Parasoils and Vacationeers on Little Bay Beach in front of Belair Beach Hotel



If any of our suggested itineraries is the most difficult to compile, it is the one making us decide which of St Maartens / St Martins pristine beaches to select for recommendations. However, as this is part of our “things to do” itineraries, we go for a selection of beaches that combine well with leisure options. See for more tranquil beaches our suggested nature lover, peace seeker itineraries or our guide to St Maarten beaches.



1. Plane Spotting at Maho Beach


Plane spotters watching a plane fly over Maho Beach while swimming in the Caribbean Sea


The most famous beach of St Maarten is a must do – not having seen / been close to planes landing and departing on Maho Beach is not having been to St Maarten. The Maho Village and area offer a wide variety of bars and dining options after your plane spotting experience like Dinghy Beach Bar, SALT, Roma / Mr. Chow and Spices of India.



2. Shopping at (Philipsburg / ) Great Bay Beach


Take a shopping trip to the St Maarten Capital Philipsburg and its most famous shopping street Front Street


Alongside Philipsburg‘s famed boardwalk, one finds Great Bay Beach. Its cosmopolitan waterfront allows for great opportunities to eat out (for example Aziana, Ocean Lounge, Big Bastards, Schnitzelhouse, The Pier, and AMAsterdam  enjoying bars like the above and  last but not least shopping. Alongside the full length of Great Bay beach one finds Front Street, known and awarded as the island shopping mecca, with amongst others jewelry houses the likes of Ballerinas, Joes Jewelry, Zhaveri, Dazzling Gems, Diamonds International, Oro Diamante and unique stores like Le Dutch.



3. Watersports at Orient Bay Beach


Blue turquoise water at Orient Bay Beach on the French side St Martin


For the active holiday person, Orient Bay Beach is not to be missed. One of the largest beaches on island, Orient Bay offers a variety of watersports.



4. Snorkeling at Little Bay Beach


Snorkeling at Little Bay Beach while staying at the Divi Little Bay Resort St Maarten


Next to watersports, Little Bay Beach offers a great spot to go snorkeling – right under the cliffs of Fort Amsterdam. The amenities of Divi Little Bay Resort and Belair Beach Hotel allow for a care free day, Pure Ocean, Mix and Gizmo’s for great sunset dining options.



5. Sailing and yachting at Simpson Bay Beach


Yellow beach beds at Karakter Beach Bar and Restaurant on the Simpson Bay Beach


With many sailing tours departing from the Simpson Bay area and this district on the Simpson Bay Lagoon being the home base of the annual Heineken Regatta, there is no beach that better combines with a (half) day or evening of sailing than Simpson Bay beach. Nearby St. Maarten Yacht Club caters to sailing lessons and courses if so desired and forms a true club house of the St Maarten sailing community.  If not an active sailor or yachtie yourself, just take a beach day and see the ships roll in and out of the Simpson Bay Bridge. Restaurants along this beach are Karakter, Mary’s Boon and Dinghy’s Beach Bar.



6. Dining at Grand Case Beach


Sunsrise at Grand Case Beach St Martin


There is no St Maarten / St Martin beach as well stocked with restaurants as Grand Case Beach. As with Philipsburg, the main street of this fishing village meanders along the stretched beach with many restaurants, from affordable local seafood lolo’s to the high end.



7. Nightlife at Kimsha Beach


A view of KIm Sha Beach in Simpson Bay with yellow beach umbrellas and brown beach beds


Kimsha Beach enjoys a wide variety of famed St. Maarten bars, restaurants and nightlife venues around it. From Dutch – inspired “Huppel the Pub” via St Maarten’s main rhum distillery and bar – restaurant Topper’s to Replay sports bar, there is plenty to do around this beach till late!



8. Multi – Beach tours by boat


Boat trip with Aqua Mania Adventures on the waters



If one beach per day is not enough for you, Aqua Mania Adventures, Eagle Tours and Pyratz Gourmet Sailing offer a great variety of tours combining sailing and motorboat tours with activities like swimming, sailing, dining and the occasional plane watching at Maho Beach. See their tours at our sailing and Activities on the Water department.



9. Jetskiing at Little Bay Beach


People riding jetski's on the turquoise waters of St Maarten / St Martin


Apart from historic Fort Amsterdam, restaurants like Gizmo’s, Pure Ocean, Mix and shops, how many more things more do you want at Little Bay Beach? Well, what about renting a jetski to explore the blue waters of Little Bay?  Aqua Mania Adventures’ Little Bay station rents them out. Make sure not to disturb the large brown pelican colonies near Fort Amsterdam as they are noise sensitive, but enjoy their beauty as they fly by!



10. A mini hike at Pinel Island


Sunny weather picture of Pinel Island beach with tourists


One of the most popular local ways of spending your weekend day is laying your towel at Pinel Island. Those in the know appreciate this uninhabited island at swimming distance from St Maarten. As this is a nature reserve (closing down at 5pm, as are its two restaurants) make sure you take some minutes to stroll from the gorgeous landside beach to its Atlantic counterpart, with great views over the St Martin peaksTintamarre and St Barths.