- The Virgin Islands Best Guide
Hull Bay is a tranquil little beach and a favorite with residents of the Northside of St. Thomas, many of whom have French-St. Barths ancestry. The French community has a strong connection to the sea, and Hull Bay is a popular spot for mooring their small fishing boats. The water at Hull Bay is typically clear and very calm. The seafloor is mostly rocky but a few sandy spots exist for entering the water and bathing. If you want to venture deeper then it’s a good idea to have a mask or swim goggles to see your way around the rocks. The rocky seafloor condition makes it less than ideal for small children and people that might have trouble navigating around the rocks.
The beauty of Hull Bay is in its tranquil, natural feel. It’s a little beach, laid back and crowd free. Fishing boats, 12-24 feet long, bob in the water and add to the scenery. There is a boat launch. Pelicans spend the day diving for their next meal. The view from shore includes Tropaco Point and in the distance two small islands named Inner Brass and Outer Brass. Residential areas are visible on the hills to the right and left of the beach.
The shoreline is narrow and filled with white sand mixed with pebbles and small rocks. The small pebbles dominate the right side of the shore. The tree line is largely made up of maho trees, plus a couple of seagrape trees, genip trees, and pink poui trees. The trees provide natural shade.
The beach is quiet on most weekdays, and you may be the only one there. A dozen or so residents head to Hull Bay in the late afternoon to relax, catch up with friends, play domino, or have a few greenies (Heinekens) while the sun sets. On weekends the beach picks up a little, again mostly with islanders, and a few bring along their dogs. Hull Bay is one of the only St. Thomas beaches where dogs are overlooked. It’s also the only beach on St. Thomas where you can go to the beach and get a haircut! “Ed the Barber” has his little barber shop just across the street from the beach, just behind the restaurant. If he’s there and you need a trim, go on in for a haircut and a chat.
The bar/restaurant is appropriately called “Hull Bay Hideaway”. You can buy a bucket of beers to take to the beach or dine in. There are restrooms at the restaurant. A dive shop is the other amenity available at Hull Bay, their hours vary. There are no chair rentals, umbrellas, gift shops or resort amenities.
Hull Bay is known for pretty good snorkeling. You can swim along the right side, and in the relatively shallow nearshore rocky areas, and look for sea critters. In deeper waters you might find coral, squid and larger fish. The on-location dive shop, called Homer’s, offers guided snorkeling trips insuring you go to the right spots to see interesting things. They also offer night snorkeling. Reservations for snorkeling trips are recommended.
Hull Bay is one of the few surf beaches on St. Thomas. On the left side, just where Hull Bay meets another small cove, the waves pick up during the months of November to March. When the waves are going off the local surfers move in. It can be fun to sit and watch from shore.
Hull Bay is a nice spot to watch the sun set. Residents will occasionally grill out just before sunset, bringing their grill and supplies with them to the beach.
Access and Transportation: Free admission. Roadside parking right on the sand behind the tree line, or in the dirt lot on the left side. The road to the beach is bumpy. Taxis will drop you off at Hull Bay. You should arrange a return taxi pick up at a set time particularly if you are on a schedule, and take the taxi driver’s telephone number just in case.
- Food Vendors
- Parking Available
- Diving & Snorkeling
- Boat Dock
If you want an off the (tourist) beaten track beach that is easily accessible. Are looking for a lazy few hours at the beach with your toes in the sand, a book, a bucket of beers and few people around. Like going to local spots.
Don't Go Here
If you want to spend most of the day in the water swimming, and want a lot of amenities.
Located on the Northside
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Quiet beach with just a few beachgoers on weekday mornings, a bit more in the afternoon and weekend. The beach is mostly sandy with some pebbles mixed in. Along the shore in the water there are a couple spots with hard sandstone, not conducive to wading but the water is clear so you can easily see them and find a sandy entry point or avoid the rocks. There are a good bit of boats moored in the bay. Water was clear and calm. There was Ok snorkeling running along the sandstone shelf and rocky areas parallel to the shore. Saw various juvenile and medium size fish, eel and a school of squid. Shore has a tree line that provides natural shade. No amenities right on the beach but there is a restaurant/bar and a watersports/surf shop just across the street - a hop, skip and a jump from the beach. Swimming was ok once passed the rocky spots.
Not easy to find but worth the effort
Hull Bay offers not only a quiet, uncrowded atmosphere, but one of the best shore dives for snorkel or scuba. Homer's dive shop is right at the beach and he can set you up with whatever gear you may need, and free advice about how to dive the area. After wards, head to Hull Bay Hideaway for a beer and a great burger. A great way to spend the day.
Under Rated Treasure
We were lucky enough to discover Hull Bay while "exploring" St Thomas several years ago. We completely enjoy the fact that it is a little off the beaten track and basically unknown to the tourists (guess I've ruined that). We've attended a fund raiser several years ago on July 4th for a local youth group and had a great time. The water is a little rocky but that only makes it more interesting to snorkel and explore. The locals that we have met there have all been very friendly as well as amazingly helpful the year we locked our keys in our rental car. And Arthur makes the best burgers on the island. We'll be back without a doubt.