Traveling is a great way to step back and recharge creative batteries. When the temperatures drop in January, I always dream of sunny skies and sandy beaches. My most recent beach experience was a trip I took with two friends to the island of Sint Maarten. If you're planning an island vacation, Sint Maarten is a great place to visit. See below for trip highlights and recommendations.
Sint Maarten is a fascinating place, in part because the island is divided into two territories: the south side belongs to the Netherlands, while the north side (called St. Martin) belongs to France. In Sint Maarten, people primarily speak English, but in St. Martin, the preferred language is French.
We stayed with a friend at an apartment just a short walk from the beach at Mullet Bay. We visited all the major beaches during our time there, but Mullet Bay was my favorite because it was quiet, perfect for reading, snorkeling, and playing with our friend's dog, Sully.
Walking to Mullet Bay from our apartment
Sully loved the beach!
We sought out several French beaches as well. Grand Case is a famous beach on the French side, and there were plenty of restaurants, water sports, and other tourist attractions within walking distance. We saw lots of people riding bikes through the town, fishing on the pier, and even a group of kids petting a horse in the ocean.
Locals sell souvenirs at Grand Case
Marigot is the capital of the French side, and is home to the most delicious pastry shops. The menus are all in French, but many people also understand English. Banana Cafe is a great spot in Marigot for crepes and freshly made juices.
Banana Cafe is a must-visit for crepes and juice!
Walking (getting lost) in Marigot
Finally, if you're going to St. Martin, it's worth your time to visit Loterie Farm, located on the French side. A former sugar plantation, it has been transformed to a beautiful nature reserve with hiking, ziplining, and an on-site restaurant and pool. You can hike Pic Paradis, the highest point on the island, for a great view of the beaches and beyond.
Hiking Pic Paradis was the perfect end to a relaxing trip. Did I miss something in my recommendations? Are you planning any upcoming trips? I'd love to hear about them in the comments!