Excursion Focus: Magens Bay
St. Thomas is well known for its beautiful beaches and Magens Bay is at the top of the list when it comes to beautiful beaches, not only on the island but in the world. When it comes to beautiful Caribbean beaches, it's hard to go wrong with Magens Bay.
Magens Bay is a protected cove on the north side of St. Thomas. Magens Bay is known around the world for its white sand beach that is almost three quarters of a mile in length.
Beach goers and swimmers alike will enjoy the view and the beach's notoriety is well earned given how scenic the entire area is. Calm waters are typical for the beach, thanks to the protection from larger waves further out in the bay.
Entrance to Magens Bay does have an admission fee ($4 for tourists) and it's quite far from where Royal Caribbean cruise ships dock. There's plenty of taxi service to Magens Bay from the cruise ship area as well as Charlotte Amalie. There are lifeguards on duty at the beach and there's a small snack shack on one end of the beach to buy meals, snacks and drinks from. Visitors can also rent beach chairs, floats, windsurfers and small sailboats for an additional fee.
Because Magens Bay is so well known, it will get crowded and stay crowded most of the day.
Magens Bay is known for being a beautiful beach and it does not disappoint in that regard. Truly, the biggest problem with Magens Bay isn't the beach but the fact the beach can get very crowded. While the beach is very long, it is not very wide (distance from beginning of the beach to the water's edge) so finding a good spot will go quickly.
We have found the best times to go to Magens Bay are very early in the morning before the bulk of the cruise visitors arrive or in the afternoon when many cruise goers will start to leave to get back to their cruise ships. On our last trip to St. Thomas on Freedom of the Seas, our ship arrived later than the other ships and as a result the last two hours at Magens Bay ended up being quite empty.
The snack counter serves typical fried food that you would find at most beaches such as pizza, fries and burgers. The food isn't anything special and it is expensive. You're better off bringing food from Charlotte Amalie to the beach with you, or at least buying drinks.
Those that have been to St. Thomas often will tell you the smaller crowds at other beaches outweigh the beauty of Magens Bay, but if you can deal with the crowds (or you're going on a not-so-busy day), I think the experience of Magens Bay is worth going to. Especially if you've never been, Magens Bay is a must-see. Like any island, on subsequent visits it may make sense to try other options but it's hard to go wrong with Magens Bay. The sand is great and the water has the perfect color along with calm waves for everyone in the family to enjoy.
Address: Magens Bay, Rte. 35 at end of the road on North side of St. Thomas
Cost: $4 per adult. Kids 12 and under are free.