You are coming to St. John are wondering which are the best beaches to Paddleboard? We have compiled a series of articles about good paddleboarding spots for you. Click on the name of beach for a detailed article about Stand Up Paddling there. A good paddleboarding beach ticks the following boxes:

  • Easy Access to water (ideally sand-bottom, not rock)
  • Protected from wind and waves
  • Parking close by so that you don’t have to carry the boards too far unless you go with our inflatable paddleboard option


Beginner Paddleboarding Beaches on St. John

  • Maho is a great beach for beginners and families with children. It is very wide, you will have plenty of space and inside the bay and it is always calm and protected from the wind. You can paddle to the right into the little beach between Maho and Francis or over to Francis. Experienced paddlers will also not get bored at Maho. They can paddle out to Whisling Cay or do a downwinder to Cruz Bay.
  • Francis is another calm beach (one after Maho). It does get a little bit more wind and you might have headwind coming back in (especially on the side with the rocks where the wind kind of makes a turn). During busy season, you have to be early to get a parking spot close to the water. That said, you don’t have to park at Francis, you can paddle over there from Maho as well
  • Hurricane Hole / Pricess Bay: is the choice for very windy days. It is always calm and flat like a like. It is a long drive to the East End, but you can also do an amazing Mangrove Snorkel there.



  • Hawksnest Beach (pictured above and below) is a shorter drive from Cruz Bay, the first real beach on the North Shore and one of our favorites. It is a beautiful beach lined by Palm Trees and the water color is amazing. It does get a bit more wind and waves than Maho, but is a good beginner choice on calm days. You can paddle over to Gibney & Oppenheimer Beach or over to little Hawksnest on the left. And the parking is big and right next to the beach.
  • Paddle from Hawksnest to Gibney / Oppenheimer Beach: This is a really easy paddle which also beginners and less athletic paddlers can do, unless it is really windy
  • Jumbie Bay: is your choice if you want to have some privacy, this small bay just before Trunk Bay only has like 5 parking spots. There is not much beach left to sit on, a lot of sand has been recently swept away. But you can paddle over to Trunk (just don’t paddle into swimming zone) on the right or Denis on the left. You will have to walk down about 300 yards from the parking with the board but it is not too bad to carry the board down.


Intermediate and Expert Paddleboarding Tours

Note: the difficulty of these paddles very much depend on the wind and waves. They can be easy in less than 10 knots of wind and hard to impossible in anything over 25-30 knots. Always check the wind and wave forecast here.


Beachfront Villas with sandy entrance for Paddleboarding on St. John

Beachfront villas on St. John are scarce and very expensive. It can also be limiting if you keep the boards just at the villa because most people will want to explore different beaches during their stay (and the most beautiful beaches are inside the National Park with no villas by the water – except for Peter Bay). But a beachfront villa is great if you want to go for an early morning or afternoon paddle workout (for example if your family wants to do other things during the day).

Great Cruz Bay Waterfront Villas

  • Limin’ Time is a great 2 bedroom beachfront villa in Great Cruz Bay
  • Splash is another great 4 bedroom beachfront villa in Great Cruz Bay
  • Gull Cottage is right next to Splash and also beachfront in Great Cruz Bay
  • Beach Cottage is an awesome 2 bedroom waterfront villa on the Coral Bay side
  • The Beach Villa is a 5 bedroom villa right on a sandy beach in Great Cruz Bay
  • Great Cruz Bay Villas: All great cruz bay villa guests can use the home  owner’s association beach parking right by the beach villa in Cruz Bay.

Beachfront villas in the National Park

  • Peter Bay Villas have their own beach and it is safe to keep paddleboards there. However depending on where your villa is in Peter Bay it can be a long hike to get to the path down to the beach.
  • Gibney Beach Villas are right next to Hawksnest Beach

Coral Bay Waterfront Villas

Klein Bay

Ditliff Point Villas

  • all Ditliff Point Villas have their own private sandy beach, they are rented out by different agencies or owners, one of them is Villa Rendevouz

More St. John Beachfront Villas

Note: not all beachfront villas are suitable for paddleboarding. You want to look for a calm bay with a sandy entrance. For example Hart Bay can be quite rough and rocky.