Beach lovers and island hoppers around the world will find stunning beaches on the US Virgin Islands. The territory’s three main islands of St. Johns, St. Thomas, and St. Croix have a topographical diversity extending to the beaches that line their shores. They include spectacular mountain valleys and pristine parks filled with fascinating wildlife. Here are a few of the best beaches on the islands to explore.
Hull Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Hull Bay on the north side of St. Thomas is one of the best beaches for surfing and fishing. For surfers, it’s said to the top throughout all the island beaches when there is a north swell. It’s a little smaller and less popular than some of the other islands which will mean fewer crowds. The waters are typically calm except for the north swell, and the groves of seagrape trees provide shady spots along the sandy stretch. Amenities include a full bar, restaurant, and watersports shop.
Maho Bay Beach, Francis Bay, St. John
Snorkelers and nature lovers will be very happy on Maho Bay Beach, one of the best in the territory to view marine life in its natural habitat. Snorkelers can expect to spot angelfish, parrotfish, brain coral, elkhorn, and sponges, anemones, and more as sea turtles swim through the seagrass. Lots of these creatures hang out in the shallow water making it a great beach to go snorkeling with the kids.
The sand on Maho is soft and white and the beach is lined with tall swaying palms. Take an easy hike on America Hill and Cinnamon Bay Trails for stunning views over Francis Bay and Maho Bay. On a clear day, you may even spot the distant British Virgin Isles. And if you get hungry, head to the Maho Crossroads pop-up village.
Cinnamon Bay Beach, St. John
Located within the Virgin Islands National Park, Cinnamon Bay is a favorite for active
beachgoers. This pretty white sand beach is one of Jt. John’s longest and features lots of exciting watersports like windsurfing, kayaking, and snorkeling. Visitors can also explore a fascinating museum housed in an old historic Danish building with artifacts from an excavation found by the National Park Service. The half-mile Cinnamon Bay Trail is a leisurely hike lined with seagrape trees and coconut palms.
Honeymoon Beach, Caneel Bay, St. John
Honeymoon Beach, also located within the VINP, is an island gem accessible by boat. This wide, sandy beach can get quite crowded in the winter when cruise ships come to port. It’s easy to see why with its shallow waters, fantastic snorkeling, and plenty of shade provided by tall coconut palms. For hikers, Lind Point Trail has great views across the bay. A day pass gets visitors a kayak, stand up paddleboard, snorkel gear, a beach chair, locker, and access to changing rooms and restrooms. A beach bar and grill for dining is nearby, and the Caneel Bay Resort, closed for remodeling, is scheduled to reopen in 2021.
Magen’s Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Magen’s Bay is the most popular beach on St. Thomas. The mile-long beach with calm waters and especially soft sand is actually a public park donated to the US Virgin Islands by long-time resident, philanthropist, and former Wall Stree genius Authur Fairchild as a Christmas gift in 1946. The beach is situated in a heart-shaped bay with a backdrop of lush hills. A shack near the beach rents beach chairs, paddleboards, kayaks, and floats. Lifeguards are on duty daily. Grab a burger, pizza, and other fast fares at the snack bar. Magen’s Bay also has two hiking trails that lead away from the beach.
Jack’s Bay Beach, St. Croix
Vacationers who want to escape the crowded beaches will be happy at Jack’s Bay Beach on St. Croix. Accessible only by boat or by hiking, the area is protected by a nature conservatory and is home to Green Turtle and Hawkbill nests. The surrounding coral reefs protect around 400 species of sea life including blue tangs, parrotfish, butterfly fish, and more. During the turtle nesting season, beach access may be limited. Guided hikes are provided for guests to study turtle behavior. The money collected goes to support turtle protection programs.