The United States Virgin Islands, America’s Caribbean haven, lures visitors with abundant and beautiful beaches. Framed by sea grape and coconut palms, the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands ribbon dazzling turquoise seas.
On any of the islands, you can sit quietly on the sands listening to the lull of the waves, or paddleboard, kayak, snorkel, and jet ski.
Enjoy these 14 incredible beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Magens Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Magens Bay, scooped out of the northwest coast of St. Thomas, rates as one of the island’s most beautiful beaches. The popular one-mile-long, heart-shaped strand edges a turquoise sea.
For some of the best snorkeling in the Caribbean, head to either end of the beach. To get out on the water, rent single and double kayaks, paddle boats, or stand-up paddleboards at the beach shack.
Wheelchair users can get onto the sands by using a path of AccessMats and beach-friendly wheelchairs.
Lindbergh Bay Beach, St. Thomas
Visitors and locals come to play at popular Lindbergh Bay Beach, St. Thomas, adjacent to the Cyril E. King Airport. Vendors rent all the usual toys–jet skis, kayaks, and paddleboards—but Lindbergh ups the water fun with its floating Splash Zone Aqua Park.
Bouncing on trampolines and sliding down rafts at this inflatable obstacle course are definitely some of the best things to do in St. Thomas.
Swimmers enjoy the tranquil waters here at one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Snorkelers head to the beach’s east end for the best sightings.
Although cafés and restaurants dot the sand, locals have been lining up at Miss Jackie’s food truck on Airport Road for more than 20 years. Jackie Connor’s known for her pates (pronounced “pah-teys”).
Like Spanish empanadas and Jamaican patties, pates are crunchy pockets of dough filled with ground meat, seafood, or vegetables mixed with spices. Arrive early to buy one—or more—of Miss Jackie’s tasty beef, chicken, salmon, lobster, or conch pates.
Sandy Point Beach, St. Croix
Stretching for two miles, Sandy Point Beach, a.k.a, Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge, ranks among the Caribbean’s longest beaches and one of the best beaches in the USVI.
The beach, an important nesting site for leatherback and hawksbill sea turtles, closes to visitors from April to August. To protect nests, you cannot stake an umbrella or anything else in the sand, even though the beach has no shade.
Umbrellas can be attached to chairs, however. Bring binoculars to follow the many birds. Terns, plovers, and black-necked stilts nest near the salt pond.
Smith Bay Beach Park, St. Thomas
Come to one of the best beaches in St. Thomas for the pure pleasure of savoring a pristine beach, one without watersports vendors, food concessions, or much noise.
At Smith Bay Beach Park, a 21-acre park formerly known as Lindquist Beach, you hear the rhythmic lapping of waves and shore birds’ calls, and find natural shade under the palm trees. Tortola’s hills rise in the distance.
The ocean, a sweep of blues from light sky to dazzling turquoise, is generally calm but can have moderate waves. If you want to snorkel, bring your gear. In the offshore grasses, you might see lobsters, rays, and schools of tropical fish.
The Magens Bay Authority, the same group that oversees Magens Bay, manages Smith Bay Park, providing picnic tables and bathrooms.
Sapphire Beach, St. Thomas
On the northeast side of St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean. You can laze away the afternoon by sunning, strolling the sugar-soft white sands, and swimming.
Kayaks and other water toys are available to rent. A reef relatively close to shore on the east side rewards snorkelers with good sightings. You might see spotted eagle rays, elkhorn coral, schools of blue tang, and other colorful fish.
While lunching at the outdoor Sapphire Beach Bar, enjoy stunning views of St. John across the water.
Cane Bay Beach, St. Croix
A long, sandy beach on St. Croix’s northwest coast, Cane Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands that draws locals on weekends and underwater enthusiasts all week.
Not far from the shore, there’s a wall that drops some 13,000 feet, making this site one of the best diving spots in the Caribbean. You might see turtles, moray eels, lobster, seahorses, and crabs.
You can rent scuba equipment and sign on for guided shore dives and snorkeling tours from nearby Sweet Bottom Dive Center.
Trunk Bay Beach, St. John
Much-photographed Trunk Bay Beach, a quarter-mile long swath of white sand edged by sea grape bushes, is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The offshore 650-foot-long underwater snorkel trail with its plaques identifying marine life has drawn snorkelers for decades.
Practice your snorkeling here or try SNUBA, a system that employs a hose connected to an air tank that floats on top of the water, enabling you to explore 15 to 20 feet underwater.
With this compromise between snorkeling and SCUBA, you get the thrill of a diver’s eye view without the need for certification.
Maho Bay Beach, St. John
Less visited than Trunk Bay, beautiful Maho Bay Beach, St. John, is one of the best beaches in the USVI.
Like Trunk Bay, Maho Bay Beach is situated in the Virgin Islands National Park. You can tan on the soft white sand beach and swim in the turquoise waters frequented by sea turtles and rays.
Rent a kayak and paddle the calm waters to spot more marine life further from shore.
Or snorkel. Those new to masks and snorkels gain confidence by exploring the relatively shallow water. On the beach’s eastern shore, the water is just three to ten feet deep.
You float above elkhorn, brain, and fire coral, and view angelfish, damsels, blue tangs, and other rainbow-colored beauties. On the western shore, view corals, colorful sponges, sea fans, and more fish.
For lunch, snack on burgers, fish sandwiches, or hot dogs from nearby food trucks.
Buck Island Reef National Monument, St. Croix
Just a short boat ride from St. Croix, Buck Island Reef National Monument, rewards beach enthusiasts and snorkelers. The U.S. Park Service protects the 19,000 acres of land and submerged areas.
Guides lead you along the underwater trail where you float among blue tang, parrot, and angelfish schools and swim above rust-colored elkhorn and brain coral. Buck Island beach is certainly regarded as one of the best beaches in the USVI.
You can hike the marked trails to the top of the island, too. Wear sneakers, a shirt and pants for the hike to the 400-foot summit.
Dotted with prickly pear and barrel cactus, this Caribbean hiking trail takes you by the dried white limbs of bay rum trees, and the wide-spread branches of tamarinds. Long, yellow-and-black caterpillars crawl on trees, and hermit crabs scuttle across the sands.
Climbing to the hilltop is one of the best things to do in the U.S. Virgin Islands as it offers a sweet view of the reefs and azure waters. The island serves as a rookery for endangered brown pelicans and a feeding and nesting habitat for leatherback, hawksbill, and green sea turtles.
Coki Point Beach, St. Thomas
Come to Coki Point Beach, St. Thomas, after visiting the adjacent Coral World Ocean Park, famous for its Undersea Observatory Tower.
The sunken tower allows you to descend 20 feet below the sea in a glass column that affords you 360-degree views of the underwater coral reef just outside the windows.
Trumpetfish, sergeant majors, yellowtails, and sometimes turtles swim in clear sight.
At popular but small Coki Beach, put an exclamation point on your tropical fish study by snorkeling near the rocks to enjoy a close encounter with the friendly fish you saw through the windows of the observatory’s tower.
Vendors rent snorkel gear, noodle floats, chairs, and umbrellas, which are nice to have since there’s only a little shade from a few large trees at the edge of the beach.
You’ll find plenty of food vendors here selling burgers, fresh local dishes, fruit juices and Caribbean rum punch, while the sounds of the tropics pulsate from the various beach bars.
Rainbow Beach, St. Croix
Rainbow Beach is a local favorite, especially on Sundays when local bands play live. You can rent jet skis, paddleboards, and kayaks at this west end beach where it’s wise to wear water shoes to protect your feet from the patches of underwater rocks.
Ready for Sunday lunch? Rhythms on Rainbow Beach is known for its tacos, burgers, fried pork loin sandwiches, and blackened Mahi bites.
Brewer’s Beach, St. Thomas
Brewer’s Beach on the southwest side of St. Thomas is a find for those looking for wide sands and calm waters with an extended shallow area. Pelicans and seagulls dive-bomb for fish and you might spot the sea turtles that frequent the area.
Part of the University of St. Thomas campus, Brewer’s Beach is near the airport. Along with birds, you will hear aircraft, especially during peak arrival and departure times.
That said, Brewer’s is a good place for a seaside stroll. Snacks are available from nearby food trucks.
Honeymoon Beach, St. John
Honeymoon Beach is part of the Virgin Islands National Park. The secluded beach is one of the USVI’s best beaches.
Originally called Jumbie Bay, the strand was renamed Honeymoon Beach for the scores of lovers who frequented its isolated shores. Lined with lush vegetation, the picturesque beach fronts a typically calm, turquoise sea, where you might spot turtles along with fish.
Currently, the only way to reach the shore is by boat or by hiking the Lind Point Trail, near the National Park Visitor Center. The one-mile-plus path winds downhill to the beach (and uphill on the return).
Be sure to pause at the overlook for a sweeping bay view.
Frederiksted Beach, St. Croix
Frederiksted Beach, on the island’s west end, gives you the opportunity for some beach time and a swim before or after exploring the town.
The beach is more convenient than gorgeous but the water is refreshing. Visiting the adjacent Fort Frederik, with its red walls and cannons, is one of the best things to do in St. Croix. For local fare, consider The Fred for seafood salads and lobster rolls.
Ready for some beach time? Find your U.S.V.I. idyll by browsing our luxury cruises to the U.S. Virgin Islands.