Anguilla is famous for its picturesque beaches, and even on an island ringed by fabulous sand, Shoal Bay takes the prize. Often lauded as one of the best beaches in the Caribbean, Shoal Bay’s pristine white sand is lapped by clear-blue waters and makes the perfect spot for a day lounging by the sea.
The beach is divided into two sections: upper and lower Shoal Bay. Most people head to the larger and wider area of Lower Shoal Bay, where you’ll find a collection of beach bars and restaurants where you can grab a cold drink before settling under a palm tree or sliding into a beach chair for the afternoon. While there, be sure to stop at Gwen's Reggae Bar and Grill, a local institution where you can sample local BBQ ribs and lobster while sipping a Carib beer.
To visit Shoal Bay, drive 12 minutes north from the Blowing Point ferry terminal along The Valley Road, which will take you through The Valley, Anguilla’s capital. You can also find sailing charters on St. Martin that stop at Shoal Bay for lunch on the beach.
If you’re looking for an idyllic beach escape while visiting St Maarten, consider chartering a boat and setting sail for nearby Anguilla, where Cove Bay is one of the only beaches without any resort development to mar the picturesque scenery. Some helpful amenities are available in Cove Bay though, including rental sun chairs and umbrellas. Visitors should bring snorkel gear to explore the shallow, rocky reef at the east end of the bay and also be sure to make a stop at Smokey’s at the Cove to sample some of the tastiest island barbecue around.
Located on the southwest end of Anguilla, Cove Bay is a short boat ride from Grand Case Bay on the French side of St Maarten. You can either charter a boat to take you there directly or take the ferry from Marigot to Anguilla, and then a taxi to Cove Bay.