12 Best Beaches in St. Thomas for Snorkeling

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brewers bay

The island of St. Thomas in the U.S. Virgin Islands is a jewel embedded into the gorgeous canvas known as the Caribbean Sea. It’s a must-visit destination for anyone wishing to enjoy paradise.

St. Thomas is perhaps best known for its wide assortment of spectacular snorkeling beaches. Travel in any direction on the island, and you’re bound to stumble upon breathtaking stretches of sand and sea at some point.

That means you can partake in all kinds of water-based activities. Snorkeling is one particular activity that’s popular among locals and tourists alike. It’s certainly worth a try if you’re in St. Thomas, USVI.

Featured in this article are the best beaches in St. Thomas for snorkeling. You won’t need your passport to visit those snorkeling beaches if you’re a U.S. citizen from the mainland U.S. or Puerto Rico. Check them out and see which beaches call you.

Best Beaches in St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

1. Brewers Bay

brewers bay

We will take a closer look at Brewers Bay to kick off our list of the best beaches for snorkeling. This beach is one of the most peaceful on the island.

Locals head there to relax, but it’s still mostly unknown to tourists. Brewers Bay is one of the ideal snorkeling spots because of how the beach stretches into the water.

As you venture out from the beach into the crystal clear waters with your snorkel gear, you’ll find that the sand is your guide. That’s why Brewer’s Bay is one of the better spots for tourists who are still new to snorkeling.

Plunge your head under the water and prepare your snorkel gear. An abundance of marine life greets you. Sea turtles and tropical fish are plentiful in this area, and they don’t mind you joining them in the water.

As soon as you’re done snorkeling and marveling at the sea life for the day, you can head back to this local beach to relax. Enjoy the beautiful scenery and boat trips presented by Brewers Bay, and let the sounds of the water fill your surroundings.

2. Buck Island 

buck island 2

The wintery weather of December can be challenging to deal with. Sometimes, you want to escape the cold and head somewhere with more idyllic conditions, which await you on Buck Island.

You can find Buck Island just two miles south of Saint Thomas Island. Take the Buck Island boat tours to see the entire area.

This area differs slightly from the other snorkeling beaches because it generally has a more rugged feel. More plants are lining the site, and even the coastline is rocky.

Buck Island offers a welcome change of pace from the rest of the beaches in St. Thomas. Go snorkeling, and you’ll find its unique beauty extends to the beach.

As you snorkel near Buck Island, you will stumble upon coral reefs and enormous coral heads. Take a long look at those coral reefs because they are marvels of nature. The examples of sea life, such as green sea turtles and colorful fish you’ll encounter there, are also remarkable.

There’s even a shipwreck located close to Buck Island. That shipwreck cove has become a part of the island landscape and is an intriguing addition.

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3. Christmas Cove

The origins of Christmas Cove’s name are unclear. The most common theory is that Christopher Columbus and his crew were anchored on the place now known as Christmas Cove on Christmas Day.

Although the origins of its name remain unclear, the beauty of Christmas Cove is effortless for anyone to behold. No one will be surprised to learn that this place is regarded as one of the top snorkeling beaches in St. Thomas.

Dive into the waist-deep water while you’re near that fabulous beach. The gorgeous waters are inviting, and you’ll be greeted by all kinds of marine life (from sea turtles to more) while snorkeling.

The sea creatures will likely not pay much attention to you. That’s fine because seeing them in their natural habitat is already an incredible experience.

Once you’ve had your snorkeling, you can surface and spend the rest of your day on the beach. Just look around, and you’ll inevitably become fond of Christmas Cove and enjoy a Catamaran charter trip.

4. Coki Beach

Coki Beach St.Thomas
Image by Gruepig / CC BY-SA 3.0

Sometimes, you want to head to the beach to relax and unwind with your beach chair. Other times, leading to the beach is fun because you can join a big party! If you’re interested in the latter, plan a trip to Coki Beach.

Coki Beach is one of the most popular snorkeling spots in St. Thomas. You can find all kinds of entertainment while you’re exploring Coki Beach. That place is also one of the best spots for souvenirs because of the beach shop there.

Food trucks are also parked all over the Beach. Pick up some delicious food there and gain a new appreciation for local cuisine. Snorkeling is also a popular activity at Coki Point. Found near the beach is a diverse collection of marine life. Get to know those Coki Point locals better by spending the day with some great snorkeling.

You can also visit Coral World Ocean Park while staying at Coki Beach. Walk over there if you wish to learn more about the marine life in the area. Learn more about the tropical fish and colorful coral near the area.

See Related: Best Beaches in Minnesota to Visit

5. Dorothea Bay

Palm Trees at Dorothea Bay, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands
Source: Shutterstock

Travel hacking is worth trying if you want to start visiting some dream destinations without draining your bank account. One place that deserves to be on your list of dream destinations is Dorothea Bay in St. Thomas.

Some may consider Dorothea Bay the ideal tropical getaway because it is peaceful. You can avoid the cruise ship crowds while you’re there. Dorothea Bay also features one of the best beaches for snorkeling.

The beach is lined on all sides by thick forests and rocky coastlines. While staying at Dorothea Bay, it almost feels like you’ve stumbled upon an undiscovered piece of the U.S. Virgin Islands.

Snorkeling there is a lot of fun because the water isn’t crowded. You can continue snorkeling for a while and not run into anyone. That type of experience is something many people are after. Dorothea Bay is not a tourist hotspot by any means. Instead, it’s where you can escape it all and be one with nature. 

6. Honeymoon Beach

Honeymoon Beach, Water Island

Unsurprisingly, Honeymoon Beach is among the most popular spots in the U.S. Virgin Islands. Appropriately enough, it’s one of the top honeymoon destinations in the Caribbean.

Honeymoon Beach provides visitors with a relaxed atmosphere. It’s the perfect place for couples who want a stress-free vacation. Still, you should know that Honeymoon Beach can offer way more than that—the local above is one of the best beaches for snorkeling.

Move away from the famous beach and explore the mesmerizing underwater world nearby. Perfect if you are searching for sea turtles and other marine animals!

There are multiple snorkeling spots found along Honeymoon Beach. If one place is too crowded, you can walk to the next area and try your luck there. No matter where you go snorkeling, you can expect to find a beautiful underwater world in front of you. 

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7. Hull Bay

After a blissful night’s sleep at your hotel, you should quickly go to Hull Bay if you’re interested in snorkeling. Hull Bay is one of the best beaches for snorkeling. So, why is Hull Buy in the running to be the best snorkeling spot in the Virgin Islands?

This protected bay features rough terrain that should prove helpful to adults just starting to get into snorkeling in St. Thomas. You can head to the dive shops near the area to get the best snorkeling lessons. Snorkel gear rentals are also available there.

They even offer guided snorkeling trips to see the best underwater spots that Hull Bay provides. Another reason why snorkeling is so much fun at Hull Bay is because you can head into the water at night. The underwater world near Hull Bay transforms under the cover of moonlight. Go and see it for yourself if you ever get the chance. 

See Related: Most Beautiful Beaches in the World

8. Lindquist Beach

Lindquist Beach St. Thomas
Image by Gruepig / CC BY-SA 4.0

This list of the top St. Thomas beaches would not be complete without Lindquist Beach. Lindquist Beach is a great place to visit if you want to stay active during your vacation.

Going snorkeling in St. Thomas while you’re there is a great idea. Get acquainted with marine life on the water and check out the beautiful sights there.

You can also stay near the surface and swim along the calm waters. If you’re traveling with friends, this area is also an excellent spot for enjoying watersports. If you want to try out that hobby., hang out with local surfers there.

There’s also nothing wrong with relaxing on beach chairs if you’ve had your fill of snorkeling! On the weekends, Lindquist Beach turns into party central for St. Thomas. That’s why it has become a popular vacation destination for younger travelers. Enjoy the famous Lindquist Beach parties and soak in the incredible atmosphere! 

See Related: Where To Stay In St. Thomas

9. Magen’s Bay

Magen's Bay, St. Thomas
Image by David / CC BY 2.0

Search online for the top-rated beaches in St. Thomas Virgin Islands, and you will inevitably be directed to Magen’s Bay. This place has everything you need for a tropical getaway.

Are you looking to take part in some water-based activities? Magen’s Bay has you covered. You can go snorkeling or swimming near the area. If you’re interested in kayaking or touring the site on a paddleboat, you can also find those for rent in Magen’s Bay.

Bring your kids along and try out the attractions in the area. There are also lifeguards found all over the beach. They are ready to assist you if anything goes wrong while you’re out with your family.

Following a long day of enjoying the attractions in and around Magen’s Bay, you can unwind by enjoying a nice meal. Magen’s Bay offers a fantastic selection of food options, so you should be able to satisfy your cravings. The food trucks have some delectable treats at affordable prices. 

10. Sapphire Beach

Sapphire Beach In St. Thomas

Still wondering where to snorkel in St. Thomas Virgin Islands? If so, you don’t need to look further because Sapphire Beach is the place for you.

The layout of the reefs surrounding Sapphire Bay is a big reason why it’s such a good snorkeling spot. The reefs can be a bit rocky, but they are also shallow. Because of the shallow reefs, they can serve as easy entry points into the water.

You can carefully navigate the coral reef as you find a suitable spot to dive under. Bring your friends along during the snorkeling trip. Even if they don’t have a ton of experience snorkeling just yet, they can learn quickly while exploring the calm waters near Sapphire Beach.

Sapphire Beach is also one of the more accommodating areas in St. Thomas. Good food and drinks are never too far away, no matter where you are. Just have your picnic tables ready, too. Making the walk back to your hotel will also not be an issue. 

11. Secret Harbor Beach

Travel to the south side of St. Thomas and find Secret Harbor Beach. It’s a place best known for being a hub of water-based fun!

Much like Sapphire Beach, Secret Harbor Beach is an ideal spot for tourists interested in trying snorkeling for the first time. The rocky reefs are double as easy entry points for first-time snorkelers.

Snorkeling is not the only way to have fun at Secret Harbor Beach. You can also swim over to the floating raft in the middle of the bay that doubles as a dive center. Climb onto that raft and start practicing your dives. Alternatively, you can relax there and soak up the sun.

Secret Harbor Beach is also a great place to try out scuba diving. You can partner with the scuba diving instructors there to learn more about that delightful hobby. Go on an underwater adventure while you’re scuba diving! 

See Related: Best Black Sand Beaches Around the World

12. Vessup Bay

Vessup Bay St.Thomas
Image from TripAdvisor

To complete this list, let’s talk about Vessup Bay. Vessup Bay takes on two different identities. During the week, Vessup Bay is sparsely populated. It’s the beach you want to visit if you wish to snorkel, swim, or relax for the entire day.

Walk on the soft sand and enjoy some beach games there. Fishing is another popular pastime for tourists visiting Vessup Bay. Vessup Bay is a haven for relaxation during the weekdays.

On the weekends, Vessup Bay becomes one of the top destinations in St. Thomas for parties. You’ll find families, groups of friends, and tourists from around the world living it up in Vessup Bay. The party atmosphere in Vessup Bay is unlike anything else, and it’s worth experiencing yourself if you get the opportunity.

There is no shortage of breathtaking locales, spectacular other beaches, and terrific diving spots in St. Thomas. You have to figure out which one’s your favorite.

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Kyle Kroeger
WRITTEN BY

Kyle Kroeger

Kyle Kroeger is the Founder and Owner of ViaTravelers.com. He is a full-time traveler and entrepreneur. Kyle started ViaTravelers.com to help travelers experience a fully immersive cultural experience as he did initially living in Italy. He's a converted finance nerd and Excel jockey turned world wanderer (and may try to get lost on purpose). After visiting 12 countries and 13 national parks in a year, he was devoted to creating and telling stories like he'd heard.

Plus, after spending more time on airplanes and packing, he's learned some incredible travel hacks over time as he earned over 1 million Chase Ultimate Rewards points in under a year, helping him maximize experiences as much as possible to discover the true meaning of travel.

He loves listening to local stories from around the world and sharing his experiences traveling the globe. He loves travel so much that he moved from his hometown of Minneapolis to Amsterdam with his small family to travel Europe full-time. Read more about his portfolio of work.

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