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another beach besides the Caneel 7?

Austin
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1,253 posts
7 reviews
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another beach besides the Caneel 7?

We are headed back to STJ for our 3rd visit. We are not renting a jeep -- I know, I know, but please no posts telling us we are crazy not to! We have driving issues (DH) and motion sickness issues (DH and DD) and the DH just wants to be a lump on this vacation!

What I am trying to decide is if we should go to the effort to go to another STJ beach for the day even though we have 7 gorgeous beaches to pick from at Caneel. We'd want to stay on the north shore area as I'll never be able to talk them into the trip over to Coral bay and the East end, although I plan on a future trip where we'll stay in that area.

I've been to Trunk and the only reason to go there is to show my daughter in person the beach that has the photograph framed in our guest bathroom!

I was thinking Maho simply because it is so large and lovely and calm waters with good snorkeling. However, we are taking a private charter one day, so we'll have great snorkeling already, both in the BVIs and wherever on the north shore we want to be. We are only staying 6 nights, so with the full day BVI trip, we only have four full days on STJ.

I know this decision is partly personal preference, but it's been years since I spent time on STJ and at Caneel (2006). Our last trip to STJ was also a Caneel trip with our daughter when she was very young so we chose Caneel knowing we could just stay put and not do alot of day driving trips.

What do to?? should we stay or should we go?

CT
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for St. John
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1. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

I can not imagine not exploring other beaches. I think you are not really experiencing the island by staying at the resort but to each his own. It is your 3rd visit and the only other beach you have been to is Trunk? You have no idea what you are missing. There is a whole island beyond those gates

it is not really an effort. You have a Caneel employee call you a cab and get dropped off at the beach.

You did not saw the age of your daughter, so it is hard to say what is the best beach, but I love Francis. There are no facilities there so is that is an issue I would recommend Trunk or Cinnamon

Holland, MI
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2. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

If I had to choose a beach other than the 7 at Caneel I'd pick Gibney. There are always cabs at Caneel so I'd ask the driver to drop me off at the gate to Gibney and set a time I'd I'm sure he would pick you up again at whatevef time you specify. Gibney is beautiful and very peaceful and you are often the only people there except whomever is staying at Gibney cottages.

Walk through the gate and down to the beach and follow the waterline to your left to the end. It's gorgeous and the sand is soft. There is pretty good snorkling in the reef in front of the yellow building to the right and also along the point on the right side of the beach.

Another is Soloman. Walk down the Honeymoon and then follow the trail around the house on the point . It's also a beautiful small beach with good snorkling in front of the house on the point. It's a little bit of a hike but not bad at all.

San Francisco...
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3. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

Even if you have been to a beach before, it will be a different experience each time you back. We go back to places in the Hawaiian Islands over and over again and never tire of it. For this reason, I would go back to Trunk. It is such a beautiful place and one worth revisiting. That being said, when we were on St. John on our first trip we stayed at a house just above Francis and it became "our beach". We loved it. So calm and quiet.

San Francisco...
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4. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

One other thing I thought of. If you or some in your party are prone to motion sickness, I would imagine riding in the back of one the cabs could be problematic. Perhaps renting a car for the day from Caneel would not be such a bad idea?

Ohio
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for Cruz Bay
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5. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

I'm with Tinkerbell. If your DH & DD have motion sickness issues, they will be worse in a taxi than driving on your own. If you want to leave Caneel, tell them to take Dramamine everyday. They will need it for the boat trip too! (both the ferry ride & the day trip to BVI) I think they make one that last 12 hours now, so take one in the AM & one PM. I love driving on STJ and just can't imagine not renting a jeep.

We too love Francis Bay. (there is a drop toilet there). Make arrangements with the taxi driver to come back and get you, or you'll have to hitchhike back. Which is perfectly safe. We pick people up whenever we have room in the jeep.

Hope you'll get out and about, even with only 4 days on STJ.

Pennsylvania
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6. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

We have stayed at Caneel without a jeep and had a fantastic trip, we didn't feel trapped or like we were missing out at all. (after many years of villa and Caneel trips) If the motion sickness issues are that bad AND you only have four full days, stay at Caneel and go down to Honeymoon and/or Solomon. (Caneel will pack you a lunch, if you like) It took us 17 years to finally visit Honeymoon!

Austin
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7 reviews
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7. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

Thanks for the suggestions. Looks like Francis is a favorite of lots of TA folks!

Tinkerbell, no I've been around the island. It's hubby and daughter who haven't been as many times. I don't feel like I've missed any part of STJ except the East end, which is still on my bucket list for a future trip.

We have the motion issues under control as we've been dealing with it for 12 years! LOL! But it does mean that we won't go-go-go up and down the hilly roads every day. DH needs some desperately needed down time from his job, and I'm recovering from breast cancer. So we are quite happy being pretty darn mellow. But I do want my daughter, age 12, to experience some other areas of the island. The open air cabs aren't too bad for them, we've taken them before and will use them to get to town some afternoons. It's a long story, but the ending is that we will not rent a vehicle :)

Cleo, thanks for the understanding :) We have been to Honeymoon before and definitely plan this time to cover the ground to get over to Solomon as well. Perhaps Trunk if their isn't a cruise boat in STT.

Pennsylvania
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8. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

I adore Maho and it will forever be my favorite because it was my son's first beach at 4.5 months old. It is also someplace where we always see turtles.

It has been several years but we had a wonderful day sail out of Caneel on a large sail boat. Maybe that might be a great way to get to a beach!

Springfield...
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9. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

Maho and Cinnamon are great, so is Francis...but one of the things we love about staying at Caneel is not having to travel back in wet sandy swimsuits from the other beaches.

Edited: 10 July 2012, 05:28
Bonaire
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for Bonaire
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10. Re: another beach besides the Caneel 7?

I don't think you are crazy at all. I have stayed at Caneel without a Jeep, and we had a fantastic time. There is more than one way to have a good STJ vacation, IMO.

I spend a few hours per day snorkeling, and I never get bored snorkeling from Caneel's beaches. In fact, I prefer them to some of the other widely mentioned sites such as Waterlemon, which does not impress me personally.

We always take a private charter for island hopping and seeing other STJ beaches along the way.

Personally, I do not like hauling chairs and coolers and beach gear around to different beaches. I still love STJ and am happy to say that I've seen and explored a good bit of this awesome island.

There are many cabs at Caneel, and it is easy to take a 5 minute cab into town for dinner. We almost never have dinner at Caneel.

Happy travels.

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