BEST BEACHES IN ST. CROIX
St. Croix is full of beautiful beaches on every side of the Island. During our previous trip to St. Croix we visited Cane Bay, Rainbow Beach, and the Buccanneer. This time we ventured out and enjoyed multiple beaches around the Island. Each beautiful, with it’s own unique characteristics. Like many Caribbean Islands, all of the beaches in St. Croix are open to the public, meaning even non-guests can enjoy the beaches directly in front of any hotel or resort.
CHENAY BAY BEACH
Located on the East End with easy access through the Chenay Bay Beach Resort. This beach is protected by a small cove which usually ensures a little calmer water for snorkeling. The resort offers a beach bar and restaurant with beach side service. Chenay Bay Beach Resort is a super cute resort with beach side cottages. If you take a short walk west along the beach towards Christiansted, you’ll see where the locals drive in and park near the Beach. While snorkeling in this area of Chenay Bay we enjoyed watching several sea turtles and an Octopus. A highlight of our trip!
At .38 sec the Octopus puffs up to show us who is boss!
THE BUCCANNEER BEACH
The Buccanneer was one of our favorite beaches we visited during our first trip to St. Croix. The Buccanneer charges a minimal parking fee of $4 per adult as you enter the hotel complex (kids are free). There are kid-friendly activities including beach side chess, beach volleyball, basketball, and Frisbee golf. They offer free use of beach chairs (as long as you order from their beach side servers), lots of shade, and a beach side bar & restaurant. The view is beautiful, the beach is sandy white, and you can lounge around and watch the charter boats float by. The Buccanneer is a popular resort on St. Croix and we noticed a lot of families enjoying the beach and grounds during our visit.
THE RENAISSANCE CARAMBOLA BEACH
The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort is located on the North Shore. Anyone is welcome to use the beach, however non-guests must park outside of the gate and walk in to the resort. TIP: If you are visiting the restaurant or utilizing the dive shop Sweet Bottom (located inside of the complex), you will be allowed to park in the guest parking lot. This is a beautiful white sandy beach with good snorkeling on a clear day. The day we visited the water was choppy and churning up sand and the visibility was low. There is a full service bar & restaurant near the beach, and a mini bar located right on the beach. The Renaissance Carambola Beach is a great place to sit back and enjoy the day. We watched divers from the Sweet Bottom Dive Shop leave and return from their shore dives. The Renaissance Carambola Beach Resort is a nice complex and should we return for a short hotel stay, we would consider this resort as a great option.
TIP: The restaurant offers a wonderful lunch menu; if you visit for the day plan on enjoying a fabulous burger or fresh Mahi Mahi sandwich.
SANDY POINT BEACH
Located on the most Southwest corner of St. Croix, this beach is the longest stretch of beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Sandy Point is also a National Wildlife Refuge due to the nesting of vulnerable Leatherback sea turtles. Sandy Point beach is closed to the public each year from April/May – August/September by the National Wildlife service during the leatherback turtle nesting season. We were lucky enough to be invited by a private group to participate in the turtle watch program one evening. It was amazing! We watched baby turtles hatch and emerge from the sand and then be released into the sea. Pictures of the baby sea turtles are forbidden, but I was allowed to snap a picture of our little guy helping carry the pouch of baby turtles to the release spot. What a life changing experience for all of us!
During the rest of the year Sandy Point beach is open to the public on weekends only. It is important to remember that other species of turtles nest on this beach throughout the year. Never touch a nesting Sea Turtle. She may abort laying her eggs or even bite you if agitated. If you see a nesting sea turtle in distress contact the local STAR sea turtle assistance and rescue (340) 690-0474. Do not dig for baby turtles or handle the turtles. If you happen upon baby turtles hatching do not use your camera light, flash lights, or any other flash as they may become disoriented.
If given the chance, I highly recommend a visit to this beach. Who knows? You might be lucky enough to get a glimpse of sea turtles hatching and making their way to the sea. Just remember to be courteous of these protected animals.
FREEDOM CITY BEACH
Freedom City Beach is located next to the Pier in Frederiksted. We visited this beach several times during our stay and loved it. The snorkeling is great, (especially near the pier), and the local beach side shop offers reasonable umbrella and chair rental ($20 per day). The shop also offers paddle board rental, snacks, snorkel rental, and other beach amenities. Next to the shop is a nice beach side bar and grill. Freedom City Beach gets extremely busy on days when a cruise ship docks at the pier. If you ever enjoy a trip to St. Croix via cruise, this beach is within walking distance from the pier so no need for a taxi or other excursion to enjoy a relaxing day here. We were in St. Croix during a full moon and the shop has a full moon beach party complete with a full moon glow paddle board event, beach side music/entertainment, and local food vendors/food trucks.
Tip: This beach is near the cruise ship port and can be very busy on a “cruise ship day.” Check the cruise schedule and try to plan a non-cruise ship day to visit Freedom City Beach.
Always a favorite for at least one afternoon when we visit St. Croix. Rainbow Beach is another great beach with soft white sand and clear blue water. Beach goers can rent umbrellas, beach chairs, snorkeling gear, paddle boards, and jet skis. There is a nice restaurant/bar located at Rainbow beach with plenty of rum drinks and a tropical pub menu.
Tip: This beach is near the cruise ship port and can be very busy on a “cruise ship day.” Check the cruise schedule and try to plan a non-cruise ship day to visit Rainbow Beach.
BUTLER BAY BEACH
Another gem we stumbled upon is Butler Bay Beach located a few miles North of Rainbow Beach. The day we spent there was pretty quiet with only a few locals visiting throughout the afternoon. The snorkeling here is fabulous, with clear blue water and lots of coral and sea life just a short swim from the beach.
Tip: Wear water shoes as the shore is rocky before it turns to soft sand. Pack a picnic. There is no bar, restaurants, or shops nearby.
If you are willing to get out and explore, you won’t be disappointed in the Beaches on St. Croix. There are so many wonderful white sandy beaches to see. We only visited a fraction of the Beaches during our current vacation, but hope to explore more on a future trip to beautiful St. Croix!
These are our favorite beach accessories that take on our beach vacations. The Genji Beach Tent is light and easy to assemble. We use this tent at beaches with little or no shade. During turtle nesting season, make sure to use sand bags to secure the tent, or utilize the tent away from turtle nesting areas. We also LOVE our RuMe Tote Bag. The tote folds up into a very small rectangle for easy packing, yet holds a ton of beach accessories! For snorkel gear we prefer brands that feature the “dry top’ technology to help keep water out. These are the actual brands and items we are using on our St. Croix adventure!
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