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.

Located on the island of St. John, in the general vicinity of downtown Cruz Bay, Hawksnest Bay is on the West coast of the island, You might want to drop by even if you aren't staying in the vicinity. Many of the beaches in the Virgin Islands are quiet and secluded, but Hawksnest Bay is a little different. You'll still find it has a calm, serene mood, but you can visit without having to travel too far from the buzz of the city.

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.

The snack bar located at this spot is perfect for quick lunches and cold drinks, too. On some days, it may be possible to try local specialties from one of the local vendors who typically set up at this spot.

Lots of visitors make use of the picnic tables at Hawksnest Bay, which make beach dining less messy, and are good spots for lounging.

You will be able to use a public restroom at Hawksnest Bay. Fortunately, the water here is clear enough for snorkeling, so grab some equipment if you've been hoping to get in some underwater exploration. 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.

Be mindful that the area right around Hawksnest Bay is is a much-visited area, which means the availability of certain amenities is likely to be affected.

What's Nearby


You'll find this beach on the West coast of St. John. It is near Denis Bay Ruins, which is one of the local attractions.

To some, beaches and museums may see like an unlikely combination, but many travelers find that museums like Ivan Jadan Museum (situated a short distance away to the south west) offer a fun learning experience and help visitors understand the Virgin Islands' interesting past.

A selection of nearby activities will ensure that you never run out of things to do. The following table contains a list of 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

The closest town is Charlotte Amalie, which is noted for its balance between seclusion and urbanization.


The popularity of this spot on any given day can vary, it depends on several things: the season, the weather, even how many hotel rooms have been booked nearby. Typically, you can expect to encounter a fair number of vacationers who are staying in the area.

There is a fairly wide range of lodging options to choose from close to Hawksnest Bay. The most accessible of which can be seen in the following table.

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


When you get hungry for an afternoon snack, this beach has you covered, so you won't have to wander too far from the sea. ZoZo's Ristorante is one of the closest eateries. This restaurant serves delicious Italian cuisine. They are also famous for their appetizers and pasta.

The table below provides a list of dining options near this beach.

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
Margarita Phil's (340) 693-8400 Mexican -- -- St. John
Morgan's Mango Restaurant (340) 693-8141 Caribbean, International 1.2 mi. SW St. John
The Barefoot Cowboy (340) 228-5200 Tex-Mex 1.3 mi. SW St. John

Other Beaches

Of course, you'll find other beaches besides Hawksnest Bay on St. John.

You might also enjoy Cruz Bay Beach, another place which provides sufficient peace and seclusion. Others might prefer Oppenheimer Beach, which could provide a few more possibilities for excitement, and is closer to other tourist hot-spots. You'll find it a short distance away to the northeast.

Another location you may want to try is Caneel Bay, another favorite sun-spot in the Virgin Islands. 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.

Hawksnest Bay could be the ideal stretch of sand, but it is possible that it may not be the best choice for your family; if so, the Virgin Islands offers a variety of beaches for travelers who wish to try elsewhere.


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