IFF: Magens Bay (aka Megan’s Bay)

Good day from de island,

Friends I was super excited about sharing our fishing trip with Double Header for DJ’s birthday as this week’s IFF, but let me just tell you, it was bad. B.A.D. As much as I am tempted to, I do not want to use our blog about the wonders of island life to slam a company for what can only be described as horrible customer care. I’ll just say we all found the positives in the day (like catching some yellow-fin tuna), and I’d be happy to share with anyone who might be considering using their fishing charter service. Anywho here are some pics:

Trey, JJ, & DJ
Our newly engaged friends Kris & Kelly


  
In lieu of this, I decided another beach post was due. Being in hospitality, I am constantly getting the ole one-liner, “so they named the bay after you huh?” Heh. I don’t mind it. At least they are trying to be funny! My response is always to claim it proudly. Who wouldn’t!?



Magens Bay

Magens Bay is largely quoted as “one of the top 10 beaches in the world”. Obviously there are tons of “top beaches” lists, but it’s certainly one of the top in my book. Aside from being the gem of St. Thomas and the standard response for “what should I not miss in St. Thomas?”, the history of Magens Bay just adds to its charm. I can’t even tell you how many versions I’ve heard of why it’s named Magens and who donated it and what has happened there. Here’s a much less colorful version of the gist of the VI’s acquisition of this incredible beach from the Magens Bay Authority website:

On December 28, 1946, the Municipality of St.Thomas and St.John acquired the magnificent Magens Bay Beach, and some 50 adjoining acres of grove and grass land by gift of the owner, Arthur S. Fairchild.  The beach, which is more than 500 yards long, is regarded by world travelers as one of the most magnificent to be found anywhere.  The grove contains many rare and beautiful trees.   The entire area was developed by the St.Thomas Park Authority, now the Magens Bay Authority for public recreation in  accordance with the wishes of the public spirited donor through whose generosity and vision the community has so largely benefited.

In his 1943 Deed of Conveyance, Fairchild stipulated that Magens Bay should be “Maintained as a public park (with its natural beauty preserved) for use by the people of the Virgin Islands in perpetuity without discrimination of any kind as to race, creed, color or national origin.” This unique vision has inspired those charged with its management.

My personal favorite history lesson comes from an old island man who frequents Drake’s Seat (the lookout point of Magens Bay) along with his donkey, Lady Gaga. He was exceptionally excited to share it with me because, of course, my name is Megan 😁

 

The beach is a mile long and is divided by an invisible line of tourists and locals. The right side of the beach is considered the tourist area mostly because everything is there: taxi drop-off, restaurant and bar, shops, and water sport rentals. The left side of the beach is much more quiet and secluded with parking right near the shoreline and picnic tables scattered about. Magens is simply sand and surf (quiet, quiet surf- unless its winter). When you are dying at your cubical, this is the beach you are imagining. It’s a relaxer’s paradise. We pack a lunch and grab the beach chairs and lose hours of time hugging a noodle or drive over for the afternoon for a tranquil spot to do some reading.

 

  

When we have visitors, we make sure to show them the snorkeling at Magens. For the most part, it’s considered a beach without snorkeling, but all the way to the left side of the beach has some really unique shallow water snorkeling (great for first-timers) and as you continue out, there’s some decent coral growths as well. We’ve also just happened to have spotted some of the most interesting marine life we’ve seen yet while snorkeling at Magens!  The rocky landscape at this end of the beach is some of my favorite on island too.

 

  

parrot fish

brain coral
fan coral
squid
baby barracuda
birds at Magens
southern sting ray
rock fish
octopus

What’s wonderful for visitors to Magens is that it is near nothing and plenty at the same time. A perfect day on St. Thomas would be stopping at Drake’s Seat for photos, going to Magens for a few hours of relaxing and snorkeling, hitting Peterborg Point just before sunset, and enjoying a Famous Delite (roadside ice cream stand right at the entrance road to Magens Bay) on the way in. Très très bien!

 

Thanks for checking in folks 🙂 Island life for us right now consists of too many of our friends moving, praying for rain, and planning our upcoming NYC trip/cruise in less than a month! I am also thoroughly trying to convince my mom to move (cross your fingers for me!) 😉 Until next Friday…

Cheers,

Megs

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