Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (St. Croix)#5 in Best Things To Do in U.S. Virgin Islands
Price & Hours
Sandy Point is a beach on the southwestern tip of St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and nearly 400-acre natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. You may recognize the setting from the movie, "The Shawshank Redemption." The spot was said to be Mexico in the flick, but the final scene was actually filmed right on Sandy Point's beach. During the day, you can swim in the shallow waters or sunbathe along the buff-colored sand. If you're lucky you might catch some turtles nesting their eggs in Sandy Point's 2-mile stretch.
Reviewers raved about the beach, saying it is pristine and well worth a visit. The trade-off, they warned, is that you will find no restrooms or other amenities as well as few opportunities for shade. Also, know that there are just a few parking lots and the beach is at the end of a long unpaved road.
The refuge operates very limited hours and only welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Saturdays and Sundays from September to March (April through August is when the turtles nest). For more information, check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's official website.
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#1 Virgin Islands National Park (St. John)
If you're on St. John during your Virgin Islands vacation, you're likely right on the edge of Virgin Islands National Park. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions, such as Annaberg Plantation and Trunk Bay Beach, are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers and families alike have their choice of more than 20 trails to hike.
Some sections of the park, such as popular Cinnamon Bay Resort and its campgrounds, are still undergoing repair and revitalization following the 2017 hurricanes. But travelers agreed that there's still plenty to do at the park, enjoying the different beaches and hiking trails it offers, not to mention the water activities, such as boating and snorkeling.
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