How Far Away is the Beach?

 

One of our most frequently asked questions is, “How far away is the beach from our Island Abodes suite?” The answer is simple: it’s closer than you think! When you arrive on island for a vacation full of adventure and relaxation, one of the first things you’ll want to do is throw on a bathing suit and head out to explore. St. John is home to gorgeous white sand beaches surrounded by the sparkling turquoise Caribbean Sea, so jump on in! And, most of our beaches are in the National Park, which means everyone has to drive to get to them! 

How far away is the beach from our Sunset Serenade Suites?

Great Cruz Bay Beach/ The Westin

Many guests stay with us to attend a wedding at the Westin or have boat trips planned with Cruz Bay Watersports from Great Cruz Bay Beach. Both properties are very close to the resort. You are also welcome to visit the Westin to enjoy a mealspa services, tennis and workout room (all for a fee). Great Cruz Bay Beach is also where Cruz Bay Watersports is located.

Distance: .5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals

Cruz Bay Beach

The beach in downtown Cruz Bay is always a lively destination, as it is home to beach bars, restaurants, charter boats, and the ferry dock. While we don’t recommend swimming here, it does provide a picturesque backdrop for sunsets, beach strolls, and happy hour. Cruz Bay Beach is the perfect place to mingle and experience the eclectic, easy vibes Love City is known for!

Distance: .9 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

Chocolate Hole Bay

Adjacent to Hart Bay you’ll find Chocolate Hole Bay, which provides the stunning bay views seen from the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite. There’s a lovely bay to swim in, a place to lounge and relax, plus enchanting views of harbored yachts and unique rock formations.

Distance: 1.1 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

Hart Bay

Hart Bay is one of the closest beaches to the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite, both located in Chocolate Hole. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming.

Distance: 1.6 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites

North Shore Beaches 

Take a day (or three!) to explore along the North Shore of St. John and you won’t be disappointed. Nearly twenty stunning beaches span the coastline, all protected by the USVI National Park Service. Each beach has a unique personality, from quaint Salomon Bay to the world-famous Trunk Bay to sea turtle filled Maho Bay. Bonus: the panoramic views from North Shore Road are exquisite!

Distance:  1.1 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to lower Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance:  1.5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to upper Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 2.5 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Caneel Bay

Distance: 3 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Hawksnest Bay

Distance: 3.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Oppenheimer/Gibney Beach

Distance: 3.7 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Dennis Bay/Peace Hill

Distance: 3.8 miles from Sunset Serenade Rentals to Jumbie

Distance: 4.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Trunk Bay

Distance: 5.4 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Cinnamon Bay

Distance: 6.3 miles from Sunset Serenade Suites to Maho Bay

How far away is the beach from our Chocolate Hole properties?

Hart Bay

Hart Bay is one of the closest beaches to the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite, both located in Chocolate Hole. Here you’ll find a beautiful sandy beach, perfect for sunbathing, snorkeling, and swimming.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Chocolate Hole Bay

Adjacent to Hart Bay you’ll find Chocolate Hole Bay, which provides the stunning bay views seen from the Down Yonder Pool Villa and the Garden Suite. There’s a lovely bay to swim in, a place to lounge and relax, plus enchanting views of harbored yachts and unique rock formations.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Great Cruz Bay Beach/ The Westin

Many guests stay with us to attend a wedding at the Westin or have boat trips planned with Cruz Bay Watersports from Great Cruz Bay Beach. Both properties are very close to the resort. You are also welcome to visit the Westin to enjoy a mealspa services, tennis and workout room, (all for a fee). Great Cruz Bay Beach is also where Cruz Bay Watersports is located.

Distance: .5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

Cruz Bay Beach

The beach in downtown Cruz Bay is always a lively destination, as it is home to beach bars, restaurants, charter boats, and the ferry dock. While we don’t recommend swimming here, it provides a picturesque backdrop for sunsets, beach strolls, and happy hour. Cruz Bay Beach is the perfect place to mingle and experience the eclectic, easy vibes Love City is known for!

Distance: 1.4 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals

North Shore Beaches 

Take a day (or three!) to explore along the North Shore of St. John and you won’t be disappointed. Nearly twenty stunning beaches span the coastline, all protected by the USVI National Park Service. Each beach has a unique personality, from quaint Salomon Bay to the world-famous Trunk Bay to sea turtle filled Maho Bay. Bonus: the panoramic views from North Shore Road are exquisite!

Distance: 1.6 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to lower Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 2 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to upper Lind Point Trailhead to hike to Salomon and Honeymoon Beaches

Distance: 3 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Caneel Bay

Distance: 3.5 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Hawksnest Bay

Distance: 3.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Oppenheimer/Gibney Beach

Distance: 4.2 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Dennis Bay/Peace Hill

Distance: 4.3 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Jumbie

Distance: 4.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Trunk Bay

Distance: 5.9 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Cinnamon Bay

Distance: 6.8 miles from Chocolate Hole Rentals to Maho Bay

Breakfast at Cruz Bay Landing

Cruz Bay Landing BreakfastIs there anything better than a satisfyingly delicious breakfast after a peaceful island sleep? If there is, please let us know! We love trying out all of the tasty breakfast and brunch spots on St. John, and one of our top picks for a casual morning munch is the incredible Cruz Bay Landing.

Cruz Bay Landing offers a great variety of breakfast options, ranging from sweet blue banana pancakes to savory veggie omelets. Whether you choose a traditional breakfast bennie, classic egg sandwich, or giant cinnamon swirl pancakes with bacon, you won’t leave hungry. Our personal favorite is the signature ‘Landing Skillet’.  If you’re looking to feel good before spending the day at the beach, treat yourself to a healthy and filling California omelet accompanied by some of the best guacamole we’ve had on St. John.

 

Need your daily caffeine fix before heading out on an island adventure? Look no further than Cruz Bay Landing’s specialty craft coffee menu. Lattes, espresso, and cocktails, oh my! The drink menu features refreshing coffee concoctions, both with and without alcohol. Choose to sip on a hot Drunken S’more made with S’more vodka, coffee, milk, and chocolate syrup or cool down with a Snow Cap on the rocks.

Coffee Located just steps from the Cruz Bay ferry dock, we never hesitate to recommend a visit to Cruz Bay Landing. While enjoying a mouthwatering meal at a reasonable price, you can savor your last moments in paradise as you wait for the ferry, or stop by during your stay to try out the awesome coffee bar, where Danielle or Cassie will serve you up! Open seven days a week at 7am, this breakfast hot spot certainly has our stamp of approval! Be sure to sit at the bar and enjoy the company of our friends, Eric, Boo and Heather! 

St. John Beach Report: Hawksnest

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Breathtaking view from the Hawksnest beach access entrance

So you just got your rental car, checked into your Island Abodes suite or villa, and are all settled in. That means it’s beach time, and Hawksnest is the closest North Shore beach with easy parking, accessibility, and facilities.

 

hawksnest2
A view of paradise!

Hawksnest is located right off North Shore Road (Route 20) about 2 miles from Cruz Bay. From Sunset Serenade Suites, it’s located about 3 miles away (12 minute drive), and from Island Abodes’ Chocolate Hole villas it’s about 3.5 miles away (14 minute drive). You can also get there by taxi, which costs, per person, approximately $7-$8 from Chocolate Hole, and $6-$7 from our Sunset Serenade Suites. There’s a large free parking lot located steps away from the beach, and there are also bathrooms, covered pavilions and charcoal grills.

The beaches at Hawksnest, like so many on St. John, are gorgeous. Just because it’s located close to town does not take away from its breathtaking beauty. This beach shares a bay with Oppenheimer and Gibney beaches, and is home to a lengthy shoreline. In the mornings, the shoreline stretches out for lots of sun exposure, and as the day goes on, more shade is available. There are also plenty of trees to place your

hawksnest3
Evening views from Hawksnest Beach.

chairs and towels under while you snorkel or swim. Sometimes, you may see a little surf at Hawksnest because it is an unprotected bay, but nothing too wild, making it a fine place to float or for children. The snorkeling in Hawknest is a bit limited, but still an enjoyable activity. Overall, this is a great place to relax, swim, and enjoy your first day on St. John.

Staying with Island Abodes not only gives you beautiful views of Cruz Bay or Chocolate Hole, but with a rental car, you’ll have all the freedom in the world and a lovely home to return to after your many adventures. A visit to Hawksnest is the perfect way to kick off your vacation and relax on the beach!

 

Get Ready to Paddle the Park

Our Island Abodes owner and team member, Robert, participating in the 2015 Paddle the Park Race!
Our Island Abodes owner and team member, Robert, participating in the 2015 Paddle the Park Race! Go Robert!

It’s time for one of Island Abodes’ favorite St. John special events: Paddle the Park SUP race. This event is for all levels of paddleboard enthusiasts and celebrates the beauty of St. John. The race starts and ends in beautiful Maho Bay on St. John’s spectacular North Shore.

This year, the race will be held on Sunday, November 6, 2016 starting at 9am. Check-in for registered participants will begin at 7:30am, a pre-race briefing will start at 8:30am, and then the whistle blows at 9am, kicking off the race! Since this race is geared for all levels of participants, there are a variety of courses to choose from. The Short Course is beginner level going from Maho Beach to the National Park Service floating fee station and back (1 mile); the Open Course is moderate difficulty going from Maho Beach to Whistling Cay and back (3 miles); and the Elite Course is for the hardcore competitors going from Maho Beach to Whistling Cay, to and around Cinnamon Cay, and back (5.5 miles). There will also be a special category for children under the age of 12.

Reaching the finish line!
Reaching the finish line!

To register early for this awesome event, go online, call 340-779-4940, or visit Connections,

Caribbean Surf Co., or the Friends of the Park Store starting September 19th through October 28th. Early registration costs $60 for adults and $30 for children under 18. General registration begins October 29th through November 4th and costs $70 for adults and $35 for children under 18. Finally, late registration takes place at the Friends of the Park Store ONLY on November 5th from 9am to 2pm costing $80 for adults and $40 for children under 18. Entry registration fees include a race jersey, event goodie bag, and lunch during the awards ceremony. Awards for male, female, and children participants will be given.

If you’re vacationing with us on these dates or love SUP, this is great event to attend on St. John. Board rentals are available upon registration, but rentals are limited. Register today to take on the best SUP race in the Virgin Islands!

 

St. John Hiking Guide: America Ruin Trail

St. John is home to some of the best hiking in the world.

The gorgeous America Ruin Trail overlook of Maho Bay.

There are trails for every taste: short, long, sandy, rocky, mountainous, and even some that end at spectacular beaches. To kick off our trail series, we wanted to describe one of our favorites, the America Ruin Trail. We were lucky enough to have local professional photographer, Yelena Rogers, hike the trail with us to capture the beautiful views and moments on top of the world!

The trail starts 100 yards past Cinnamon Bay’s entrance on North Shore Road. The trailhead is marked by a sign for “Cinnamon Bay Trail” (there’s another sign along the way where the two trails diverge). It’s adjacent to the Cinnamon Bay Ruins and there is a place for one or two cars to park.This is a great hike to tack on to a day at Cinnamon Bay Beach.

Starting point of the hike on the Cinnamon Bay Trail.

The ruins were once home to the Danish Cinnamon Bay Estate (a/k/a America Hill) sugar cane plantations and bay rum distilleries, the most prosperous on island. Today, the remnants of the old rum factory are still prominent, and at the top of your hike, you’ll be able to perch on the ruins of the Estate boiler room and gaze over to Maho Bay, Francis Bay and Tortola. These unforgettable views, with the ruins and forests all around, make you feel completely lost in time.

We rate this hike as moderately difficult. The start is quite steep, then it’s about 30 minutes to the top with moderate incline, rocky points, and passable foliage. While hiking, you’ll see tons of bay leaf trees. Be sure to grab a leaf to sniff; the bay rum distilleries used these leaves in the early 20th century to make colognes and lotions. Be sure to bring plenty of water.

Our intern, Mary, overlooking the beautiful Maho Bay from the top of the America Ruin Trail.

All Island Abodes units come equipped with tons of island information, including trail guides, making it easy to explore during your stay on St. John. While having a car makes it easy to get to the trail, a taxi to Cinnamon Bay would work great too. Hiking is a must-do while on St. John, and this trail cannot be missed! If you loved the pictures in our blog, be sure to visit Yelena Rogers Photography’s blog and website to book your photo shoot during your next St. John vacation.