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Hawksnest Beach

North Shore, St. John

Hawksnest is the first major beach as you leave Cruz Bay and is thus the first opportunity to experience one of the most popular beaches in the U.S. Virgin Islands National Park. The beach has plenty of parking if you're driving, otherwise if you're taking one of the safari taxis you'll be the first to get off! Hawksnest has amenities that you'd expect to have at a national park including bathrooms, picnic tables, charcoal grills, and shelters where people can have parties. But the real amenities we're all here for is the natural beauty of the beaches so let's get to it!

The beach is situated within Hawksnest Bay and since it's the most prominent it got the honor of being Hawksnest Beach 😊. Hawksnest is a medium sized white sand beach with plenty of sea grape and shade trees for shelter from the sun. The water out from the middle area of the beach has a shallow reef that has some small fish swimming around for snorkelers to look at. However there is better snorkeling towards the far right side of the bay closer to Oppenheimer Beach and Mermaid's Chair.

Hawksnest is also a great beach to start at for exploring the rest of Hawksnest Bay. Off the left side of the beach it's a short swim over to Little Hawksnest Beach, a more private and quiet area. Further even you can swim over to Caneel Bay's beach of the same name, which I call "Caneel Hawksnest" for my own clarity. Towards the right side of the beach you can swim around the rocks and arrive at Gibney Beach and Oppenheimer.

More Information

Fee required: Yes
Beach Busy: Yes
Beach Size: Medium


  • Bathrooms
  • Swimming
  • Snorkeling
  • Parking
  • Picnic Tables

How to Get There

  • Drive
  • Boat / Kayak