The US Virgin Islands Best Guide

What’s Happening at Honeymoon Beach, St. John: The 2024 Beach Guide

Honeymoon Beach is located on the North Shore of St. John, in the US Virgin Islands. The beach has soft, white sand on the shore and in the water. The water is typically calm, and it usually appears to be a spectacular turquoise color. It’s a nice beach for wading and swimming. Honeymoon also offers good snorkeling.

Honeymoon Beach is a pretty beach with great views! From the beach, you will enjoy a panoramic view that includes St. Thomas in the distance, the nearby islands of Grass Cay, Mingo Cay, and Lovango Cay, boats cruising by, and a great variety of blues and teals of the ocean. From the water, your view inland is of the sandy shore and the lush green hillsides of St. John Island.

One of the unique things about Honeymoon Beach, which in the past helped keep it quiet and remote, is that you cannot drive there. You can hike, ride a shuttle, or take a boat. The Virgin Islands National Park has a trail head on the western side of Honeymoon Beach; that’s where you will land if you hike in. The former Caneel Bay Resort property includes the eastern side of Honeymoon Beach. And that’s where you will find a concession area with food, drinks, souvenirs, and other amenities. Let’s have a closer look at all things related to Honeymoon Beach.

Honeymoon Beach, St. John

Getting to Honeymoon Beach, St. John

How Do I Get To Honeymoon Beach, St. John

There are a few ways to get to Honeymoon Beach; a couple are on land and a couple on the sea. You can hike to Honeymoon Beach, either on the Lind Point Trail or the Caneel Spur Trail. Both are well-maintained trails within the Virgin Islands National Park. Another land-based option for getting to Honeymoon Beach is to drive to the former Caneel Bay Resort parking lot, or take a taxi there and pay for the Caneel Bay Beach Club shuttle to take you from the parking lot area to Honeymoon Beach. It is $6 one way and $12 roundtrip for the shuttle. If you are bringing your own chairs, expect to pay an additional transportation fee for taking the chairs on the shuttle.

If you want to visit Honeymoon Beach by sea, you can take a boat charter that includes a stop at Honeymoon Beach. Or, if you possess some boating skills, you can rent a dinghy to explore the North Shore beaches on your own, including Honeymoon.

How long is the hike to Honeymoon Beach?

The Virgin Islands National Park trails that go to Honeymoon Beach are Lind Point Trail and Caneel Spur Trail. Most people use the Lind Point Trail, and it’s about 1.3 miles each way. It takes about 20–30 minutes at a regular walking pace to get from the trailhead in Cruz Bay to Honeymoon Beach. Here is more information about both trails.

  • Lind Point Trail to Honeymoon Beach: The trailhead for Lind Point Trail is just behind the Virgin Islands National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay. The scenic hike is about 1.3 miles each way and takes about 20–30 minutes to walk. It leads to two beaches: Solomon Bay and Honeymoon Beach. The trail is easy, not very steep, but there are some inclines; it is partially shaded; it has good signage; and it is well maintained. If you are staying on St. John and driving to the trailhead, keep in mind that there is limited public parking at the National Park Visitor Center. If you do park behind the Visitor Center, be sure to go in and get a parking pass.
  • Caneel Spur Trail to Honeymoon Beach: The second hiking option for getting to Honeymoon Beach is taking the Caneel Spur Trail. The Caneel Spur Trail is a little steep, but its short at 0.2 miles. You can drive to the trailhead or take a taxi there.

    The Caneel Spur to Honeymoon Beach trailhead is just off North Shore Road (Route 20). If you are driving from Cruz Bay, go past the Cruz Bay Overlook, and then turn left just before the Virgin Islands National Park entrance sign. There are usually a few spots to park, around four or five spots. The small parking area, however, is currently closed due to a construction project. So, there isn’t any available parking at the trailhead.

    Once at the right location, you will need to walk past the National Park entrance sign until you see the Caneel Spur Trail sign. Follow the trail down the hill to Honeymoon Beach. When you arrive, pay attention because Route 20 intersects the Caneel Spur Trail, and part of the trail is on one side of the road and part is on the other. Take the part that goes downhill to the beach.

How does the park and shuttle option work for getting to Honeymoon Beach?

There is a shuttle service to Honeymoon Beach, St. John. It is offered by the Caneel Bay Beach Club and costs $6 one way and $12 round trip, plus fees for carrying beach chairs. Be sure to check with them if you are interested in bringing a lot of beach gear, as there may be restrictions on coolers and bulky gear. Children under 12 receive complimentary shuttle service. To use the shuttle service, you can either take a taxi to the former Caneel Bay Resort, or if you have a rental car, you can drive there and park for free, and then you take the shuttle to the beach. You can purchase your shuttle tickets in person, or you can reserve them in advance. And just a FYI, you cannot walk from the former Caneel Bay Resort to Honeymoon Beach; that is not currently allowed.

Is Honeymoon Beach in the National Park?

Honeymoon Beach is within the Virgin Islands National Park. Presently, the western end of Honeymoon Beach is the location of the trailheads for Lind Point Trail and Caneel Spur Trail, both of which can be used to walk through the park to Honeymoon Beach.

Behind the beach, on the middle and eastern end, is land that was formerly part of the Caneel Bay Resort property. The resort sat on a 150-acre property that was donated in 1983 to the US government for inclusion within the Virgin Islands National Park. The transfer to the National Park Service came with a 40-year retained use estate (RUE). This retained use allowed the resort to continue to operate these last four decades. The resort, however, has been closed and mostly abandoned since 2017. The RUE expired on September 30, 2023. Legal disputes between the resort operators and the US government are ongoing. As of 2024, the court case continues. 

Meanwhile, the National Park Service has been focused on framing the stewardship, community, and operational objectives for redevelopment of the area. Learn More

About the Beach & Snorkeling

Is there an admission fee at Honeymoon Beach?

There is no admission fee to visit Honeymoon Beach if you walk, hike or swim in. There is a charge for the shuttle service if you decide to use Caneel Bay Beach Club’s shuttle.

How are the water conditions at Honeymoon Beach? And is there any natural shade?

The water at Honeymoon Beach looks like a swimming pool; it’s very clear, a beautiful turquoise color, and is usually calm. There is a sandy entrance into the water, and it deepens somewhat quickly. It’s mostly sandy in the water, making it great for wading or standing. There is a reef on the western end where snorkeling is possible. The shore at Honeymoon Beach has white, soft sand. There are some seagrape trees and palm trees, and you can find natural shade under them.

How is the snorkelling at Honeymoon Beach?

There is good snorkeling at Honeymoon Beach. On the west side of the beach, there is a patch reef. Swim and snorkel around the rocky headland that extends into the water between Honeymoon Beach and Solomon Bay next door, and you will find the reef. The reef is in semi-shallow water, which makes it easy to see the fish and corals up close. The reef sustained damage during the 2017 hurricane season. As a result, you may need to snorkel into slightly deeper water to see marine life. On the east side of the beach, you can snorkel along the point between Honeymoon Beach and Caneel Bay. Occasionally, you might see a turtle or ray while snorkeling at Honeymoon Beach.

You must bring your own snorkel gear if you want to snorkel at Honeymoon Beach. There is no snorkel gear rental at the beach. That said, if you forget, the gift shop on location does sell some snorkel sets.

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If you want to experience Honeymoon Beach on a guided hike and snorkel trip, there is one tour company that offers a package. Check it out below.
FareHarbor

Island Buddy: Honeymoon Bay Hike and Snorkel

On this guided hike, you will explore Lind Point Trail and Honeymoon Beach. The hike is a 1-mile beginner-intermediate hike and has low elevation change. Once at the beach, you will go on a guided snorkeling experience.This three-hour excursion includes 1 hour hiking in, 1 hour at the beach, and 1 hour hiking back, along with guided insights into the rich ecology and history of the US Virgin Islands along the way. We provide the gear—a snorkel mask, water, and inflatable vest. Book Now.

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Food, Chairs, Gear, Toilets

Can I rent chairs and umbrellas at Honeymoon Beach?

You can rent chairs at Honeymoon Beach, from the Caneel Bay Beach Club. A full-day chaise lounge rental is $25. Other packages offered by the beach club include chair rental along with full attendant services for water, drinks, food, and towel, and cabana rental options with premium services. Umbrellas are not available at Honeymoon Beach.

Are there any Watersports at Honeymoon Beach?

There are no watersports rentals at Honeymoon Beach at this time. There were kayak and paddle board rentals in the past, and you will still find references to their availability online. The fact, however, is that the watersports options have not been available at Honeymoon Beach since 2022.

Does Honeymoon Beach, St. John, have food and drinks?

At Honeymoon Beach, the food options are limited; you can get a few varieties of deli sandwiches. There are two bars and a souvenir shop. The main bar is on the east end of the beach, and the gift shop is there too. The second bar, which is open on busier days, is located closer to the center of the beach.

Note: In January 2024, the beach club is expecting to expand the food selection, so stay tuned for more news on that.

Are there toilets and showers at Honeymoon Beach, St. John?

Yes, there are restrooms and shower facilities at Honeymoon Beach. They are offered by the Caneel Bay Beach Club and are part of their amenities. The showers are designed for a quick rinse. Both the showers and restrooms are available to all beach club guests and visitors to the beach.

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Tips & Things To Know Before You Go

Get Your Safe Sunscreen and UPF Protecting Sunwear.

In 2019, the legislature of the US Virgin Islands passed a bill that bans the sale and usage of sunscreens that marine scientists have identified as possibly harmful to corals and other marine life. Specifically, sunscreens that contain Oxybenzone, Octinoxate and Octocrylene.

Check your sunblock’s ingredients. Learn More at NOAA Article on Sunscreen and Corals 

A good choice for sun protection is using Ultraviolet Protection Factor (UPF) sunwear, including a long-sleeve shirt and a wide-brimmed hat with a neck flap. This will protect your upper body, and you can focus the sunscreen on the exposed parts.

Buy Reef Safe Sunscreen

Honeymoon Beach for Residents

If you’re a resident of St. John or St. Thomas and looking for a beach break this weekend or for a special occasion, keep in mind that Caneel Bay Beach Club at Honeymoon Beach, St. John, offers discounts on day packages for residents with proof of USVI residence; transportation is not included. They also have 10% off in the gift shop for residents with proof of residency.

Why is Honeymoon Beach, St. John Closed?

Honeymoon Beach on St. John is not closed; it is open! The question of whether Honeymoon is closed and why has been frequently asked in the last couple of years. The question was raised when the former concessionaire at Honeymoon Beach closed their business in early 2022. The beach itself was never closed, and a new concessionaire opened later that same year at Honeymoon.

Beach Ambiance & Crowd Factor

Does Honeymoon Beach, St. John, get crowded?

Honeymoon Beach is a small beach that requires either hiking in, shuttling in for a fee, or boating in. Because all of this requires a bit of planning and effort, the crowd at Honeymoon Beach, if there is any, is usually manageable. Various boat charters from St. Thomas and St. John include Honeymoon Beach on their itineraries. Boat charters typically arrive in the late morning and usually leave by midafternoon.

What are the best ways to Experience Honeymoon Beach?

Before 2012, the only way to get to Honeymoon Beach by land was on foot, along a trail. And you brought what you needed or wanted, and you took your things, including any trash, with you when you left. So, it was a “pack in and pack out” beach experience. Many considered it a great way to see two beautiful parts of the Virgin Islands National Park. The forest along the trail and two lovely beaches, Soloman Bay and Honeymoon Beach, and this is still a wonderful way to experience Honeymoon. If that’s the route you want to take, plan to bring a backpack with snorkel gear, towel, sunblock, water and a sandwich or snacks; and of course, take any trash back out with you.

The other way to experience Honeymoon Beach is to partake in the options that the Caneel Bay Beach Club offer in the way of chairs, cabanas, beach attendant service, wine and cocktails, and a gift shop. It’s a little bit of beach chic, convenience and service rolled into one.

Keep in mind that even if you hike into Honeymoon Beach, you are welcome to buy a drink at the beach club, rent a chair or stop by their souvenir shop. 

What are the Honeymoon Beach rules?

The Caneel Bay Beach Club presents a variety of guidelines and rules that are in place for beachgoer safety, protecting the environment, and National Park rules. Some of these include not snorkeling alone, not to stand or touch coral, to wear reef-safe sunscreen, not to feed fish and wildlife, that no glass is allowed on the beach, also no single use plastic, no speakers/music, pets are not allowed, there are strict guidelines in place for what constitutes a Service Animal in line with ADA, and nudity is prohibited.

Photos of Honeymoon

Quick Reference

  • Location: Northshore
  • Shore/Sand: Sandy
  • Natural Shade: Yes
  • Water: Clear, Calm
  • Snorkeling: Yes
  • Admission Fee: None
  • Food/Drinks: Yes
  • Chair Rentals: Yes
  • Watersports: No
  • Toilets: Yes

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