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Staying at Oyster Bay in September

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Hello, I have been to to St. Maarten twice, but both times were just for part of the day on cruise stops so I didnt get to see much outside of the main shopping strip. We are staying at Oyster Bay Beach Resort for a week this coming September. We are most likely renting a car although I was a little shaken by the other thread discussing Thrifty/Dollar Rental. I understand that it is located right on the Dutch/French border. Are there any recommendations on things to do or places to eat/see within walking distance of the resort? Thanks ahead of time for the responses.

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    Hi

    You definitely need a rental car - even if you don't rent from Dollar Thrifty, there are plenty of other viable options.

    There is not a lot to do within walking distance of where you are staying, however if you drive for 15 minutes or so into the Fench side of the island there is a wide variety of possibilities.

    Head for Orient Bay, where there are all kinds of beach restaurants/bars/watersports etc. available on what is - arguably - the best (and longest) beach on the island.

    Continue towards Marigot and stop by Grand Case - ideally for dinner in one of the excellent restaurants there.

    You could also take a short ferry ride - it's more like an oversized rowing boat - from nearby Cul de Sac to peaceful Pinel Island on your way to Marigot. The water there is always calm, and you can lunch and relax there at one of the quiet beach bars.

    Marigot itself has two marinas, Marina Royale is very pretty, and is surrounded by boutiques and restaurants, but the parking is usually a bit of a problem, there is however a large parking lot at the far end of the marina if you head in the Sandy Ground direction.

    On your way from the Oyster Pond area, just before you reach Orient Bay, there is a butterfly farm which is worth a visit - if you are interested in that sort of thing - but I suggest that you avoid Le Gallion Beach which is close by. It doesn't have the world's best reputation !

    A few miles short of Marigot there is a turning to your left to Pic Paradis where there is a nice restaurant and an interesting zip line - if you feel brave enough.

    The shopping in Marigot is more varied - and up market (high end names etc.) - than you will have found in Philipsburg when you spent some time there off cruise ships, and with the value of the Euro going down the tube, the prices have become a bit more bearable.

    All in all - unless you want to re-create the Philipsburg Front Street shopping experience - you will find the French side of the island more interesting, though if you are looking for nightlife you will have to 'go Dutch'. The best casinos and restaurants are in the Maho area, though it will be a 20 to 30 minute drive for you - if you are lucky - but anyway a rental car is ESSENTIAL, bearing in mind where you are staying, if you want to see the island, and make the best of your stay.

    I hope this helps a bit.

    Have fun.

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    Have a great time.Have been owners for 11 yrs. You can rent a car at Oyster Bay. We think that they are reputable. Do not dimiss The Infinity restaurant at the resort. BeauBeaus for simlpe meals. There are great restaurants right within walking distence. Big Fish 7 the restaurant on the dock are good. The Westin Casino is convient & we feel safer in the evening rather than going to Phillipsberg or Maho in the p.m. If you make a right at the end of Emerald merrit Rd.,and another right, there are some interesting restaurants right accross the lagoon. try La Frigate ,wonderful food .
    One word of advise, do not stop your car at night if you see someone in the road or flagging you down,even at the end of our road by the entrance. They have been having some problems on the island with mostly non-island people from other islands. emember it is beautiful but not perfect. another beach that is very interesting is Palm Beach on the French side. It is fairly close to the resort & the prices are very resonable with some of the best food on the island. Purchase of a drink or food gives youn a wonderul cushioned rataan lounger. Beautiful sculptures by entrance & restaurant. No cruise ships come here so it is very restful. We just found out about it this past march 2012 & will definetly return.
    have a wonderful time & say hello to Brenda,marilyn & Juan from Bob&Karen.

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