One of the most beautiful and most convenient beaches on St John, Hawksnest Bay is a favorite for families with children and visitors coming from the ferry docks at Cruz Bay. Swaying palm trees line the narrow beach, which has restrooms, grills, and a shaded picnic area.
Hawksnest Bay faces east and gets lots of morning sun, and shade arrives earlier than on other St John beaches. For beginning snorkelers, an offshore reef is a short swim away, set in shallow waters where novice divers can see a cornucopia of colorful fish, corals, and sea creatures. Ambitious snorkelers will find much to discover farther out, where large, orange elkhorn coral brighten up the deeper waters.
If you want to get away from the crowd, head over to Little Hawknest: a quiet stretch of white, sandy beach, lying west of the main beach.