Photo by age fotostock
Magens Bay Beach, St. Thomas
This beautiful one-mile stretch was donated to the people of the Virgin Islands by Arthur Fairchild, a benefactor of the islands who'd made his fortune on Wall Street before retiring here. The usually calm waters of the heart-shaped bay make the beach the most popular on St. Thomas. Rent beach chairs and floats, and pick up lunch from stands selling burgers, pizza, and other snacks. Lifeguards are on duty every day.
By Brian Major, AFAR Local Expert
One of the World’s Best Beaches
Located on the Atlantic side of St. Thomas is a protected white-sand beach that stretches for nearly three-quarters of a mile. Often cited as one of the best beaches in the world thanks to its pristine sand and calm waters, visitors can spend the day at Magens Bay for just $4 per person. Legend also has it that Sir Francis Drake used Magens Bay as an anchorage site while waiting for ships to plunder.
By Matt Long
Living on St Thomas was a fantastic experience! However even when you are living on a Caribbean island, once in a while you forget to appreciate where you are. Stopping on a hill on the drive to the beach on a perfect sunny day was a great reminder!
By Amy Wilson
Workout with a View
I joined Jennie G's fitness group for a 3 day boot-camp on the beach. Exercising in paradise is hard to beat. The trip's highlight was a kayak trip to a secret cave.
Beat the Crowds at Magens Bay
Early birds catch something way better than worms at Magens Bay. The sublime crescent of sand and calm surf on St. Thomas’ north coast is among the most popular beaches in the Caribbean. This generally means large crowds, particularly on the many, many days that cruise ships are in port. That’s why locals and those in the know make sure to get here before 8am. That’s when the beach officially opens, i.e.: they start collecting entry fees. Before 8am, you can just waltz on in free of charge. The bigger payoff, though, is having one of the world’s finest beaches virtually all to yourself.
Early-Morning Exercise on Magens Bay, St. Thomas
There’s much more to Magens Bay than just maxing and relaxing on the beach. Get here early to avoid the crowds and exercise with the locals. St. Thomas residents can usually be found here before 8am swimming, jogging, stand-up paddleboarding, and practicing yoga in the sand. You can also hit the 1.5 mile Discovery Nature Trail before cooling off in those calm, cool waters.
Swim with Turtles on Magens Bay, St. Thomas
Magens Bay on St. Thomas gets a wee bit touristy and jammed with crowds as the day wears on. Get there early enough, though, and it can be just you and the sea turtles. Arriving here before 8am on a recent visit, I parked at the far east end of the beach and headed into the calm, cool waters. Not more than 12 yards offshore, I came across them: a handful of sea turtles playfully plying the shallows. I took care to keep my distance so as not to startle or disturb them, and we swam together in close proximity for several minutes—their interest in extending our fun seeming to match mine.