One part French, one part Dutch, St. Martin is truly one of the most unique island destination in the Caribbean. Cultural diversity isn’t the only reason to escape to this slice of paradise. This Caribbean nation boasts some of the best attractions found down South, and any true seeker of fun-in-the-sun should consider it for their next truly unforgettable holiday getaway.
A Beach For Everyone
The island of St. Martin is covered in miles of white sand complemented by turquoise blue ocean lapping up at its shores. The island’s different beaches are as diverse in characteristics as its deeply rooted history. Whether you’re in to watersports, tranquility, or nude sunbathing St. Martin has a beach for even the most particular of tastes. Here is a roundup of the island’s top five must see beaches.
Mullet Bay: One of the island’s most popular beaches located on the southwestern tip of the Dutch side of St. Martin, this spot is awesome for watersports and for catching beautiful sunsets.
Orient Beach: Clothing optional and considered one of the sexiest beaches around, this is a perfect place for a romantic day by the water, particularly for the more exhibitionist of travellers among us.
Friar’s Beach: A more family friendly option found on the island’s northern coast. Smaller then some of the other beaches on the island, it has clear, gentle waters, making it ideal for younger beachgoers.
Dawn Beach: This stunning beach sits right bellow the French border on the east coast of Dutch St. Martin and boast some of the finest sunrises and snorkeling found on the island.
Pine Island: The perfect getaway for your getaway. More popular amongst locals, this beach is only a short taxi-boat ride away on a small island without roads or cars. The ideal place to totally get away from it all.
More Museums Than You Thought
Though it may be hard to imagine yourself getting off the beach to go inside, St. Martin’s rich culture has resulted in the island becoming home to some of the most revered exhibits in all of the Caribbean. These are the top 4 museums on the island (just incase it rains or more likely someone gets a sunburn).
Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit: This exhibit is a surprising compilation of nearly six decades of movie making, including relics from such famous films as Terminator and the Maltese Falcon.
St. Maarten Museum: This museum is operated by the St. Maarten National Heritage Foundation and has exhibits focusing on the island’s plantation period, the island’s history in the salt industry, and the diverse flora and fauna of the island, amongst others.
Art Lovers Gallery: This particular gallery is operated by the Art Lovers Association, which promotes visual arts throughout the Caribbean by arranging events and exhibitions.
Museum of Saint Martin: On the Trail of the Arawaks -This museum gives you a glimpse into the complex history of colonization on the island. Exhibits detail the first human populations to arrive on the island way back in 3200 BC, as well as beautiful ceramic crafts.
First Rate Fine Dining
Whether you’re keeping it on the cheap at a hostel, staying at all inclusive, or unwinding in one of St. Martin’s many private vacation rentals, you need to eat. If your planning on cooking something up yourself, packing a beach picnic, or trying one of the island’s world renowned restaurants St. Martin is sure to have something that will keep your taste buds happy. Taking notes from its Dutch and French influences, meals in St. Martin’s tend to be composed mainly of freshly caught seafood and fish, often paired with top-of-the-line French fare, creating some of the finest dishes in the Caribbean. If you have special dietary restrictions, looking in to a private vacation rental maybe a good options as it will allow you to maintain control of preparing your own food. If possible, try to check out some of the island’s Creole style barbeque dishes while your there such as conch stew, cooked plantains, stewed chicken, and possibly the tastiest grilled garlic shrimp money can buy!
If you’ve never taken the plunge into snorkeling St. Martin’s beautiful waters are a great place to start. From beginners to more experienced snorkelers the island offers a vast variety of marine experiences. Numerous snorkeling excursions are available for those who are not quite yet comfortable renting some fins and heading out on their own. Make sure not miss out on Creole Rock for a swim, which boasts one of the most diverse ecosystems around the island. Another spot snorkeling fans should not miss is Turtle Reef, named for its’ active presence of both green turtles and hawksbill turtles (how cool is that?).
Three Times the Culture
French, Dutch, English, no matter the language, St. Martin’s is a truly special international vacation destination unlike any other. From the rich culture, to its pristine beaches to the beautiful people who live there (as well as those who flock there), the electric pull of one of the Caribbean’s most popular islands is simply undeniable. Stop resisting, book your ticket and go ahead and indulge in everything St. Martin has to offer.