Trunk Bay

Getty Images/Fuse

Virgin Islands National Park

St John

VI National Park covers two-thirds of St John, plus 5650 acres underwater. It’s a tremendous resource, offering miles of shoreline, pristine reefs and 26 hiking trails. The park visitor center sits on the dock across from the Mongoose Junction shopping arcade. It’s an essential first stop to obtain free guides on hiking, birdwatching, petroglyph sites and ranger-led activities. Green iguanas, geckos, hawksbill turtles and wild donkeys roam the landscape. A couple of good trails leave from behind the center.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby St John attractions

1. Honeymoon Beach

0.58 MILES

Honeymoon is a mile's hike from the park visitor center along the Lind Point Trail. The handsome, white-sand strand is often empty and quiet – except on…

2. Hawksnest Bay


The bay here is a deep circular indentation between hills with a narrow ring of sand on its fringe. The beach is usually pretty quiet. Amenities include a…

3. Peace Hill

1.68 MILES

Look for the Peace Hill sign as you drive between Hawksnest and Jumbie Bays. Pull into the small parking lot, and if you’re willing to walk 0.1 miles you…

4. Jumbie Bay

1.85 MILES

Jumbie is the word for ghost in the Creole dialect, and this secluded beach has a plethora of ghost stories. Look for the parking lot on North Shore Rd…

5. Trunk Bay

2.19 MILES

This long, gently arching beach is the most popular strand on the island and the only one that charges a fee. There are showers, toilets, picnic…

6. Cinnamon Bay

2.87 MILES

Mile-long Cinnamon Bay is St John’s biggest beach and arguably its best. At research time, however, it was a sad sight: Cinnamon's archaeological museum,…

7. Maho Bay

3.68 MILES

The water here is shallow and less choppy than elsewhere (good for snorkeling and kids), and it’s a good bet you’ll see green sea turtles in the early…

8. Sapphire Beach

3.72 MILES

Sapphire is among St Thomas' prettiest white-sand beaches, and accordingly it draws a big tourist crowd. Amenities include water-sports rentals …