Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay

Good morning and Happy CARNIVAL!

As a resident of this beautiful island, I love spending my days off beach hopping along the North Shore, but every now and then, I really enjoy stepping off the beaten path and doing a little exploring. A couple of weeks ago, on a picturesque, sunny day, a few friends and I drove out to the southeast part of St. John. 

We parked at Salt Pond and walked down the short trail to the beach. I love this area of St. John, because it has a different climate and altogether feel that distinguishes it from the rest of the island. Whereas the north side and closer to Cruz Bay tend to be lush and green, walking the trail to Salt Pond beach reminds me of the deserts found in Utah and Arizona. Cactus and frangipani line the path and the soil is reddish brown, very different from the powdery white beaches of Trunk Bay. 


Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay 1
Trail to Salt Pond Beach

After spending some time sunbathing on our towels and snorkeling with Salt Pond’s resident turtles, we decided to walk down the beach to see if the flamingos were still hanging out in the Salt Pond behind the beach. Sadly, we must’ve missed them but instead of turning back to the beach, we continued our stroll along a dusty, narrow path heading further away from Salt Pond.

Arriving at Drunk Bay was nothing short of awe-inspiring. There are panoramic views of the Caribbean Sea and giant, rocky formations towering along the coastline. With Rams Head to the right and Nanny Point to the left, it truly feels like you’re back on a St. John before colonization – hardly a person in sight and wild vegetation everywhere. Looking down from the cliffs, waves were crashing along the rocks and flowing back into the ocean like clockwork. It was almost hypnotic to watch the raw beauty of the ocean in this magical place. 

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay 2
Credit to Trip Advisor

The best part of Drunk Bay has to be the seashell, coral, rock, and even sargassum art left by previous visitors! There are – and I’m not kidding – maybe 200 variations of ‘rock people’, some even outfitted with tangled, vibrant sargassum hair! A little eerie at first, it turned into my favorite part of our adventure because we joined in on tradition and had a blast making our own coral creatures. 

Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay 3
Credit to TripAdvisor

After taking lots of pictures with our art, we headed back to Salt Pond, packed up our things, and ended a perfect day with some pizza and drinks from Salty Mongoose in Coral Bay. It was definitely a day to remember, and I highly recommend a visit to Drunk Bay for those who enjoy hidden gems!

4 thoughts on “Off the Beaten Path: Exploring Drunk Bay”

  1. thank you for this nice article! I too love this different part of St. John. My husband and I hike ALMOST to the top of Ram Head several years ago but had to stop because of wind.
    This article brought some good memories……

  2. This is an example of how ignorant people are about moving and removing rocks, coral, sargassum from their original spots in nature, where they support sea and beach creatures.

  3. I can’t speak for the NPS on this, but I’m pretty sure they prefer that people don’t mess around with the rocks and coral on the beach – even stacking to make cairns or rock people. It’s a cool spot, though.

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