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Best Beaches in St. Croix are Off the Beaten Path

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St. Croix is the largest of the U.S. Virgin Islands. In 1917 St. Croix along with the islands of St. John and St. Thomas were purchased by the United States from the Danish for military reasons. It is still a U.S. territory today with it's largest town, Christiansted. St. Croix was once an agricultural powerhouse in the Caribbean, mainly thanks to its sugar plantations. However this period ended with the rapid industrialization of the island's economy in the 1960s.

Today the main industries are tourism, agriculture and oil refinery. St. Croix is home to the Cruzan Rum Distillery which for many years used locally grown sugar cane to produce a single "dark" style rum. The quality and smoothness of the Cruzan Estate Rums has won more than 30 Spirit Awards. Love, love love this Rum! Check out our "Homemade Spiced Rum" recipe!

Natives are called Crucians or "Cruzans". That is if you are a "bahn ya" (born here). These people are gregarious and fun loving, as can be witnessed at their "Jump-Up" festivals in Christiansted and the monthly local "Sunset Jazz" events on Frederiksted Beach. We attended a Jump-Up and the Carnival in January and was blown away by the the colorful costumes, carnival floats, people and music.

The many Victorian buildings, Fort Christiansværn built in 1749 and rum distilleries makes for interesting exploration. There are several marinas on St Croix. The most widely known and visited is located at Salt River Bay National Historical Park and Ecological Preserve. Bio bays are extremely rare with "only seven year-round lagoons known to exist in the Caribbean". At night, the dinoflagellates "living lights" are often seen as tiny sparkles or as individual flashes of light as water is disturbed. It should be considered a natural wonder of the world. It is quite spectacular and well worth a visit.

St. Croix holds some of the Caribbean's best kept secrets: St. Croix beaches.

The easiest access to the best beaches in St. Croix is by boat. It is the perfect way to experience these hidden gems. No matter which side of the island you choose to explore, one or more of these most secluded beaches will offer a tranquil experience to remember.

Along St. Croix's Northern Shore

Hams Bluff

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A completely natural and wild beach. You won't find any modern day services here, so make sure you're prepared for your day in the sea and sun with plenty of water and sunscreen. The waves also can get pretty wild, but the scenery and seclusion are worth a visit and a few photos to post on Facebook to make all your friends jealous. If you are ashore, access from land is tricky, but there is a little road to the left of Hams Bluff Road that can get you there.

Shoys Beach

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On the northern shore of St. Croix toward the east end, Shoys Beach is a quiet stretch of white sand with calm waters. It's great for swimming and offers a small reef for snorkelers to explore. In fact, many have described snorkeling here as the best on the island. Parts of the beach are a little rocky, but there is plenty of sand to find a spot to spread out your towel perhaps under the shade of a seagrape tree. 

Coakley Bay Beach

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The natural state of this beach is evident as you find sea grass speckling the shore. Here you can enjoy the beautiful turquoise waters of the Caribbean and a stunning view of Buck Island. The bottom of the ocean can get a little rocky here so you may want to bring along water shoes, but there is plenty of excellent snorkeling available. 

St. Croix Beaches on East End

Turtle Beach on Buck Island

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Stealing a secluded experience on Turtle Beach is all about timing. You'll want to visit during the off hours of the tourist charters that file in. But it is well worth the planning for a chance to see what is considered one of the most beautiful beaches the Caribbean. Snorkeling here is an experience of a lifetime. There is an underwater trail with plaques and markers, and the sea life that you'll see will provide lifelong memories.

Cramer Park

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An excellent public beach that remains pretty well isolated during the week. But if you're beaching it on the weekend, try finding isolation elsewhere as it is popular with the locals and their families. The water near the shore is shallow and calm, making it an ideal spot for swimming, splashing, and playing for young family members. This haven offers park-like amenities such as bathrooms and picnic tables along with plenty of shade to keep you comfortable during your day of unwinding.

Jack's & Isaac's

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These beaches are protected by St. Croix's Nature Conservatory. Besides the nesting turtles, you are likely to find yourself alone. From land, access is only available on foot. Soft powder sand and warm turquoise waters make for a picturesque Caribbean experience. You won't have amenities, but you will have plenty of opportunities for snorkeling and relaxation alone. 

Grapetree Bay

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Arrive early to catch the sunrise from this peaceful beach spot. Because it is a secluded beach, you'll not find amenities so be sure to bring your water, beach mat, and book, or whatever will keep you comfortable ashore. Swimming here is excellent and snorkeling is good, but finding fish is sometimes a challenge due to the seagrass on the sea floor. Nonetheless, if you're looking to relax in isolation, you're sure to find a good patch of sand here. 

On the Southern Shore

Ha'penny (pronounced Hey Penny)

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Longing for a romantic walk on the beach? Ha'penny beach is the answer. Leave footprints in the long stretches of white sand as you walk hand in hand while you take in the stunning Caribbean scenery and sounds. This is a BYOE (bring your own everything) beach as there are no amenities available. You might happen upon a spotted eagle ray as you snorkel around the east end of the beach, but enter the water in a sandy spot to avoid stepping on sea urchins lurking in the rocks. They are totally harmless unless you step on them. Keep an eye open for nesting turtles (but please do not disturb them). Locals flock to Ha'penny on the weekends, so visit on a weekday and you may have the place to yourself. 

West End Beaches of St. Croix

Sandy Point

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This is the Caribbean we dream about. Crystal blue waters, bright white sand, and personal tranquility are found here. This spot is actually a National Wildlife Refuge set aside to protect the endangered and majestic leatherback sea turtles. Due to nesting seasons, you can only visit on the weekends September through May. Some things you won't find here include shade and facilities, so make sure you come prepared. 

Sprat Hall Beach

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Sunsets, snorkeling, swimming, and solitude await you at Sprat Hall beach. You may find the beach to be a little rocky, but we think this only adds to the natural charm. A day spent here is limited only by the amount of water and sunscreen you bring. Lie under the shade of the native foliage or bask in the sundrenched sandy shore. You may never want to leave.

Although St. Croix is not as well-known or visited as its sister U.S. Virgin Islands, this is exactly why we love it. Charm and peace abound and you can have it all. You'll go home relaxed and transformed having experienced one of the world's most magnificent wonders. It's your choice whether to share the secrets of St. Croix or keep them all to yourself.

St. Croix Marinas and Anchorages

St. Croix has several marinas to choose from. There are also several areas of the island that offer anchorages and moorings for day use and overnight stays.

Marinas: Green Cay Marina / Salt River Marina / St. Croix Marine / St. Croix Yacht Club

Designated Mooring and Anchoring Areas for St. Croix: Christiansted Harbor / Frederiksted Harbor / Chenay Bay / Cotton Garden Bay / Salt River / Teague Bay

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