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Historic Palm Passage Offers Fun Shopping, Dining

Written by Coconut Post

Whether you’re in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands as a visitor, a local — or always in spirit — Coconut Post keeps you posted on fun-filled news ’n views. Published monthly by Flamboyan On The Bay Resort & Villas, we’re focused on sharing our people, places, and fun things happening in paradise.

July, 2023

Above: Access Palm Passage from the waterfront, or at the Main Street entrance, shown here.

Top of the page: A welcoming sign at the entrance to Palm Passage lists shopping and dining options including Okidanokh handcrafted jewelry and Fish Face boutique.

Rich in historical fascinations, during the early 1800s St. Thomas served as a vital shipping center and distribution point for the West Indies.

Located in the heart of downtown Charlotte Amalie and stretching from the waterfront to Main Street, Palm Passage was one of many warehouses constructed so that goods such as sugar, rum, and coal could be unloaded from ships arriving in the harbor and stored in nearby facilities. Shop doorways you see today are the original stone archways that were wide enough to accommodate horses and ox-drawn carts.

The foundation of Palm Passage actually sits higher on the Main Street end than on the waterfront end. This design allowed easier movement of goods in and out of the warehouses.

Over the course of the next century, warehouses were converted to shops and restaurants to accommodate a burgeoning tourist trade. Wisely adding a second level to the structure, Palm Passage served as an epicenter for daily life in paradise. Local merchants operated a number of small shops and eateries on the main level while families occupied apartments on the upper floors.

Above: One of several unique shops located in Palm Passage, Fish Face offers an eclectic mix of tropical fashions and accessories as well as creative gifts.

Above: Gorgeous clothing perfect for life on the island. Cocoplum Luxe Clothier features fashion by established and emerging designers. UPDATE: Cocoplum Luxe Clothier is now closed.

Above: Visit Okidanokh for gold and platinum jewelry designed and created using old-world techniques that turn each piece into a work of art.

With its amazing architecture, a stroll through Palm Passage provides a true sense of walking through history. The outdoor bar in the center of Palm Passage is an ideal place to socialize with island residents and visitors.

By the 1960s, as more and more islanders opted to settle outside the immediate downtown area, apartments in Palm Passage were converted to office space for a number of businesses and attorneys.

Happily, today an assemblage of quaint retail shops and charming eateries continues to operate within this historic structure.

Be sure to visit Fish Face where you’ll find a whimsical array of creative gifts as well as attractive island wear, art, and photography.

If you appreciate hand-crafted custom-designed jewelry, stop in at Okidanokh. The slogan “Feels Like Jewelry. Wears Like Art” comes to life at this truly unique enterprise.

Whether you are doing serious shopping or simply want to enjoy a relaxing cocktail, keep in mind the courtyard bar in the center of Palm Passage is “the” go-to spot. What a great spot to take a break and unwind — or socialize with island residents and visitors.

To view Palm Passage on Google Maps, CLICK HERE

Visit their WEBSITE for a full DIRECTORY of shops and to learn about upcoming events like Christmas in July be sure to follow on Facebook and Instagram. You can also find or leave reviews on Trip Advisor.

Above: Amalia Cafe is fine dining with a casual feeling and cozy quality offering a tour of Spain on the coast of the Caribbean.

Above: Metaphysical books and crystals, exquisite imports, and creations by local artists are just the beginning of what you’ll find at Mystic by the Sea. Feel the uplifting energy of a store that only offers items created in fair trade and positive working conditions.

Above: Delicious sandwiches, soups and salads you can take to the beach or enjoy in between shops. Pita Express is the perfect place to rest and enjoy a casual meal between activities.

Above: The oldest silver-only retailer in St. Thomas, Silver World has the biggest selection of jewelry and accessories. Here you’ll find pieces you can’t get anywhere else on the island.

a round photo of a half of a coconut wearing teal sunglasses on a bright yellow background

COCO BITS

A BIT ABOUT THE UNIVERSITY OF THE VIRGIN ISLANDS

Founded in 1962, the University of the Virgin Islands is a public, co-ed, land-grant HBCU— Historically Black College and University. Approximately 1,625 students are enrolled on two campuses: the Albert A. Sheen Campus on St. Croix and Orville E. Kean Campus on St. Thomas. The institution offers more than 99 undergraduate and graduate degree programs across its six colleges and schools. UVI is the first HBCU to provide comprehensive free tuition to eligible students thanks to the VI Higher Education Scholarship Program.

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