Happiness/ Travel

The Best Beaches in St. John

Wow, guys, I’ve really gone MIA lately! I recently set up my office (ahem, FINALLY) and have been keeping my laptop in there. And with it out of sight, it’s out of mind, and I’ve gone days without opening it. I don’t know when that has ever happened. But honestly, it’s been kind of heavenly. I’m on a computer all day at work and then coming home and hoping right on the computer again makes me feel kind of yucky.

So in the evenings rather than playing on the computer, I’ve been walking Maizey more often, cleaning the house more often, talking to my family more often (yay for FaceTime!), going to bed earlier and just relaxing more. But, I do love this community and I’ve missed you guys! So, I’m continuing with the St. John recaps! Today I shall try to make our Monday better with a recap of the best beaches. (It will also be a bit tortuous for me since I just want to run away and go to the beach.)

Hawksnest Bay: this was our favorite beach. It had crystal clear, bright blue water and the water was soooo calm. Hardly a wave. 

Hawksnest Bay St. John

There was another bay around the rocks that you could snorkel to…we saw four stingrays while snorkeling over there! 

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Oh hey, Mr. Stingray. We saw him every time we went to Hawksnest, but I didn’t realize how close he was to me when we took this picture until I downloaded it later. Eek! 

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It was a great beach for sitting and relaxing. I finished two of the three Divergent series books on this beach. 🙂

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Hawksnest has shade if you want it, good snorkeling and was easy to get to (i.e. a parking lot), which was nice for the days we had a cooler full of snacks. Almonds and popcorn were our go-to’s. We went through a container of Blue Diamond almonds every single day. (Oh hey, nice tan line I have from running shorts!)

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THANK YOU to whoever commented a while ago and told me that Corona was gluten-free! Neither John nor I had issues drinking this all week! yay! 

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Our favorite part of the bay was towards the far right end. This beach never got crowded, but we just liked the water down on that end best, and there happened to be fewer people down that way. (One day at this beach, we saw two girls walking down the beach in 5″ wedges. WTF?! Everyone on the beach was cracking up, staring. They looked like they were gonna break their ankles.) 
 
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We spent our last day of the trip at Hawksnest. Ahhh heaven. 
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Solomon Bay: This was another favorite beach. 
Solomon Bay
 
You park at the top of one of the first hills coming out of town (or you can hike into it from town. Look for this sign and park there. Follow the trail that starts next to the sign down to the beach. It’s only about 1/2 mile down, but there are lots of rocks and roots so be sure to wear sturdy shoes, like running shoes. 
 
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This was right at the start…nice and smooth trail. But, it got really rocky and steep quickly. And John was carrying the cooler and two beach chairs and was wearing flip flops. There were some four letter words soon. Poor guy! 
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But then we arrived at the most picturesque beach I have ever seen.
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Seriously, heaven. (No, that’s not me under the tree. 🙂 )
Solomon Bay St. John
 
I was under a different tree. I couldn’t even focus on reading my book because it was just so pretty and all I wanted to do was stare out at the view.
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I did a little yoga on the beach once it cleared out (there were only maybe 6 people there to begin with) and I wasn’t too self conscious. 
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Some locals came later in the day with a dog who was swimming in the water and floating on an air mattress-type thing. It was soooo cute. John sat under the tree and listened to Rich Roll podcasts. 🙂
solomon bay St. John

Trunk Bay: The bay seen below is Trunk Bay, which was recently voted one of the best beaches in the world. We actually didn’t go there because the one day we tried to go, an ambulance came screeching in. We didn’t think it would be great timing. :/ It’s $4 to get in, but there are rental facilities for snorkeling gear and paddle boards and a snack bar. The other beaches don’t have that kind of commercial stuff (which is fine by me – the more undeveloped the beach, the better). At least we got a pretty view of it from the road! 
Trunk Bay St. John
 
Salt Pond Bay – this is on the other side of the island near Coral Bay. I’ll share more about our day trip to Coral Bay in a separate post, but Salt Pond Bay is definitely worth a visit. It’s more desert-like on this side of the island and MUCH hotter but the water was great. 
Salt Pond Bay. St. John
 
Salt Pond Bay, St. John
 
 
This bay had shade too, which made John happy.
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And I looooved the sun (after slathering on sunscreen all day every day). Look at how blue that water is! This supposedly had great snorkeling but we didn’t have our gear. 🙁 That is the one thing I’d change about the trip is making sure that we have snorkeling gear from day one! I feel like I need to go back just to snorkel!
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This is definitely a beach where you’ll get hot, so make sure you have a hat, lots of water and cool down often in the water. I never felt like I was baking at the other beaches like I did at this one.
 
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There is also a great hike from Salt Pond Bay (Ram’s Head hike) that I’ll share more about soon!
 
Maho Bay – This wasn’t as pretty as Hawksnest or Solomon, but apparently this one has GREAT snorkeling but we hadn’t rented our snorkeling gear the day we went there. (You can rent snorkeling gear for like $10 in town.) We only stayed there a couple hours because the bugs were eating me alive. I didn’t have that issue anywhere else. Oh, and there were chickens on the beach at this one. ha!
 
We heard good things about Cinnamon Bay too, but we never made it there. Cinnamon supposedly has a more party-like vibe, with volleyball nets and probably music (which is actually illegal at the beaches). 
 
Alright, that’s about all I can handle tonight because I’m about to cry from trip sickness. (What’s the word for being homesick but for your vacation??) 
 
What do you snack on at the beach? I have another beach trip in August and I’m already counting down the days! 
 

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10 Comments

  • Reply
    Maria
    at

    So gorgeous (the couple and the beach!) and thanks for the tips. Since St. John is now on my travel list, I will surely need to use them 🙂

    I’m heading to NC for our annual beach vacation next week and if I wasn’t excited already, your photos did the trick!

  • Reply
    Lauren
    at

    All of your pictures look like a postcard – glad you had fun!

  • Reply
    christina
    at

    what’s hotter? your bikinis or john’s abs? hahahah <3

  • Reply
    Chicago Jogger
    at

    Beautiful!! I have to say, my husband and I used two huge bottles of SPF 50 when we were in St John. So worth it!

  • Reply
    Christy
    at

    Geez Louise girl …. you look GOOD in a bikini!! Wozers! 🙂 Looks like SUCH a fun trip!!!!!

  • Reply
    Livi
    at

    Those bikinis are so cute!
    I love veggies and hummus for the beach + I can never resist an ice cream in the middle of a hot beach day!

  • Reply
    Amber
    at

    WOW! So so beautiful! I would love to go there one day. We had an amazing European vacation this year but I’m already pining for a beach vacation next year!

  • Reply
    janetha
    at

    ahhhh! paradise! thanks for sharing, so i can live vicariously through you.

  • Reply
    Purelytwins
    at

    looked like the perfect get away!!! this makes us more anxious to visit there
    and we are like Janetha and living through you 😉

    xoxo

  • Reply
    Marsha Ramsdell
    at

    Really good post and well written. Informative and very helpful specific details. The pics are great and descriptions of the beaches gives me an idea of how to plan for the four of us and make sure everybody gets a day at their favorite activities.
    I do have a question about renting snorkel equipment though. Do you use the mouthpiece that so many others used before you? Where did you get the chair your husband used? Did you buy them, rent them? and the cooler? I just can’t haul all of that down there. Thanks for the post! M.R.

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