St. Martin and St. Maarten Sights

The best way to explore St. Maarten/St. Martin is by car. Though often congested, especially around Philipsburg and Marigot, the roads are fairly good, though narrow and winding, with some speed bumps, potholes, roundabouts, and an occasional wandering goat herd. Few roads are marked with their names, but destination signs are common. Besides, the island is so small that it's hard to get really

lost—at least that is what locals tell you.

If you’re spending a few days, get to know the area with a scenic loop around the island. Be sure to pack a towel and some water shoes, a hat, sunglasses, and sunblock. Head up the east shoreline from Philipsburg, and follow the signs to Dawn Beach and Oyster Pond. The road winds past soaring hills, turquoise waters, quaint West Indian houses, and wonderful views of St. Barth. As you cross over to the French side, turn into Le Galion for a stop at the calm sheltered beach, the stables, the butterflies, or the windsurfing school; then keep following the road toward Orient Bay, the St-Tropez of the Caribbean. Continue to Anse Marcel, Grand Case, Marigot, and Sandy Ground. From Marigot, the flat island of Anguilla is visible. Completing the loop brings you past Cupecoy Beach, through Maho and Simpson Bay, where Saba looms in the horizon, and back over the mountain road into Philipsburg.

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St. Maarten 11

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Nature Preserve/ Wildlife Refuge 2

Viewpoint/ Scenic Overlook 1

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St. Martin and St. Maarten Sights

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Anse Heureuse

  • Beach–Sight

Not many people know about this romantic, hidden gem. Happy Bay has powdery sand, gorgeous luxury villas, and stunning views of Anguilla.

Baie Longue

  • Beach–Sight

Though it extends over the French Lowlands, from the cliff at La Samanna to La Pointe des Canniers, the island's longest beach has no...

Baie Orientale

  • Beach–Sight

Many consider this the island's most beautiful beach, but its 2 miles (3 km) of satiny white sand, underwater marine reserve, variety...

Baie Rouge

  • Beach–Sight

Here you can bask with the millionaires renting the big-ticket villas in the "neighborhood." The gorgeous beach and its salt ponds make...

Baie de Grand Case

  • Beach–Sight

Along this skinny stripe of a beach bordering the culinary capital of Grand Case, the old-style gingerbread architecture sometimes peeps...

Baie des Pères

  • Beach–Sight

This quiet cove close to Marigot has beach grills and bars, with chaises and umbrellas, calm waters, and a lovely view of Anguilla. Kali's...

Butterfly Farm

  • Nature Preserve/Wildlife Refuge

If you arrive early in the morning when the butterflies first break out of their chrysalis, you can marvel at butterflies and moths from...

Cupecoy Beach

  • Beach–Sight

Near the Dutch-French border, this picturesque area of sandstone cliffs, white sand, and shoreline caves is a necklace of small beaches...

Dawn Beach

  • Beach–Sight

True to its name, this is the place to be at sunrise. On the Atlantic side of Oyster Pond, just south of the French border, it's a first-class...

Fort Louis

  • Viewpoint/Scenic Overlook

Though not much remains of the structure itself, Fort Louis, which was completed by the French in 1789, is great fun if you want to climb...

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