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.

Situated 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 might want whether or not you are staying very close. The beaches in the Virgin Islands aren't usually known for their peace and quiet, but you'll find Trunk Bay to be a little calmer than most, which makes it an excellent attraction for those of you who don't want to wander too far away, but would rather avoid the most hectic parts of town.

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 concession stand on-site could come in handy, even if you plan to have lunch elsewhere. Depending on the season and time of day, you may also be able to buy food from one of the local vendors who typically set up on this shoreline.

Vacationers will love the convenience of having picnic facilities accessible for use.

Restrooms are available at Trunk Bay. Shower facilities are available here, so you can clean up before leaving. Fortunately, the water here is clear enough for snorkeling, so bring along some gear if you're hoping to see 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.

With that said, it is important be sensitive to the fact that while you can find options for comforts on location if you go to Trunk Bay, it happens to be found within an area popular for visitors. If busy-beaches are not something you want, it's a decent reason to think ahead against other visitors, maybe showing up earlier in the morning. If you do not, you possibly run the risk of all those comforts being already claimed by other guests.

Other Information

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


Visitors will find this beach on the North West coast of St. John; it's located near attractions like Denis Bay Ruins, which is a half mile away.

If you want to combine culture with your visit to the beach, you should plan a trip to Ivan Jadan Museum. It's located relatively close to Trunk Bay, giving you a chance to see, and learn about, even more of the area.

Beaches are 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
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

Cruz Bay is nearby and is not an overly urbanized area, but still has its fair share of things to do. From the beach, Cruz Bay is a fairly short distance away, maybe two miles (three and a half kilometers).


The mood here——social and lively, or virtually empty—— will depend on if you visit during a popular season, which is often indicated by how busy the hotels are. Typically, you can expect to encounter quite a few visitors from lodgings in the area.

There is a pretty nice range of hotels to pick from in the area that surrounds Trunk Bay. The most accessible of which have been listed in the table that follows.

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


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, without having to go far. One of the closest places to eat is T'ree Lizards Restaurant. The restaurant serves both American and Caribbean dishes on the menu. When you start to get hungry, you won't need to wait too long to eat since it's just a short distance away.

The following table provides a list of 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
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
Viva La Revolution Cantina (340) 777-3473 Mexican Informal 2.1 mi. SW

Other Beaches

Visitors searching for the perfect beach on St. John will have lots of options besides Trunk Bay.

Travelers who like this beach might also enjoy Cruz Bay Beach, found just a little ways away. Still, if you're searching for something a little more active, you might like Cinnamon Bay. It's found a quarter mile to the east.

Another location you may want to try is Scott Beach, which is located within a short distance.

Perhaps Trunk Bay is the most convenient coastline for you to visit, but some travelers itch to explore more; in which case you should keep looking for a beach or natural attraction that suits your vacation style.


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