Best Beaches in the Virgin Islands
Let’s surf some of the best beaches in the Virgin Islands.
Velvety white sand, bright turquoise waters, and endless sunshine. What’s not to love about the US Virgin Islands? Indeed it has rightfully gained the reputation as “America’s Paradise”.
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Best Beaches in the Virgin Islands; St. Croix Island, St. John Island & St. Thomas Island
US Virgin Islands features three exquisite gems — St. Croix, St. John, and St. Thomas islands.
Best Beaches in St. Croix Island
It is the most remote and rare gem among the three Virgin Islands. Although, it is less commercialized than the other two islands, however, it is famous for its history, culture, and outdoor activities.
Some of the main attractions are the Cruzan Rum Distillery and Captain Morgan’s Rum. Before COVID-19, both companies offer amazing factory tours to show their craft and let you enjoy their drinks’ mouth-watering taste.
Moreover, St. Croix island is home to some divine beaches to unwind yourself. Some of them are Rainbow Beach, Turtle Beach, Jack’s Bay Beach, Judith’s Fancy, Can Bay Beach, Sandy Point Beach, Shoy Beach, Dorsch Beach, Rocky Northside Valley Beach, and the Monk’s Bath Tidal Pools, with a lot of fun to explore, soft white sand, dancing palm trees, and gentle breeze.
Rainbow Beach, St. Croix
It is a beautiful sandy beach with translucent and calm waters. It faces west giving you a magical experience to cherish great sunsets. It is home to an onsite water sports center – West End Water Sports. It takes around a mile from the cruise ship dock, so it’s worth spending your whole day, here!
Rainbow Beach is also famous for its annual St. Croix Reef Jam. Actually, Reef Jam is a non-profit organization with the objective to “encourage marine conservation and stewardship through community education and outreach”. There is live music, arts & crafts spots, and lots of food. In short, it has fun for everyone and your soul also feels satisfied for supporting a great cause!
Last but not least, you can’t say that you see St. Croix island until you visit “Rhythms at Rainbow Beach”, recognized among the top bars & restaurants in St. Croix. Indeed it is a place to unwind and relax with a frozen drink in your hand or a lively friend day-out at the beach.
Turtle Beach, St. Croix
It was once voted as “world’s most beautiful beaches” by National Geographic. This gorgeous beach is on the west side of Buck Island, located about one and a half miles off the northeast coast of St. Croix.
It is a perfect mix of sun-kissed white sand, crystal clear waters, and the warmth of the sun’s rays. Further gentle calm waves make it a great site to swim and test your snorkel gear. The snorkel trail has underwater signs guiding snorkelers along the reef.
More activities include strolling or partaking on the beach. You can also hike up Buck island. For hiking, make sure to pack your sunscreen and a hat, as there is not much shade on this island.
Jack’s Bay Beach, St. Croix
It is an off-the-beaten-track beach. and can only be reached by foot or boat. It is home to Hawksbill and Green Turtle nests. Moreover, its natural wildlife is protected by a nature conservancy.
For marine life lovers, its surrounding coral reefs have more than 400 species of fish. Some of them are parrotfish, blue tangs, four-eyed butterflyfish, and sergeant majors. Keep in your mind that beach access is limited during turtle nesting season.
However, the conservancy invites visitors to study turtle behavior. In addition, guided hikes are specially designed for the landscape around Jack’s Bay, to educate visitors and funds collection to support turtle monitoring and protection schemes.
Judith’s Fancy Beach, St. Croix
The name “Judith’s Fancy Beach” strikes first and is supposed to be attached to a truly fine location. Undoubtedly, it is! This white sugary sand beach is great for surfing and swimming. Snorkelers can explore the nearby reef, only when the tide is out. In addition, it is a good place for little treasure hunters to find coral and shells that washed up onshore.
Cane Bay Beach, St. Croix
The northern side beach is equally popular among visitors and locals. It is simply good for families with their young ones, as it offers easy access to some good restaurants and bars right off the beach. Also, there is a lot of space to run around and splash in the crystal-clear calm water.
Cane Bay is ideal for snorkeling and also famous for its great diving spot – the Cane Bay Wall. Divers enjoy spotting lobsters, moray eels, turtles, crabs, seahorses, and other fish species. Moreover, you can find a dive shop, chair rental, and water sports rentals, here.
A good tip is: to make sure to avoid visiting here on weekends, as it gets much more crowded on those days.
Sandy Point Beach, St. Croix
It is located in the island’s West End part. Its white soft sand and aquamarine water is a nesting habitat for the endangered leatherback sea turtle. That’s why closed from the months of April to August.
It is known for its Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge which is home to 100+ bird species. This beach is only open on weekends – Saturdays and Sundays. Moreover, there are not many facilities here.
However, an ideal spot to hike, do nature photography, and do wildlife observation. This 2-mile-long divine beach has been used as a production spot for various TV commercials and movies. Most famous for the final, redemptive scene of “The Shawshank Redemption”.
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Best Beaches in St. John Island
It is actually the smallest one among the three U.S. Virgin Islands. Two-thirds of the St. John land and its surrounding reefs are protected by the U.S. Virgin Island National Park. It has a laid-back yet sole vibe. More importantly, it is known as a home to various celebrity residences.
The welcoming green hills of St. John island are great for hiking and nature wanderers. It is a choice of those who seek solitude and embrace the wilderness. Salt Pond Bay is situated on the island’s southern side, and features a remote beach with good swimming and snorkeling. Visitors can enjoy a long peaceful walk along the graded hiking trails of this island.
St. John’s most famous white-sand beaches are mostly located on its northern shores. Some are Cinnamon Bay, Maho Bay Beach, Honeymoon Bay, Trunk Bay Beach, Salt Pond Beach, Caneel Bay, Hawks Nest Bay, and Peter Bay.
Cinnamon Bay Beach, St. John
It is one of St. John’s longest beaches that is popular among active vacationers. As, it offers many options for adventure seekers i.e. snorkeling, windsurfing, kayaking, and other adventure watersports.
Moreover, it is located within the Virgin Islands National Park. Visitors love its smooth sugary sand and the famous old beachfront Danish building. This building houses a temporary museum that exhibits some of the National Park Service’s archaeological findings from excavations in the territory.
Trekkers will enjoy the self-guided, half-mile Cinnamon Bay Trail. You can also enjoy the natural shades of coconut palms and sea grape trees along the way.
Maho Bay Beach, St. John
This beach gained Tripadvisor’s “Best of the Best” 2020 Travelers’ Choice Award. It is most popular for its sea turtle population that feeds the seagrass patches off its shores. Snorkelers love the reefs on its eastern and western sides that are great for peeking reef fish during their snorkeling excursion.
This gentle sandy beach with plenty of shade, calm waters, and exclusive marine life is wonderful for families with kids. As young ones enjoy shallow water snorkeling and turtle sighting. Moreover, its western end features food trucks, drink stands, and more beach facilities. This beach is easily accessible via the main road. This is one of the main reasons for its crowdedness, besides the sea turtles.
Honeymoon Bay Beach, St. John
It is a soft, white sand shoreline situated on the north shore of St. John. The upper and nearshore of Honeymoon bay beach gently slope eventually causing the water to gradually deepen. Mostly it has calm, crystal-clear, and turquoise color pool-like waters.
It is a great site for swimming and wading. Moreover, Honeymoon Beach has some of the most spectacular views, you can ever have! Whether you are relaxing on the fleecy sand or wading in the water, the views are simply amazing.
From the beach, you will enjoy a panoramic view that includes the nearby islands of Grass Cay, Mingo Cay, and Lovango Cay, cruising by boats, ocean blues, and teal hues, and also St. Thomas in the distance. From the water, you will cherish the inland view of the beach and the lush green hillsides of St. John island.
There are giant sea grape trees and coconut trees lined on its shoreline. Thus spread your beach blanket under the trees and embrace the natural shade. However, if you are a sun lover, then pick a place on the sun-kissed white sand for your towel or beach chair.
Trunk Bay Beach, St. John
One of the most visited and most photographed beaches on St. John island is Trunk Bay Beach. It is actually a part of the U.S. Virgin Island National Park.
Its “marked underwater snorkeling trail” like an on-land-nature trail, makes Trunk bay beach unique from others. This trail features important underwater information signs on various sea creatures that you are likely to encounter on your snorkeling tour. In addition, you can explore various tropical fish, like parrotfish, stingray, tarpon, and squid, here.
The beach also has facilities like public bathrooms, showers, and a snack bar. Also, awarded on Tripadvisor as the “Best of the Best” Travelers’ Choice Award 2020.
Note: There is also a minimal entrance fee (about $5 per head).
Salt Pond Beach, St. John
This crescent-shaped shallow water beach offers a serene exposure to bright sun, comfortable waves, and refreshing breezes. You can reach the protected cove via a moderate hike from the main road. Moreover, the walk is well worth it, also the exquisite white-sand beach offers a great swimming experience.
It also features a variety of snorkeling sites including a rock hump off the center of the bay, and also seagrass beds with sea turtles, rays, and large hermit crabs. Salt Pond beach also gives its visitors a presentation of various hiking and sightseeing trails.
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Best Beaches in St. Thomas Island
It is the most populous and largest island in the Virgin Islands. The main tourist attractions are its busy cruise port and international airport with numerous shopping choices, elite dining, and various nightlife options. It is more developed than the other two islands: St. John and St. Croix.
St. Thomas has a long stretch of coastline that houses more than 40 beaches; guarded with dancing palm trees. If you are a lively beach lover or quiet coves dreamer, St. Thomas has it all for you. Some of the best beaches on St. Thomas island of the Virgin Islands are the following:
Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas
It is the most popular beach on St. Thomas island, which is situated on the north side of the island. One can dream of its sugary stretches of white soft sand lining a heart-shaped bay with tranquil waters. It is actually a part of the U.S.V.I. national park system. Thus you are supposed to pay a small entry fee of $5 per person to maintain the area, the Government.
Moreover, Magen’s bay comes with various facilities like public bathrooms, showers, a bar, a restaurant, a lifeguard on duty, and also serves equipment rentals. The gentle slope of Magen’s bay and the calm waves make this beach ideal for families with little ones.
Magen’s Bay is mostly crowded in peak season, on weekends, and on days when a cruise ship is in port.
Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas
It is a lively beach, located at the East End with fine white sand and beautiful views of St. John and offshore cays. It features windsurfing, parasailing, kayaking, jet skis, and other water sports activities. If you don’t come with the required gear, don’t worry, equipment rentals are available here. Sapphire Beach is great for snorkeling at the reef to the east, near Pettyklip Point.
Seagrape trees swaying on the right side offer shade to the quiet escapers to relax and unwind. On the other hand, sun worshippers love basking in the sun on the left side where there are fewer trees.
Wildlife lovers will enjoy peeking at iguanas and ducks that are often seen on the left side close to a man-made pond. It is also known for its shoreside bistro with a fun bar that also offers live music.
Moreover, for upscale accommodation, Sapphire Beach Resort, Condos, and Marina are all available within walking distance from the Sapphire Beach shoreline.
Hull Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Local fishermen and surfers love this beach. In fact, Hull Bay beach offers St. Thomas’ ‘s very best surfing experience at times when there is a north swell. It is located on the north side of the island. It offers long stretches of soft sand and shining sun that attract sun worshippers to spread out and relax.
It is a family-oriented beach due to its clear and typically calm waters, other than the north swell times. Seagrape trees line the beach and provide cozy shade.
One of its main attractions is its rare locations that are considered good for night snorkeling. Moreover, you can find an off-shore diving and watersports shop, a fun bar, and a restaurant that features frequent music and entertainment events.
Lindquist Beach, St. Thomas
It is lovely, however, the undeveloped beach on the East End of the island. It is smaller as compared to Magen’s Bay and usually not much crowded. On the other hand, it is clean, well maintained, and regarded as the locals’ favorite beach.
It features pristine waters that are an ideal turquoise blue Caribbean color visitors crave. Some of the facilities at Lindquist beach are bathrooms, showers, and picnic tables.
The left side of the beach is good for snorkeling due to a nearby reef. Moreover, you can enjoy exquisite views of Thatch Cay, St. John, and the British Virgin Islands from this beach. Further, you have to pay an entry fee of $5 charge per person, for Lindquist beach.
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