When to Go

The high season begins in December and runs through the middle of April. During the off-season, hotel rooms can be had for as little as half the high-season rates.

The French side's Carnival is a pre-Lenten bash of costume parades, music competitions, and feasts. Carnival takes place after Easter on the Dutch side—the last two weeks of April—with a parade and music competition.

On the French side, parades, ceremonies, and celebrations commemorate Bastille Day on July 14, and there's more revelry later in the month on Grand Case Day.

The Dutch side hosts the Heineken Regatta in early March, with as many as 300 sailboats competing from around the world. (For the experience of a lifetime, you can sometimes purchase a working berth aboard a regatta vessel.) Other local holidays include November 11 (St. Martin's Day), and April 30, the birthday of Queen Juliana.

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