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Honeymoon Beach is one of the most stunning locations to spend the day unwinding on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Due to its amenities and location near Cruz Bay, this beach is an excellent choice for day trippers from St. Thomas. Honeymoon Beach is the perfect size for comfort, while also providing simplicity and seclusion.
Visitors seeking a premium experience will love this beach’s parking lot shuttle service and cabana rentals. If luxury isn’t your style, it’s totally free and easy to hike to Honeymoon Beach from Cruz Bay. This extra effort delivers rewarding trail views over Cruz Bay, as well as a bonus beach.
With the convenient amenities provided by the Caneel Bay Beach Club, you could easily spend a full day lounging, sipping cocktails, and grabbing lunch at Honeymoon Beach. As we’ll discuss below, there are free and paid options for visitors that lead to equally enjoyable experiences. Without further ado, here is everything you need to know before visiting St. John’s Honeymoon Beach, from getting there to things to do.
What to Know About Honeymoon Bay Beach in St. John, USVI
Things to Know
- This is the first beach you’ll reach from the Cruz Bay Ferry Dock via North Shore Road (less than 10 minutes).
- Amenities include bathrooms, showers, a small restaurant, shop, and chair rentals. Both cash and credit card are accepted.
- There is no entry fee to visit Honeymoon Bay Beach.
- Be sure to bring reef safe sunscreen. All other varieties have been outlawed to prevent further damage to the coral reefs in Virgin Islands National Park. While you can purchase this on-island at shops and grocery stores, it’s much cheaper online.
- You can only reach Honeymoon Beach via a free hike or paid shuttle (more on this below).
Honeymoon Beach is where you’ll find some of the most stunning waters within Virgin Islands National Park on St. John. On its calmest days, this beach is reminiscent of a giant swimming pool, except for all the boats anchored just off shore. The water is magnificently translucent and radiates the glow of gemstones, like topaz and aquamarine.
Ahead to your left, you can see red cliffs along St. Thomas and boats docked at the island’s Sapphire Beach Marina. The small island straight ahead is Lovango Cay, which boast a chic, secluded resort.
Honeymoon also has one of the longest stretches of sand on the island (Cinnamon Bay Beach is the longest), making is lovely for walks along the water. Tiptoe into the gentle surf to see tiny colorful fish and larger white varieties swimming close to shore.
Parking at Honeymoon Beach
As beautiful as Honeymoon Beach is, it’s not the most straightforward to reach by vehicle. Here’s the thing: if you want to drive to honeymoon beach, you have to park at the entrance to the Caneel Bay Resort (free) and then pay to take a shuttle down to the beach ($6/person one way or $12/person round trip).
The same goes for taking a taxi; they will drop you off at the Caneel Bay Resort entrance to catch the shuttle, which runs every 15 minutes.
Unfortunately, walking to the beach through the resort grounds has been forbidden since Hurricanes Irma and Maria badly damaged the property in 2017. Don’t want to pay? We’ll discuss how you can reach Honeymoon Beach for free next!
Hiking to Honeymoon Beach
Instead of taking the shuttle, you can hike one mile (each way) on the Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach. The trail is mostly flat, although the terrain can be a bit rocky and bumpy.
While the trail offers a decent amount of shade, some parts are exposed, so wear a hat and sunscreen. Expect to sweat profusely if you do this hike in the summer heat while also carrying items like a cooler and beach chairs.
This hike is rewarding with lovely views over Cruz Bay. Plus, there’s the fact that the trail ends in not one, but two beaches (you’ll reach tiny Salomon Beach first). You can park for free at the Cruz Bay Visitor Center – just ask for a parking pass inside (open Monday-Friday from 8:15am to 1:30pm).
Be careful where you park, as many spaces in the lot are reserved. If the visitor center is closed, you are still probably okay to park in the NPS-marked spots near the bathrooms. Aaron and I did this the last time and double checked with a local to make sure no one would tow us!
Amenities at the Caneel Bay Beach Club
All the amenities at Honeymoon Beach are provided by the Caneel Bay Beach Club. While Virgin Islands Ecotours used to set up camp at Honeymoon Beach, the company left this site in 2022, taking the beach’s watersports, concession stand, and chair rentals with them. In early 2023, the Caneel Bay Beach Club swooped in to take its place, minus the watersports.
The company was started by a former customer of Caneel Bay who got married at the Caneel Bay Resort and feels a special connection to it. Despite its continued closure, the resort’s friendly hospitality is present at the beach club, with many of its former employees working there.
So what can you expect? Basically, if you want to catch the shuttle, rent chairs, or buy food, that will all be through the beach club. You can reserve chairs and cabanas online in advance.
Chairs rentals cost $25, but there are also half-day ($75/person) and full-day ($150/person) passes that come luxury perks, like beach service and towel usage. Renting a chair is especially ideal on a hot, sunny day, as these rentals dominate the best shade spots on the beach. To maintain the beach’s uncomplicated feel, no watersports rentals are available at Honeymoon Beach.
While the website and some reviews indicate that non-beach club guests (ie. hikers) have to stay in designated spots on the beach, that was not my experience. Aaron and I set up right next to the club’s lounge chairs (although we had zero shade).
Avoiding St. John’s Crowds at Honeymoon Bay Beach
For as nice of a beach as it is, it seems surprising that Honeymoon doesn’t tend to get as crowded as it’s counterparts, like the Trunk Bay or Maho Bay beaches. It helps that Honeymoon is not the easiest beach to reach, since getting there requires the extra step of hiking or taking the shuttle.
However, even on a busy day, Honeymoon Beach is spacious enough to absorb St. John’s high season crowds, which typically show up between late December and mid-April. Therefore, you should have plenty of room to spread out.
Best Things to Do at Honeymoon Beach, St. John
Despite some of its bells and whistles, Honeymoon is quite a low-key beach. You cannot rent a kayak or paddle board and there is better snorkeling elsewhere. Simply put, it’s a great place to relax and have a chill, rejuvenating beach day.
Here are all the best things to do at Honeymoon Beach:
Swim at Honeymoon Beach
The water at honeymoon is so dreamy and perfect, being practically waveless and crystal clear. It’s the perfect place to bring a pool noodle to float around while basking in your tropical surroundings.
Chill in a Cabana
For ultimate privacy and relaxation with a luxury feel, spring for a cabana just footsteps away from the water. It’s definitely a splurge, costing $800 for up to 4 people, but you get the cabana for the day and are greeted with a welcome bottle of wine. Additional guests may come for an extra $150/person.
You will have to bring your own snorkel gear, but otherwise, what better way to appreciate Honeymoon’s pristine waters? Head towards the rocks on either side of the beach for the best underwater scenery. Otherwise, you won’t see much besides white sand and the occasional school of fish.
The Caneel Bay Beach Club offers a food menu that is perfect for snacks or a light lunch. Highlights include conch fritters, a mahi mahi sandwich, a burger, and a selection of alcoholic beverages. Tables and chairs are available for your party to dine with their toes in the sand.
Buy a St. John Souvenir at Honeymoon Beach
Just beyond the concession stand is an open air boutique in a little beach shack. You are free to wear your swimsuit as you browse for rash guards and cover ups. This is also a great place to find a souvenir or gifty item to bring back home.
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That concludes this write up about Honeymoon Beach, or one of the most beautiful full-service beaches on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Whether you choose to hike or grab the shuttle, the glistening water that awaits is totally worth the effort. All that’s left to do is chill out and enjoy the view with a cocktail in hand.