Everyone knows the truth, so it's futile for me to deny it. The term female is equivalent to this word: Shopping. Antigua creates a perfect atmosphere to encourage visitors, both male and female to part with their funds. Whether your interest lies in art, souvenirs, articles of clothing or that perfect piece of jewelry for your loved one, Antiguan stores do not disappoint. The local currency is the XCD (Eastern Caribbean Dollar) but the U.S currency is widely accepted. Other currencies must be exchanged at any of the many banks situated across the island. Major credit and debit cards are accepted in most of the larger stores, especially in the tourist areas.
The main shopping centers in Antigua are located in the capital city of St. Johns. Persons interested in local arts and crafts will fall in love with Redcliffe Quay, the Craft Market and Vendors Square. These locations specialize in paintings by local artists, hand crafted masks and small souvenir trinkets such as key rings and magnets. Colourful beach sarongs and T-shirts with funny quotes in the local dialect are also available.
Redcliffe Quay is a whimsical area located in the town, which is full of old artifacts. The stores are quaint and colourful, with many open air restaurants in the vicinity. The atmosphere is quiet and peacful, almost akin to an oasis in the middle of an upbeat city. The stores here are mostly small boutiques with designer fashions, shops with larger souvenirs and beach wear galore. There's a cafe called Grab A Java, which sells great coffe and iced drinks, a well stocked ice cream parlour and a small but inviting wine bar. The main restaurants in the area include Big Banana (they make the best pizza on the island) and Mid East, a small middle eastern eatery with a very tasty menu. Redcliffe Quay encourages you to slow down and unwind, and the shopping scene is worth a peep.
Heritage Quay has almost everything, and all items are duty free. From jewelry, to clothing to designer shades and leather goods, this shopping site is the largest which Antigua has to offer. For electronics, there is the Camera Shop and the Music Shop. In the mood for a new swimsuit to hit the waves? Sunseakers has the largest selection of swimwear with popular brands such as Billabong and Roxy. How about jewelry? Some of the many jewelry stores available in Heritage Quay are Colombian Emeralds International, Abbotts Jewelry and Jewellers Warehouse. In terms of clothing, The Edge and United Colours of Benetton offers causal wear, where boutique stores like Gingerlily cater for that sophisticated look. So break off a bill or two because the shopping here is extensive.
For a more local shopping experience, there is the main farmer's market, located in downtown St. John's. There is a wide variety of local produce for sale, such as pumpkins, tomatoes, seasoning and lots of seasonal fruits. The market is comprised of a large building, with many small stalls from which the farmers sell their goods. Some park their pickups outside, selling their fruits and vegetables from the back of their vehicles. The prices are very affordable and the fruits/vegetables are fresh.