Hawksnest Bay

Located on the northern coast of St. John, Hawksnest Bay is an easily accessible beach perfect for the whole family. The waters and shallow reefs make swimming and snorkeling a great activity, while the beach's sandy shores create a perfect lounging enviroment. Facilities include restrooms, picnic areas, and grills that are conducive to grilling out with friends.

Situated on the island of St. John, in the vicinity of downtown Cruz Bay, Hawksnest Bay is on the West coast of the island, You should consider stopping by even if you are not staying particularly close by. It's often said that Hawksnest Bay is the ideal location for escaping over-crowded hangouts in the town proper. Most other beaches in the Virgin Islands may have the same pleasing, tropical setting as Hawksnest Bay, but tend to be busier because they border some of the area's most popular resorts.

How to Access The Beach
The beach is located off of Route 20, which features a small parking area for vehicles.

Amenities and Ambiance

Close to Cruz Bay on St. John, Hawksnest Bay is a great beach with pristine sands and crystalline waters. Swimming and snorkeling are especially popular here, for the waters are calm and tranquil with a good number of small reefs close to shore for prime underwater viewing. Rocks to the east provide excellent shelter for novice snorkelers, as the water is shallow and calm.

There is also a snack bar here. You might also have the option to try local specialties from one of the local vendors who typically operate along this coastline.

Vacationers can take advantages of picnic tables at this beach, so your food won't get sandy.

Yes, public restrooms will be available here. Happily, the off-shore waters are clear and good for snorkeling, so purchase or rent some gear if you're looking to see what goes on beneath the surface. Hawksnest Bay's close proximitiy to the town of Cruz Bay makes this beach very popular with the locals. It is often very crowded with people swimming along the shores or enjoying a picnic, especially on the weekends.

Keep in mind that Hawksnest Bay's location is a bustling area, meaning you may find many people vying for the use of the same amenities.

What's Nearby


Hawksnest Bay is beautiful natural attraction, which you'll find on the West coast of St. John. Denis Bay Ruins is one of a number of favorite destinations in the area.

If you want to combine some cultural exploration with your trip to the beach, you should plan a trip to Ivan Jadan Museum, a lovely museum found a short distance away to the south west, giving you a chance to see, and learn about, even more of the area.

Beaches are nice for a few hours here and there, but there's even more to see during your stay. The following table includes the closest attractions.

Activities and Attractions Near Hawksnest Bay
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Denis Bay Ruins Historical Site 0.5 mi. NE St. John
St. John Experience Gallery Art Gallery 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Bajo El Sol Art Gallery 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Best of Both Worlds Art Gallery 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Friends of the VI National Parks Environmental, Conservation and Wildlife Organizations 1.2 mi. SW St. John
VI National Park Visitor Center Tourist Information Service 1.3 mi. SW St. John
Catherineberg Ruins Historical Site 1.3 mi. E St. John
Donald Schnell Studio Art Gallery 1.3 mi. SW St. John
Cruz Bay Battery Historical Site 1.3 mi. SW St. John
Rebellion Gut Historical Site 1.4 mi. SE St. John
Parrot Club Gambling Arcade 1.5 mi. SW St. John
Ivan Jadan Museum Museum 1.5 mi. SW St. John

Cities and Towns

Hawksnest Bay is near Cruz Bay, so exploring the city is a convenient option. The closest town is Cruz Bay, which is not an overly urbanized area, but still has its fair share of things to do.


Whether or not you encounter many other people will depend on many factors, including the capacity of nearby hotels. You can generally expect to share the sand with more than a few vacationers who are staying in the area.

Guests will find a fairly good assortment of resorts and hotels to choose from in the area that encircles Hawksnest Bay. The most convenient of which have been listed in the table below.

Accommodations near Hawksnest Bay
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Caneel Bay Resort 0.4 mi. SW Resort
Trinidad Charlie's Cottages -- -- Lodge
Estate Lindholm 1.1 mi. SW B & B
Inn at Tamarind Court -- -- Hotel
St. John Inn -- -- Hotel
Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel 1.4 mi. SW Hotel
Hillcrest Guesthouse -- -- Guest house
Garden by the Sea -- -- B & B
The Westin St. John Resort 1.6 mi. S Resort
Coconut Coast 1.7 mi. SW Hotel


If you're feeling hungry for a midday meal, you'll have some great cuisine to choose from, so there's no need to go too far from these sands. One of the nearest places to eat is ZoZo's Ristorante. This restaurant has a menu featuring Italian food. They are also known for their appetizers and pasta.

A list of nearby restaurants is shown below.

Restaurants near Hawksnest Bay
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Distance Direction Island
ZoZo's Ristorante (340) 693-9200 Italian 0.4 mi. SW St. John
Turtle Bay Estate House (340) 776-6111 Contemporary 0.4 mi. SW St. John
Caneel Beach Bar & Grill (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American 0.4 mi. SW St. John
Caneel Beach Terrace (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American, International 0.4 mi. SW St. John
Gwen's (340) 642-0338 Caribbean -- -- St. John
Asolare Restaurants (340) 779-4747 Asian Fusion, Caribbean 1.2 mi. SW St. John
North Shore Deli (340) 777-3061 American, Caribbean 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Ocean Grill (340) 693-3304 Caribbean, Contemporary 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Sun Dog Cafe (340) 693-8340 American 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Viva La Revolution Cantina (340) 777-3473 Mexican 1.2 mi. SW St. John
Margarita Phil's (340) 693-8400 Mexican -- -- St. John
Morgan's Mango Restaurant (340) 693-8141 Caribbean, International 1.2 mi. SW St. John

Other Beaches

Visitors who are looking for the ideal beach will have other options if Hawksnest Bay doesn't suit their tastes.

Another location you might enjoy is Cruz Bay Beach, which also offers ample peace and tranquility. More active guests, though, may be interested in Oppenheimer Beach, which offers more action, and isn't far from nearby attractions. It's located a short distance away to the northeast.

You might also want to visit Caneel Bay, another great Virgin Islands beach site. Caneel Bay, a chain of seven pristine beaches on St. John, offers one public beach to guests which can be accessed through the exclusive Caneel Bay Resort, where fantastic swimming and lounging areas, and basic facilities line the shore.

You may find that Hawksnest Bay is a great fit for your vacation, but maybe you want to see more; in which case you should keep looking for a beach or natural attraction that suits your vacation style.


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