Francis Bay is one of my favorite beaches on St. John. It's a stunning white sand beach flanked by the towering green hills so characteristic of this charming island. It lacks the facilities of nearby Trunk Bay, which is a positive from my perspective because it keeps down the crowds. If you want to spend time at a beach every bit as lovely as Trunk, with smaller crowds and no parking fee, this may be your best bet.
My favorite activity in St. John is snorkeling, and there's nothing I enjoy more than swimming with sea turtles. To that end, I saw more green sea turtles at Francis Bay than I saw anywhere else in St. John. On one swim, I saw six! Explore the grass bed in relatively deeper water on the right hand side of the bay, and you won't be disappointed. Now, admittedly, there are other spots with better/more accessible coral (Scott Beach, Henley Cay, Waterlemon Cay, Salt Pond, etc) but the number of turtles alone was enough for me to give this beach five stars.
My recommendation? Go to Trunk Bay on the first day of your trip. If you've not been to St. John, you'll be glad to have seen it. After that, save money, and come here instead. On second thought, don't... I'd prefer to keep the crowds small!
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