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ST THOMAS — Journey to the north shore of St. Thomas and uncover one of the world’s most breathtakingly beautiful beaches frequented by over 500,000 visitors per year. Magens Bay Beach (pronounced MAY-gahns) is tucked within a unique heart-shaped bay with a one-mile stretch of pebble free, powdery white sands and calm, blue waters. Perfect for swimming, the beach is maintained by the Magens Bay Authority to ensure the parks and beaches operate in a manner which improves the health and living standards of visitors and the populace of the Virgin Islands alike.

The area was once referred to as Great Northside Bay according to early maps of St. Thomas. It was renamed to Magens Bay for Danish territorial Vice-Governor Jacob Jorgenson Magens and his family. With various owners throughout the years, it was eventually acquired by Wall Street financier Arthur S. Fairchild in the 20th century. In 1946, Fairchild donated fifty-six acres of his private property, including the beach and surrounding grove and grassland, to the Municipalities of St. Thomas and St. John for use as a public park. His wishes were that the area would be maintained with its natural beauty preserved for use by the people of the Virgin Islands in perpetuity without discrimination of any kind as to race, creed, color or national origin. The entire area was developed by the St. Thomas Park Authority, what is known today as the Magens Bay Authority, for public recreation in accordance with Fairchild’s wishes.

Magens Bay Beach offers a variety of amenities that makes your day at the beach a stress-free one. Head to Magens Bay Concessions where the beach bar, café and boutique await you. Rent beach and lounge chairs here or get a little active with stand-up paddle boards and kayak rentals from the Yak Shak. Explore the hiking trails at Magens Bay with the moderately challenging paths on The Discovery Nature Trail that winds through a variety of ecosystems in the preserve. Get a glimpse of the island’s beautiful wildlife with birdwatching at the wooden platform overlooking Magens Bay and then traverse through multiple ecosystems — a mixed-dry forest, a moist-tropical forest and ending at the shores of the picturesque beach.

Bonus Tip: Apply the universally known adage that “the early bird catches the worm” when planning your visit to Magens Bay. Beat the crowds and get there before 8am, especially on cruise ship days when the island sees an influx of people on its shores. You’ll be handsomely rewarded with this world-famous beach almost entirely to yourself!

A small admission fee is required to enter the park; $5 Non-Residents 12 and older, $2 Residents 12 and older; under 12, admission is free. Parking is $2 per vehicle. To learn about Magens Bay, visit

Written by Anquanette Gaspard