View down into Trunk Bay with a strip of white sandy beach and a tiny island jutting up out of the water.

Trunk Bay in the US Virgin Islands. Photo © Ferguson, licensed Creative Commons Attribution.

What’s a Virgin Islands vacation without a beach? There are hundreds of beaches in the Virgin Islands. There are small beaches and large beaches; pebbly beaches and fine-sand beaches; beaches with bars and restaurants and beaches with no human development at all. Some beaches have great snorkeling, others have great waves. Some are comfortable and easy, others awe-inspiring. Sometimes the best beach is the one closest to your hotel, but if you need more inspiration, check out these standouts.

U.S. Virgin Islands

  • Trunk Bay, St. John: Fluffy sand, picturesque coconut palms, and a charming offshore cay. This beach is as perfect as it gets.
  • Francis Bay, St. John: Perfectly calm waters and magnificent sunsets are the rewards for those who seek out this off-the-beaten-track bay.
  • Magen’s Bay, St. Thomas: The finest beach on St. Thomas, this deep, heart-shaped bay is calm, expansive, and lined with a canopy of coconut palms.
  • Cane Bay, St. Croix: A windmill ruin stands watch over this north coast beach with outstanding snorkeling and a fun-loving atmosphere.
  • Jack and Isaac Bays Preserve, St. Croix: Protected and unspoiled, these twin beaches on St. Croix’s east end are accessible only by foot and reward hikers with peace and solitude.

British Virgin Islands

  • Long Bay, Beef Island: An expansive half-moon bay is good for long walks, beach picnics, and watching the planes take off and land at the nearby airport.
  • Apple Bay, Tortola: Hardly a beach, but it’s where the surfers come for waves. Come here to watch them, plus the pelicans that dive for their dinner.
  • Spring Bay, Virgin Gorda: This lesser-known bay is littered with the same giant boulders as the Baths just down the road, but is far less crowded.
  • Loblolly Bay, Anegada: Powder-white sand, excellent snorkeling, an endless horizon, cool hammocks, and an outstanding beachside restaurant. What more do you need?
  • White Bay, Jost Van Dyke: So picturesque it seems unreal, this delectable bay has powdery sand, an offshore reef, and a handful of friendly beach bars. You can also camp under the palm trees.
Travel map of Virgin Islands

Virgin Islands


Excerpted from the Fifth Edition of Moon Virgin Islands.