Trunk Bay

Photo credit: © Lawrence Weslowski Jr |

Trunk Bay is commonly considered one of the best beaches in the world and is certainly one of the most popular in the area. In fact, in 2013 Travel + Leisure ranked this beach as one of the "Best Beaches on Earth." Located on the island of St. John, the beach is situated in the Virgin Islands National Park and benefits from the island's natural ambiance.

Located on the island of St. John, 2.3 miles northeast of downtown Cruz Bay, Trunk Bay is on the North West coast of the island, You should consider dropping by even if you aren't staying in the vicinity. Though it's removed from some of the more heavily traveled areas, many visitors find this destination worthwhile since it has such a relaxed atmosphere.

How to Access The Beach

Trunk Bay is easily accessible by car from Route 20. Cars will need to stop at the entrance to pay the entry fee.

Amenities and Ambiance

Trunk Bay, one of St. John's more popular spots, is the picture-perfect stretch of white shores and blue waters often used as the image for all of St. John. An underwater snorkeling trail with signs pointing out coral and tropical fish is extremely popular with all ages and should not be missed. This family-friendly beach charges an entrance fee of four dollars, but the amenities and stunning setting are well worth the trip. If sustainable tourism is important to you, note that in 2014 Trunk Bay had its Blue Flag Certification renewed. This award is given to beaches the exhibit compliance in 32 different criteria that show case its dedication to creating an eco-friendly environment.

Many visitors find themselves ordering a drink or snack from the concessions here, even if they move off-site for lunch. Sometimes, visitors will be able to order lunch from one of the mobile vendors who are typically found at this location.

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

Yes, public restrooms will be available here. Shower facilities are available here, so you can rinse off before heading back to your hotel. The water in the area is of good snorkeling quality, so bring your gear if you want to check out what lies beneath the surface. Trunk Bay is extremely popular with tourist groups, making the crowds large and constant. Look elsewhere for seclusion - this is St. John's most famous beach, and is often filled with vacationers. However, you'll want to keep an eye on your group and look out for pickpockets among the crowds.

You should remember that the area surrounding Trunk Bay is an urban area, which means you may find quite a few people vying for the use of the same facilities.

What's Nearby


This spot is on the North West coast of St. John. It's located near Denis Bay Ruins, which is seen a half mile away, and it is one of the popular spots in the area.

If you're interested in mixing culture with your visit to the beach, you may want to consider visiting Ivan Jadan Museum. This museum is located two miles away, and might make a nice break from the midday sun.

The beach is one type of attraction you can visit, but there's even more to see during your stay. The following chart includes some other attractions close-by.

Activities and Attractions Near Trunk Bay
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Denis Bay Ruins Historical Site 0.5 mi. W St. John
Catherineberg Ruins Historical Site 0.7 mi. SE St. John
Cinnamon Bay Plantation Ruins Historical Site 0.9 mi. E St. John
America Hill Ruins Historical Site 1.2 mi. E St. John
Rebellion Gut Historical Site 1.3 mi. S St. John
Windberg Ruins Historical Site 1.8 mi. E St. John
Petroglyphs Historical Site 2.1 mi. SE St. John
Bajo El Sol Art Gallery 2.1 mi. SW St. John
Best of Both Worlds Art Gallery 2.1 mi. SW St. John
Friends of the VI National Parks Environmental, Conservation and Wildlife Organizations 2.1 mi. SW St. John
Fredriksdal Plantation Ruins Historical Site 2.2 mi. E St. John
Ivan Jadan Museum Museum 2.2 mi. SW St. John

Cities and Towns

Not far away you'll find Cruz Bay, a town which is not an overly urbanized area, but still has its fair share of things to do. From the shore, Cruz Bay is just up the road, about two miles (three and a half kilometers).


Whether this spot is full of bodies or practically empty will depend on how many hotel guests decide to make the trip as well. Typically, you can expect to encounter a fair number of other guests who are staying close by.

Visitors will find a pretty nice assortment of resort and hotel options to choose from in the area that surrounds the beach. The most convenient of which can be viewed in the following table.

Accommodations near Trunk Bay
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Caneel Bay Resort 1.4 mi. WSW Resort
Trinidad Charlie's Cottages 1.6 mi. SSW Lodge
Estate Lindholm 2.1 mi. SW B & B
Inn at Tamarind Court 2.2 mi. SW Hotel
St. John Inn 2.3 mi. SW Hotel
Westin Resort, St. John 2.3 mi. SW Resort
Cruz Bay Boutique Hotel 2.3 mi. SW Hotel
Hillcrest Guesthouse 2.4 mi. SW Guest house
Garden by the Sea 2.5 mi. SW B & B
Coconut Coast 2.6 mi. SW Hotel


Don't worry if your stomach starts rumbling while sunbathing at Trunk Bay; you'll have plenty of places to dine, without having to go too far. T'ree Lizards Restaurant is one of the closest eateries. This restaurant has both American and Caribbean dishes on the menu. You and your group can get to this restaurant and start eating in just a few minutes since it's not far off the beach at all.

The table below lists nearby restaurants.

Restaurants near Trunk Bay
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
T'ree Lizards Restaurant (340) 776-6330 American, Caribbean Very Casual 0.8 mi. E
ZoZo's Ristorante (340) 693-9200 Italian Fine Dining 1.3 mi. SW
Gwen's (340) 642-0338 Caribbean Very Casual 1.4 mi. S
Turtle Bay Estate House (340) 776-6111 Contemporary Fine Dining 1.4 mi. WSW
Caneel Beach Bar & Grill (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American Informal 1.4 mi. WSW
Caneel Beach Terrace (340) 776-6111 ext. 334 American, International Informal 1.4 mi. WSW
North Shore Deli (340) 777-3061 American, Caribbean Very Casual 2.1 mi. SW
Ocean Grill (340) 693-3304 Caribbean, Contemporary Informal 2.1 mi. SW
Asolare Restaurants (340) 779-4747 Asian Fusion, Caribbean Fine Dining 2.1 mi. SW
Sun Dog Cafe (340) 693-8340 American Very Casual 2.1 mi. SW
Virgin Fire (340) 777-3473 Caribbean, Creole Informal 2.1 mi. SW
Margarita Phil's (340) 693-8400 Mexican Very Casual 2.2 mi. SW

Other Beaches

There are multiple beaches to discover on St. John, of course, so perhaps you can explore more than one.

If you like the ambiance at this beach, you might also like Cruz Bay Beach, situated just a little ways away. However, if that's not exactly what you're looking for, Cinnamon Bay could provide a few more possibilities for excitement, and is closer to other tourist hot-spots. You'll find it a quarter mile to the east.

Another sun-drenched spot to consider is Scott Beach, located one and a quarter miles to the west.

Trunk 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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