goods, you may be disappointed. One local product worth making a detour for is Guavaberry liqueur, a combination of rum and guavaberries made at the Guavaberry Company Shop in Philipsburg.
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