If you’re looking for a quick and easy tropical escape, look no further than the island of St. Maarten. This small island is located in the northeastern Caribbean and is divided between the French and Dutch sides—each with its own unique character. From beautiful white sand beaches and crystal-clear waters to duty-free shopping and world-class restaurants, there’s something for everyone in St. Maarten.
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In the Eastern Caribbean, the Dutch and French sides of the island of St. Maarten offer two very different experiences. The Dutch side is all about huge casinos, mega-yachts, duty-free shopping, and relentless nightlife. Conversely, the French side is tranquil and unspoiled, boasting lovely beaches, charming villages, and excellent restaurants. Here are ten ideas to make the most of your weekend away on this beautiful island.
1. Explore the Dutch Side
The Dutch side of St. Maarten is by far the more developed and vibrant of the two halves of the island. Start your exploration in Philipsburg, the capital of the Dutch side. This small town is home to several interesting museums, including the Museum of Sint Maarten, the Maritime Museum, and the Hurricane History Museum. If you’re feeling lucky, head to one of the huge casinos that line the seafront. Check out the duty-free shops at Simpson Bay or Great Bay for some retail therapy. After sunset, dance the night away at one of Philipsburg’s many clubs and bars.
2. Visit Marigot on the French Side
The French side of St. Maarten is much quieter and calmer than the Dutch side. Start your day by exploring Grand Case, a beautiful village known for its excellent restaurants. Then head to Marigot, the capital of the French side, where you can wander through charming streets lined with boutiques and art galleries. Don’t forget to stop and enjoy a cup of coffee or a glass of wine in one of the town’s charming squares or vacation rentals.
3. Experience the Culture at an Outdoor Festival
St. Maarten is home to several fun outdoor festivals, including the Heineken Regatta, the Sint Maarten Carnival, and the St. Maarten Arts Festival. These events are a great opportunity to experience the island’s culture and meet locals and other visitors. Be sure to sample some delicious food and dance to the lively music!
4. Take a Boat Trip to the Out Islands
If you want to get away from the crowds, take a boat trip to one of the out islands. These small, undeveloped islands offer stunning beaches and crystal-clear water. You’ll likely have the beaches all to yourself, so pack a picnic lunch!
5. Hike Mount Pic Paradis
If you’re looking for a challenging hike, head to Mount Pic Paradis. At 1,400 feet high, it’s not the tallest mountain on the island, but it offers stunning views of both the Dutch and French sides of St. Maarten. The hike takes about two hours, but it’s well worth it!
If you’re looking for a luxurious and relaxing getaway, consider spending your next weekend at St. Maarten. Our team of experienced commercial realtors can help you find the perfect villas and luxury vacation rentals. We’re happy to offer our real estate relocation services to both visitors and locals alike. Contact us today. We look forward to hearing from you soon!