St. Thomas is a popular cruise destination which is mostly known for its beaches which are some of the most gorgeous in the Caribbean. If sun, sand, and sea are all you are after then you are in for a treat.
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There are plenty of beaches in St. Thomas to meet even the most complex of needs. Whether you are looking to snorkel, swim, do some water sports, get romantic or even just lazy around on a beach, St. Thomas has them all.
That’s why we set out to compile a list of the top 10 best St. Thomas beaches to enjoy when the cruise ship is in port.
1. Magen’s Bay
Hailed as the most beautiful beach in St. Thomas and ranked among the top 10 best beaches in the Caribbean. It’s easy to see why Magens bay is the most popular beach on the island.
Magens Bay is a horseshoe-shaped 1 mile long white sandy beach on the rugged northern coast of St. Thomas. It’s the perfect beach for all manner of activities. Its wide stretch of soft white sandy beach is great for sunbathing, walking, playing or just people watching. The warm, clear turquoise waters are perfect for swimming, paddle boarding, kayaking or even snorkeling when conditions allow.
Sandwiched between two mountain sides the beach is a picture of tropical beauty. It takes one about 30 minutes or less to get to the beach through a scenic drive up and down the mountainous core of the island.
Here’s where to get all your beach accessories for your cruise vacation.
Taxi costs about $10 each way and the beach charges $5 entrance fee. This cost is worth it, however, as the beach offers plenty of amenities including clean bathrooms, picnic tables, rental shops, wheelchair ramp, lots of parking and a great restaurant and beach bar.
The only draw from the beach is that it gets pretty crowded especially when there are many cruise ships on the island.
2. Coki Beach
Another popular beach in St. Thomas is Coki Beach which is also located on the Northern coast of the island. Since it’s located on the East ends of St. Thomas it’s popular for its snorkeling and diving.
Coki sits right next door to Coral World Ocean Park and though it’s not as large as Magens Bay, it’s a pretty stunning beach too. It features a wide stretch of soft white sandy beach and clear waters.
Most visitors are appealed to Coki beach for the ability to snorkel right from the beach. This beach has plenty of amenities and lots of brightly colored wooden structures that sell local food, gifts, and beach accessories.
The locals love this beach and apart from working on it, they also like to spend their weekends on it. Due to the small size of the beach, Coki tends to feel crowded best to go early or later in the day.
3. Sapphire Beach
Sapphire Beach just as the name suggests is a gorgeous beach with stunning shades of blue water. It features a wide beautiful stretch of sand and has stunning views of St. John and nearby cays.
Sapphire beach is set on the Sapphire Beach Resort on the East end of St. Thomas. It’s very popular with families, sunbathers, and swimmers. The sea grape trees on the beach act as a natural shade which is a welcome respite from the Caribbean heat.
This beach is beloved by wind suffers and because of its close proximity to a marina, jets skiing and parasailing are popular sports. A nearby reef makes snorkeling on this beach a good adventure.
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This is the best beach to balance relaxation and water sports. If you happen to work up an appetite from all the swimming, kayaking and snorkeling then there are great snacks awaiting you at the open air grill. Visit this beach restaurant and enjoy great cold drinks, even tastier treats, and friendly company. All in all, you will have a great time
4. Hull Bay
If you want to try an off the beaten path beach, then Hull Bay will be it. This beach is one of St. Thomas best-kept secret. It’s found on the northern coast, west of Magens Bay. Hull’s bay is a little slice of paradise where you can beach like a local. The wide stretch of soft sand is lined with trees that offer natural shade.
The beach is beloved by the locals and fishermen who anchor at the beach. Being exposed to the rough Atlantic waters, the beach is perfect for surfing especially when there is a north swell. It also has a beautiful coral formation that is perfect for snorkeling.
Get sunscreen before your cruise as it can be expensive on the ship.
The Hideaway bar behind the beach is an extra reason to visit the beach. It makes the best fish tacos in St. Thomas. If you want to visit a quiet, uncrowded beach then head over to hull’s bay and enjoy like a local. A taxi ride will cost you about $15 per person to the beach.
5. Lindquist Beach
One of most beautiful beaches in St. Thomas is Lindquist beach located at the East end of the island. With shallow calm waters perfect for wading and great views of St John and the BVI, Lindquist is perfect for a laid-back beach day. Its set between Windham sugar bay resort and Sapphire Beach Resort and is part of the protected lands of Smith Bay Park.
This beautiful pristine beach has adequate natural shade from coconut trees and seagrape trees along its beach line. It’s a soft white sandy beach is perfect for sunbathing, playing and taking walks. You can also snorkel at Lindquist from the ends of the beach. Best of all, it doesn’t get crowded which makes it perfect for anyone looking for a secluded spot.
Take a look at these full face snorkel masks for your beach adventures.
The Virgin Island government does a great job of keeping the beach clean. And it also comes with amenities such as a lifeguard, picnic benches and bathrooms.
6. Lindberg Bay
Lindberg bay is a nice tranquil town beach found on the southern coast of the island. The beach which is named after a famous aviator is actually located next to the airport. Otherwise known as Emerald Beach, this stunning hotel front beach is also open to the public.
Lindberg bay features a wide stretch of white soft sandy beach. It’s an active beach, where you can kayak, paddle board or even windsurf. It has plenty of restaurants including two open-air bars, where you can grab a drink, snack or a quick lunch.
Also Read: What to Pack for a Caribbean Cruise (More Than 50 Items!)
If you are visiting with kids, there is a nice little playground at the end of the beach. While it’s not known for snorkeling this south-western beach has clear warm waters that are great for swimming. It’s usually uncrowded but is popular with cruise guests that dock at crown bay.
A taxi ride costs a little under $5 each way from the cruise terminal to the beach. Visit this beach and enjoy an energizing day at the beach.
7. Brewers Bay
Brewers Bay is an untouched piece of paradise on the South-western coast, next to the University of the Virgin Islands. It’s the most pristine beach on the island and is maintained by the University. It’s warm, clear and shallow waters make it perfect for swimmers and snorkelers.
Brewers Bay is one of the most stunning beaches in St. Thomas. It’s surrounded on either side by verdant hills that create beautiful scenery. This beach also features palm trees which apart from providing shade, give it a tropical beach vibe. There are food vans that sell local treats like salt fish, Johnny cakes, burgers, and jerk chicken.
It’s not far from Charlotte Amalie and is easy to get to. Take the Fortuna bus that heads west and alight at Brewers Bay. It’s also very close to the airport, located just a few miles northwest of it. So expect a bit of noise from airplanes landing and taking off.
This beach which is almost as long as Magen’s bay features a pebbly to soft sand stretch where you are likely to collect a shell or two. It’s rarely crowded but is frequented by locals especially on weekends.
8. Secret Harbour
Secret Harbour is a small, quiet, lovely beach on the Southeastern coast of St. Thomas. It’s Located between the cruise port terminal and red hook, making it easy to get to via taxi.
Secret Harbour has clear, calm gentle waters and white soft sands. It’s best for swimming, beach bumming and snorkeling. It has the best snorkeling on the island, there are a ton of colorful fish to see on the right side of the beach on the rocky shores.
The beach has a floating platform that you can swim to, great for laying on, jumping off of and kids have a lot of fun there. Since the beach is located at the Secret Harbour Beach Resort, the chairs there are reserved for the hotel guests but luckily there is a place you can rent chairs and umbrellas. You can grab lunch and a cold drink at the beach bar in the place. Other amenities on Secret harbor includes clean bathrooms and showers.
Don’t forget Aqua Shoes when on the beach to protect your feet.
This beach is located in an affluent neighborhood with a condo development set on the hillside and getting parking is almost impossible. Better get a taxi and schedule a pickup time for there is no public transport to the beach.
9. Bolongo Bay
Bolongo Bay is one of those tropical island beaches that one easily falls in love with. This tranquil southeastern beach features calm waters and a serene atmosphere. It’s lined with palm trees and has a rocky shore which provides decent snorkeling on the right side of the beach.
Apart from being a relaxing beach, Bolongo Bay also offers a myriad of water sports. You can rent kayaks, snorkel masks and paddle boards at the sports rental on the beach.
Bolongo has an energetic atmosphere that is infectious. Magnified by the restaurant’s lively music on the beach. You can grab a cold drink, something to eat and enjoy the liveliness of the place.
Unfortunately, the lovely Bolongo bay suffered extensive damage due to the hurricanes of 2017 and remains closed at the moment.
10. Limetree Beach
If you want to avoid the crowds completely, then Limetree beach is your best bet. Located on the south-western coast, Limetree is a quiet romantic beach to escape to. It’s set on a natural cove which has the perfect scenery and incredible sunsets.
With clean white soft sands, it’s perfect for sunbathing. The rocky shore, on the other hand, is good for snorkeling and not so much swimming. This gorgeous secluded beach is preferred by romantic individuals looking to get away and plays hosts to plenty of weddings.
Though it’s a hotel front beach it’s open to the public. There is a snack bar on the beach where you can grab a quick bite and a cold drink. There are no bathroom facilities but you can find a place at the nearby businesses.
Go enjoy Limetree beach and all it has to offer, including its charming residents the iguanas. Just remember to carry water shoes because the entrance to the water is quite rocky.
We’ll See You on the Beach!
So, there you have it, the top 10 St. Thomas beaches to enjoy on a cruise. Now that you know which beaches to hit on your next cruise to St. Thomas, start planning for your travels.
Also Read: 15 Awesome Things to Do in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands
Some important things to note is that some of the Island’s beaches have remained closed after Hurricanes Irma and Maria of 2017. Beaches such as Bolongo bay, Morningstar beach, and Limetree beach are yet to be reopened.
But that still leaves more than a handful of other beautiful beaches still open to enjoy while in St. Thomas. Just remember to pack plenty of sunscreen especially for the beaches that lack shade. Carry good water shoes, a lot of the beaches on the eastern end of the island have rocky shorelines.
Don’t try to experience everything in one day, just slow down and pick what best suits your needs and start from there. Remember to relax, you are on vacation after all. Happy Cruising!!