Gustavia, St. Barths church and town skyline.

Spend a Day on St. Barths

Here’s an island gem that sparkles.


There is a petite island just southeast of St. Maarten/St. Martin that seamlessly blends local charm with sleek sophistication. Its official name is Saint Barthélemy, but many refer to it affectionately as St. Barths (or St. Barts). Whatever you call it, this French isle is a gem of a day-trip destination.


St. Barths is known for its duty-free shopping and designer boutiques. Add to the mix an array of luxury hotels and villas dotting the hillsides and you have a playground for the rich and famous. But there is so much more to this secluded destination than celebrities and paparazzi. Against a backdrop of green hills and valleys are unspoiled and inviting beaches lined with palm and sea grape trees. It’s no wonder that many visitors think of St. Barths as the “St. Tropez of the West Indies.”


St. Jean Beach and Shell Beach offer open-air dining, relaxing lounge chairs and, of course, the iconic tropical cocktail. And you must stop at Nikki Beach, where you can feast on some of the island’s most delectable bites while rubbing shoulders with celebrities. If you’re not in the mood to hobnob with the stars, relax at one of the island’s many restaurants. Almost all boast stunning ocean views and that sweet Caribbean charm that makes this region so appealing.


The main harbor town of Gustavia is known for its French elegance and Caribbean gingerbread houses. It’s the island’s shopping hub, where you can easily rent a car or hire a taxi to take you on an island tour. Make your way through narrow streets while perusing name-brand boutiques and eclectic shops as you savor the smell of baguettes wafting from distinctly French bakeries.


Depending on what time of year you visit, you may have the chance to see the island in bloom. Frangipani and Flamboyant trees are sprinkled around the hillsides, in gardens and along the roads. The brilliant colors of the flowers stand out against the muted greens of the low brush that lines the hills and valleys. In addition, many species of birds like to make their home in St. Barths.


It takes just 45 minutes to reach St. Barths aboard the Edge. The high-speed ferry departs from Aqua Mania Adventures at Simpson Bay. Great Bay Express also offers a high-speed ferry to St. Barths. Find them at Bobby’s Marina in Philipsburg, or book your trip online. You can also take a plane from Princess Juliana International Airport. The landing at St. Barths is a spectacular experience. Either way, you’re in for an excursion you won’t soon forget.





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