Best beaches near Coral Bay

Apr 18th, 2006, 12:22 PM
  #1  
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Best beaches near Coral Bay

Howdy, Getting married in St. John during the week May 21-28, We booked a place called the Astral Cottage that looks fantastic, anyway I,ve been able to get so much good info. from the sight that I wan't to post after my trip, Any input into the best beaches around the Coral Bay side of the island, and whats the word on renting a dinghy and going from beach to beach snorkeling? Thanks -Smoofus
smoofus is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 01:21 PM
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Hi Dave - Congratulations on your upcoming wedding! I'll actually be on St. John myself at that time!

My favorite beaches on the Coral Bay side of the island are Salt Pond Bay and Little Lamesur Bay. On Tuxedocat's recommendation I'm looking forward to snorkling in Johnson Bay this trip too.

Also not near Coral Bay but not to be missed is Waterlemon Cay / Leinster Bay area. Park near the Annaberg Sugar Plantation ruins and hike the 1/4 mile flat trail out around Leinster Bay, get into the water at the end of the trail (there will likely be other people there) and snorkle out and around the Cay. We always see lots of great coral and tons of fish and interesting marine life there. Sometimes the sea floor is even covered with huge (18" diameter) starfish! It's really cool.

Look for us at Skinny's or Island Blues too! Have a great trip! Trish
tpatricco is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 01:22 PM
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Oh, I've never rented a dinghy, but you can get one at Crabby's in Coral Bay and head over to Thunder Hole, etc.
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Apr 18th, 2006, 01:27 PM
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When you are out at Lameshur, snorkel around the little rock that sticks out in the water to the right. It looks small, but under water it is home to lots of fish. Great snorkeling there.
soggydollar is offline  
Apr 18th, 2006, 06:52 PM
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Will you have a car ???
ezron is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 05:54 AM
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Agree with the recommendations of the previous posters. For snorkeling give Haulover north a try. Short drive out the East End from Coral Bay and if you're lucky Vie's will be open for lunch.

Congratulations on your wedding.
RobertoB is offline  
Apr 19th, 2006, 08:40 AM
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smoofus: Congrats. As Robert mentioned above, Vie's also has a terrific beach across the street from her stand which she charges $2/pp but worth every penny! Snorkeling is good to the right around the rocks. If you want to rent a dinghy, be sure you ask what the predictions for weather are before you put your money down. Another poster mentioned they wasted money when they discovered the water was too choppy for them. If you do encounter more chop than you like, just stick to the inner bay and go over to Hurricane Hole where it is almost always pretty calm. I also like Privateer Bay but it's not too easy to get to and there really isn't much of a beach but it is very quiet and you'll end up getting the whole place to yourselves.
Trish: DH is there on his own right now overseeing some construction. Too busy at home for all to go. Drat! I'm still not sure if we'll be able to get down there in May, but I'll be sure to let you know.
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Apr 19th, 2006, 06:25 PM
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Yes, we will have a car,(4 wheel drive, but smaller than a jeep), I really appreciate the reccomendations! I'm starting to think that with so many great beaches easily accessable that a dinghy might just complicate things. Any advice on Scuba? Thinking about one of the wreck dives, but would love to get some input. Thanks
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Apr 19th, 2006, 06:47 PM
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The reason I asked about the car was that although you are in Coral Bay(Salt Pond, Haulover, etc), the North Shore is only about 15 min away(Francis, Maho, Gibney, and the Big names). We try to drive the North Shore everyday we're on SJ. It's one of our favorite drives in the world. JMHO
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Apr 19th, 2006, 07:55 PM
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Hi smoofus,
I am the poster who basically threw away some money on a dinghy. We found out a couple of things on STJ the hard way. We took the dinghy from Cruz Bay. The weather was mainly overcast for a couple of days and this was one of them. The morning looked pretty good and water didn't look too rough so we decided to go for it. Not long after we got out, water got choppy and some very ominous clouds were in the distance. We ended up going back and used the dinghy for about an hour of a 1/2 day rental. There is a lot of boat traffic in this area though and the wakes were killing us. I think optimal conditions are necessary to really enjoy this type of excursion. I wouldn't bother doing it again.
brenandg is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 07:33 AM
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I agree with the folks who suggest driving to some of those terrific north shore beaches. In addition, I strongly suggest spending at least a half day at Caneel Bay-- hands down the handsomest place on St John (imo) You can go for the buffet lunch (abt $25 per) and then go down to the main beach and spread out towels (or sand chairs if you want to bring them). Then you can snorkel not only the "main" beach (both sides along the rocks are terrific; we always see more squid on that left side-- hordes of them-- than anywhere else on the island), but keep going on around to the right and snorkel the other six beaches for hours and hours-- all terrific, as good as anything else on wonderful St John. The grounds are lovely also, so tho you're not really supposed to wander around if you're not a guest, I'd suggest stopping in at reception, explaining you're on your honeymoon, and hoping they'd welcome your walking around a bit (in anticipation of coming back for your first anniversary!)
Congrats!!
poss is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 08:03 AM
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poss is right about Caneel, so beautiful. You might even want a "date night" dinner at their outdoor gazebo. We did it a couple of years ago, expensive but great food, romantic and you overlook the twinkling lights of STT!
I have read that people have seen turtles in the main beach at Caneel.
Can't go wrong with any of the North shore beaches.
All the above posts are "right on"
(I am the one who emailed you the other day)
soggydollar is offline  
Apr 20th, 2006, 08:45 AM
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I have to add just one suggestion even though 2 posters have mentioned they felt less than satisfied with the food, service and mostly the interference of local goats, that being said, they did only go for lunch so, IMHO, I think they missed out on the better dinner menu and atmosphere of Miss Lucy's. I still think that is one of the most romantic spots on STJ. It is out in Friis Bay section of Coral Bay, and if you go on a night with moonlight, it can be magical. It is a really laid back place, and sometimes the menu is fabulous. One of their staples for a while (don't know if they still offer it) was a grilled chicken breast stuffed with goat cheese and spinach, served with a wonderful cherry and cabernet sauce. I couldn't get enough of it! Since you'll be staying in the area, I highly recommend at least 1 dinner there. They also have a Sunday jazz brunch which is fun but not so romantic. FYI, they are closed Monday and Sunday nights.
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Apr 20th, 2006, 11:18 AM
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We actually didn't mind the goats at all, thought they were pretty funny. I was taking pictures of the goats and that is how I got DebitNM's group in the shots. I have a picture of them taking a picture of the goats! The views really are great from this place and I'm sure it would be pretty at night. Our food for lunch was just bad. Must have made the wrong choices.
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Apr 21st, 2006, 09:11 AM
  #15  
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Thanks everyone, this sight has provided me with tons of usefull information and I will post after my trip to try and give something back.
smoofus is offline  
Apr 21st, 2006, 06:36 PM
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Well you have definately done your homework and will be rewarded with a wonderful honeymoon and vacation! You are about to visit a place that will stay in your heart, trust me...

I look forward to your trip report and congrats on your upcoming wedding!
soggydollar is offline  
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