If you are like most American citizens, the winter of 2012-13 has been an unending nightmare of bitter cold and frequent winter storms. As the much of the country deals with early spring storms dumping up to a foot of snow, now might be the time to consider a warming climate where the pace of life moves a little slower and an inviting beach awaits with cool ocean breezes. The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to a number of spectacular beaches with warm sand, cool water, and tropical temperatures to help thaw out from a miserable winter.
Located in the Caribbean Sea, the U.S. Virgin Islands consist of four islands that are part of the Leeward Islands in the Lesser Antilles. The Virgin Island archipelago contains a number of islands under the control of various countries. The islands that make up the U.S. Virgin Islands include St. John, St. Croix, St. Thomas, and Water Island, as well as many other minor islands in the area.
The U.S. Virgin Islands are home to some of the most pristine, white sand beaches in the Caribbean. While there are many to choose from, the following beaches are some of the most spectacular beaches that tourists and locals alike should visit throughout the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Magens Bay Beach
Regarded by travel agents, tourists, and locals alike as the best beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Magens Bay Beach is located on the island of St. Thomas. This particular beach is ideal for couples due to its romantic and calm setting, but it is by no means off limits to families. Magens Bay Beach is a half-mile loop of pebble-free, white sandy beach that is protected from the harsh currents of the Caribbean by two surrounding peninsulas. That makes this beach a great spot for swimming or just lounging in the water because the waves and currents are very calm.
Also located on St. Thomas, on Lindbergh Bay, is Emerald Beach. This is an ideal destination for families in particular. Emerald Beach is a great spot for families with young swimmers as it boasts shallow waters, and many families will no doubt enjoy its less hectic pace as Emerald Beach is not one of the more popular beaches. Additionally, there are several beachfront restaurants along Lindbergh Bay that make Emerald Beach a great place for families to spend the day.
Another beach on the island of St. Thomas, Sapphire Beach is the ideal destination for water sport enthusiasts. The location of the beach offers some of the best windsurfing in the Virgin Islands, and with reefs located just off shore there is ample opportunity to snorkel and dive the clear, blue waters. If you don’t have your own equipment there is no need to worry. Sapphire Beach boasts numerous amenities such as a dive shop that rents equipment in addition to numerous restaurants and a marina.
Sapphire Beach isn’t just for the outdoor lover though. Those looking for a picturesque beach will find few better than Sapphire Beach. From the sands of this beach visitors get a wonderful view of the island of St. John as well as the nearby British Virgin Islands.
Speaking of St. John, Trunk Bay is hands down the most popular beach on this U.S. Virgin Island. On shore, Trunk Bay offers some of the best white sandy beaches in the region and amenities that include changing rooms, shops, restaurants, and equipment rental. In the water, visitors will find the famous Trunk Bay underwater snorkeling trail. The trail includes underwater plaques with information on various forms of sea life found along the trail.
A favorite among the locals on St. John, the beach at Hawksnest Bay is a welcome respite from the hordes of tourists that inhabit nearby Trunk Bay. A quieter location with a more rustic set of amenities (changing rooms and picnic areas only), Hawksnest Bay offers the same white sand beaches and calm waters, without the noise and congestion of tourists.
Sandy Point Beach
Located on the island of St. Croix, Sandy Point Beach is the largest beach in the U.S. Virgin Island chain. The waters here are calm and shallow, but the area is also a protected reserve and nesting spot for the endangered sea turtles of the region. Due to its status as a reserve, Sandy Point is only open to the public from 9am-5pm on Saturdays and Sundays.
Cane Bay Beach
The final beach on this list is Cane Bay Beach on the island of St. Croix. In addition to the fluffy, white sand beaches that are characteristic of all Virgin Island beaches, Cane Bay offers a variety of colorful coral reefs just offshore that make this beach particularly popular among divers and snorkelers. Umbrella rentals are available for shade, as well as kayaks for cruising the water and even horses for riding the nearby trails.
Regardless of what you are looking for from your beach getaway, there is a white sand beach waiting in the U.S. Virgin Islands that can meet your needs. Some are popular tourist destinations, while others are more popular among the locals. The only way to know the true beauty of each is to experience it in person.