Explore Your Options Here
One of the most secluded bays on St. John, Brown Bay is only accessible via remote trail on East End Road (Route 10). Brown Bay features historic ruins on the western part of the beach that are open for sightseeing and exploring. Brown Bay is an excellent snorkeling location with an abundance of fringing reefs and large fish.
Just a short drive from Cruz Bay, Caneel Bay beach is a popular destination for anyone looking for a groomed, idyllic resort beach. Both guests and non-guests of Caneel Bay Resort are invited to enjoy the public beach with scenic views of the resort property.
After relaxing on the beachfront, guests can enjoy a delicious meal at the Beach Terrace or enjoy a fine libation at the Beach Terrace Bar. Visitors of Caneel Bay beach may also enjoy access to the restrooms and gift shop.
Chocolate Hole Bay
Chocolate Hole Bay, located on the southwest side of St. John, is typically frequented by locals. However, it is becoming an increasingly popular location for those renting villas in the area.
The shoreline is rocky, offering impressive snorkeling along the sea grass, fringing rocks, cliffs, and reefs. Snorkelers here can observe sea turtles, stingrays, conch, and coral, among other sea life.
One of the most visited beaches by both locals and island guests, Cinnamon Bay offers both relaxation and a variety of activities along its expansive white sand beach. Those looking for watersport adventures can visit Cinnamon Bay Watersports for windsurfing, surfing, paddleboarding, or kayaking.
Guests interested in a more casual activity can rent snorkel gear, visit the Archeology Lab, or join in on a locals’ volleyball game. Cinnamon Bay offers two small shops selling snacks and souvenirs as well as public restrooms and showers.
Denis Bay, once part of the historical Susanaberg Plantation, is a picturesque, secluded beach only accessible via water or hiking trail.
Those in search of a little adventure can hike the short trail that starts at the beginning of the Peace Hill Trail. The walk is well worth it, and Denis Bay is a beloved beach for those who enjoy a quiet peaceful beach day of relaxation and snorkeling along its pristine reef.
Francis Bay is a scenic, quiet beach with an extensive shoreline, perfect for afternoon picnics. Francis Bay is located at the northern tip of St. John and is approximately eight miles from Cruz Bay. Visiting Francis Bay is well worth the drive, however, for the tranquility and respite. Francis Bay offers picnic tables, a portable toilet, and trash receptacles available for use.
Frank Bay, just a short walk from the center of town, is a small stretch of sand and rocks mostly frequented by locals. Great for its convenient location and its picturesque view across the bay, this beach is ideal for beachcombing and sunbathing, but beware the sea urchins as you enter the water. Visitors to Frank Bay have a great view of St. Thomas, Hans Lollik, and Mingo Cay. Stop into Coconut Coast Art Studio on your way back to town.
Gibney Beach, part of the general Hawksnest Bay area, is a narrow stretch of beach with an extensive view of the entire bay. Gibney is a beach often frequented by locals for its close proximity to Cruz Bay but “off the beaten path” feel. Parking along the side of the road is limited and must not impede traffic. Walk down the path to the beach and enjoy the secluded atmosphere.
Great Cruz Bay (Westin)
Great Cruz Bay beach is located at the Westin Resort & Villas. Great Cruz Bay is one of the only bays on St. John that is not part of the National Park, making it one of the few places on island where jet-skiing and parasailing are acceptable. South Shore Road runs throughout Great Cruz Bay, making this beach a popular location for villa guests and locals alike!
On the East End of St. John, Haulover Bay was once where small boats coming to St. John from other islands would “haul over” their vessels on the narrow stretch of land instead of sailing all the way around East End. Haulover’s beach is visibly separated into two beaches—a sandy beach and a rocky beach.
The rocky beach on the north side is often visited for its snorkeling along the fringing reef and mangroves, where one can observe sea turtles, starfish, and conch. The sandy southern part of the beach is also an ideal location for snorkeling and tends to be a little calmer.
One of the most popular beaches for locals and tourists alike, Hawksnest’s idyllic location to Cruz Bay and scenic atmosphere make it a favorite on island. With covered pavilions, benches, public restrooms, and grills, this beach is great for families and big groups. Hawksnest is an ideal location for both experienced and beginner snorkelers as there are varying depths and reefs to swim about.
Honeymoon Beach, accessible only by boat or by trail, is a highly frequented beach for its pristine and expansive beach and its idyllic view of the Pillsbury Sound. Only a 20-minute walk on the Lind Point Trail, Honeymoon Bay is a good option for those looking for a little adventure en route to the beach or those who don’t have access to a car. Honeymoon Beach offers watersports, including paddle boarding, kayaking, and float rentals.
Kiddle Bay, one of the more remote beaches on island, is the place to go for a secluded, laid-back experience. Kiddle Bay is a rocky beach with great snorkeling along the reef and very few visitors at any given time.
An alternative to some of the more crowded north shore beaches, Kiddle is a fantastic place to string up a hammock and enjoy some leisure time.
Jumbie Bay, a short drive from Cruz Bay, is a secluded north shore beach popular for its privacy and convenience. For visitors interested in a short, easy-access trail to the beach, Jumbie is the perfect place.
Jumbie Bay has a beautiful view of Trunk Bay and the British Virgin Islands, as well as a refreshing breeze and extensive shade under the sea grape trees. There are no restrooms here, but you will find a few parking spots just across the street. If the lot is full—so is the beach!
Lameshur Bay (Great)
Great Lameshur Bay, adjacent to the sandier Little Lameshur Bay, is a rocky cobblestone beach. Along the south shore, Great Lameshur is a rather secluded beach due to the fact that it only offers a rocky shoreline.
Visitors are guaranteed to have a quiet, secluded experience here. Lameshur Bay has picnic tables, grills, and toilets on the premises.
Accessible via the Leinster Bay Trail next to the Annaberg Ruins, Leinster Bay is one of the most popular snorkeling destinations on island. With swimming access to Waterlemon Cay and the surrounding reef, the snorkeling is some of the most exciting with an abundance of starfish, parrotfish, and stingrays.
The current can be fairly strong around the cay and snorkelers are advised to swim counterclockwise around Waterlemon Cay while allowing the current to guide you along. There are public toilets and trash cans at the head of the Leinster Bay Trail.
One of the main beaches along North Shore Road, Maho Bay is an island favorite popular among families for its shallow water and public facilities. With a small indoor area available for use (via a permit from the National Park), public restrooms, and grills, Maho is ideal for beach parties and large group outings.
The snorkeling at Maho is hailed as some of the best on island because the plethora of sea grass and algae attracts turtles and stingrays.
Originally owned by J. Robert Oppenheimer, Oppenheimer Beach sits next to Gibney Beach. On the northeastern part of Gibney Beach, Oppenheimer Beach has a community center that can be reserved for a small fee for special events and group functions. The Oppenheimer section of Gibney Beach makes for a wonderful snorkeling spot.
Once considered a more remote locals-only beach, Salt Pond has become one the most popular beach destinations in Coral Bay.
For anyone in search of a great snorkeling adventure, Salt Pond offers sights like sea turtles, octopi, and even the occasional pod of squid. Just a short walk down a small trail, Salt Pond is easily accessible and offers a scenic view of St. John’s East End.
A private beach part of the Caneel Bay Resort, Scott Beach accessible by land and restricted to guests of the resort. All other visitors must access the beach via sea and are not allowed to use the beach’s facilities.
Scott Beach is an exceptional place to snorkel, with plenty to see between Scott Bay and Turtle Bay. Swimmers and snorkelers are advised to be wary of the strong current here as well as boat traffic.
Salomon Bay, typically frequented by locals, is easily accessible for those who don’t have a car or are looking for a short hike. A 20-minute walk along the Lind Point Trail (or shorter when taking the Caneel Hill Spur Trail), Salomon is directly adjacent to Honeymoon Beach.
This beach offers fantastic snorkeling along the north shore, with a myriad of sea life congregating along the reef and between Salomon and Honeymoon. Salomon was once to considered a nudist beach, however the National Park has been enforcing clothing at all times and claims that nudity on park beaches is technically forbidden.
Salomon has a great view of St. Thomas and the British Virgin Islands.
Considered to be one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and the most photographed, Trunk Bay is the most popular and most visited beach on St. John. Visitors flock to observe the underwater snorkeling trail and lounge on the pristine white sand underneath the swaying palm trees.
Trunk Bay provides some of the best public facilities on island including restrooms, a covered pavilion, grills, as well as a gift shop and snack bar. Trunk Bay is the only beach on the north shore that charges a (nominal) admissions fee, waived for local residents.
See Scott Beach
Vie’s Beach at Hansen Bay Campgrounds is a great location for anyone looking to experience a taste of the real St. John. Visiting this small private beach requires a $3 fee, but it is well worth it for the seclusion and the ambiance out on the East End. Additionally, visitors to Vie’s Beach can stop by Vie’s Snack Shack for some traditional Caribbean food like conch fritters and johnnycakes.