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Best beach combos

washington dc
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Best beach combos

Hi Everyone,

Our trip is coming up in April and I'm trying to start our serious planning. We'd like to see as many beaches and snorkel as many spots as possible so I'm wondering what are good beaches to pair up on the same outing. Is it realistic to see/snorkel two beaches before lunch?

thanks so much

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1. Re: Best beach combos

I think it's realistic to snorkel one beach before and one after lunch.

We spend a lot of time in the water at each spot. Some beaches require a bit of driving or hiking. And it depends on water conditions and weather for the day.

Check out my trip report from 2010. I paired some beaches with lunch places.


Destination Expert
for St. John
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2. Re: Best beach combos

I can not imagine planning what beach(es) I will go to every day. I highly recommend that you do not limit yourself to a loft schedule.

STJ is not that kind of island. It is slow and relaxed. It may be rainy in the morning on the North Shore but sunny out in Coral Bay or vice versa. Setting up a schedule is only going to frustrate you.

I think the best way to plan a STJ vacation is to make a list of all the places that you want to go and decide each morning what you will do that day. If you have a busy day, the next day you may not be up for running around from beach to beach.

The only thing we plan in advance is our boat day. Other than that is discussed each morning over coffee.

Miami Beach, Florida
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3. Re: Best beach combos

I like to brainstorm a list of the beaches/places/hikes I'd like to go to/see/do on vacation and then review while on island to see how I can cram it all in and still have fun too. When I don't tick everything off my list, I decide I must come back as soon as possible and start planning my next trip.

St. John
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4. Re: Best beach combos

I agree with limiting the planning. We went in 07 and hit a beach in the AM and then one in the PM. There were a couple things we wanted to do like the Reef Bay hike and a BVI trip. We planned those in our 10 days and then just picked a couple beaches in the same area to hit on that day.

We are going in April also and the only plans I am making is renting a dingy for a day (or two) and snorkeling as much as possible. I will start a pre-tan in a couple weeks to avoid burning. I also brought a white under armor type shirt to wear while snorkeling. The last thing I wanted was a bad burn to mess up my snorkeling!

St John is so laid back and beautiful I try and limit the scheduling of our days. Anywhere you end up on the island is paradise.

5. Re: Best beach combos

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6. Re: Best beach combos

I am a planner by nature and necessity. If I didn't have a rough outline of our days, we would spend our vacation saying "I don't know, what do you want to do today? I don't know, what do you want to do today, I don't know, what.......?" and before you know it, it would be time for dinner. This is only a slight exaggeration.

Is it realistic to see/snorkel two beaches before lunch?

Depends. The North Shore beaches are close together. Are you early risers? If so, I think it is entirely possible to go to Francis for a snorkel and then head to Maho for a while before grabbing a later lunch. You won't have time to lay on each beach for hours on end but if snorkelling and being more active is your thing, go for it.

One trip my mother walked from Gibney to Cinnamon (via North Shore Road), snorkelled both Cinnamon and Trunk in the way back and finished by meeting us at Gibney Beach for another swim, that is her idea of the perfect day on vacation. She is superwoman and this is not something most people would attempt!

I think Feet Fins and 4WD is an excellent resource. I also like the National Geographic maps.

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7. Re: Best beach combos

Another good day is Salt Pond and Drunk Bay in the morning, lunch at Vies and then lounging on Vie's beach :)

washington dc
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380 posts
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8. Re: Best beach combos

Thanks everyone,

I was just looking for some suggestions. This is our first trip and we'd like to see as much of the island as possible and make the most of our time while still relaxing. We love to explore and want to know our options. Thanks Toes in the sand and cleobeach, those are great suggestions.

washington dc
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9. Re: Best beach combos

Oh, one more question. Toes in the sand do you have any suggestions for good sunset beaches? We were thinking of doing a picnic beach dinner to watch the sunset while on the beach.

Canton, Michigan
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10. Re: Best beach combos

The beach is not some place you want to be at sunset!

You would get to meet two of St John's most ferocious animals!