Caneel Bay

Photo Credit: © Sharon Johnson

Surrounded by National Park lands on the northern coast of St. John, Caneel Bay has several beautiful white-sand beaches that match the luxury of this world-famous resort. The entrance to the main beach at Caneel Bay is through the resort, but all beaches in the Virgin Islands are open to the public. Accordingly, guests staying elsewhere on the island are allowed to experience the beach, provided they do not venture onto the hotel grounds or accommodation areas. Bathrooms, several restaurants and a gift shop can also be enjoyed by visitors. Needless to say, beach chairs, towels and similar amenities are for the use of hotel guests only.

Set in Caneel Bay, 1.0 mile north-northeast of downtown Cruz Bay, this beach is on the West coast of St. John. You might think about stopping by even if you are not staying in the vicinity. Travelers who like to see and do as much as they can will probably enjoy this beach because of its crowded, urban location. Actually, Caneel Bay is probably a great fit for guests of nearby hotels, and those who don't mind large groups of people.

How to Access The Beach
Access to the beach is provided from North Shore road; take Salomon Bay Road into the resort. A small parking area is provided on the left, at the end of this road. There is a substantial charge for parking if you aren't a registered guest staying at the resort.

Amenities and Ambiance

White, sandy shores and crystal blue waters are found on each of the beaches at this resort, so expect superb swimming and beautiful views from the shore. Palm trees line the beach area, providing opportunities for shade, while rolling green hills supply the backdrop.

You'll also discover that there is a restaurant on the shore worth trying. Each destination around the Caribbean has its own unique cuisine, and the Virgin Islands is no different. One of the most enjoyable places to sample the local fare is right next to the coast. Sometimes, hotels offer to pack up on-the-go lunches for their guests. Otherwise, street vendors and casual walk-up eateries will have take-out dishes you can bring to the beach.

The snack bar located at this spot is perfect for quick lunches and cold drinks, too. If available, you could also purchase food from one of the local vendors who typically set up shop here.

Caneel Bay does have public restrooms for your convenience. On the resort's shore, guests at Caneel Bay most often rent rooms in this upscale area, meaning most of the beaches' guests are travelers.

However, you will want to realize that while there are luckily some forms of conveniences available while at Caneel Bay, it is found inside a commonly visited area. If throngs of people are something you want to avoid, it's an appropriate cause to plan ahead and beat the crowds, perhaps heading to the beach before the sun it at its hottest. If you do not, you could not be able to use all the amenities which the beach has to offer.

What's Nearby


Beachgoers will find Caneel Bay on the West coast of St. John; it's located near attractions like Bajo El Sol, which is only a short distance away, so visitors have the option to walk or to take a cab.

If you're intrigued by the Virgin Islands' history, there are plenty of places where you can learn first-hand about the country's past. For example, you might enjoy a visit to Cruz Bay Battery, which is just a walk or cab ride away.

With the choice of exciting activities nearby, you'll never run out of ways to stay busy. Attractions close to this beach can be found in the following table.

Activities and Attractions Near Caneel Bay
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Bajo El Sol Art Gallery 0.9 mi. SSW St. John
Best of Both Worlds Art Gallery 0.9 mi. SSW St. John
Friends of the VI National Parks Environmental, Conservation and Wildlife Organizations 0.9 mi. SSW St. John
VI National Park Visitor Center Tourist Information Service 0.9 mi. SSW St. John
Ivan Jadan Museum Museum 0.9 mi. SSW St. John
Cruz Bay Battery Historical Site 1.0 mi. SW St. John
Donald Schnell Studio Art Gallery 1.0 mi. SSW St. John
Parrot Club Gambling Arcade 1.1 mi. SW St. John
Coconut Coast Studios Art Gallery 1.3 mi. SW St. John

Cities and Towns

Caneel Bay is in the Cruz Bay area, so a trip into the city is a definite option. Nearby, you'll find the city of Cruz Bay, which is not lacking in exploration opportunities, yet also not overflowing with buildings. From the shore, Cruz Bay isn't far off, maybe less than a mile (a kilometer and a half).


How many other people you encounter at Caneel Bay will depend on how many hotel guests decide to make the trip as well. Typically, you can expect to encounter a fair number of visitors from lodgings in the area.

You'll find a reasonable selection of lodgings a car ride away. A few of the more convenient options can be viewed in the following table.

Accommodations near Caneel Bay
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Caneel Bay Resort 0.1 mi. SE Resort
Estate Lindholm 0.8 mi. SW B & B
Inn at Tamarind Court 1.0 mi. SSW Hotel
Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel 1.1 mi. SSW Hotel
St. John Inn 1.1 mi. SSW Hotel
Hillcrest Guesthouse 1.2 mi. SSW Guest house
Garden by the Sea 1.3 mi. SSW B & B
Coconut Coast 1.3 mi. SW Hotel
The Westin St. John Resort 1.4 mi. S Resort


If the heat at the beach has you craving a cool cocktail and a bite to eat, you'll have plenty of places to dine, without having to go too far. One of the closest places to eat is Caneel Beach Terrace. This restaurant has both American and International dishes on the menu. When you start to get hungry, you won't need to wait too long to eat since it's just a little ways away.

Nearby restaurant options are shown below.

Restaurants near Caneel Bay
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Caneel Beach Terrace (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American, International Informal 0.1 mi. SSE
Caneel Beach Bar & Grill (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American Informal 0.1 mi. SSE
Turtle Bay Estate House (340) 776-6111 Contemporary Fine Dining 0.1 mi. SE
ZoZo's Ristorante (340) 693-9200 Italian Fine Dining 0.2 mi. SE
Asolare Restaurants (340) 779-4747 Asian Fusion, Caribbean Fine Dining 0.8 mi. SW
North Shore Deli (340) 777-3061 American, Caribbean Very Casual 0.9 mi. SSW
Ocean Grill (340) 693-3304 Caribbean, Contemporary Informal 0.9 mi. SSW
Viva La Revolution Cantina (340) 777-3473 Mexican Informal 0.9 mi. SSW
Sun Dog Cafe (340) 693-8340 American Very Casual 0.9 mi. SSW
Margarita Phil's (340) 693-8400 Mexican Very Casual 0.9 mi. SSW
Morgan's Mango Restaurant (340) 693-8141 Caribbean, International Informal 0.9 mi. SSW
The Barefoot Cowboy (340) 228-5200 Tex-Mex Very Casual 1.0 mi. SSW

Other Beaches

There are plenty of beautiful beach locations to choose from on St. John, so if Caneel Bay doesn't sound like your type of scene, you have options.

Another sun-drenched spot to consider is Scott Beach, which is located within a couple of miles.

The Virgin Islands offers endless ways to discover its natural beauty, so visiting Caneel Bay is just one way you can enjoy a sunny afternoon.


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