Pristine beaches are a staple of the Virgin Islands. That means that to be one of the Island’s best, a beach must demonstrate some special qualities. Here are three beaches in the Virgin Islands that set themselves apart from the rest.

Trunk Bay, St John

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One of the most photographed beaches in the entire world, Trunk Bay is a highlight of the Virgin Islands and is a must-visit location for travelers. The quarter mile white sand beach is protected by the national park service and offers a multitude of interesting activities to enjoy while you take in the unbelievable natural beauty of the area.

The island of St. John has no airport, so to get to this island paradise you’ll have to schedule a trip over by ferry. If you have rented a vehicle, you will find plenty of parking, but if not, there is an affordable taxi service that can get you there. Once there, you will have abundant opportunities to relax under the large coconut palms that tower over the beach or take a dip in the warm ocean waters.

If you are looking for more of an adventure, an interpretive snorkeling trail is accessible from the beach. The trail runs for 650 feet and takes you through a coral reef and will give you an opportunity to see many varieties of fish and other wildlife while you explore.

Magens Bay, St. Thomas

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This popular beach on the island of St. Thomas is located north of Charlotte Amalie. It has been called not only one of the most photogenic beaches in the Virgin Islands but also one of the best to take a swim in. The water in Magens Bay is exceptionally calm thanks to the twin peninsulas that protect it from open ocean.

Magens Bay is also a popular spot for kayaking and paddle boarding, and both can be rented right at the beach. It is also a part of large Magans Bay Park, a 68-acre nature preserve, all of which can be explored.

A popular side trip on the way to Magans Bay is Mountain Top, the peak of the nearby hill where you can see both the beach and the park in full. However, be prepared for some crowds. St. Thomas is a popular cruise ship stop, and both Magans Bay and Mountain Top are some of the most popular destinations around.

Sandy Point Beach, St Croix

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The longest beach in the Virgin Islands, Sandy Point Beach, is one of the best beaches for finding a little solitude while enjoying the surf. This beach also has a tree line that starts far back from the waterline, which means that while shade is a premium commodity, there is even more space to find a little room for yourself.

Sandy Point Beach is found just to the south of Fredericksburg and is the nesting ground of the endangered Leatherback Turtles – the fourth largest reptile in the world. Because of this, the area has been designated a wildlife preserve and may be closed during certain times in the summer to give the animals an opportunity to nest without the disruption of a humans.

If you are interested in seeing the leatherback turtles, supervised night observation trips can be arranged during nesting season.

The Virgin Islands is a wonderful place to visit if you want to see some of the best maintained and naturally beautiful beaches in the Caribbean. And while they all draw a crowd, by arranging your trips in the morning or during the off season, you can avoid the mobs that gather there at peak times.