Need an escape from the snow and sludge? When it comes to wintertime retreats, nothing compares to St. John.
St. John is a green tropical paradise, largely protected by the National Park System, and offers the perfect wintertime reprieve. This week’s hotspot highlights Oppenheimer Beach, one of the most beautiful beaches on the island of St. John.
Looking to get away from the crowds? Oppenheimer is a quiet and secluded hideaway beach, well off the beaten path tourists typically frequent. Located on the North Shore, Oppenheimer Beach is in Hawksnest Bay. To get there, watch for a white picket fence, then look for the large wrought iron gate that is the entrance. With only a couple of available spots, parking is very limited, so be open to taking a cab or hiking a bit. Once there, enjoy beautiful views of the mountain, sparkling blue water, and soft sugary sand.
What to Do
Like many natural St. John beaches, there are no vendors at Oppenheimer. If you want to spend the day on this remote beach, be sure to pack a lunch and bring everything you need. Think umbrellas for shade, drinking water, beach chairs, and sunscreen. Don’t forget to bring floats and water toys if you enjoy spending your beach time relaxing and bobbing on the water.
Want to explore? Take a hike to Gibney Beach for a shallow sandy water entry, gorgeous palms, and oftentimes choppy waves. If you want to stay awhile, Gibney Cottages offer a secluded overnight reprieve from the world, located just steps from the beach.
If you love snorkeling, venture to the eastern side of the beach along the shoreline. Look for brain corals, sea fans, and fire coral, among other marine life. For another fun snorkeling spot, be sure to swim or boat out 200 yards from the beach to Mermaid’s Chair, known locally as Rope Beach. This small spit of land and surrounding black volcanic rock offers a great place for photos and a prime snorkeling location. It measures at just around 25 feet wide, narrowing even more at high tide.
Afterward, a full day at Oppenheimer, take the dinghy service to Cruz Bay for casual dining. Enjoy a burger and waffle fries at Cruz Bay Landing. Sip some locally roasted coffee at Virgin Islands Coffee Roasters. Or if you’re in the mood for lobster and cocktails, check out The Lime Inn in downtown Cruz Bay. Other tasty menu items feature fresh local ingredients with Caribbean flair. Dine among outdoor seating options and amazing lime green walls. Need a holiday meal? They’ll be open for dinner on Christmas and New Year’s Eve. Make your reservations here.
This article was originally posted at SONIC CHARTER A ST. THOMAS BOAT RENTAL & BOAT CHARTER