Sandy Point

It might not be open to visitors at all times of the week or year, but Sandy Point Beach surely deserves a visit if you are heading to St Croix in the United States Virgin Islands (USVI). Found at the edge of a pristine peninsula on St Croix's southwestern coast, Sandy Point Beach is part of the Sandy Point Refuge. Local environmentalists at Sandy Point specialize in protecting the endangered green sea and leatherback turtles that lay their eggs on the beach, which is why the beach is not always available to tourists. Word has it that Sandy Point Beach made its way into the movie "Shawshank Redemption", likely for its gorgeous setting. There are no concessions on the beach, and it's primarily nothing more than soft sand, turquoise water, and tropical foliage, which helps to make it ideal for escaping from the real world for a bit.

Not the easiest of the St Croix beaches to get to, Sandy Point is nonetheless very much worth the trip. It's a bumpy ride in once you enter the reserve, and then you'll have to hike a short distance from your rental car or taxi. There is a lot for parking, and since Sandy Point isn't a very busy beach, you shouldn't have a problem finding a spot. Once you get to the Sandy Point St Croix beach, you can either set up a picnic, relax on a towel, or perhaps enjoy a long walk. The beach here is about two miles long, which makes it the longest beach in the USVI. It is ideal for strolls of a variety of lengths, and you'll likely never tire of the beautiful Caribbean views in every direction. Should you be traveling with kids, they might like chasing the little crabs around between swims. The swimming here is good, as the water is generally calm. Near the sand it is shallow, though it does get deep quickly, so you'll want to keep that in mind. Unfortunately, the snorkeling at Sandy Point USVI isn't the best, though there are plenty of other great St Croix beaches for that if you are interested.

Due to its role as a nesting place for sea turtles, the Sandy Point St Croix beach is only open to visitors between the months of August and April. Even during these months, it is only open on the weekends, which is an important thing to note. The hours of operation, if you will, are 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. on the weekends, so you can plan your visit according to those hours. It is possible to arrange a visit during the months that Sandy Point is closed, but you'll have to contact the Wildlife Refuge ahead of time if you wish to do so. The top benefit of arranging such a trip is the opportunity to see the laying and/or hatching of turtle eggs. The turtles here lay their eggs at night, which is a safer time to do so. They can lay up to 100 eggs at a time before heading back out to sea, and the eggs take around two months to hatch. Once the hatchlings are out, they immediately head for the water, which is quite a sight to see if you are fortunate enough to catch it.

During your Sandy Point St Croix visit, you'll be hard-pressed to find a palm to shade under, nor are you allowed to stick a beach umbrella in the sand. Also, as mentioned before, the snorkeling is not up to par with some of the other beaches on the island. This, however, doesn't seem to bother most visitors, who come for the chance to enjoy a gorgeous beach that never gets overcrowded. There are no hotels or high-rise buildings here, so it's about as pristine as you could want it to be. No wonder it has popped up in films and commercials.

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