St John is perhaps best known for it’s beautiful beaches.
The Island boasts over 3 dozen beaches, most protected inside the US Virgin Islands National Park. Popular with day trippers visiting from St Thomas during a cruise port of call are Trunk Bay Beach, Cinnamon Bay Beach and Honeymoon Beach. While guests staying on St John gravitate toward beaches like Maho Bay, Jumbie Beach, Hawksnest Beach and Salt Pond Bay. Whether you have a day or a week …. here are our favorite St John beaches.
#1 TRUNK BAY BEACH
Trunk Bay Beach is the Island’s most beautiful and celebrated beach. It is by far the most popular beach on the entire island. And, especially when cruise ships are in port, Trunk Bay Beach can get crowded. Located just off the center of the beach you’ll find the Underwater Snorkeling Trail. Located in shallow water, it’s a great way to see and learn about the aquatic life that surrounds the cay. INSIDER TIP: Most day trippers drop towel close to the entrances to the beach. If you’re looking for some elbow room … head to the western end of Trunk Bay. You’ll usually find fewer people and plenty of space for a couple of chairs and your cooler. Food and drink concession as well as chair and snorkel gear rentals are available. This is the only St John beach that charges an entry fee.
#2 CINNAMON BAY BEACH
St John’s longest white sand beach. Just off the center of the beach you’ll see a small cay. Snorkeling around the cay offers some decent shallow water snorkeling. Head to the far eastern end of the beach and you’ll find some interesting reef structure and corals. INSIDER TIP: Cinnamon Bay offers restrooms, showers and concession.
#3 MAHO BAY BEACH
Once a quiet stretch of palm lined beach favored by families with kids for it’s shallow water entry and little to no surf. Maho Bay now has water sports rentals, food, drink and music. Located just of North Shore Road, it’s still a great family beach. INSIDER TIP: This is perhaps the best beach to see sea turtles and rays. The sea grass beds that span the bay offer the best opportunity.
#4 HONEYMOON BEACH
Located within the Caneel Bay Resort. Honeymoon Beach, St John has a thriving water sports and guided kayak and snorkeling tours as well as Bikinis On The Beach Bar & Grill serving burgers, sandwiches and cold drinks for kids and adults. Hike in along the Lind Point Trail or take the Honeymoon Beach golf cart taxi from the parking area at Caneel Resort. INSIDER TIP: The best deal on the entire island is VI Ecotours All Day Pass at Honeymoon Beach. For $49/pp you’ll get a day of access to chair, SUP, kayak, float, snorkel gear and locker.
#5 HAWKSNEST BAY BEACH
Located just off North Shore Road, plenty of parking, picnic tables, grills, restrooms … and lots of white sand beach make Hawksnest a fan-favorite beach. Snorkeling off the beach is best around the submerged reef towards the west-central part of the beach. INSIDER TIP: Looking for a secluded beach? Little Hawksnest is a tiny strip of sand beach exposed during low tide. It’s located along a hidden path on the western end of Hawksnest. Requires a flip-flop rock scramble so be careful. Just past the rocky point you’ll see the hidden in plain site beach. Enjoy!