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Best beach for one day visit

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Atlanta, Georgia
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57 posts
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Best beach for one day visit

My family and I will be in St. Thomas for one day on a cruise in March. We'll be catching the Red Hook ferry over to St. John and would like to snorkel and hang out on a beach. Our priorities are good snorkeling, a beautiful view, and hopefully minimal crowds. There will be 2 cruise ships in St. Thomas and we'll be there on a Thursday from 7 to 4. I know Trunk Bay is gorgeous and has amenities but I'm worried about the crowds and I'm not sure if snorkeling is as good there. I've also looked into Cinammon Bay and Honeymoon Bay. We don't mind a hike to find more seclusion, a beautiful spot, and/or good snorkeling and we are fairly experienced snorkelers and will have our own snorkel gear. We would need to rent a car or count on taxis to get to and from our beach. With that in mind, any recommendations for a beach for us? Thanks so much!

kod
cherry hill
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1. Re: Best beach for one day visit

Best snorkeling Trunk Bay but crowded when the ships are in. Francis Bay on the right side good but not great snorkeling but not crowded- no amenities.

Honeymoon good, easiest access is from Caneel, but will have to lug your chairs, cooler, etc. If not bringing beach stuff I still think that Trunk is your best bet cause they rent chairs and have concessions. Its a pretty long beach so I think you'll have a place for yourself. I do not think you will have enough time to explore any of the more remote locations.

Ohio
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2. Re: Best beach for one day visit

If you don't require concessions and flush toilets, I'd go to Francis Bay. There's really good snorkeling on the right side of the bay. Also, if you get hungry, you can snorkel a couple of little bays over to the left, and eat at the snack bar at Maho Bay campground.

You'd need to rent a Jeep to get there, or you might be able to get a taxi driver to agree to pick you up at an agreed upon time.

OK
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131 posts
13 reviews
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3. Re: Best beach for one day visit

You might try hiking the Lind Point Trail to Solomon...and then you could move on to Honeymoon if needed. Or, if you are adventurous, find a cab to Annaberg ruins which are very interesting, then hike the trail to Waterlemon and snorkel the cay. Guarantee no one on the cruise ship would do this;)...just a little worried about time, you'd have to get off the ship as early as possible.

And really, you could go to any north shore beach and have a great experience.

kod
cherry hill
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4. Re: Best beach for one day visit

Trunk Bay does not appeal to many who love St John and go year after year. I only go there once every vacation in the late afternoon.But if you only have limited time as a cruise ship stop, I feel Trunk is your best bet.. It's close to the ferry dock, the taxis are always there, the snorkeling really is good esp near the little islet, the beach fairly long, there are concessions, bathrooms, and even a changing area and showers. The other places mentioned will be tougher to get to and you'll end up with much less beach time and more anxiety about getting back in time. I think car rental for your limited time will be tough. You have to take into account that its about 25 minute taxi drive to the ferry dock, the ferry runs every hour and , takes 20 minutes to get to St John. However, if not being with crowds is your biggest priority, the above suggestions are great.

St Thomas, VI
Destination Expert
for St. Thomas
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5. Re: Best beach for one day visit

There are now bathrooms, chair rentals, cold beverages, watersports equipment rental at Honeymoon thanks to VI Ecotours. Prices weren't posted, though, when I was there last week when they opened.

I think you'll have a great time no matter which beach you choose.

Atlanta, Georgia
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57 posts
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6. Re: Best beach for one day visit

Wow! Thanks so much for the great suggestions! I think I need to figure out the exact timing of how early we can get off the ship, how long the taxi to red hook will take, etc., and then figure out what we can realistically do. I've read some places to allow 3 hours from cruz bay back to the ship due to traffic on st. Thomas and just to be safe, so we might end up playing it safe at Trunk Bay - especially if the snorkeling is good there. I'm glad to hear about the new amenities at Honeymoon too. If we don't have time to venture further from the ferry dock, which do you all think has better snorkeling - Trunk Bay, Cinnamon, or Honeymoon? And kod, when you say Trunk Bay doesn't appeal to St. John regulars, is that because of the crowds and cruise ship tours or something else about it that makes it less desirable?

Thanks again! Very excited now and only wish we had longer to stay!

Princeton, New...
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22 reviews
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7. Re: Best beach for one day visit

Hawksnest has a nice reef close to shore and the snorkeling there can be great. In March, however, there can be swell action all along the North Shore. As your trip nears, monitor the reports for swell activity. You may need to be flexible if snorkrling is a top priority.

kod
cherry hill
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247 reviews
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8. Re: Best beach for one day visit

I think Trunk does not appeal to many "regulars" because of the crowds and that it is the most "commercialized" spot in St John. Most beaches have no amenities except perhaps a few rudimentary bathrooms. I have snorkeled all over the island and think Trunk has good fish and some good coral as you go out near the islet close by. I think Trunk has better snorkeling than Honeymoon and Cinnamon Bay. It is really a pretty spot and I can not think of any negatives except for the crowds/cruise ships.

It's great to know that Honeymoon now has some amenities- I'll check it out in April during my nest trip.

Bristol, Connecticut
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193 posts
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9. Re: Best beach for one day visit

Going to St. John and not seeing Trunk Bay is like going to DC and skipping the White House...

hope that helps!!!!!

Bangor, Maine
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49 posts
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10. Re: Best beach for one day visit

My first visit to st john was while on a cruise ship.We got off the ship and took the first taxi we saw to red hook.Jumped on taxi in cruz bay and thats when magic happened.I was falling in love with st john more and more every minute of our ride to trunk bay.We walked to the left of the beach as far as we could go and snorkeled the rocks and reef and saw great fish.Yes there is better snorkling in other places on the island but it was a great snapshot of paradise and was why we came back for a full week to experience the whole island and are coming back again in may.If you hurry and get there as fast as you can you will still feel like it is not crowded It was the best experience of our cruise.I think of cruisers as being future vacationers just as i was.I am no expert on st john but i cannot tell enough people how beautiful it is,and making that decision to skip the shops and markets in st thomas and go to st john

was one of the best ones we have ever made.Any beach on st john is perfect and on your next trip you will have plenty of time to visit the little gems so enjoy you cannot go wrong with any choice.Mike