I'm a St. John native. Though I now live stateside, I try to get home about twice a year when I can...this has led to over 25 visits in my adult life. These are my favorite beaches of the 32 (in order of preference). St. John is 2/3rds National Park...no doubt one of the most well preserved, scenically beautiful islands in the Caribbean.
  1. Maho Bay Beach is my favorite (North Shore)
    It's not too far from downtown Cruz Bay or Coral Bay, the beach has a very deep bay which makes the water super calm and serene, there are always turtles or stingrays swimming by if you care to snorkel, because its further out, it's generally less packed. The angle also keeps the very fine sand from whipping.
  2. Francis Bay Beach is my second favorite (North Shore)
    Francis and Maho share a larger Bay making the features I described above for Maho mostly also applicable to Francis. Francis has the added benefit of being even further out so there are even fewer visitors any given day. Given the deep bays, both beaches make excellent overnight mooring spots for sailboats and yachts.
  3. Salt Pond Bay next favorite (Coral Bay)
    Salt Pond is absolutely beautiful. A short hike down from the road in Coral Bay, this beach is a hidden gem. I usually stop for sandwiches at Pickles on the way out...once on the beach, a short trail will take you over to the actual Salt Pond and Drunk Bay where there are cool rock art formations and views of the BVI. Salt Pond has great snorkeling and generally more quiet.
  4. Honeymoon Beach (North Shore)
    Honeymoon is one of the 7 beaches on the Caneel Bay Resort property. It can be reached through their property, by boat, or through a nice hike from the National Park in town. This beach is generally not very packed and a quiet beautiful time.
  5. Viers Beach (East End) (Private)
    Viers Beach and the accompanying snack shack on the side of the road, is a private, family owned beach in East End St. John...the beach is partially a rock beach but very quiet and a nice change in pace from many of the other beaches on island. The family asks that you leave a small donation in a box in exchange for use of their beach. There is a picnic bench and a few chairs they allow guests to use. They are very serious about the donations though so don't attempt to sneak in without one.
  6. Cinnamon Bay (North Shore)
    Longest beach on St. John, one after Trunk Bay, "the postcard beach," Cinammon also has full amenities and daily watersports rentals (everything from hobie kats to windsurfers and kayaks). Snorkeling around the offshore island is great or kayaking over to Maho or Trunk Bay can also be a lot of fun. Due to the angle of this beach and how fine the sand is, on a windy day, the sand will whip and that can be unpleasant. The surf here is also a bit rougher than nearby Maho and
  7. Lameshur Bay (Coral Bay)
    Breathtaking beach at the far far end of the island (the last road in Coral Bay). Definitely worth seeing, super secluded. The road to get the isn't paved at all and many rental cars/jeeps have tire issues (flats, getting stuck etc...) attempting to get there (just a warning).
  8. Trunk Bay (no list would be complete without it) (North Shore)
    Trunk Bay is the postcard beach, no question. Although it is one of the most beautiful beaches you will ever see and there is an awesome underwater snorkel trail, it is the only beach that has an admission fee and it tends to be very packed. It's nice that it has facilities (showers, concession stand with bar, lifeguards, and snorkel gear rental). Definitely worth seeing but the crowds make this one lower on my list.
  9. Gibney/Oppenheimer Beach (North Shore)
    Small, private beach. Hardest thing about getting there is parking. Its the second public beach on the North Shore road from town. Much less crowded than Hawksnest, the first beach you hit from town (also beautiful but not on my list due to the crowds). At high tide, there is much less "beach" to enjoy but very scenic.