“From that chair I’ve caught/ A few fish and some rays/ And I’ve watched boats sail/ In and out of Cinnamon Bay.”
So writes Kenny Chesney in his song, “Old Blue Chair” which is about enjoying his home that overlooks this very same spot. Cinnamon Bay is a beautiful beach that sits on St. John’s north shore and is a popular place to participate in all kinds of water sports such as stand up paddle boarding, kayaking, or even kite surfing. There are kiosks set up where you can rent this equipment along the shore as well as a little shop with available snorkel gear. Cinnamon Bay is also known for its camping, as it’s the only spot on the island where you can do so (if you're into sleeping on the ground). There are green tents set back in the thick of the forest just beyond the beach as well as bathroom facilities available to both campers and beach goers.
If you’re planning on heading out to snorkel, there are some really cool places to explore here. There’s Cinnamon Cay which is a little sandy island just off the shore, as well as a rocky area on the eastern end of the beach. There are even the remains of an old aircraft between Little Cinnamon Bay and the main beach. Basically, any spot like these three that has areas for fish and sea life to feed and hide makes a good location for snorkeling.
Know Before You Go
When I snorkeled here, there was a bit of a current, particularly when swimming to and from Cinnamon Cay. For that reason, I would recommend this location for snorkelers who are also good swimmers. It can feel like a bit of a swim when coming back to the beach against the current, particularly when you pop your head up and the water has pushed you off your course. But the Cay was a really good place to observe fish and worth the extra effort. I saw a ton of sea urchins, nestled into their coral hiding spaces and slowly wiggling their spines against the flow of the water. The little island is home to fish and other sea critters and will provide plenty to look at for interested snorkelers of all experience levels (provided they’re good swimmers). It’s also a great place to spend the day if you’re part of a family that wants to participate in more than one activity. It’s your one stop for all kinds of fun.
Beach Accessibility: 2/5
Cinnamon Bay is on St. John's north shore, just east of the popular Trunk Bay. It's near enough to the ferry at Cruz Bay to take a quick taxi if you don't have your own rented vehicle and it's just a short walk from the parking lot to the beach. Easy peasy.
Cinnamon Cay is a really neat island to check out if you're into snorkeling. Just make sure whomever goes out with you is a good swimmer. For the less-than-strong swimmers, staying close to shore near the rocks will yield plenty to see. Just be mindful of other people who may be participating in other water sports near you in the bay.
Cinnamon Bay is known for being much less crowded than its neighbor, Trunk Bay, but is still very popular. Expect a lot of people to be participating in water sports in or near the water--something to be mindful of as casual swimmers/snorkelers.
When you visit Cinnamon Bay, you'll quickly understand why a country singer would buy a home here. This is a nice spot to bring families, a significant other, or just a good book. It's hard to pick a bad location on St. John, and Cinnamon Bay is no exception.