Sandy Point National Wildlife Refuge (St. Croix)

#9 in Best Things To Do in U.S. Virgin Islands
 picture
David Samuel/Shutterstock

Key Info

3013 Estate Golden Rock

Price & Hours

Free
Sat-Sun 10 a.m.-4 p.m. September-March

Details

Free Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

scorecard

  • 5.0Value
  • 0.0Food Scene
  • 3.5Atmosphere

Sandy Point is a southern beach in St. Croix that moonlights as a habitat and natural refuge for the leatherback sea turtles. 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. One TripAdvisor reviewer notes that this off-the-beaten path locale can be a bit of a challange to get to: "Once you enter the park, follow the gravel road ... to the end. [G]o slow, it is a single lane with one or two turnouts for traffic coming the opposite direction." When you finally arrive, 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. 

The refuge operates very limited hours and only welcomes visitors from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on the weekends from September to March. For more information, check out the U.S. Fish and Wildlife's official website.

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You don't have to make a special effort to visit the Virgin Islands National Park; if you're on St. John, you're probably standing right on the edge of it. Two-thirds of the island is parkland, and most of Love City's top attractions — Annaberg Plantation, Caneel Bay and Trunk Bay — are within its confines. There are numerous ways to enjoy this tropical paradise. Adventurous travelers should hike at least one of the 22 trails, while families will enjoy camping overnight on the beach.

There is no fee to enter the park, but you'll have to fork over $4 per adult to enjoy Trunk Bay beach. One TripAdvisor user raves that a visit to Trunk Bay is well worth the price: "Trunk Bay is absolutely gorgeous and has all the amenities — sheltered picnic tables, restrooms and a good snack stand. If you want to sit, read and/or watch the world go by this is the very best beach!" 

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