St. John’s Best Beaches
Best place for a quick weekend away? Whether it’s a quick weekend getaway or week vacation, I would go to St. John’s in the Virgin Islands. The best thing to do is rent a jeep and beach hop around the island. The beaches are truly magical! – Bailey LaMarca
St. John—one of the four largest U.S. Virgin Islands—doesn’t require effort to be gorgeous, beauty just comes naturally here. A true hidden jewel in the Caribbean, the island is known for its sugar plantations, crescent bays and tropical hills. St. John tempts travelers in the summer when temperatures float in the 80s or in winter when surfers populate its crystalline waters. Fly into Cyril E. King Airport on neighboring St. Thomas, before taking an inter-island ferry to Cruz Bay, St. John’s largest town. From here, travelers can go by car to the following five beaches.
Girdled by coconut palm trees, Maho Beach is located just 5 miles from the ferry terminal at Cruz Bay. Visitors can relax on the white sands, soak up the sun and watch the sea turtles that hobble across the beach. The shoreline is a popular snorkeling spot and you can get up-close-and-personal with manta rays and tropical fish. Bathroom facilities are available.
Address: North Shore Road, Maho Bay, St. John
Situated in the Virgin Islands National Park—a sprawling countryside that blankets 60 percent of St. John—Trunk Bay overlooks offshore reefs that teem with marine life like moray eels. Visitors can rent snorkeling equipment from a store near the beach before searching for sea creatures. Alternatively, you can hire a boat and view the rocky coastline from the sea. Trunk Bay provides shower facilities.
Address: North Shore Road, Trunk Bay, St. John
Dotted with waterfront cottages, Hawksnest Beach is one of St. John’s quieter beaches, boasting a strip of golden sand that borders lush tropical rain forest. Hawksnest is a sought-after wedding destination, too, with its blue-green waters and silky sands providing a dramatic backdrop for photos. The beach borders horseshoe-shaped Hawksnest Bay in the north and is accessible from North Shore Road.
Address: North Shore Road, Hawksnest Bay, St. John
One of the longest beaches on St. John, Cinnamon Bay keeps guests entertained with a souvenir shop, food bar and restaurant. Guests make the 5-mile trip from Cruz Bay to Cinnamon Bay, where they can shade under a palm tree or dip their toes in the sea. The beach lies in proximity to an abundance of five-star hotels.
Address: North Shore Road, Cinnamon Bay, St. John
One of seven beaches that belong to the Caneel Bay resort, a luxury hotel on the west side of St. John, Honeymoon Beach offers views of the yachts that glide across the Caribbean Sea before they dock at Cruz Bay. Access to the beach is $20 or free for Caneel Bay guests.
Address: Salomon Bay Road, Caneel Bay, St. John