Technically, the term Coral Bay refers to the expansive, broad bay that stretches from Sabbat Point in the west to Long Point in the east. It encompasses Round Bay, Hurricane Hole , and Coral Harbor, plus dozens more creeks, bays, and points.
For most people, however, Coral Bay is better known as the sprawling, laid-back hamlet that lines the shore here. This village is the last frontier of St. John , and one of its unique places. It takes some 30 minutes to drive here from Cruz Bay , and by the time you make the dramatic descent into town, you feel as if you have left the rest of the world far behind.
For many decades, this part of St. John was practically undeveloped. The tight-knit local community that lived here for generations had closer ties with nearby Tortola , which was only a short sail away, than they did with Cruz Bay. But as St. John was discovered in the middle part of the 20th century, so was Coral Bay.
The area’s breathtaking views of the British Virgin Islands and enchanting sense of isolation attracted successive waves of American and European transplants. The first were free spirits who built small homes or lived aboard their sailboats, but recent arrivals are not so modest. These days, luxurious homes peer down from the hillsides around Coral Bay, and upscale markets, restaurants, and boutiques have opened to cater to the changing clientele.
Despite the changes, however, Coral Bay is still the most laid-back part of St. John and the best place to feel the magical calm that is St. John’s greatest attraction.
The area got its name from the Dutch word kraal, which means corral, an indication of the importance of cattle and livestock in the bay’s early history. Coral Bay did not always play second fiddle to Cruz Bay . When the Danish settled St. John  in the early 1700s, they took note of Coral Bay’s large natural harbor and established their capital and only fortification there because of the protected harbor. The Danish West India and Guinea Company secured the choicest property on the island for its plantation: Carolina, a wide, flat plain facing Coral Harbor. A few decades later, it was in Coral Bay that the slave revolt of 1733 began when a dozen slaves attacked the Danish fort atop Fort Berg  overlooking the bay.