St. John USVI Beaches
The Best in the World
The well-traveled philanthropist, conservation advocate, and founder
of the Virgin
Islands National Park, Laurance Rockefeller, in an address to
the Senate Subcommittee on Territories and Insular Affairs declared
that St. John Virgin Islands had "the most superb beaches and
views" and was "the most beautiful island in the Caribbean."
Moreover, prestigious travel magazines such as National Geographic,
Caribbean Travel and Life, and Islands have all at one time or another
declared the beaches of St. John USVI to be among the best in the
world. This view is shared by beach connoisseurs and travel professionals
the world over.
I would go one step further. I would say that, without a doubt,
St. John US Virgin Islands beaches ARE the best beaches in the world.
Saint John, United States Virgin Islands
Spend a day trying to decide the "most beachable" of
the island's half-dozen north coast dazzlers. You may favor Hawksnest,
or, more specifically, neighboring and less-crowded Gibney Beach,
sometimes called Little Hawksnest
two close runners-up? Trunk
Bay and the more secluded Francis Beach, which is tucked away
in the far corner of Maho Bay. Add it up and this stretch of St.
John offers the best string of beaches in the Caribbean- D.H.
(Islands October 1991)
What is it exactly about St. John, Virgin Island Beaches that
make them so special?
St. John beaches are located on the island of St. John, in the US
Virgin Islands, one of the loveliest, friendliest and most beautiful
places in the world. The climate is tropical, but moderated by the
ever-present trade winds. Moreover, St. John is an American Paradise,
a territory of the U.S.A.
St. John Sand
an integral part of any beach. The
sand that carpets the beaches on St. John, Virgin Islands is especially
soft, powdery and sensual.
St. John sand comes from the Coral
Reef and, as such, is finer than terrestrial sand that comes
from the weathering of rocks.
Moreover, this soft, silky sand extends into the sea so that wading
into the water is a pleasant experience as opposed to, for example,
walking over sharp rocks or slimy seaweed.
Here on St. John in the Virgin Islands, the Caribbean Sea is warm
and inviting, even in the winter. And because there are no rivers,
large tides or strong currents, the water is clear and clean. The
is not murky, you can see right to the bottom.
The sea surrounding St. John is also extremely colorful. It's a
veritable feast for the eyes. There are varying shades of turquoise
where the water lies over a sandy bottom, darker blues where the
sea is deeper, greenish tints where below lies beds of sea grass
and hints of reds and oranges over shallow coral reefs.
Proximity of the Coral Reef
Almost all the beaches have nearby reefs fringing the sides of the
bays that embrace them and around the protecting headlands on both
sides of the bays. These near shore reefs are shallow enough for
in an especially friendly and unthreatening environment.
From just about any beach on St. John, one can enjoy a panorama
of islands whose emerald green mountainsides rise from the clear
blue Caribbean in the near distance, as well as a myriad of smaller
cays, rocks and bays. This view is far superior to the limited view
of the sea and the horizon beyond found at most other beaches in
St. John beaches are found within relatively small bays, surrounded
by green hills and bordered by shade-providing, tropical vegetation
such as coconut palms, sea grapes and beach mahos. This contrasts
favorably with beaches that lie on a long straight coastline, and
which are set against a low-lying, commercially-developed or uninteresting
Furthermore, the protection provided the headlands that form the
many bays helps keep the water within calm and inviting.
More Than One or Two
In addition to all this, St. John boasts, not one or two perfect
beaches, but beach after beach, one around each point or headland
from Lind Point to Mary Point and beyond. There's Salomon,
the beaches of Caneel
Maho and Francis Bay
as well as the beautiful beaches on other parts of the island such
Salt Pond Bay, Lameshur, Ditleff,
and as well as dozens more "off the beaten track" beaches.
If you find yourself on the mainland and desire a beautiful beach, consider checking into Avista Resorts in sunny Myrtle Beach, SC
Virgin Islands National Park
Because most of the island is protected by the Virgin Islands National
Park, the beaches on St. John are not overly developed and you can
almost always find a way to get away from it all and enjoy nature
in its pristine state.
Not an exaggeration
These are just some of the reasons why the statement, made so often
by those in the know that "St. John has the best beaches in
the world!" is far from an exaggeration. It can be taken at
face value; it's just plain the way it is.
If you're interested in the beaches of St. John,
be sure to check out
St. John Beach Guide, by Gerald Singer with absolutely
stunning photos by Steve Simonsen and in depth information on
the National Park beaches of St. John, Virgin Islands.
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