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 edge of the island, You should think about stopping by even if you aren't staying nearby. Though not very urbanized, many tourists choose this beach as a way to find some peace and quiet.

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.

The snack bar here is the ultimate convenience if you need a cold drink, or something to hold you over until dinner. On some days, it may be possible to try local specialties from one of the mobile vendors who typically set up on this shoreline.

Picnic tables are some of the most useful amenities found here——especially around lunchtime.

Yes, public restrooms will be available here. You'll appreciate that showers are available, so you can rinse off the sand. You'll find the waters off-shore to be clear enough for snorkeling, so purchase or rent some equipment if you are looking to do some underwater exploration. 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.

Be mindful that Trunk Bay's location is rather congested, meaning the availability of certain amenities is likely to be affected.

More Details

The National Park does charge an entrance fee of $5 per person for a day pass. You can also purchase an annual pass for $20 per person, or a family annual pass for $30. Seniors can purchase a lifetime pass for $10.

What's Nearby


Trunk Bay is always a lovely side-trip when you're in the area. Look for it on the North West coast of St. John. It is near Denis Bay Ruins, which is located a half mile to the west, and it is one of the the area's interesting attractions.

If you want to mix culture with your visit to the beach, you might want to consider visiting Ivan Jadan Museum, one of the closest museums, giving beachgoers the chance to escape that hot midday sunshine.

Being able to choose from some activities besides the beach will ensure you won't run out of things to do. The attractions closest to this beach are listed in the following table.

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
St. John Experience Gallery Art Gallery 2.1 mi. SW 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

Cities and Towns

Trunk Bay is close to Cruz Bay, so travelers staying in town won't have far to go. The closest town is Cruz Bay, which is a neat region that strikes a balance between island tranquility and urbanization. From the beach, Cruz Bay is a fairly short distance away, maybe two miles (three and a half kilometers).


The number of other vacationers sharing this coastline can vary widely, depending on time of day, season, and how many people have booked rooms nearby. You can generally expect to encounter quite a few vacationers who are staying in the area.

Vacationers will find a fairly wide range of lodging options to choose from near Trunk Bay. The most accessible of which can be viewed in the table below.

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
The Westin St. John Resort 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


If someone in your group starts to get a little hungry at the beach, it's alright because you'll have a variety of choices within a few miles. One of the nearest places to eat is T'ree Lizards Restaurant. The restaurant serves both American and Caribbean dishes on the menu. Some guests will choose to take a cab here, while others will want to walk as it's not far off the beach at all.

The following table lists restaurants closest to this beach.

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
Chateau Bordeaux Restaurant (340) 776-6611 Caribbean Informal 2.0 mi. E
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
Margarita Phil's (340) 693-8400 Mexican Very Casual 2.2 mi. SW

Other Beaches

Needless to say, there are other beaches on St. John besides Trunk Bay worth visiting.

If you like the ambiance at this beach, you might also like Cruz Bay Beach, found within a mile or so. Others might prefer Cinnamon Bay, which offers a little more opportunity for excitement, and isn't far from other tourist hot-spots. It's found a quarter mile to the east.

Another location you may want to try is Scott Beach, which is located one and a quarter miles to the west.

There are plenty of natural wonders to behold in the Virgin Islands, so visiting Trunk Bay is just one way you can enjoy a sunny afternoon.


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