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BEACHES

Snorkeling at Buck Island   Beach Fun

For leisurely, unplanned days when you just want to soak up the sun, you know where to head. On our beautiful white sands, you can run, swim, ride a boogie board, or build a sand castle for hours on end. They can watch our green lizards hop, keep an eye out for iguanas, or stare at frigate birds circling the sky.

East End:

Duggan’s Beach*: At Duggan’s Reef restaurant. Decent place for lunch (during high season) and a couple hours at beach. The beach near the restaurant is kept well raked. Shade available.

North Grapetree*: After bearing right toward Divi and South Shore rather than going straight toward Point Udall, take left at bottom hill. You will see a small (about 8 ft. tall) replica of a sugar mill at the entrance to this otherwise unmarked road. Pass among hurricane-damaged hotel buildings (purchased Fall 2005 for rebuilding) and take a right at the “T”. There will be a grassy parking area on your right. Cross the road and take the path toward the beach. This is a very nice and sandy beach. No facilities, some shade. Leave NOTHING in the car, including the trunk or glove box, at this or any other beach.

Jack and Isaac Bay: Follow directions above. Instead of taking right at the “T”, go left. Follow road all the way to the end through a residential development. Ignore the “private property” sign on the green gateposts. Just prior to white gates at last property, park your vehicle along side of road. Path is just prior to the white gates. Climb up the slope leaving the residential property to your right. (Do not walk through the gates and across this person’s driveway.) Just beyond this last house is a stairway leading down to the Nature Conservancy property and a wide path that hugs both beaches. Jack Bay is the first beach. Good snorkeling and calm water. Isaac Bay is all the way over the next hill and down again. Total distance is about 2 miles and is a somewhat long, hot walk for children, elderly or “out of shape.” Bring plenty of drinking water. Isaac Bay beach has beautiful clear water and excellent snorkeling. It is St. Croix’s “unofficial” clothing optional beach. No facilities, some shade. Nature Conservancy signs mark all paths.

Shoy’s Beach*: At Buccaneer Hotel gatehouse, take the smaller right hand gate by the golf course into the residential community. Tell the gate keeper that you are going to the beach. Follow road all the way to the end where it curves left. Parking for the beach is on the right. Cross over and follow path to beach. This is a long, wide sandy beach with clear water. Best snorkeling is at the point at beginning of beach with “apex” house. No facilities, some shade. While in the subdivision, drive around the roads and snoop a bit. The homes are impressive.

Buccaneer Beach**: Take left hand gate into the hotel property. Tell gatekeeper you are going to the “Little Mermaid” for lunch. Follow road straight in, up over crest of hill and then down and to the right for the Mermaid parking. Very nice, casual, open-air restaurant right on the beach. Good food, good drinks. Simply proceed onto beach and it is highly unlikely that it will be questioned. If so, you may be charged a small fee for use of chairs. If not dining, go around left hand side of restaurant building onto the beach. If you say at the guard station that you are going to the beach, you will be charged there. If you say you’re going to lunch, you will not be charged. If the car is obviously filled with kids, sandpails and people in swimsuits, you will most likely be charged.

Divi Carina Bay Beach**: Ample parking and beach facilities. Nice beach with poolside/beachside restaurant. Pool is for hotel guests only. The service here is known to be slow.

Chenay Bay Resort**: On East End Road, across from Cheeseburgers in Paradise. Popular spot for families.

Tamarind Reef Resort*: Adjacent to Green Key Marina east of Christiansted. Deep End Bar has beachside lunch. Snorkeling is said to be good here.

West End:

Beaches to the north of Frederiksted are best. Drive out of town with the sea on your left. There are several beach restaurants that have reasonable lunch menus and beach facilities. They include Rainbow Beach Club and Sunset Grille*.

Sandcastles on the Beach: South of Frederiksted, Small boutique hotel with beach. Beachside restaurant/bar is very popular with good mix of entertainment in the evening. Jazz every Saturday night. Make reservations.

Sandy Point: Said to be the nicest beach on St. Croix. Open only on weekends. Recommended only for groups due to its remoteness.

North Shore: Carambola Beach Hotel*. Very nice hotel and beach. Access to water is somewhat limited to far end due to coral and rocks directly in front of restaurant area. Worth exploring, nevertheless.

Cane Bay Beach: Famous beach known for its swim-out “wall” diving. Beach is directly on the North Shore road which makes it somewhat unappealing to some but other guests consider it to be their favorite. It is also a narrow beach with coral ledges along the water’s edge. You can check it out as you drive along the north shore. There are a number of small “islandy” beachside restaurants along this section of the north shore for a burger or local fish.

Christiansted:

Hotel on the Cay Beach** is good for snorkeling with calm waters for kids and beachside restaurant with strong drinks for adults. Take launch from Christiansted wharf near fort for a $3 charge per person. There is a separate charge for beach chairs.

West of Christiansted:

There are a number of beaches at the various condominium and small hotel complexes along this stretch. They include Club St. Croix (Breezez Restaurant)*, Sugar Beach and Mill Harbor.

Closer to Judith’s Fancy are Hibiscus Beach and the Cormorant Hotel. The latter still has vestiges of its previously all-gay clientele but is under new ownership and is welcoming of all. These beaches are both pretty and next to one another but have been known very rarely to have “rip” currents when seas are stormy. I would not stay away for this reason, but I feel it should be mentioned. The water is very pretty here and the snorkeling is good.

South Shore:

There are a number of long sandy beaches mid-island along the south shore. They are isolated, accessed by long dirt roads and I would not be inclined to go there other than in a group.

(Those marked with asterisk tend to be more family-oriented with easier access.)