It almost goes without saying that the Virgin Islands have beautiful beaches, and I mean stunning. Soft white sand, endless turquoise water, blazing sun… it’s literally right out of the movies. (I’m specifically looking at you, The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and you, Muppet Treasure Island.) The weather is warm year round, so I’ve been trying to go to the beach at least once a week. May as well take advantage of it while I’m here, right? Although I’m always within a handful of miles to the beach, here is a list of some of my favorite spots so far in St. Thomas and St. John.
Magen’s Bay Beach
I’m going to start with Magen’s Beach to go ahead and get it over with. It’s on the north side of and one of the biggest tourist traps on the island. It’s understandable, though, why everyone wants to go and bask on the mile-long beach. It’s GORGEOUS, but saturated with the signs it’s well trafficked. There is an entry fee- $4 for visitors and $2 for locals- and on the beach is a handful of bars and restaurants where you can get good (but pricey) food and beer. There is also a few life guards on duty, and there are stands where paddle boards and kayaks can be rented. It’s beautiful, but it’s most likely going to be packed, which for me takes away a lot of the appeal. To avoid the biggest crowds, I suggest going on the weekends and avoiding the middle of the week. Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursdays are often when the most cruise ships dock in Charlotte Amalie in St. Thomas and a flood of tourist practically trip over themselves to get to Magen’s. When it’s quiet and near empty, it’s definitely worth a visit.
Lindquist is one of my favorite beaches on St. Thomas because it’s on the east end of the island, near where I live, and although it’s mentioned in the tourist magazines, I’ve never seen it packed. There is a sign posted at the entrance which requires a $2 entry fee, but most of the time the person responsible for taking the money isn’t there, especially if it’s in the afternoon. On the right side of the beach there is an extended shallow area, so people who aren’t too keen on swimming in the deeper parts of the designated swimming area can still enjoy the water. The water is clear and there is a lovely view of the small islands scattered off the coast, such as Thatch Cay, Mingo Key and Grass Key.
So far my favorite, Salomon’s Beach is tucked away on St. John, which is only a few minutes away from Red Hook on the east side of St. Thomas. The beach is fairly short and has large, black rocks on either edge of the beach, but the palm trees grow close to the water. It used to the nude beach of St. John a few years ago, but now clothing is required. It’s a short hike from Cruz Bay, which is something that really appealed to me, and it’s not very crowded. It’s a great place to bring a few friends and lounge for a day away from everything.
There are obviously hundreds of places all over the islands to catch some rays and read, so I’ll be updating this list as I spend more time on the islands.