Maho Bay

Photo Credit: © John O'Connell CC BY

Located on the island of St. John and tucked away in the Virgin Islands National Park area, Maho Bay provides a beautiful beach experience with absolutely no development. Cars can drive directly onto the beach, where the water from the bay is consistently shallow and calm.

Located on the northern edge of the island of St. John, You might want to drop by whether or not you are staying particularly close by. Even though you won't find a bustling urban center here, many visitors find this destination worthwhile as a way to escape the crowds.

How to Access The Beach
Access to Maho Bay is provided by the Virgin Islands National Park and thus require guests to go through the main entrance. North Shore Road goes directly to the beach area, where guests can park on the beach or on the side of the road.

Amenities and Ambiance

Maho Bay Beach, off of Northshore Rd. on St. John, is a sandy beach with great swimming and snorkeling opportunities. Popular with travelers, the view from here is stunning - filled with fantastic tropical foilage, panoramic island vistas, and the nearby Maho Bay Camps and their colorful hillside tents. Groves of coconut palms line the shoreline, while beautiful green trees provide privacy.

The snack bar located at this spot is perfect for quick lunches and cold drinks, too. You might also have the option to buy food from one of the mobile vendors who typically operate along this coastline.

Picnic tables are on-site——great for full-fledged lunches or afternoon snacks.

Unfortunately, you won't find any public restrooms along this coastline, which is something to consider if you're bringing the kids, or plan to spend all day outside. Most of the people who travel to this beach also stay in the campground or on the hillside at the Maho Bay Camps, usually creating a crowd tourists, families, and couples. This beach has a tendency to get very crowded, especially in the high tourist season.

However, you will need to be sensitive to the fact that even if there are definitely a few conveniences for you to enjoy at Maho Bay, it will be located inside an area that sees many visitors. If you seek to avoid the crowds, it will be an appropriate cause to plan ahead against other visitors, like showing up earlier in the day. If not, you may run the risk of all the amenities being overcrowded.

What's Nearby


Visitors will find this beach on the North West coast of St. John; the area is home to other attractions such as America Hill Ruins, which is a quarter mile away.

If you're interested in combining culture with your visit to the beach, you may want to consider visiting Ivan Jadan Museum, one of the closest museums, and might make a nice break from the midday sun.

Beaches are a great attraction to visit, but there will be more options available in the Virgin Islands. The table below lists other attractions that are nearby.

Activities and Attractions Near Maho Bay
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
America Hill Ruins Historical Site 0.3 mi. SW St. John
Windberg Ruins Historical Site 0.4 mi. E St. John
Cinnamon Bay Plantation Ruins Historical Site 0.6 mi. WSW St. John
Fredriksdal Plantation Ruins Historical Site 0.7 mi. ENE St. John
Fredriksdal Ruins Historical Site 0.7 mi. ENE St. John
Annaberg Plantation Historical Site 1.1 mi. ENE St. John
Catherineberg Ruins Historical Site 1.3 mi. SW St. John
Petroglyphs Historical Site 1.7 mi. S St. John
Par Force Estate Ruins Historical Site 1.8 mi. S St. John
Reef Bay Sugar Factory Ruins Historical Site 1.9 mi. S St. John
Denis Bay Ruins Historical Site 2.0 mi. W St. John
Rebellion Gut Historical Site 2.0 mi. SW St. John

Cities and Towns

Cities near Maho Bay include Coral Bay, which is certainly not a bustling region, but it will be a nice day out for guests wanting to scope out the local scene. From the beach, Coral Bay is a quick trip away, about two miles (three and a half kilometers).


Whether or not you encounter many other people will vary depending on the time of day, particularly in the high season when hotels overflow with tourists. This beach is not near many large hotels, but it's sometimes enjoyed by visitors staying at smaller accommodations in the area.

You'll find a reasonable selection of hotel rooms within driving distance. A few of the more convenient choices are displayed in the following table.

Accommodations near Maho Bay
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Trinidad Charlie's Cottages 2.8 mi. SW Lodge
Caneel Bay Resort 2.8 mi. WSW Resort
The Westin St. John Resort 3.4 mi. SW Resort
Estate Lindholm 3.5 mi. WSW B & B
Inn at Tamarind Court 3.5 mi. WSW Hotel
St. John Inn 3.6 mi. SW Hotel
Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel 3.7 mi. WSW Hotel
Hillcrest Guesthouse 3.7 mi. SW Guest house
Garden by the Sea 3.8 mi. SW B & B
Coconut Coast 3.9 mi. SW Hotel


It's no problem if you start to get the munchies while hanging out at Maho Bay; you'll have your pick of different cuisines and dining styles nearby. T'ree Lizards Restaurant is one of the closest eateries. The restaurant offers both American and Caribbean cuisines. You could take a cab or probably walk to this restaurant since it's only a short distance away.

Nearby restaurants are listed in the following table.

Restaurants near Maho Bay
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
T'ree Lizards Restaurant (340) 776-6330 American, Caribbean Very Casual 0.6 mi. WSW
Chateau Bordeaux Restaurant (340) 776-6611 Caribbean Informal 0.9 mi. SE
Pickles in Paradise (340) 693-5140 American Very Casual -- --
Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis (340) 774-1030 Caribbean, Soul Food, Vegetarian Very Casual 2.2 mi. ESE
Wok on the Beach (340) 693-3313 Asian, Asian Fusion, Pan Asian / Pacific Rim -- 2.2 mi. ESE
Aqua Bistro (340) 776-5336 Caribbean, International Informal 2.2 mi. ESE
Full Moon Cafe (340) 774-9033 American Informal 2.2 mi. ESE
Indigo Grill (340) 774-4433 Caribbean Very Casual 2.2 mi. E
Coral Bay Cones -- Eclectic Very Casual 2.2 mi. E
Skipper's Brit Pub (340) 777-4653 British, Caribbean Informal 2.3 mi. ESE
Skinny Legs (340) 779-4982 American Very Casual 2.3 mi. E
Gwen's (340) 642-0338 Caribbean Very Casual 2.4 mi. SW

Other Beaches

Of course, you'll find plenty of other beaches on St. John, so perhaps you can explore more than one.

If you like the ambiance at this beach, you might also like Great Cruz Beach, situated a short taxi ride away. Others might prefer Francis Bay Beach, which could provide a little more opportunity for excitement, and is closer to other tourist hot-spots. It's located a half mile to the north.

Another option worth considering is Scott Beach, located two and a half miles to the west.

Of course, there are lots of other things to do and see in the Virgin Islands; then again, a trip to Maho Bay could end up a family favorite.


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