Two million people flock to the US Virgin Islands every year, and the biggest draw, of course, is their magnificent beaches. The ones in Saint John are no exception, and they all offer something extraordinary for everyone. The following guide lists the Top 10 St. John Beaches that are consistently ranked as the best by travel websites and magazines.
This is St. John’s most popular, most photographed, and most visited beach. Trunk Bay Beach is arguably the most beautiful beach on St John, if not in all of the Caribbean. It’s on many must-see lists and many visitors make sure to plan a day to visit. It’s so beautiful that when cruise ships dock and allow their passengers to visit St Thomas, they will make the trek by taxi and ferry to spend a few hours enjoying everything that makes Trunk Bay Beach so well-known. Guests enjoy white sand, towering palms, crystal clear water, the Underwater Snorkeling Trail, food, drinks, showers/bathrooms, as well as snorkel gear and chair rentals. It’s also the only St John beach with a lifeguard. But, this beach does have an entrance fee.
Salomon Beach is a little off the beaten path, but if you go there, the payoff is huge. Here, you will find a wonderful beach day that consists of sugar white sand you can amble through, beachfront coconut palms and aqua/blue green waters. Although you can access the beach by boat, the most popular way to get there by far is by hiking about a mile on the scenic Lind Point Trail that starts at the National Park Visitor’s Center. The spot features shallow water entry, and snorkelers will be delighted to know that French Grunts call the variety of coral heads in the shallow waters their home. Salomon Beach doesn’t offer many amenities, but Lindt Point Trail continues to Honeymoon Beach, where you can get refreshments and go to the waterspouts shack.
While the name might make you think that it’s only for newlyweds, Honeymoon Beach is a great beach for families of all sizes. White sand, shallow water, beautiful clear blue water, snorkeling and watersports make it a perfect St.John beach destination. Note that Caneel Bay Resort is currently closed (correct as of February 2020), but you can still get to this beach from the National Park Visitors Center which is around 2km’s away on foot.
Maho Bay is on everybody’s favorite St. John beach list. And it should be — it’s convenient, sitting right along North Shore Road. Families enjoy the convenience of unloading all their beach stuff without hassle. There are bathrooms, grills, and covered pavilions with picnic tables on the beach. The beach is narrow and lined with coconut palms and sea grape trees for shade. The water is shallow, making it a great spot for younger kids and parents with floats. Parking is considered easy for St. John standards, with marked parking areas by the pavilion and a larger lot at the eastern end of the beach.
Cinnamon Bay is the longest white sand beach on St John. Just like Trunk Bay Beach, you’ll find a cay just off the beach. And just like at other St.John beaches, you’ll find white sand, palm trees, sea grapes for shade, and some great shallow water snorkeling.
Salt Pond is one of the more popular beaches, and it is a horseshoe of beautiful white sand location that doesn't get much prettier. Convenient access to several rugged trails and sightseeing spots make it an excellent choice for a day at the beach. It’s also quite a hike to get there, but it doesn’t disappoint once you do. There isn’t much surf there, and its tranquil waters make Salt Pond the spot perfect for swimming and kayaking. It’s also one of the top spots for snorkeling in St. John, and the sea grass beds hold amazing sights, such as sea turtles, cuttlefish, rays and even giant Queen Conch shell-wearing hermit crabs.
The bar and restaurant-lined beaches of scenic Cruz Bay really elevates your vacation experience, and it offers easy access to luxury villas, including The Hills, St. John. Cruz Bay also offers unique shops to go with its exotic landscape, and the area is one of the island’s best options for beachfront dining, drinking and relaxing among friends. The beach at Cruz Bay stays pretty quiet during the day. However, it comes alive around sunset when all the activities in St. John start to pick up.
A day of fun at the beautiful, broad beach at Little Lameshure involves soft white sand, lush tropical vegetation and spectacular views of Bordeaux Mountain. This secluded oasis is also family-friendly and amenities there include plenty of parking, BBQ grills and several picnic tables. You won’t get large surf unless the winds come from the south. After you finish enjoying Little Lameshure, try hiking 15-20 minutes on the Lameshure Trail to nearby Europa Bay. Landmarks that are close to Little Lameshure include petroglyphs created by the Tainos (a lost culture) and the Par Force Great House and Reef Bay ruins.
Haulover Bay borders Virgin Islands National Park and its beach, which was once seldom visited, has now become a popular destination for snorkelers. The beach sand here is different from the familiar white sand beaches in the Virgin Islands, as it's made up of cobblestone and coral with a bit of flotsam and jetsam in the mix. Things that make it so excellent for snorkeling include underwater patch reefs, easy access, shallow waters, a variety of marine species and diverse coral and sea fan populations. Haulover Bay is also a great spot to go kayaking or paddle boating, and the views looking southwest towards Coral Bay are stellar.
Hansen Bay has a small but never crowded beach on the East End of St. John. The same family has privately owned Hansen Bay Beach for decades, and they may ask for a small donation so you can enjoy their little piece of island paradise. There is ample parking provided to visitors at Hansen Bay, and it is protected from big waves and wind. The bay’s shallow and easy access point makes it the perfect beach for swimming and soaking up some rays. You can also catch some decent snorkeling at Pelican Rock, a site in Hansen Bay that is formed from rocks and coral. Hansen Bay Beach has food trucks, an honor bar, SUP rentals, bathrooms, camping facilities, kayaking and more.
Whether you are visiting Saint John, USVI, or are lucky enough to call this little stretch of Caribbean paradise home, it’s a given that you are going to need to stay somewhere for a staycation or vacation. In light of that, why not stay with us at The Hills, St. John? Here, you and your group can stay in spacious rooms and enjoy resort-like amenities. To find out more, you can call us at 800-727-6610 or contact us online.