Reef Bay Beach

Reef Bay Beach is a long and empty beach that offers visitors privacy and plenty of room to explore; both on land and in the water with a snorkel.

Positioned on the southern coast of the island of St. John, 3.3 miles east of downtown Cruz Bay, You might want whether or not you are staying in the vicinity. Reef Bay Beach is a distinguishable relaxation spot because it's perfect for escaping over-crowded hangouts in the town proper. Many of the other beaches you'll come across in the Virgin Islands may be just as breezy and refreshing, but tend to be more crowded because they're frequented by tourists looking for a lively scene.

How to Access The Beach

If you want to make it to the beach, you are up for a nice long walk. You will need to hike the Reef Bay Trail from Centerline Road just west of Bordeaux Mountain Road. You can cut the walk down by a bit if you take the Sieban Road Jeep Trail all the way to the end, but you will still need to walk a little.

Amenities and Ambiance

While the views out to sea are some of the best on St. John, visitors will want to explore the land too. There are plenty of ruins to be seen around the beach, so bring some walking shoes and see what there is to see.

Please note that public restrooms are not available. Happily, the off-shore waters are clear enough for snorkeling, so bring along some equipment if you've been hoping to get in some underwater exploration.

What's Nearby


This pleasant stretch of sand known as Reef Bay Beach is on the South coast of St. John; this area boasts other attractions such as Reef Bay Sugar Factory Ruins, which is not very far away, so some will want to take a cab, while others will find it a nice walk.

To some, beaches and museums may see like an unlikely combination, but a quite a few vacationers find that museums like Ivan Jadan Museum (located just a quick taxi trip away) offer rare insight into Caribbean life and a whole new way to view the Virgin Islands' traditions and culture.

If you can't wait to see as many of the Virgin Islands' attractions as possible, you'll find the closest ones in the following table.

Activities and Attractions Near Reef Bay Beach
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Reef Bay Sugar Factory Ruins Historical Site 0.6 mi. NNE St. John
Par Force Estate Ruins Historical Site 0.7 mi. NNE St. John
Petroglyphs Historical Site 0.7 mi. N St. John
Lameshur Bay Ruins Historical Site 1.1 mi. E St. John
Rebellion Gut Historical Site 1.6 mi. NW St. John
Catherineberg Ruins Historical Site 1.9 mi. NW St. John
Cinnamon Bay Plantation Ruins Historical Site 2.2 mi. N St. John
America Hill Ruins Historical Site 2.3 mi. N St. John
Windberg Ruins Historical Site 2.5 mi. N St. John
Fredriksdal Ruins Historical Site 2.7 mi. N St. John
Fredriksdal Plantation Ruins Historical Site 2.7 mi. N St. John
Emmaus Moravian Church Historical Site 2.8 mi. NE St. John

Cities and Towns

Reef Bay Beach is close to Coral Bay, so you can explore the city as part of your day at the beach. Cities near Reef Bay Beach include Coral Bay, which isn't a congested area, and it will be a pleasant day trip for those wanting to get a taste of local life. From the shore, Coral Bay is a fairly short distance away, about two and a half miles (four kilometers).


The number of other people sharing spots in the sand can vary widely, depending on everything from the time of day to how packed the nearby hotels are. You can generally expect to see a fair amount of travelers staying at the closest accommodations.

Visitors will find a pretty nice selection of resort and hotel options to pick from in the vicinity of Reef Bay Beach. The closest of which can be seen below.

Accommodations near Reef Bay Beach
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Trinidad Charlie's Cottages 2.3 mi. W Lodge
Westin Resort, St. John 2.7 mi. W Resort
Caneel Bay Resort 3.1 mi. WNW Resort
St. John Inn 3.2 mi. W Hotel
Inn at Tamarind Court 3.2 mi. W Hotel
Hillcrest Guesthouse 3.4 mi. W Guest house
Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel 3.4 mi. W Hotel
Estate Lindholm 3.4 mi. W B & B
Garden by the Sea 3.4 mi. W B & B
Coconut Coast 3.5 mi. W Hotel


Even after a restful afternoon at the beach, the day isn't truly complete until you walk to a nearby restaurant, where you can try foods you've never heard of before, within just a few miles of this shoreline. Gwen's is one of the closest eateries. The restaurant has Caribbean cuisine.

A few nearby dining options are shown in the table below.

Restaurants near Reef Bay Beach
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Gwen's (340) 642-0338 Caribbean Very Casual 2.1 mi. WNW
T'ree Lizards Restaurant (340) 776-6330 American, Caribbean Very Casual 2.3 mi. NNW
Shipwreck Landing Restaurant & Bar (340) 693-5640 American, Caribbean Informal 2.4 mi. ENE
Aqua Bistro (340) 776-5336 Caribbean, International Informal 2.4 mi. NE
Coral Bay Caribbean Oasis (340) 774-1030 Caribbean, Soul Food, Vegetarian Very Casual 2.4 mi. NE
The Tourist Trap (340) 774-0912 American, Caribbean Very Casual 2.6 mi. E
Pickles in Paradise (340) 693-5140 American Very Casual -- --
Lemongrass (340) 693-8000 ext. 6010 International Very Casual 2.7 mi. W
Cafe Concordia -- American, Caribbean Informal 2.7 mi. E
Cruz Bay Prime (340) 693-8000 International Fine Dining 2.7 mi. W
The Beach Cafe (340) 777-4220 International Very Casual 2.7 mi. W
Sweet Plantains (340) 777-4653 Caribbean, Creole Very Casual 2.8 mi. NE

Other Beaches

There are other beaches on St. John you might like besides Reef Bay Beach.

If you like the ambiance at this beach, you might also like Great Cruz Beach, found within a mile or so. Still, if you're searching for something a little more active, you might enjoy people watching at Lameshur Bay. You'll find it one and a quarter miles to the east.

Another option worth considering is Caneel Bay, located three miles to the west-northwest. 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.

While the Virgin Islands has many alluring attractions, Reef Bay Beach is both a relaxing, sunny hangout and a stunning natural feature.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.