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Best Things To Do in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Like most Caribbean destinations, St. Martin and St. Maarten is wonderful for relaxing in the sand or playing in the waves, but families take note: St. Martin's beautiful beaches are clothing-optional (especially the tourist favorite, Orient Bay). Vacationers will find bathing suit-clad sunbathers along Simpson Bay and Maho Bay on the Dutch side. Hurricane Irma had a big impact on the island, so repeat visitors might find some favorite places closed or with limited amenities, but the island has made great strides in renovating and repairing the damage. Make sure to set aside time for away-from-the-shore activities – hiking through Pid du Paradis, playing the tables at some of the casinos or shopping for duty-free deals along Front Street.

How we rank Things to Do.

#1

#1 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Orient Bay Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Irma and is one of the places on the island that recent visitors said was a bit shocking to see, with most of the businesses completely wiped out. That said, they still extol the virtues of the clear waters and fluffy white sand.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Orient Bay (St. Martin)
Orient Bay Beach was hit hard by Hurricane Irma and is one of the places on the island that recent visitors said was a bit shocking to see, with most of the businesses completely wiped out. That said, they still extol the virtues of the clear waters and fluffy white sand.
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#2

#2 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Surrounded by the gorgeous Caribbean water on all sides, one of the more popular activities on the island is to get off it! Sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving and any other watersport you can imagine is easy enough to schedule, and many companies stand ready to take you out for the day. Since St. Martin is in the heart of the Lesser Antilles, it's also quite popular to visit other islands, such as Anguilla, St. Barts and Saba.
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Sightseeing Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Sailing, Yachting and Boat Tours
Surrounded by the gorgeous Caribbean water on all sides, one of the more popular activities on the island is to get off it! Sailing, kayaking, windsurfing, snorkeling, diving and any other watersport you can imagine is easy enough to schedule, and many companies stand ready to take you out for the day. Since St. Martin is in the heart of the Lesser Antilles, it's also quite popular to visit other islands, such as Anguilla, St. Barts and Saba.
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#3

#3 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Located on the island's southwest tip, Cupecoy is a set of three beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs. It's also the last beach on the Dutch side before crossing the northern French border. Travelers say the sunsets here have to be seen to be believed, with dramatic views of Saba in the distance. Consider enjoying the day's end in one of the area's beach bars, or by buying a cold beer from one of the local vendors walking along the shore. Cupecoy Beach is also noteworthy as a LGBT-friendly beach, and families should beware the clothing-optional section of the beach's northwest end. Recent visitors said the beach is stunning and romantic and suggest getting there early to claim a spot in the sand.
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Cupecoy Beach (St. Maarten)
Located on the island's southwest tip, Cupecoy is a set of three beaches surrounded by limestone cliffs. It's also the last beach on the Dutch side before crossing the northern French border. Travelers say the sunsets here have to be seen to be believed, with dramatic views of Saba in the distance. Consider enjoying the day's end in one of the area's beach bars, or by buying a cold beer from one of the local vendors walking along the shore. Cupecoy Beach is also noteworthy as a LGBT-friendly beach, and families should beware the clothing-optional section of the beach's northwest end. Recent visitors said the beach is stunning and romantic and suggest getting there early to claim a spot in the sand.
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#4

#4 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Visitors can hike, lounge in a pool cabana or even take a zip line through the treetops on the 135 acres of forest and farmland located near the foot of Pic du Paradis. The farm has made a nice recovery since Hurricane Irma, though recent visitors say that the vegetation is not as lush as it used to be. That said, visitors were impressed with the amenities, service and food and pleased with how fast the farm has resumed operations.
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Sports Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Loterie Farm (St. Martin)
Visitors can hike, lounge in a pool cabana or even take a zip line through the treetops on the 135 acres of forest and farmland located near the foot of Pic du Paradis. The farm has made a nice recovery since Hurricane Irma, though recent visitors say that the vegetation is not as lush as it used to be. That said, visitors were impressed with the amenities, service and food and pleased with how fast the farm has resumed operations.
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#5

#5 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Many call calm and quiet Mullet a decent alternative to the noise and sand blasts of Maho Bay, or to the crowds of the French side's Orient Bay. Along with its clear waters, travelers were pleased with Mullet Bay's soft sand and surfer-ready waves.
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Mullet Bay Beach (St. Maarten)
Many call calm and quiet Mullet a decent alternative to the noise and sand blasts of Maho Bay, or to the crowds of the French side's Orient Bay. Along with its clear waters, travelers were pleased with Mullet Bay's soft sand and surfer-ready waves.
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#6

#6 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Friar's Bay, or Anse des Pères, has a more family-friendly atmosphere than some of the other scantily clad shores of St. Martin. That's because its crystalline waters have gentle, swimmable waves that are easy for children to handle. You can watch your kids play from the beach bars that corral Friar's; Kali's Beach Bar offers food and drink if you get hungry. The secluded Happy Bay is a 10-minute jaunt away, and according to many, this tiny stretch alone is worth the trip. 
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Beaches Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Friar's Bay (St. Martin)
Friar's Bay, or Anse des Pères, has a more family-friendly atmosphere than some of the other scantily clad shores of St. Martin. That's because its crystalline waters have gentle, swimmable waves that are easy for children to handle. You can watch your kids play from the beach bars that corral Friar's; Kali's Beach Bar offers food and drink if you get hungry. The secluded Happy Bay is a 10-minute jaunt away, and according to many, this tiny stretch alone is worth the trip. 
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#7

#7 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Located just south of the Dutch/French border, Dawn Beach is famous for two things: One, the amazing sunrises that earned the shoreline its name. And two, clear water that's perfect for snorkeling.  
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Beaches Type
2 hours to Half Day Time to Spend
Dawn Beach (St. Maarten)
Located just south of the Dutch/French border, Dawn Beach is famous for two things: One, the amazing sunrises that earned the shoreline its name. And two, clear water that's perfect for snorkeling.  
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#8

#8 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Shopping is great throughout the island thanks to its duty-free status, but the best bargains on jewelry, china, electronics and more are found on Front Street in Philipsburg (found on the Dutch side). Should browsing turn to buying, make the Guavaberry Emporium – and its primo-potent liqueur – your first stop and purchase. Head over to Front Street's eastern end and the glittering slot machines of the Coliseum Princess Casino if you still have money to burn.
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Shopping Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Front Street (St. Maarten)
Shopping is great throughout the island thanks to its duty-free status, but the best bargains on jewelry, china, electronics and more are found on Front Street in Philipsburg (found on the Dutch side). Should browsing turn to buying, make the Guavaberry Emporium – and its primo-potent liqueur – your first stop and purchase. Head over to Front Street's eastern end and the glittering slot machines of the Coliseum Princess Casino if you still have money to burn.
... more
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#9

#9 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
Are you looking to relax in tranquility? Keep looking – Maho Bay beckons to amateur photographers, aviation fanatics and curious thrill-seekers. The southwestern beach's fame is due to its unusual proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport. Every afternoon, travelers love to stand on the sands to take pictures of the approaching planes and feel their jet blasts. 
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Beaches Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
Maho Bay (St. Maarten)
Are you looking to relax in tranquility? Keep looking – Maho Bay beckons to amateur photographers, aviation fanatics and curious thrill-seekers. The southwestern beach's fame is due to its unusual proximity to the Princess Juliana International Airport. Every afternoon, travelers love to stand on the sands to take pictures of the approaching planes and feel their jet blasts. 
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#10

#10 in St. Martin - St. Maarten

Free
You can drive or take a taxi up Pic du Paradis mountain's 1,492 feet for a heart-stopping view of all of St. Martin/St. Maarten, as well as the surrounding islands of Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius. Also known as Paradise Peak, the mountain was a hit with recent visitors, who said it is worth the hike for the stunning panoramic views.
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Natural Wonders Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend
Pic du Paradis (St. Martin)
You can drive or take a taxi up Pic du Paradis mountain's 1,492 feet for a heart-stopping view of all of St. Martin/St. Maarten, as well as the surrounding islands of Anguilla, Saba and St. Eustatius. Also known as Paradise Peak, the mountain was a hit with recent visitors, who said it is worth the hike for the stunning panoramic views.
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Free
Monuments and Memorials Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend

Free
Hiking Type
1 to 2 hours Time to Spend

Sightseeing Type
Less than 1 hour Time to Spend
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