St. John Beach Guide

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.

Caneel Bay, St. John

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)

Denis Bay, St. John US Virgin Islands

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
Sand is 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 water is not murky, you can see right to the bottom.

Gibney Beach, St. John USVI

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 excellent snorkeling 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 the world.

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 background.

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, Honeymoon, the beaches of Caneel Bay, Hawksnest, Little Hawksnest, Gibney, Denis, Jumbie, Trunk, Cinnamon Bay, Little Cinnamon Maho, Little Maho and Francis Bay as well as the beautiful beaches on other parts of the island such as Leinster, 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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Beaches & Snorkeling

Salomon Bay
Honeymoon Bay
Caneel Bay
Scott Beach
Turtle Bay
Gibney Beach
Denis Bay
Jumbie Bay
Trunk Bay
Cinnamon Bay
Maho Bay
Little Maho
Francis Bay
Leinster Bay & Waterlemon Cay
Salt Pond (Blue Cobblestone Beach)
Frank Bay
Brown Bay
Kiddle Bay

St. John Beach Guide

The St. John Beach Guide not only contains a wealth of valuable information about the beaches of the St. John National Park, but also is full of absolutely stunning photos of these, the most beautiful beaches in the world.

For those off the beaten track beaches and to find those little known snorkeling sites with the best snorkeling, check out the beaches and snorkeling section of St. John Off the Beaten Track.

St. John Off the Beaten Track