There is a reason St. John is one my favorite beach destinations in the world. Yes, I said it, in the world. You don’t have to travel to far-away places like Thailand or Bali to enjoy a beautiful beach. Don’t get me wrong, Thailand and Bali have amazing beaches, but traveling that far isn’t always feasible for everyone. Keep reading for my list of the best beaches in St. John!
Just a hop, skip, and jump away from many airports on the eastern coast of the United States will land you in, what I consider, paradise.
Now, let’s get down to the nitty-gritty of the best beaches in St. John. In no particular order – OK that’s a lie – Salomon Bay is listed first because it is my personal favorite, but aside from that, they are listed in no particular order.
BEST BEACHES IN ST. JOHN
Salomon Bay – As stated above, Salomon Bay is hands down my favorite beach in St. John. It’s only accessible via boat or by hiking the Lind Point Trail (about 1 mile), which makes it even more lovely because there are usually not many people there. On our last trip to St. John, my husband and I had the beach to ourselves for a solid 3 hours – until around Noon. There are definitely more rocks on the beach than there were prior to the hurricanes in 2017, but I still love it, and for the amount of peace and quiet the beach offers, it’s really a no-brainer.
Maho Bay – If you’re wanting to see Sea Turtles, then Maho Bay is where you want to be. This beach definitely gets busy, so arrive early. You can park along the street or in the parking lot, but it does get full. We boated in on the day we rented a boat, so we didn’t have to worry about that, but just be advised that it does get crowded.
Cinnamon Bay – Don’t let the look of Cinnamon Bay scare you off when you first arrive. Prior to the 2017 hurricanes, Cinnamon bay boasted a campground and cabins you could rent. Unfortunately, those were all destroyed and have yet to be rebuilt, so everything is kind of in disarray. Such a bummer, but once you get to the beach, it’s beautiful. The bathroom facilities are also still closed, as of January 2019 when I was last there, but I did see some portable toilets. Oh, and don’t forget to show the resident donkeys some love. They are so sweet.
**Pro Tip: Turn right once you get to the beach and walk about 100 yards or so – you’ll come to some large boulders that feel like small enclaves. There is never anyone down that far and you’ll more than likely have the entire area to yourself. We did. The waves are little more rough down that way, but I don’t mind it because it’s virtually empty.
Hanson Bay Beach – This is a private beach in East End and it costs $3.00 to park. The beach is different than ones you’ll find along the North Shore of the island. It’s a lot more rocky and kind of reminded me of Greece. There are lots of shade trees, picnic tables and chairs for you to get out of the sun, so definitely check it out if you happen to make your way to that side of the island.
Trunk Bay – OK, let me preface this by saying I do love Trunk Bay. The beach is big and beautiful and the water is such a magical color blue; however, it’s also the most popular beach in St. John. Which means one word: tourists. Fine, two words: tourists and cruise shippers. Is that technically three words? Anywho, my point is that Trunk Bay gets crowded. Really crowded. But honestly, don’t let is scare you away. You should definitely at least spend a few hours there during your trip. There are bathrooms, picnic tables (covered), a small souvenir shop, a beach bar (hello, painkillers!), and even a food truck. As of January 2019, Trunk Bay was still not charging an entrance fee, but that could change as there was an entrance fee prior to the hurricanes in 2017.
**Pro Tip: Take a left once you arrive on the beach and walk as far down as you can possible go. There are usually less people that far down. Once you get to the end, you’ll see a bunch of boulders/rocks. If you walk out in the water and around the boulders, you’ll see a magical little cove with a small slice of beach. Welcome to my favorite spot at Trunk Bay. It’s a lot harder to access during high tide though, so keep that in mind.
Are your favorite St. John beaches not on the list? Do you have your own ‘best beaches in St. John’ list? Leave me a comment and let me know your favorites so I can check them out next time.