Magens Bay, St. Thomas Vs. Trunk Bay, St. John

Chances are if you’re visiting the US Virgin Islands you have heard of either or both, Magens Bay and Trunk Bay. Magens Bay is located on the Northside of St. Thomas and gains her fame as one of the most beautiful beaches in the world. Likewise in beauty, Trunk Bay is located in the heart of the National Park in St. John and has been featured time after time as one of the top beaches to visit and take a notorious overlook photograph. We wanted to give you a little insider scoop on both so that if you have to choose you have all of the information you need! Although, if you’re on a cruise ship and only have one day- choose to sail!

Magens Bay: St. Thomas

(Some of our favorite guests at Magens Bay!)

Magens Bay is by far the most popular beach and destination in St. Thomas. It is world renowned, breath taking, packed with amenities, island vibes and cold beverages. Every taxi driver knows how to get there, every local has spent countless days celebrating here and most tourists make it their first stop when they get back to island. Magens Bay offers a beautiful calm and protected view of the Caribbean waters stretching one mile on her sugar sand shores. The park itself is 68 acres of beach, parking, wetlands, mangroves, coconut groves, campgrounds and amenity houses. There are a total of 3 bath houses with clean areas to shower off after your fun in the sun or to use the facilities to do your business in a…err..civilized manor. The snack bar at offers frozen island drinks, beer, soda, mixed drinks as well as pizza, snacks and ice cream.

Rentals at Magens Bay

Whether your day at Magens Bay is impromptu or a significant celebration- you have options! If you’re having a large party you can plan to rent a covered cabana as they have several covered areas that are great for birthday parties, anniversaries, reunions or just a day of fun. Applications are available at the front gate with a $100 fee.

Need a beach chair? Beach chairs are available to rent through concessions and make for a much lighter packing list. Kayaks and small sailing sunfishes are also available to rent right from the sandy beach.

Admission Rates at Magens Bay

There is an admissions fee as well as a parking fee for entering Magens Bay. The rate is per person and per vehicle and differs between residents and tourists.

Here are the current rates as of April 2019:

Entrance Fees
Children under 12 years
Children 13 years & over
Vehicle Parking
Passes (including vehicle)
Shed Rental
Group Camping (2nights/3days)
Free entrance including covered space for the handicapped. Discounts are available for seniors and active military personnel with valuable IDs.
Free entrance for many summer/student programs



Trunk Bay: St. John

“Trunk Bay”.. You’ll hear every taxi driver say these two words as you step off the ferry in Cruz Bay. They know it is exactly where you want to go, even if you have yet to decide. The only beauty that rivals Trunk Bay itself might just be the overlook that VIEWS Trunk Bay.

(Trunk Bay Overlook- no filter!)

Trunk Bay is located on the North Shore of St. John nestled in the heart of the Virgin Islands National Park. Here you will find more than a quarter mile of white sugar sand meeting every shade of Caribbean blue. Trunk Bay also hosts an under water snorkel trail marked off on the small rocky island just yards from the beach. A wonderful place to lounge, snorkel and enjoy the amenities of this pristine national park destination.

Rentals at Trunk Bay

After parking or being dropped by taxi you will pass through Trunk Bay’s short and paved walk way and right away come to the chair and snorkel rental options. On your right you will find 2 bath houses and one accommodating shower house. The amenities here are paved and very clean making for a great transition to the rest of your day in comfort.

If you continue on the paved path you can head straight and left to covered gazebos that are available for rental through the Virgin Islands National Park. Applications must be submitted and approved in advanced. The fee for Trunk Bay’s covered rentals is $75.00 with a deposit to be made at the National Park Visitor Center in Cruz Bay.

Continuing down the paved path and to the right will bring you to the quaint snack bar equipped with frozen drinks, light fare and toes-in the sand gift shop.

Admissions Rates at Trunk Bay

At this time, admission rates have not been re-implemented since hurricane Irma hit the island in September 2018. Parking is also free of charge, yet limited. This time of year we are noticing that the parking lot is full by 10 am but that taxis run quite frequently and catching someone on their way out may be a sign that you’re meant to stop!

Now That You have the Breakdown…

If you are visiting the US Virgin Islands and have rented a car there is a car barge that runs between St. Thomas and St. John several times a day. This would be a wonderful way to explore both islands and compare for yourself Magens Bay Vs. Trunk Bay.

Magens Bay VS. Trunk Bay
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