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. Martin and St. Maarten Sights

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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...

Great Bay

  • Beach–Sight

This bustling, white-sand beach curves around Phillipsburg just behind Front Street, making it easy to find. Here you'll find boutiques,...

Guana Bay

  • Beach–Sight

If you're looking for seclusion, you'll find it five minutes northeast of Philipsburg. There are no umbrellas and no lounge chairs; even...

Little Bay

  • Beach–Sight

Despite its popularity with snorkelers, divers, kayakers, and boating enthusiasts, Little Bay isn't usually crowded, perhaps due to its...

Mullet Beach

  • Beach–Sight

Many believe that this mile-long, powdery white-sand beach behind the Mullet Bay Golf Course is the island's best. Swimmers like it because...

Simpson Bay Beach

  • Beach–Sight

This secluded, half-moon stretch of white sand on the island's Caribbean side is a hidden gem. It's mostly surrounded by private residences...

St. Maarten Museum

  • Museum/Gallery

Hosting rotating cultural exhibits addressing the history, industry, geology, and archaeology of the island, the museum contains artifacts...

St. Maarten Park

  • Zoo/Aquarium

A good break from sand and sea, this little enclave houses animals and plants indigenous to the Caribbean and South America, including...