Last updated: August 9th, 2023
Although Salomon is every bit as beautiful as any of St. John’s incomparable north shore beaches, this unconventional access keeps the number of visitors down and insures a more intimate beach experience.
Additionally, if you’ve come by ferry from St. Thomas for the day or are staying in Cruz Bay, you won’t need to rent a car or hire a taxi to get to this beautiful beach in the Virgin Islands National Park.
Salomon Bay was named after the brothers Jannis and Isack Salomon, The Salomon brothers were Dutchmen from a prestigious family who came to the Danish West Indies from Statia in the early 18th century. They dedicated the Salomon Bay property to the production of cotton.
How To Get To Salomon Bay
Short Hike from Town
Take the Lind Point Trail, which begins at the Virgin Islands National Park Visitors Center in Cruz Bay.
From the trailhead, it will be a little less than one mile to the beach at Salomon Bay. When you get to the fork in the trail, you can go either way.
The lower trail is slightly shorter and less hilly. On the other hand, the upper trail is often better maintained and more scenic, passing by the beautiful Lind Point Overlook.
From either the upper or lower trails, take the spur trail to Salomon Bay, which will be on your left and leads downhill.
Combining a Drive and a Walk
For a shorter walk (a little over a half mile, but with a descent of 250 feet and the consequential ascent later on) to Salomon Beach, you can use the Caneel Hill Spur Trail.
Take Route 20 (the North Shore Road) past Mongoose Junction and up the hill. Turn left at the top of the hill, where there is a blue Virgin Islands National Park sign. Immediately on the right-hand side is a parking area for approximately four vehicles. Park here if you drove.
The Caneel Hill Spur Trail intersects Route 20 and is clearly marked with a sign. Take this trail north and downhill to the Lind Point Trail and turn left. Then take the first spur trail to the right, which goes down the hill to Salomon Beach.
Parking At Salomon Bay
For those who arrive at the trailhead by car, finding a place to park near the trail can be difficult, to say the least.
Now the Virgin Islands National Park offers a solution of sorts. Hikers bound for the Lind Point Trail can go to the National Park Visitors Center located just across the street from the trailhead and obtain a parking permit that allows them to park in spaces reserved for the park employees. You’ll need to show the attendant at the center your driver’s license, which they will hold until you get back. They will then issue you a sign for you to place on your windshield.
Be aware that empty employee parking spaces are limited and are often unavailable and that parking anywhere else on the street will put you in danger of being ticketed by enforcement rangers.
If you opt for permitted parking, make sure that you return before the Visitors Center closes to get your license back. (The Visitor Center is open daily from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.)
Park back wheels to the curb, windshield facing out towards the street, and enjoy your hike.
At one time, Salomon had the reputation of being a clothing-optional beach. In 1997, a federal court decision allowed the Park, a federal entity, to enforce Virgin Islands territorial laws prohibiting public nudity. With continued enforcement, nudity was discouraged, and today only old-time residents remember the days when Salomon was “clothing optional.”
Snorkeling At Salomon Bay
Some of the finest snorkeling on the north shore can be found on the reef between Salomon and Honeymoon Bays. This easily accessible, shallow-water snorkel can be thoroughly enjoyed by snorkelers of all experience levels.
Salomon and Honeymoon Beach can be reached via the Lind Point Trail or from the Caneel Bay Resort.
Visitors arriving from the Caneel Bay Resort will be subject to a $20 parking fee that can be waived if you spend money at the resort’s facilities.
Snorkeling equipment, as well as single and double kayaks, standup paddleboards, and beach chairs can be rented at the Honeymoon Beach Hut. Cold drinks, ice cream, and snacks are also available for purchase. Other facilities available at Honeymoon Bay Beach include restrooms and lockers.
Most of the reef lies in calm shallow water, with some sections even rising above the surface at times of extreme low tides. Snorkelers should make an extra effort to avoid situations where the water is too shallow for them.
The coral reef here is in relatively good condition, and the reef community is colorful and diverse. Snorkelers will encounter intricate coral formations and lots of colorful fish, with different varieties arriving at different times of the day.
Snorkeling in the center of the bays can also be a worthwhile experience. Stay in areas protected by swim buoys to minimize danger from dinghy traffic in the area. Here, the environment is sand and coral rubble. You will have to look more carefully to find an interesting activity, but there really is a great deal of life here. The hills and holes on the sea floor are formed by eels, worms, shrimp, clams, and crabs that make their homes on this underwater beach.
Snorkeling just off the beach is also a good way for beginners to get practice before attempting to snorkel over the reef, where there is a possibility of danger to both the snorkeler and to the reef from accidental contact.
The reef on the east end of Honeymoon, around the point between Honeymoon and Caneel Bays, is also a good snorkeling area. It’s closer to the beach and smaller than the more extensive reef on the other side of the bay. There is always a lot of fish here as well as some excellent examples of colorful elkhorn coral.