Trunk Bay is St. Johns most famous and most photographed beach. It regularly makes it into the world’s top beach rankings. It also is one of the busiest beaches on St. John especially during the high season (winter months). And it is the only beach that actually charges an admission fee, unless you get there before 8:30AM or close to sunset (4 PM).
It definitely is a must-see beach and arguably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world, but don’t reduce St. John to Trunk Bay, there are so many other beaches with a very different and distinct character. Trunk Bay is a gorgeous, palm-fringed beach that is great for snorkeling, swimming and sunbathing. The water is usually calm so it is a great beach for kids and people not so comfortable with swimming (plus the life guards add to your safety).
Further to being the only beach which charges admission it is also the only beach we do not recommmend for Paddleboarding or Kayaking, the life guards will yell at you if you sit on the beach with a board or paddle through the swimming zone. You can however paddle into Trunk Bay from adjacent beaches like Jumbie, just stay outside of the marked swimming zone.
Why Trunk Bay?
Trunk Bay is said to have its name from the trunk turtle that once nested there. Trunk Turtles where very popular with Pirates since they could be kept alive on ships to later serve as food. The beauty of Trunk Bay comes from the white sand, the turquiose water, the palm-tree lining but what makes it so unique is that from above you can clearly make out it’s heart-shaped form. You can make it out from the Trunk Bay overlook but for the perfect heart you need to be in the air above it.
Trunk Bay History
Trunk Bay has been a relative recent addition to the National Park, purchased by the NPS in 1959 from the Boulon Family who used to run a guest house there.
Trunk Bay Snorkeling
There is a Snorkel Trail which is 200yards long and takes about half an hour to snorkel, there are signs underwater marking whatever you are supposed to see. It begins close to the life guard stand.
How to get to Trunk Bay Beach St. John
Take North Shore Road starting past Mongoose Junction. You will pass Caneel Bay Resort, Hawksnest Beach, Jumbie Beach and the next beach is Trunk Bay, you cannot miss the big brown signs on the left of the road that lead to the parking lot.
Trunk Bay Beach Facilities
- Underwater snorkeling trail
- Lifeguard on Duty
- Retail Shop and gear rental
- Picnic Facilities
- Restrooms, Shower and Changing Rooms
To experience the true beauty of Trunk Bay Beach, go there early in the morning and avoid it on days where there are cruise ships on St. John and St. Thomas. You can check the cruise ship schedule here.