Favorite St John Beaches!
So did you know that there are over 30 beaches on this little island?! Certainly more than one can visit in a week’s stay… Everyone has their favorites, and I’d like to tell you about some of mine (-:
Seems like almost everyone that is traveling to St John has heard of Trunk Bay, and for good reason! It is in fact St John’s most visited beach, the most photographed beach, and consistently voted one of the top ten beaches in the world! What’s not to love, right? And yes, we all do love it. I’d just recommend that if you go, go early. And on a Sunday. Early on a Sunday is good! Truly, it’s a fabulous beach with pretty great snorkeling and amenities not available at most other beaches. OR, just take a picture (you know, THE PICTURE) at the overlook. I love the colors there at sunset. Spectacular!
But moving on! If you’re looking for a gorgeous and off the beaten path beach (read: a little effort to get there, no amenities, but very few people!), you might want to check out Denis Bay beach. To get to this beach, you park at Peace Hill, hike about 10 yards and look for a trail spur to the right side and follow it down to the beach. Should take about 10-15 minutes through a shady forest. You’ll need to bring your own everything (remember – pack it in, pack it out!). Once you reach the beach, you’ll see beautiful palm trees to the right (even more special now because the hurricanes took out so many of the beach palms, and the National Park Service will only allow the native Tyre Palm species palm to be planted *sigh*), and a rocky outcropping to the left. Pick your spot! Snorkeling to the left is pretty darn good, though careful if there is a swell because the currents can be swift. (In general, if there is a swell all of the North Shore beaches will be a bit rough – Maho and Francis being notable exceptions.) If you are looking for peace and privacy, Denis Bay beach is a fantastic experience and worth the effort. Also, don’t forget to hike up to Peace Hill for fantastic views!
Another favorite beach (that you can even see in the distance from our terrace) at the East End of St John is Hansen Bay beach. Besides being a nice sandy beach with both sea grass (also called turtle grass) and a shallow snorkeling reef, it also faces south and is protected from big waves which makes for nice swimming. When you park, someone will explain to you that there are picnic tables and some kayaks and SUPs for use, but they do request a discretionary donation. The fact that they provide these amenities and have planted coconut palms to replace those that the hurricanes destroyed make this donation well worth it in my book! And if you look across the bay and up the hill, you might even be able to spot Astral Villa (-:
Click here for the VINOW beach page for more beaches!