St Martin is the French side of the island and St Maarten is the Dutch side of the island
I wouldn’t do all of these if it is a stop on your Cruise, But these are all great options on how to spend your time. If you can I recommend a for sure visit to Maho Beach to watch the planes. One of my favorite memories from the whole trip. Hold on tight!
- Maho Beach Take a trip over to the Dutch side and go to Maho Bay. Its a 10 min drive from Marigot with the new bridge. Once there if you are driving a car you can park in the lot for $3 US. This is the famous beach where plans land and take off just over your head. Once you are there you will see planes arriving and taking off daily. But I suggest to really experience it you try and catch the Big 747, KLM plane that comes from Amsterdam. It only arrives about 3-4 times a week and then takes off about 1:30 hours after it lands. It’s the biggest plane that lands on the island. After spending a few days at this beach, the 747 take of is WAY more powerful then any of the other bigger planes (737), and such. Worth it!
- Fort Saint Lewis This small fort is actually the largest historical monument in St.Martin. It also has the best viewing vistas on the whole of the shared island. This includes the absolute best place to view sunsets. It would also be the most likely place to build a fort. It was erected in 1767 on the direct orders of King Louis XVI. This was obviously previous to the French Revolution and the loss of his head in 1793. In fact the Dutch seized the fort after the start of the Revolution in 1789 to head off any sort of anti-royalist elements from Guadeloupe getting subversive ideas. It was originally built to to protect the settlement at Marigot and its done a very good job. Today Marigot is a beautiful village and bay. Not only do you get panoramic view of the island, you can also see the British island of Anguilla. The fort is a steep climb and is open every day from 8:00am to 12:00pm and 1:00pm to 6:00pm.
- Orient Beach is the most well known spot on the island of St. Martin/St. Maarten, it is located on the French side of the island and is well known, I assume, because it has a nude beach. We were dropped off right at the entrance to the Club Orient which is the resort behind the nude beach, go right you’ll be hanging out with the naked folks, go left if you want to visit the clothed section of the beach. It’s rather windy and sitting on the beach is uncomfortable with the sand flying around. There are places where you can rent beach loungers and umbrellas for a fee, it’s almost necessary to avoid having your skin sand blasted.
- Grande Case – Grand Case is the gourmet capitol of the world, second to Paris. Located in the north on the French side of the island. Le petite favorite is a small shopping centre, restaurant, and more. Beautiful to look at with all the gingerbread trim.
- Market in Marigot- There is an outdoor market in Marigot that has some pretty good deals. I should also list this under tourist traps, but its still a good way to kill a couple of hours and pick up some souvenirs for all of the suckers that couldn’t come with you on your trip. the capital of French St. Martin, Marigot has a bit of a southern European flavor. Home to a public market, souvenir stalls, a handful of lolos, and other restaurants, Marigot’s harborfront is the city’s main commercial area. Not surprisingly, it is a good place to people watch, browse, and graze. High-end shoppers will prefer the trendy boutiques surrounding the nearby Port La Royale Marina and along the roads linking the marina and the harborfront. The marina also is home to scores of tourist restaurants, and is a comfortable place to have dinner. One of the town’s highlights is the panoramic view from Fort Louis. A day in Marigot is more than enough to take it all in at a reasonable pace.
*Also know in the beginning of the video was a scene from Nassau at the Rum distillery. This is not located on St. Martin