This beautiful and culturally diverse island has much to offer. From incredible beaches, shopping, nightlife, restaurants, and many other exciting things to do, here is a list for those visiting St.Martin for the first time:
1. Maho Beach
Maho Beach is one of the most popular beaches in St. Martin. This is where you can watch the planes land and inhale jet fuel if you decide to get really close to the fence. It is found on the Dutch side of the island in Phillipsburg by the Princess Juliana International Airport. You will also be amazed how many tourists from all over visit this place. Be sure to stop by for a Carib at Driftwood Boat Bar, located right on the beach. They post the flight schedule daily and you get to relax watching the planes land.
2. Restaurants To Visit
Don’t miss going to Le Marrakech. It is one of the coolest middle eastern restaurants to visit. It has a beautiful ambiance and amazing food. From the outside, Le Marrakech looks much like any other Caribbean residence turned restaurant. Step inside and you’ll feel transported straight to Morocco: mosaic topped tables, elaborate metal chandeliers, flickering candlelight and billowy drapes set the scene perfectly. The back patio space is equally stunning and ideal for a romantic date.
Bamboo is an Asian restaurant that serves various Asian dishes with a Caribbean twist. A truly unique cultural twist with food. You can get terrific sushi and sashimi, both classic Japanese varieties and Americanized ones like California roll.
L’Effet Mer is a French restaurant that serves award-winning cuisine of chef Stephane Decluseau. It is in the heart of Grand Case Bay and serves incredible lunch and dinner. You can hang out on beach chairs outside, but the real action is inside, where creative and first-rate cooking is served with charm, precision, and panache.
3. Shops to Check Out
Be sure to visit Sint Maarten Guavaberry which sells St. Maarten’s national liqueur. Crafted of cane sugar, oak-aged rum, and the elusive guavaberries that grow in the island’s central hills, this signature spirit boasts an addictive flavor that visitors come to love.
Shipwreck Shop is a treasure trove of gifts. Goods are characteristically Caribbean and include guavaberry liqueur, local spices and seasonings, and crafts of all sorts. Other great discoveries include artwork, clothing, jewelry, books, an array of delightful domestic goods, and reminders of your time in the Caribbean. An ideal, duty-free stop for souvenir-seekers.
Marigot is the bustling shopping hub on the French side of the island. Designer fashion boutiques are prominent, but perfume and jewelry shops are numerous as well. Manek’s, a two-story duty-free emporium on Rue de la Republique, is a treasure trove of luggage, cigars, liquor, electronics, perfume and apparel.
Belgian Chocolate Shop will have you moan with delight if you are a chocolate lover after tasting the gourmet morsels at this small establishment. Expect to see a line however, as this place tends to attracts quite a few tourists.
4. Nightlife @ The Beach
At Lazy Lizard Beach & Bar Grill, you can enjoy great views of cruise ships and yachts, fabulous food, speciality cocktails and the owner even infuses his own rum. What more could you wish for.
Located right on Simpson Bay Beach, Karakter is ona quiet and calm stretch of sand that is just perfect for the entire family. It is open all day (9am to 10pm) and serves really amazing food.
Sunset Bar & Grill is nested between the runway and sea, the Sunset Bar has perhaps the most photographed beach in the Caribbean. Great place to have some coctails, take pictures of the planes, and listen to some awesome music. They also have a full schedule of when the planes are schedule to land by which airline.
5. Other things to do
We rented a scooter at Johnny’s Scooter & ATV Rental
and had a blast driving around the island. We explored Marigot, Simpson Bay, and Phillipsburg with the ease of parking and had a really great time checking out the island.