Thursday, January 19, 2012

Favorite Things: St. Martin/St. Maarten Beaches

I haven't been to every single beach on the island, but these three are among my favorites.

My family lives on the French side. During Christmas time (high season) we try to stay on that side of the island as traffic is awful, especially on the Dutch side. God help you if you're on that side of the island when one of the massive cruise ships docks.

When we do venture over to the Dutch side, we go to Karakter's. The beach bar/restaurant is located on Simpson Bay Beach, very close to the airport runaway. I love watching the massive American Airlines, Air France, and KLM planes land.

This beach is on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. The waves and current are pretty strong, as are the drinks. There is free WiFi. It gets packed, so get there early. Beach chairs are free if you're staying for food/drinks.

Of the three beaches, Karakter's has the most extensive menu and is known for their food and drinks.

Friar's Bay Beach is on the Caribbean Sea and French side of the island. It's the closest one to my parents' house.

We usually stay by Kali's Beach Bar but both places on the beach are popular with French folks, locals, and Americans. Kali is owned by a local Rastafarian and his "lady", Caroline, who is French.

Note: please my fellow Americans, do not go to a local spot on a French island and act all indignant when they tell you they don't serve Bud Light.

On the road to the beach we passed some cattle that were done grazing for the day. My seven year-old nephew said, "What the heck?"

Le Galion Beach is also on the French and Caribbean Sea side of the island. It's known as the Baby Beach. It's very popular with families.

The water is so clear and calm. My nephews (4 and 7) adore this beach.

There's a good beach bar and they will bring drinks and lunch out to you. It goes without saying the French bread is amazing.

Next week: Favorite beach bars.


Paola said...

Oh I would LOVE to go back to St. Martin/Maarten!!!
And now I would even have good suggestions ... where were you in the early 90's when I went???
Gdo I LOVED watchign those gynormous planes land on the famous land strip there.

Deborah said...

Bella! The Caribbean is on my list to visit, with St. Lucia & St. Martin on the top.

Does speaking French help with a visit to St. Martin?

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

Paola - I was there in the early '90s, but not on zee Internet. ha

Deborah - You don't need to speak French to visit St. Martin. However, if you do speak French it's helpful.

To live there it's a must.

Ciao Chow Linda said...

I want to go -- now.

gibber said...

NYC is right...knowing just a few basic French sayings would be helpful to visit (like hello, good morning, can we speak english please).

I wish I was there right now. LE SIGH. It's freezing and there's snow on the ground. I was just in New Orleans where it felt like SXM - hot and humid.

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - SXM doesn't get too humid even during the summer. Thank god for trade winds.

Sorry about that snow. It was in the high 50s today.

CCL - I know what you mean.

gibber said...

Weeellll, I don't know about that...I was in SXM during October, and it was humid as all get up. and HOT. :) But I think it's pretty rare.

I love the air temps during the winter. But I love the water temps during the early summer!

nyc/caribbean ragazza said...

gibber - I have never been there in October.

I would like to go one year during mango season!