The Virgin Islands are known for beautiful beaches of soft white sand and azure seas. Best of all, every beach is open to the public and, with a few exceptions, free. Even private resorts—which often command some of the prettiest stretches of sand—are required to offer public access to their beaches.
  • Magens Bay Beach (St. Thomas): This long, half-mile stretch of soft sand, boasting remarkably calm waters, is the most popular and picturesque beach on St. Thomas. Two peninsulas protect the shore from erosion and strong waves, making Magens an ideal spot for swimming. Expect a crowd in the high season. 
  • Lindquist Beach (St. Thomas): A lovely, undeveloped beach on the East End, Lindquist is only reachable by a dirt road; it’s a favorite of locals who make Sundays here a lively beach day. 
  • Trunk Bay (St. John): This beach, which is protected by the U.S. National Park Service, is a favorite with cruise-ship passengers. It's famous for its underwater snorkeling trail and is consistently ranked in magazine polls as one of the top 10 Caribbean beaches.
  • Caneel Bay (St. John): Site of a famous resort, Caneel Bay is a string of seven beaches stretching around Durloe Point to Hawksnest Caneel. Rosewood Hotels, which operates Caneel Bay Resort, admits day guests.
  • Sandy Point (St. Croix): The biggest beach in the U.S. Virgin Islands, Sandy Point is a beauty—the final, redemptive scene of “The Shawshank Redemption” was filmed here. Because the beach is a protected reserve and a nesting spot for endangered sea turtles, it’s open to the public only on Saturdays and Sundays from 10am to 4pm. 
  • Cane Garden Bay (Tortola): A scenic beauty, Cane Garden Bay is the most popular beach on Tortola. Its translucent waters and sugar-white sands attract crowds (especially when cruise ships drop off van loads of beachgoers), but it offers plenty of sand to play on. Across the water is Jost Van Dyke; rising behind the beach are green hillsides dotted with villas. 
  • Smuggler’s Cove (Tortola): This fetching West End beach is reached by driving down a (largely) dirt road through a grove of mature palm trees. It’s got good snorkeling but no facilities.

  • Savannah Bay (Virgin Gorda): Just around the corner from the beach at Little Dix Bay is this often-deserted gem, with gin-clear waters and a crescent slice of soft white sand.

  • Anegada: The second-largest island in the B.V.I. is the most remote of the Virgins and home to only 200 permanent citizens. It’s the island chain’s only coral island as well, which makes it one big, beautiful stretch of (largely undeveloped) powdery sand.

  • White Bay, Guana Island (Guana Island): This pretty-as-a-picture ivory beach is fringed in palm trees and rising green hills.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.