Situated off the northern coast of St. Croix, Buck Island is a beautiful, uninhabited island that is protected by the U.S. Government. The beaches on the island, particularly Turtle Beach, are famous for their soft white sands and beautiful turquoise blue water. Aside from picnic facilities that allow guests to eat amid the natural vegetation, the main attraction is the incredible underwater trail (one of three in the United States) which showcases the island's fantastic coral habitat. Guests visiting Buck Island generally arrive on an day-sailing and snorkeling excursion, or on a chartered or private boat.
Located on the western edge of Buck Island, near Cotton Valley, You might want to drop by regardless of whether you're staying in the immediate vicinity. It's often said that Turtle Beach is the ideal location for escaping over-crowded hangouts in the town proper. Most other beaches in the Virgin Islands may have the same warm sand and calming breezes as Turtle Beach, but tend to be busier since they're right in the thick of tourists' favorite hangouts.
You can only reach this beach by taking a boat from St. Croix. You can charter a boat, or take an excursion from Christiansted.
Buck Island is apart of the U.S. National Park system because of its impeccable white sand beaches and underwater glories. This area can only be reached by a charter boat but its vast underwater gardens are well worth the trip. Turtle Beach itself is absolutely stunning: the beach has been voted one of the world's most beautiful by National Geographic and in 2013 Travel + Leisure named it one of the "Best Beaches on Earth" noting that it is the fourth best beach in the world for privacy and seclusion.
Consider using this beach's picnic tables, which are great for lunches or as a home base for your belongings.
There are public restrooms at this beach——something you'll appreciate if you bring the kids along. The water in the area is fit for snorkeling, so grab your equipment if you're hoping to see what lies beneath the surface. Guests must charter a boat to take them out to Buck Island from Christiansted, but the beautiful setting and attractions mean this area can still attract a small crowd.
Visitors who plan to utilize the amenities available here need not worry; Turtle Beach happens to be situated in a region which is generally free of crowds. What this means is that there's little need to consider the time of day you come, since there is little possibility you find yourself deal with any other guests who will be needing access to the amenities that are there.
Turtle Beach is always a lovely side-trip when you're in the area. Look for it on the West coast of Buck Island; the area is home to other attractions such as Coakley Bay Ruins, which is two miles to the south-southwest.
If you want to mix some cultural exploration with your trip to the beach, you might want to consider visiting Steeple Building. This museum is located five and a half miles to the west-southwest, giving beachgoers the chance to escape that hot midday sunshine.
Being able to choose from some activities besides the beach will ensure you won't run out of things to do. The attractions nearest to this beach are listed in the following table.
|Coakley Bay Ruins||Historical Site||2.1||SSW||St. Croix|
|Reef Golf Course||Golf Course||2.5||SSE||St. Croix|
|Green Cay National Wildlife Refuge||Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve||2.9||WSW||Green Cay|
|Divi Carina Bay Casino||Casino||3.2||SSE||St. Croix|
|Buccaneer Golf Course||Golf Course||4.1||SW||St. Croix|
Turtle Beach is close to Christiansted, so touring the city could be a fun side-trip after visiting the beach. The closest town is Christiansted, which is an area with plenty to do, but yet isn't overcrowded. From the shore, Christiansted is about five and a half miles (nine kilometers) away.
The popularity of this spot on any given day can vary, depending on when you visit, and how many people have booked nearby hotels. This spot is not near many large hotels, but you may encounter visitors staying at some of the area's smaller options.
You'll find a decent selection of hotels within a car's reach. Some of the closest possibilities can be viewed in the list below.
|Chenay Bay Beach Resort||2.7||SW||Hotel|
|Divi Carina Bay Resort & Casino||3.3||SSE||Resort|
|Tamarind Reef Hotel||3.4||SW||Resort|
One of the tastiest ways to compliment a balmy beach afternoon is to try a local restaurant, where you can sample regional favorites, without having to stray too far. One of the nearest restaurants is Cultured Pelican. The restaurant serves delicious Italian food. They're also renowned for their pasta and pizza.
The table below provides a list of dining options near this beach.
|Cultured Pelican||(340) 773-3333||Italian||Informal||--||--|
|Blue Water Terrace||(340) 692-2583||International||Very Casual||2.0 mi.||S|
|Duggan's Reef||(340) 773-9800||Caribbean||Fine Dining||2.4 mi.||SE|
|Mahi's Seaside Seafood Bar and Grill||(340) 718-2918||Caribbean||Informal||2.7 mi.||SW|
|(340) 773-7877||--||--||2.9 mi.||SSE|
|Cheeseburgers in Paradise||(340) 773-1119||American||Very Casual||3.1 mi.||SW|
|The Galleon||(340) 718-9948||Caribbean, Pan Asian / Pacific Rim||Fine Dining||3.3 mi.||SW|
|Starlite Grille||(877) 773-9700||American, Caribbean, Fusion||Informal||3.3 mi.||SSE|
|Deep End Bar & Grill||(340) 718-7071||American, Caribbean||--||--||--|
|(340) 712-2100||Caribbean, Italian||Informal||4.1 mi.||WSW|
There are other beaches on Buck Island you might like besides Turtle Beach.
Another location you might enjoy is Davis Bay, located 13 and a half miles away. With a gorgeous beach, Davis Bay is a fine swimming spot on the northern side of St. Croix, and although it can get a bit windy, families and bodysurfers gravitate to this area to play in the waters. But, if you're interested in a more active beach, you might like Cramer Park. You'll find it three and a half miles to the southeast.
You might also want to visit Chenay Bay Beach, which is located two and a half miles to the south west.
Of course, there is much more to do besides lounge on the sand in the Virgin Islands, but Turtle Beach is both a beautiful natural attraction, and a fun hangout spot.
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