The Best St. John USVI Beaches: A Traveler’s Guide
Hi there traveler!
So you’re interested in checking out some beaches in St. John, USVI? Look no further.
The St. John USVI beaches are some of the most beautiful in the world, and they’re all just a short ferry ride away from St. Thomas.
St John offers white sand beaches, clear blue water, and lush green mountainside views that are absolutely gorgeous.
The best part is that there’s something for everyone here.
Families with little ones can find secluded beach spots to explore. And those looking for a more adventurous experience can snorkel, dive, or kayak til their heart’s content.
So let’s get into it…
What are the best beaches in St. John, USVI?
Cruz Bay beach is adjacent to the ferry dock at Cruz Bay. This will be one of the most populated St. John, USVI beaches.
There are boats docked here, so don’t expect to get out and snorkel.
It’s a great place to splash around at the shore or take advantage of the beach chairs and umbrellas, and then grab lunch or dinner at a bar & grill along the coast.
To Get There: Short walk from ferry dock.
This beach is just off Lind Point Trail. It’s a great spot to rest after a hike.
Salomon Bay beach is one of the more secluded St. John USVI beaches and it features an excellent snorkeling spot too.
It’s a smaller beach, but you’ll likely be one of only a few people there since you have to hike to get there.
To Get There: Hike Lind Point Trail from Cruz Bay, or by boat.
Honeymoon beach is part of the Caneel Bay resort, so you’ll need a day pass to visit.
You can buy a pass for about $49. This will include equipment use (i.e. snorkel gear, kayak, stand-up paddleboard), beach chair, locker, life jacket, and pool float.
To Get There: You can get there by boat, or by hiking the Lind Point Trail.
Caneel Bay is the setting to the Caneel Bay resort (temporarily closed due to the hurricane a few years back). This is one of the beaches inside the resort that is open to the public.
There are a couple of ways to get here: hike along the Lind Point Trail, or catch a cab to the resort and get carted over to the beach with a day pass. The day pass will get you access to the resort’s facilities.
This is yet another beautiful, clear, calm beach. Great for paddle boarding, snorkeling, or just lounging around.
To Get There: Drive to the Caneel Bay resort to park and access the beach.
Hawksnest beach is in the USVI national park. It’s near Cruz Bay and offers a remote and private St. John beach experience that’s perfect for travelers who want to explore St. John beaches on their own terms with little company from other tourists.
This beach is also great for snorkeling. You’ll find many fish and sea turtles here.
To Get There: Take the North Shore Rd just past the Caneel Bay resort, ample parking.
Denis Bay beach is very secluded and quiet.
This one is definitely ‘off the beaten path’ as you can only access it by a fairly rugged trail, or by boat.
This is a great one if you want to be left alone, to snorkel and relax.
That being said, there are no amenities. So bring a backpack with bug spray, sunscreen (reef safe!), water, and snacks.
To Get There: It’s off of North Shore Rd. Heading Northeast of Cruz Bay, Caneel Bay, and then just past Hawksnest.
Jumbie beach is just southwest of Trunk Bay beach. This is a smaller and more private beach.
When the waters are calm, this one is great for snorkeling. And it’s always great for relaxing in seclusion.
Parking is limited, so it’s a good idea to get there early if you want to be one of the lucky few.
Bring your own refreshments and necessities. There’s a good amount of shade, so no need for an umbrella. But, of course, always wear your reef safe sunscreen.
To Get There: Take a car to the small parking lot. And there is a short trail to the beach, no hiking!
Trunk Bay is the most famous beach on St. John. It’s clear waters make it ideal for snorkeling.
Trunk Bay is also St. John’s most popular beach and can be crowded on weekends, but it never feels over-crowded or too chaotic thanks to the shallow waters that allow for easy swimming in all areas of the bay.
This one is part of the National Park, and there’s a small fee to access the beach.
Trunk Bay Beach features a stunning sand bar which makes this St. John USVI beach ideal for families
To Get There: Take North Shore Rd further northeast of Hawksnest.
Cinnamon Bay beach is also in the national park and it is one of the largest beaches on the island.
It offers classic St. John USVI beach snorkeling experiences.
It’s great for families with little ones who want to explore the waters on their own without worrying about crowds of other tourists or strong currents.
To Get There: Accessible off the North Shore Rd and the Cinnamon Bay campground.
Maho beach has calm waters, making it great for swimming, snorkeling, and paddle boarding.
This spot is known for stingray sightings. While you’re snorkeling, keep an observant eye on the sands and you might catch an outline of one or two!
It is one of the lesser populated beach spots on St. John. Definitely worth a visit if you’re looking for a more peaceful experience (especially on the weekdays).
Also because of the calm waters, it’s another great spot to take the kiddos.
To Get There: Take the North Shore, just beyond Cinnamon Bay. Parking lot availability.
Francis Bay is one of the longer St. John, USVI beaches. The sand is soft and powdery and there are great opportunities for snorkeling.
Beginner snorkelers can enter the waters along the western end of the island (nearer to Maho Bay). And more advanced swimmers can enter on the other end, near the rocky entrance.
As St. John, USVI beaches become more and more popular, this beach still remains largely uncrowded.
It is a longer drive from Cruz Bay (where many visitors will be coming from). But well worth it!
To Get There: Drive along the North Shore Rd. Northeast of Cruz Bay.
Leinster Bay and Watermelon Cay are two small beaches right next to each other, both just off the Leinster Bay Trail.
Leinster is the first stop off the trail and is a smaller, pebbly shored beach. And Watermelon beach (just a short walk further up the trail) is small, quiet, and sandy.
The trail is along mangrove trees, so I recommend bug spray. Bring a backpack with water and a snack, and your snorkel gear. You’re likely to spot turtles and stingrays at Watermelon Cay.
To Get There: East of the Maho Bay campground, or you can drive North from Coral Bay. Take the Leinster Bay trail from the Annaberg Sugar Mill ruins.
Salt Pond Bay
Salt Pond bay is often referred to as one of the best beaches for snorkeling. You’re likely to find larger schools of fish here, as well as sea turtles.
It’s one of the least crowded beaches because of it’s distance from Cruz Bay. It also is a solid 10 minute hike downhill from the parking lot.
Bring your supplies and plenty of sunscreen. There isn’t any natural shade at this beach. So I recommend a hat and UV protective rash guard too.
To Get There: Drive Southwest from Cruz Bay, or by boat.
Scott Bay Beach
Scott beach is another beach that is a part of the Caneel Bay resort.
As the resort is still closed, you can only access this beach through the kayak tour by Virgin Island Ecotours.
You’ll be able to paddle around and snorkel with your group.
It’s a lovely, quiet beach with a lot to offer.
To Get There: VI Ecotours kayak tour
St. John Beaches with Amenities
St. John Beaches with Bathrooms
- Trunk Bay
- Cinnamon Bay
- Honeymoon Bay
- Caneel Bay
- Cruz Bay
St. John Beaches with Food Availability
- Trunk Bay
- Cinnamon Bay
- Caneel Bay
- Cruz Bay
How to Get to St. John
You can’t fly into St. John directly. You’re most likely to fly into St. Thomas (another island that’s a part of the USVI), then take a ferry over to St. John.
The ferry dock is at Cruz Bay (the main town of St. John). From there, you’ll find the visitor center and car rental companies.
Where to Stay on St. John
There are a few resorts to stay at on St. John, USVI.
- Caneel Bay (currently closed due to rebuild)
- The Westin St. John Resort & Villas
- Gallows Point Resort
- Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel
- St. John Inn
- Estate Lindholm
- Grande Bay Resort
There are also vacation rentals and the Cinnamon Bay campground depending on your needs and wants.
Many of the St. John USVI beaches are absolute paradise. You can’t pick a bad one.
If you’re just planning on a day trip from St. Thomas, rent a car and visit a beach or two. You can check out my suggestions for a day tripper excursion to Cruz Bay USVI.
If you plan to spend a few nights on St. John, then get out there! See as many St. John beaches as you can and pick your favorite one.