13 Best Beaches in St Thomas, USVI (for 2023)
It’s amazing that such a small island can offer so many different beaches. St Thomas, USVI has it all: hidden coves, secluded shores, lively stretches of sand, active waterfront parks, and plenty of beach bars lining them all. All in all, we have about 40 of the best beaches in the USVI. And amazingly, each of the best beaches in St. Thomas has its own unique character.
But no matter which beach you decide to visit, one thing is for certain: sun-drenched shores falling into glittering turquoise waters make this one of the best places to visit in the US Virgin Islands (and, arguably, the world). Welcome to paradise.
When I moved here in the summer of 2021, my first mission was to find the best shoreline – an ideal stretch of sand suitable for frequent visits for years to come. Luckily, I think I’ve found a few! Here are my 13 favorite St Thomas beaches:
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13 Best Beaches on Saint Thomas
📍 Google Maps | Park at The Preserve at Botany Bay and hike down to the beach (approximately 3 miles round trip)
As far west as St Thomas goes is a thin strip of sand, no wider than 30 feet, separating the Caribbean Sea from the Atlantic Ocean. This gorgeous beach is among the most secluded on St Thomas because of its perceived difficulty to get there. However, if you can trek a mere 1.5 miles downhill and another 1.5 miles back uphill, you’re in for a treat like no other in the Caribbean.
Sure, other St Thomas beaches are easier to get to. But very few offer the stunning scenery accompanied by the quaint silence that can be enjoyed at Mermaid’s Chair. The beach has no facilities, so if be sure to pack plenty of water, sunscreen, and a towel before traversing the roadway to the pristine beach.
Visit and you’ll understand why Mermaid’s Chair also made my list of the best things to do and see in Saint Thomas!
Hull Bay Beach
📍 Google Maps | Parking: free parking lot behind the sand and treeline
The idyllic beach at Hull Bay is one of the most popular beaches among local residents on the island’s northern coast. During the week, the sandy shores stay relatively crowd-free while a few local fishermen may gather at sunset for a brew after a day at sea. During the winter months, due to a change in the winds, a prominent north swell rolls into the western end of the bay. Local surfers emerge from their summer hibernation and always seem to provide plenty of entertainment for beachgoers.
The beach is relatively easy to get to, via rental car or taxi, although the northern roads may be a little bumpy. Once there, it’s easy to spend a few hours between the beautiful beach, snack bar, and dive shop offering snorkel tours of the marine life within the shallow waters of the protected bay.
📍 Google Maps | Parking: $2 – $5 entrance fee per person | Best Nearby Hotel: Margaritaville Vacation Club
Of all the St Thomas beaches on the island’s east end, Lindquist Beach is our top pick. Offering striking views of St John and the British Virgin Islands, the beach is actually nestled within Smith Bay Park, a 21-acre protected area managed by the National Park Service.
The middle of the beach features restroom facilities and picnic pavilions. Coconut trees and sea grape trees dot the outer ends of the shoreline providing a quiet, yet shaded reprieve from other visitors. The waters are consistently clear turquoise with many snorkeling opportunities within the swim zone.
👉 Read Next: Best Places to Visit in US Virgin Islands
Magens Bay Beach
📍 Google Maps | Facility usage/entrance fee $4 – $10
The postcard image of St Thomas, US Virgin Islands: Magens Bay. Whether you’re stepping off a cruise for a few hours or you’re staying in St Thomas overnight, a stop at this iconic shore is a must. The beautiful one-mile stretch of sand lives up to its hype with its serene waters, lush surrounding greenery, soft white sand, and resident sea life.
The popular beach is one of the busiest on the island, and rightfully so. But with its popularity come all the amenities: restroom facilities, beach chairs, picnic tables, pavilions, water sport rentals, and a lively beach bar. And better yet, despite its status as one of the top beaches in the world, it’s incredibly easy to find a quiet corner under the shade of a palm tree all to yourself.
📍 Google Maps | Beach accessible only with 4-Wheel Drive Vehicle
Much of St Thomas is geared towards the beachgoer seeking all the amenities: the shaded hammock, the beachside pool, the associated resort, and of course, the rum-filled tiki bars. Obviously, we have a lot of those. But that’s not to say we don’t have a few secluded spots, as well. Neltjeberg Bay, in particular, is possibly the most secluded and best beach on the island. In fact, this beach is so secluded, you must have a 4-Wheel drive vehicle to get there.
Lined with palm trees shadowed by lush green hills, the only sign of civilization is the mega-mansion erected on the nearby peninsula. Other than that? You’re on your own. Literally – you’ll probably be the only person on the beach so be sure to pack everything you need for the day.
🚙 Need a 4×4? Search for a Jeep rental on Discover Cars to find the best deal possible on St Thomas.
📍 Google Maps | Parking: Free within the Limetree Resort | Best Nearby Hotel: Limetree Beach Resort
Nestled within the Limetree Beach Resort is the aptly named Limetree Beach. This small but lovely beach is an excellent location to read a book, grab a drink from the pool bar, and enjoy the sound of the lapping waves as they crash over the exposed limestone shoreline.
Kids are often entertained for hours as they climb the rocks, splash in the pool, or comb the sand for bits of coral, shells, and uniquely shaped rocks. If you’re seeking a little more adventure, within the resort is Aqua Marine Dive Center offering rentable snorkel gear or daily dive/snorkel trips to popular sites like Turtle Cove and Shipwreck Cove.
👉 Read Next: The Top Beaches in Puerto Rico
📍 Google Maps | Accessible only via Water Island Ferry in Crown Bay Marina
A short ferry ride from Crown Bay Marina on St Thomas is the lesser-known Water Island. Although considered the fourth US Virgin Island, the rock is inhabited by only a handful of year-round residents and features a WW2-era fort, stunning views of the Caribbean Sea, an epic beach bar, and one of the most beautiful beaches in St Thomas: Honeymoon Beach.
The soft sand, swaying palm trees, crystal blue waters, and lively atmosphere are a recipe for an incredible beach day. Most boat charters departing from Charlotte Amalie’s harbor often make an extended stop in the bay’s mooring field where they’ll dinghy you to the shores of Honeymoon Beach.
Lindbergh Bay Beach
📍 Google Maps | Parking: free along the road or at the Emerald Beach Resort | Best Nearby Hotel: Emerald Beach Resort
Many St Thomas beaches feature their very own waterfront bars and restaurants. They’re everywhere. And oftentimes, these beaches happen to be the busiest on the Caribbean Island. However, compared to the others, Lindbergh Beach always seems much less crowded while still offering all the perks.
Two beachfront bars overlook the glittering turquoise bay. Coconut trees provide shade for the recliners below. Watersport rentals are readily available including jet skis, paddleboards, kayaks, and snorkeling gear. And your kids, in particular, will surely enjoy the two playgrounds – one on the water and one on the beach.
Secret Harbor Beach
📍 Google Maps | Parking: free at Secret Harbor Beach Resort | Best Nearby Hotel: The Ritz-Carlton St Thomas
Most closely associated with the Secret Harbour Beach Resort, this relatively small beach is nestled in a protected cove on the east end of St Thomas. The beach is an excellent location for families and those seeking watersport activities.
Sailboats bob in the crystal blue waters as kayakers weave through the anchoring field. Aqua Action, a local dive operator, brings adventurers to distant coral reefs while others choose to discover the colorful fish and rare sea creatures within the harbor. As the day winds to an end, be sure to grab a table at the Sunset Grille for fresh seafood and a colorful ending to your day in the Virgin Islands.
📍 Google Maps | Parking: free at Sapphire Beach | Best Nearby Hotel: Sapphire Beach Resort
Sapphire Beach is one of the most lively beaches in St Thomas and the most popular on the east end of the island. The white sand descends into the turquoise waters before reemerging along the horizon in the form of St John and the British Virgin Islands.
Steps from shore are plenty of swimming and snorkeling opportunities with a rental kiosk offering watersport rentals. The nearby marina offers boat charters including parasailing, fishing, and sightseeing cruises.
👉 Read Next: The Top Beaches in Florida
📍 Google Maps | Parking: parking along the roadway or with a permit at Coral World
Although small, Coki Point Beach is the most active of beaches in St Thomas with more things to do than any other waterfront location in the US Virgin Islands. Rum bars and local vendors line the sandy shores.
Coki Beach Dive Center guides Discover Scuba trips into the pristine coral reefs steps off the beach. And Coral World Ocean Park provides a glimpse into the mesmerizing underwater world for those wanting to stay topside.
During the week, cruise passengers often dominate the landscape with many taxis bringing dozens of beachgoers at a time. The weekends tend to calm down a touch with more locals dotting the shoreline than anyone else.
🏖️ Headed to St. John? See my list of the top St. John beaches!
Brewers Bay Beach
📍 Google Maps | Parking: free along the roadway
If you flew into the airport of St Thomas, Brewer’s Bay was likely the very first sight of sand and sea to bestow your eager eyes. And although the beach is in plain view, it remains one of the top beaches for locals due to its serenity, quietness, and natural beauty.
Positioned near the west end of the island, the relatively uncrowded beach is among the best beaches in St Thomas to snorkel with sea turtles. At any given time, it’s not uncommon to spot multiple sea turtles munching on the seagrass a few feet from shore.
Bring Snorkeling Equipment: Almost all of the best beaches in St Thomas are worthy of snorkeling. No matter the beach, you’re guaranteed to find something interesting in the turquoise waters. To save money on rentals while also opening up an underwater world of opportunity during your trip, we recommend purchasing this compact, lightweight travel snorkel set by Cressi.
Santa Maria Bay Beach
📍 Google Maps | Beach accessible only via a hiking trail
Santa Maria Bay Beach is my personal favorite and if I’m being honest, I was a bit reluctant on including it on my list. This place is stunning. And a big part of its draw is that it’s the only beach exclusively accessible by hiking through the forest. No roads lead to Santa Maria Bay Beach, and for many, we hope it stays that way.
Your hike begins at the remnants of an old gate that once led to a sugar plantation at the bottom of the hill. The hike is relatively short, but it provides just enough insight into the natural vegetation endemic to the island.
Eventually, the pathway culminates its descent onto the soft, white sands of the bay – a natural cove cut into the cliff-face of the north coast. Surrounded by lush green hills, you’ll enjoy the soft sea breeze, mild surf, and crystal blue waters on what feels like a private beach.
👉 Read Next: 33 Best Things to Do in Saint Thomas
So what do you think? Which of the beaches in St Thomas is your favorite? What beaches will you be planning to visit on your upcoming visit?
Let us know in the comment section below!
And in the meantime, check out our picks for the top beaches one island over in Puerto Rico!
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