This visitor put up is written by Theresa McKinney, a USVI fanatic and journey blogger:
Are you touring to St. John within the U.S. Virgin Islands quickly, however worry crowded seashores will put a damper in your journey? Whereas it’s true that many common seashores, like Maho and Trunk, replenish every day, there are nonetheless loads of methods to keep away from the crowds. Merely head to those underrated St. John seashores that draw far much less individuals, however are simply as gorgeous.
As St. John is two-thirds coated by Virgin Islands Nationwide Park, there’s loads of pristine magnificence to go round. These signifies that whereas some lesser-known seashores might sacrifice facilities and comfort, they’ll nonetheless ship unimaginable views and solitude. There are additionally methods to counteract the inconveniences, or just embrace them, like a doing a scenic hike that results in a seaside.
With that, let’s dive into six of essentially the most underrated St. John seashores, and why they’re completely value your time.
1. Denis Bay
Denis Bay is a prolonged seaside lined with fluffy white sand and delightful jewel-toned water. Whereas this seaside just isn’t very protected and will get some swells and wind, it’s nonetheless attainable to swim and snorkel right here. Simply take into account that some components of the seaside are a bit rocky, and that you just is perhaps alone.
What deters most individuals from reaching Denis Bay is the truth that it requires 1 / 4 mile hike down a slim path. Whereas not troublesome when happening to the seaside, the gradual uphill climb heading again is somewhat more durable. That is additional sophisticated in case you carry rather a lot with you, like chairs and coolers.
There’s a small car parking zone firstly of the path, the place it’s often simple to discover a spot. As soon as on the seaside, there are many timber for shade, and sure only a couple different teams round. Benefit from the view of the British Virgin Islands within the distance.
As an added tour, contemplate mountain climbing 100 ft as much as the Peace Hill Windmill destroy after visiting the seaside. From this perch you possibly can see a number of of St. John’s different North Shore seashores beneath.
2. Salomon Bay
Salomon is a small north shore seaside that may solely be reached through mountain climbing the Lind Level Path or by boat. This restricted entry helps hold the seaside low key and relaxed, making it a lot simpler to get pleasure from its translucent, rocky waters.
Most guests hike the Lind Level Path to succeed in Salomon Bay, which is a few mile every means. Whereas this generally is a ache for beachgoers wishing to hold coolers and chairs with them, the path is generally flat and provides sweeping views over Cruz Bay.
Salomon Bay’s clear water lends itself properly to snorkeling, and the seaside seems to be out towards the small cays of Pillsbury Sound. If you happen to occur to develop uninterested in this small seaside, merely hop again onto the Lind Level Path and take the 100-meter hike onward to Honeymoon Seashore. Then you possibly can make the most of Honeymoon’s perks, together with kayak and stand-up paddleboard leases, a snack shack, and actual loos.
If you happen to hike the Lind Level Path, you have to to search out parking close to the trailhead on the Cruz Bay Customer Heart. Keep away from getting towed by merely stopping inside and asking for a parking move to place in your windshield.
3. Salt Pond Seashore
For a number of the stillest waters on St. John, head to Salt Pond Seashore on the south shore. This seaside’s tremendous clear water is ideal for snorkeling, or just enjoyable with a pool floaty. The one downside is the dearth of shade and a few gentle rockiness within the sand.
A 3-quarter mile hike down a large, however bumpy path is required to be able to attain Salt Pond Seashore. Due to this fact, profit from your arduous work by packing a lunch and making a day of it.
Apart from having fun with the dreamy water, there are a pair worthwhile hikes close by. The quick path to Drunk Bay is barely about 200 meters lengthy, flat, and doable for all ability ranges. The hike ends at a rock seaside with rougher waters than you’ll see at any of the opposite St. John seashores, because it faces out to the open Atlantic.
The cactus-lined Ram Head Path is one other hike with even higher views of the cliffs alongside St. John’s south shore. The top of this out-and-back path is a cliff, from which you’ll see the deep blue sea beneath and St. Croix within the distance.
4. Hansen Bay
Hansen Bay is positioned on St. John’s East Finish, which is one other, lesser-visited a part of the island. It’s a little bit of a drive to succeed in at round half-hour from Cruz Bay, so simply sit again and benefit from the island views alongside Freeway 10.
Hansen Bay is privately owned, and there’s a discretionary donation required to be able to go to. That mentioned, after cost you might be free to park and use all of the facilities, which embody bogs, kayaks, and stand-up paddleboards. Moreover, for individuals who can’t fairly disconnect for his or her complete journey, this seaside additionally provides free WIFI.
Even with these nice perks, Hansen Bay by no means will get that crowded and has protected, clean water good for stand-up paddleboarding. That is additionally an awesome snorkel spot, the place you possibly can see corals, all types of fish, and even sea turtles.
5. Francis Bay
Francis Bay has been deemed by some to be “the brand new Maho” in recent times. It’s because, pre-Hurricane Irma, you might get pleasure from Maho Seashore’s waveless waters and sea turtles with out crowds. Since Irma, quite a lot of growth has occurred round Maho, which has turned it into extra of a celebration scene.
Francis Bay is positioned on St. John’s north shore, throughout the bay from Maho, and delivers lots of the similar perks. It additionally has calm waters and sea turtles, however with out the event of Maho. The draw back is that Francis Bay faces straight into the solar all day, making it arduous to search out lasting shade.
Francis Bay has some parking out there close to the seaside, or you might park on the trailhead to the Francis Bay Path and take the quarter mile hike. The Francis Bay Path is comparatively flat, passes an previous destroy, and ultimately turns right into a boardwalk that passes past the seaside alongside a salt pond.
6. Brown Bay
Brown Bay Seashore requires mountain climbing the Brown Bay Path to succeed in it. This path entails climbing a hill each coming and going, which supplies nice views, however is hard when carrying seaside gear with you.
Nonetheless, it’s well worth the effort, as not many individuals make it out to Brown Bay. Which means you’ll have your choose of shade spots on this slim seaside. From shore, there’s a lovely view of Tortola within the British Virgin Islands that beats nearly another vantage level on St. John.
Brown Bay has shallow, mild waters, which makes it a dream for snorkeling. Simply watch your step on the best way in, as there are some rocks within the water. Even inexperienced snorkelers will love the simple waters of Brown Bay, and you could get fortunate and see a starfish.
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Suggestions for Visiting Underrated St. John Seashores
- Lease a automotive to extra simply attain lesser visited seashores on St. John, since taxis don’t journey to them as steadily. St. John Automotive Rental and Mr. Piper’s Jeeps are each nice choices.
- For seashores with much less shade, fight these highly effective rays by packing a transportable seaside tent in your carry-on.
- Don’t overlook to carry reef secure sunscreen, as all different varieties have been outlawed on the island.
- Pack mild! For instance, fairly than lugging chairs down a path to the seaside, merely sit on a towel as an alternative.
Whereas these seashores may need much less facilities and conveniences than the extra common choices on St. John, their lack of crowds is a uncommon reward to these searching for solitude. Plus, you aren’t sacrificing something in the best way of surroundings, as their environment are simply as beautiful. Everybody ought to squeeze no less than certainly one of these underrated seashores into their St. John trip schedule.
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In regards to the writer: Theresa is the creator of Fueled By Wanderlust. Though she didn’t begin touring till her mid-twenties as a consequence of some pesky scholar mortgage debt, with cautious budgeting, she was in a position to pay that off and begin planning journeys. Since then, she has traveled increasingly annually to numerous locations within the U.S., Europe, and the Caribbean. You’ll be able to observe together with Theresa’s adventures on Instagram.