Month Visited: January
Our family is big on fun and excitement, and we love a great adventure and spending time outdoors. There are also times when we like to relax and take things easy though, and enjoy comfortable activities and peaceful settings. We like to visit out of the way and remote places as well as the usual tourist spots, and remote beaches with quiet and solitude are just the thing we are looking for on some days. Our children at the time of this itinerary: 3 children-Boy age 14 years, Girl age 10 years, Boy age 7 years.
Special tips and warnings about this trip:None
Address: North Shore Rd., Rte. 20, Cinnamon Bay, St. John 00831
Description: Cinnamon Bay Beach is one of the top beaches in St. John to visit, and this choice is popular with locals and tourists both. The sandy beach is quite long, and there are gorgeous views of the surrounding area that are incredible and may take your breath away. There is a campground in the national park next to this attraction and water activities are ideal in this area. Snorkeling is great and purple triggerfish are one of the common sights here. There is a hiking trail close by for those who want to stay active, and wind surfing conditions are usually excellent in the afternoons. There are showers and toilet facilities available.
Our Experiences: We arrived at Cinnamon Bay Beach early in the morning. And there was almost no one here. We were thrilled to see a decent stretch of sand for the kids to play on and explore, and the water was calm and perfect for swimming and snorkeling. The kids had a lot of fun playing in the sand, and then we went snorkeling. Even our 7 year old was confident in his ability to snorkel in these waters and he ventured out pretty far into the water. During the morning hours we did not see many fish when we were snorkeling, but when we tried again around 1pm there were a lot more fish to see. Everyone but the 7 year old went all the way out to the island that faces the beach, and we saw a stingray as well as many other types of marine life. There were bathrooms available and even a place to play volleyball. The kids really loved this stop and we recommend it to others.
Admission: $4 per adult, Children 16 and under are free
Description: Trunk Bay is one of the most popular spots to visit on St John, and it is the most beautiful beach in the world according to the National Geographic Society. There are extensive coral reefs situated off shore, and an underwater trail allows visitors to explore the coral reef during snorkeling. The waters are warm and extremely clear, and the beach has soft white sand that is fine and very clean. This is considered one of the top beaches in St. John and there are many amenities that include restrooms, a snack bar, lifeguards, showers, and more. Anyone who comes to the island should visit Trunk Bay at least once. The water is filled with an amazing variety of marine life, with colorful schools of fish and other animals in large numbers as well as the coral reefs.
Our Experiences: We decided to visit Trunk Bay with some reluctance. All of the guidebooks and travel tips talk about the beauty of this beach but also about the many cruise ships that stop here. We have enjoyed a number of cruises and expected to find the beach packed with passengers but this was not the case. We usually prefer beaches that are more remote and less crowded, but we decided to give Trunk Bay a chance and allow the kids to see what is called the most beautiful beach on earth. We were very glad that we made the decision to come here, and it was the highlight of our trip to St. John and far better than any of the other beaches we had seen so far. The snorkel trail itself was not that great, the signs were not that helpful, but the actual snorkeling experience in these waters was fantastic. The beach was gorgeous and very smooth, with clean sand that was softer than we expected. There were not any crowds, but we did not arrive at this stop until after 2pm so this may be a factor. The restrooms and snack bar were a nice addition. This stop was worth the entrance fee, and it received the top rating from everyone in our family.
We rented a car (actually 2 cars) for this trip on St. Thomas from Discount Car Rental. We found them to be pleasant to deal with, and their rates were competitive. We chose to rent on St. Thomas, because it was more economical to rent on St. Thomas than St. John (based on prices we were quoted at the time), and if we had to take cabs from the airport in St. Thomas to the ferry or car barge, that also would have cost more money. So all around it made sense for us to rent on St. Thomas. and we were pleased with our choice of Discount Car Rental. I would definitely recommend calling them for a quote. At the time we traveled, they advised us that they do service the cars that go to St. John (not all St. Thomas rental companies do that). Confirm this with anyone that you rent with.