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 island of St. John, You should think about stopping by regardless of whether you are staying in the vicinity. The Virgin Islands' beaches are hardly known for being secluded, but Maho Bay is less exposed than the others, which makes it an excellent attraction for those of you who'd like a less hectic scene, but one that's not completely empty.

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 concession stand located here is another lunchtime alternative. Sometimes, visitors will be able to order lunch from one of the mobile vendors who typically set up shop here.

You'll be able to use picnic tables at this beach, which are perfect for setting up your carry-out food, or just lounging under the sun.

Unfortunately, restrooms will not be available here, which is something to consider if you plan to spend a full day in the sun. 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.

Even so, you should keep in mind that even if there exists at least one or two conveniences available if you go to Maho Bay, it can be located inside a tourist hotspot. If you would rather stay free of busy-beaches and crowded shores, it will be a decent motivator to plan your visit out against other visitors, maybe heading to the beach earlier when it is a little cooler. If you wait around, you possibly find all those comforts becoming overwhelmed.

What's Nearby


Beachgoers will find Maho Bay on the North West coast of St. John; the area hosts attractions such as America Hill Ruins, which is only a short distance away, so some will want to take a cab, while others will find it a nice walk.

If you want to combine a little culture with your trip to the beach, you should plan a trip to Ivan Jadan Museum, a lovely museum found three and a half miles to the west-southwest, so it could be a welcomed alternative to hot afternoon activities.

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

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

Maho Bay is very close to Coral Bay, so a trip into the city——for snacks, drinks, and other attractions——is a convenient option. Cities near Maho Bay include Coral Bay, which isn't a congested area, and it can be an interesting destination for guests hoping to get a taste of the local scene. From the coast, Coral Bay isn't far off, maybe two miles (three and a half kilometers).


The crowdedness of the shoreline can vary widely, depending on everything from the time the sun sets to how full the nearby hotels are. There are not many large hotels nearby, but it's often visited by visitors from some of the area's smaller options.

Beach-goers will find a good range of resorts and hotels to choose from close to Maho Bay. The most convenient of which are listed below.

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
Westin Resort, St. John 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


Even after a restful afternoon at the beach, the day isn't truly complete until you visit a nearby restaurant, where you'll be able to sample the local chefs' favorite dishes, within just a few miles of this shoreline. One of the nearest places to eat is T'ree Lizards Restaurant. This restaurant offers both American and Caribbean cuisines. You and your group can get to this restaurant and start eating in just a few minutes as it's just a little ways away.

Restaurants closest to this beach are shown below.

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
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
Sweet Plantains (340) 777-4653 Caribbean, Creole Very Casual 2.2 mi. E
Aqua Bistro (340) 776-5336 Caribbean, International 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
Skinny Legs (340) 779-4982 American Very Casual 2.3 mi. E
Gwen's (340) 642-0338 Caribbean Very Casual 2.4 mi. SW
Shipwreck Landing Restaurant & Bar (340) 693-5640 American, Caribbean Informal 2.7 mi. SE
ZoZo's Ristorante (340) 693-9200 Italian Fine Dining 2.7 mi. WSW
Turtle Bay Estate House (340) 776-6111 Contemporary Fine Dining 2.8 mi. WSW

Other Beaches

There are plenty of beautiful beach locations to choose from on St. John, so Maho Bay is not your only option.

If you like the ambiance at this beach, you might also like Great Cruz Beach, situated a brief car or taxi trip away. Still, if you're searching for something a little more active, you might find that Francis Bay Beach is just right. It's found a half mile to the north.

You might also want to visit Scott Beach, which is located within a couple of miles.

Perhaps Maho Bay is the most convenient coastline for you to visit, but some travelers itch to explore more; in which case you should find a beach with a seclusion factor that suits you.


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