St. Croix has beautiful beaches and is part of the U.S. Virgin Islands. What is Rainbow Beach like as a cruise excursion stop, and is it worth visiting?
Rainbow Beach Location
Rainbow Beach is very close to Frederiksted, where cruise ships dock. The location is ideal for those with a day to spend on the island, as less time traveling to the beach by taxi means more time to soak up the sun and sea. The total distance from the pier to the beach is 1.36 miles, or 2.2 km. It is possible to walk this distance, though the shoulders on the side of the road are narrow. An added bonus (for U.S. visitors) is the fact that St. Croix belongs to the USA, so cell phone coverage is ample and there is no additional international fee levied.
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How to Get to Rainbow Beach
Walking to Rainbow Beach is not difficult, though pedestrians should be cautious of vehicles as there are no sidewalks and limited shoulders alongside the road. The entire walk will take approximately 26 minutes. To walk to the beach from the pier, exit the docking area and turn left onto Hams Bluff Road (Highway 63). Continue along the road until arriving at Rhythms at Rainbow Beach.
Waiting for the taxi to arrive at the cruise pier.
Most people opt to take a taxi to the beach, which is fast and inexpensive. Typical rates are about $6 per person and taxis can be found at the end of the cruise pier. There are park benches and plenty of shade while waiting to take the taxi ride - the entire ride takes less than 5 minutes. Make sure to have enough cash on hand for the return taxi trip, as walking at the beginning of the day is easier than after a day spent in the water!
Rhythms at Rainbow Beach Review
The main beach club is called Rhythms. Two beach chairs and an umbrella may be rented for $20, well worth the price for shade and a comfortable place to relax. The beach area is quite active in this location, with jet skis, flyboards, paddle boards, kayaks, and snorkel gear available to rent on site. Chairs and other gear may be rented online prior to your visit at West End Water Sports (located at Rhythms). We were not approached by any beach sellers or merchandizers and enjoyed a very peaceful day at this location.
The onsite bar and restaurant supplies excellent food. Dennis and I had fish tacos and the kids both had pasta with fish bites. The food was delicious, though I think all food eaten outside at a tropical beach tastes wonderful no matter what!
Children's menus are available, and crayons were supplied to keep the boys entertained while we waited for food.
The fish tacos were fantastic and we would order them again without hesitation. I also recommend a side of rum punch with lunch!
The sand at Rainbow is a little rocky, and the gentle waves did throw some stones around as we entered the water. While not a huge deal, it was important to get beyond the break to avoid getting pelted by rocks! Once past the surf break, we enjoyed swimming in the fairly shallow beach. Submerged large rocks made excellent platforms for the boys to jump off of, and the water was incredibly clear and blue.
Do not linger in the area where the surf breaks, or you will be pelted with stones!
The water is warm and the sand is very soft, even in the winter months. We visited the island in February, and could walk straight into the ocean without hesitation. St. Croix is an excellent year-round tropical destination. The lowest average ocean temperature is 77°F (25°C in February and March, rising to about 86°F (30°C) in August-November. The air temperature is generally 73°F-88°F (22°C-31°C), with the hottest month being September.
For those visiting St. Croix on a cruise port visit, this beach stop is recommended for those looking to enjoy a the ocean, rent water gear, and enjoy a fun and active day at the beach.