Why visit the U.S. Virgin Islands?

Anyone familiar with this magical place would probably think someone crazy for asking such a thing. But if you really need a short and convincing answer, well, it’s because the beaches here are among the best in the world. Indeed it literally doesn’t get any better than the U.S. Virgin Islands if you’re a beach lover who wants silvery-sanded beaches surrounded by the clearest turquoise waters in the world. Also, if you want to go vacation in a place that’s almost always beach-perfect 365 days in a year, then the U.S. Virgin Islands should really be high on your list.

Of course, there are other, readily available reasons to see the place. There’s simply a lot of pampering to be had and a lot of nature to be explored in this undisturbed set of islands. Coupled with the fact that it’s just a short trip from continental United States, then there’s really no good reason not to visit the place if you’ve got the moolah for it. 

To be sure, the absolute best way to tour the U.S. virgin islands is through a chartered yacht. This way you’re not stuck in a resort and you can wake up every morning at a different place, a different cove, or by a different stunning island. 

If you’re thinking of visiting this absolutely magical place, then allow us to help you out. We’re often asked what the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands are, so in this article, we’ll give you our top 5 picks.

So, without further ado, below is a roundup of what is, in our opinion, the 5 best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands. We suggest you visit them all!

1. Oppenheimer Beach, Hawksnest Bay, St. John

If you’re wondering how this beach got its peculiar name, well it was named after nuclear physicist Robert Oppenheimer, who was considered the “Father of the Atomic Bomb.” This was the former home that he eventually donated to the people of St. John. It’s a great beach to chill at if you want to avoid crowds. Indeed, the area doesn’t crowd like other beaches in St John but don’t worry, it’s not because the place is radioactive! On the contrary, this palm-lined, sugary sanded, coral-beset beach that’s located on St John’s world-famous North Shore is one of the best in the U.S. Virgin Islands if seclusion is your thing.

2. Maho Bay Beach, Francis Bay, St. John

Maho Bay Beach is one of the best beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands for eyeballing sea life. Many tourists here come to snorkel and see sea turtles, angelfish, sea tangs, sponges, and a lot more else. The beach boasts large swaths of shallow waters teeming with marine life, which makes it a great place for kids to snorkel. You’ll need to schedule your visit early, however, because the place can get really busy. If you’d rather not contend with a crowd, then it might be best to avoid this place on the weekends, when the beach is at its busiest. There’ll be a lot of food options in and around the area too, particularly at the Maho Crossroads pop-up village which is just across the street from Maho Beach. 

If you’re feeling energetic and want more than just the usual beach adventure, you can visit the America Hill Great House Ruins. It will be a short but fairly steep hike from Maho beach, but trust us, you’ll be rewarded with awesome views extending all the way to Tortola.

3. Honeymoon Beach, Caneel Bay, St. John

For watersports and trail lovers, be sure to check out Honeymoon Beach, which boasts a wide stretch of shallow waters that will be perfect for those exact activities. Grab an all-day pass and rent a kayak or a paddleboard and explore the shallow turquoise waters of Honeymoon Beach. Or snorkel on the patch of reef at the beach’s westside and swim with turtles and rays up close. Honeymoon Beach offers tourists a little bit of everything and it can get crowded during peak season, so plan your itinerary accordingly!

4. Little Lameshur Bay, St. John

If it’s an off the beaten path kind of island adventure that you want, and one that offers long stretches of seclusion, then go visit Little Lameshur Bay, located at the south shore of St John. The beach, as one can expect, is absolutely gorgeous. There are also several hiking trails that are accessible from this area that makes it a top choice for the avid trekker. Take note, this area offers less than the usual services one can find in and around St. John, so you might want to load on provisions before you visit.

For experienced snorkelers, Little Lameshur Bay offers snorkeling opportunities in spades. Indeed, along the eastern area of the bay, one can find a mixture of shallow and deep areas where novice and experienced snorkelers will find much to explore. The deeper areas are teeming with marine life, too, including octopuses, barracudas, Caribbean lobsters, and a lot more else. 

Further along the eastern side of Little Lameshur Bay lies Yawzi Point, a great place for experienced snorkelers, and indeed one of the top spots in St. John for snorkeling. Not only is the place teeming with sea-life, there are also a slew of underwater canyons and marine structures, too, that will leave your jaw gaping with amazement. Be aware though that this is a spot for experienced snorkelers because the waves and currents here might disorient beginners.

5. Hansen Bay, St. John

To gratify the foodie in you, be sure to put Hansen Bay somewhere in your itinerary. We suggest you check out the LimeOut Floating Taco Bar to the eastern side of Coral Bay harbor and try their curry tacos and ceviche! The beach area is relatively small compared to other beach areas in St John but it is rarely crowded.