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Updated: Aug 20, 2022


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Magens Bay Beach is a soft white sand beach in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands and it is the exact relaxing Caribbean beach you’ve been looking for.



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Where is Magens Bay Beach?

Magens Bay lies on the north side of St. Thomas, just under the village of Canaan. St. Thomas is the most popular island of the U.S. Virgin Islands in the Caribbean.


How to get to Magens Bay Beach

It is about a 20 minute drive, via taxi, from the Cruise Port of Charlotte Amalie, in the Baye de Grigri. It’s a very scenic drive, and you should ask your taxi driver to make a quick stop at Drake’s Seat to take in some spectacular views! Every taxi driver will know where both destinations are. There is no public transportation to Magens Bay Beach.


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Is there a cover charge for Magens Bay Beach?

There is a small $5 cover charge for non-residents to use the beach, and an additional $2 for parking if you’re driving yourself there. This money goes to the self-sustaining Magens Bay Authority, which administers the upkeep of the beach. The absolute care for this natural wonder shows, as it is the cleanest, most pristine beach we’ve ever seen.


If you’d rather not pay to go to the beach, St. Thomas has a number of free beaches open to the public, like Sapphire Beach and Coki Beach in the east, or Secret Harbour Beach in the southeast. That being said, the cover charge at Magens Bay can deter huge crowds, but it is a popular spot for cruise ship passengers, so how busy the beach will be is dependent on how many cruise ships are docked in St. Thomas on that given day. When we went, even though there were 2 or 3 cruise ships docked, it didn’t feel crowded.


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Our Experience at Magens Bay Beach

Starting our Royal Caribbean cruise of the Southern Caribbean, St. Thomas of the US Virgin Islands was our first stop after shipping out from San Juan. We’d booked an excursion through Royal Caribbean for a 4-5 hour tour of St. Thomas that included the Skyride to Paradise Point, visiting Drake’s Seat, and a couple hours of lounging at Magens Bay Beach.


Magens Bay itself is rather deep, with the Peterborg peninsula to the northwest acting as a natural break from the Atlantic ocean, giving the three-quarter mile long beach serenely calm waters. National Geographic has previously named it as one of the Top Ten Most Beautiful Beaches in the World.


The white sands are exquisitely soft and rock-free, giving you the feel of walking through powdered sugar. Legend has it that pirates and privateers like Blackbeard, Captain Kidd, and Sir Francis Drake would use Magens Bay as a resting area in between swashbuckling adventures. Given how beautiful the natural landscape of Magens Bay is, we’re not surprised.


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Single palm trees dot the outskirts of the beach, providing shade for a handful of picnic tables. After laying in the sand for a while, we snagged a picnic table in the shade of a palm tree that we shared with a number of other cruising guests; most from other cruise lines. It was nice to be able to chat with new people and learn more about other cruise lines since this was our first cruise ever.


This beach is definitely for relaxing. The waters are so calm that simply swimming and standing around with your drink seem to be the most popular activities. We did see one couple snorkeling, but most people just drink and sit in the water. There are kayaks and paddleboards that are available for rent from a shop on the beach, but we didn’t see anyone using them. If you want a more action-packed beach, Sapphire Beach provides a ton of water activities like kayaking, windsurfing, jet skiing, and parasailing. Coki Beach provides great snorkeling and diving.


Yes, this pristine beach is equipped with a restaurant & bar: Magens Point Bar and Grill. A cocktail waitress wandered up to us and asked if we wanted anything to drink. While it was odd to just hand over a credit card to a seemingly random, bikini-clad beach goer, we felt safe enough to give it a shot. She was very kind and answered our questions with a smile. It took her a while to come back with our drinks; this was mostly due to the fact that she received drink orders from almost everyone on the beach. Watching her carry a tray with so many drinks was incredibly impressive, especially considering she was walking through the soft sand. The drinks were good too - rum on a white sand beach is a must.


As we got closer to our allotted time of heading back to the cruise ship, we stopped in at the bathrooms. They were exceptionally clean, didn’t smell, and included some very nice showers. It wasn’t what we were expecting from a public beach bathroom (if you’ve visited Santa Monica or Venice beaches in Los Angeles, you know what we mean).


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What Sunscreens are Allowed at Magens Bay Beach?

An important note for when visiting Magens Bay Beach: the US Virgin Islands are very strict when it comes to the sunscreen you can wear while sunning at their beaches. The most common sunscreens sold stateside - even ones that are labeled “Reef Friendly” or “Hawaii Compliant” - contain at least one of what they call the Three Toxic O’s:

  1. Oxybenzone

  2. Octinoxate

  3. Octocrylene


These chemicals in your sunscreen wash off of you while swimming in the pristine island waters and harm the natural reefs. So instead, you will need to use mineral-based sunscreen, like zinc oxide or this one from Aveeno. Aerosol spray sunscreens are also not allowed, so make sure you get the lotion kind. We recommend putting it on before you get to the beach, because the thick lotion sunscreen takes a while to soak into your skin.


To make sure you pick a sunscreen that is USVI compliant, you can also just wait to buy sunscreen when you arrive on the island, but it will likely be more expensive.


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Our Verdict of Magens Bay Beach

Magens Bay Beach is beautiful and serene and we definitely recommend it for anyone heading to St Thomas. We’d love to do another trip just to St. Thomas (not necessarily on a cruise) to explore the island more and spend a lot more time laying in the powdered white sands here at Magens Bay.


Quick Reference Guide for Magens Bay Beach

What

Magens Bay Beach

Where

St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands

How to Get There

Taxi

Time Commitment

At least 1 hour, but you'll want to stay FOREVER

Cost

$5 entry fee /person to keep the beach pristine

Helpful Info

Mineral sunscreen is required

Our Verdict

It’s one of the most beautiful beaches in the world and certainly the most beautiful we’ve been to so far. If there are better beaches out there, we’re incredibly excited to go visit them.


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Meet the blog author, Adam, from In The Great Wide travel lifestyle blog

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This is our travel lifestyle blog where we not only share stories from our adventures while traveling the world, but also our thorough research of the places we visit & practical advice on how to save money so you can travel more too!

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