Beaches, Food + Shopping
French + Dutch
Explore the Island Haven of St. Martin
The Caribbean island of St. Martin is the world’s smallest inhabited island divided between two nations—the French Republic and the Kingdom of the Netherlands. This gives the island a unique blend of cultures that’s difficult to find anywhere else.
The small, but mighty, island of St. Martin spans 37 square miles and splits down the middle. Legend has it that a Frenchman and Dutchman raced along the coast in opposite directions and when they met, the governments of France and the Netherlands divided the island in half on that line. Today, this means tourists are treated to a distinctive experience—two nationalities and two unique places to explore...
Visitors to the island can easily cross between the two sides and experience the calming, romantic French St. Martin as well as the bustling Dutch Sint Maarten. The French side is known for its secluded beaches, outdoor markets and authentic French cuisine that rivals that of France. The Dutch side offers festive nightlife, casinos and duty-free shopping.
Beautiful beaches surround the island—relax in yellow-white sand and turquoise waters. Spend the day beachside with a book, hit the surf and check out the many dining and shopping options that dot the palm-lined areas. Famous Orient Bay Beach boasts a host of activities and nearby must-do’s..
European flair combined with Caribbean roots means there are endless historical and cultural areas to explore. The renowned Fort Amsterdam is a historic fort built in 1631 by the Dutch. Its locale is near the small town of Philipsburg, which offers a frequented shopping district.
St. Martin Bucket List
Make sure to check these items off your St. Martin bucket list! Here’s our top 5 must-do's on the island:
1. Get an Adrenaline Rush on the World’s Steepest Zip Line
Take a ride on The Flying Dutchman with Rainforest Adventures at St. Maarten’s Rockland Estate. Soak in the views from above while dropping 1050 feet at 56 miles per hour.
2. Go Shopping In Phillipsburg
Head over to downtown Phillipsburg, lined with cobblestone streets and quaint little stores, and enjoy some duty-free shopping. The main shopping hub at Front Street offers plenty of fine jewelry and designer goods, plus local artisan crafts.
3. Watch Planes Land From Maho Beach
Its location right at the end of Princess Juliana International Airport makes Maho Beach one of the most popular on the island. Thrill seekers can experience jet planes soaring extremely low right over their heads.
4. Enjoy French Cuisine in Grand Case
Just a short drive from Secrets St. Martin Resort & Spa lies a small beach town and the gourmet capitol of St Martin. Grand Case offers a white sandy beach, authentic eats, lively beach bars and lovely sunsets.
5. Take a Day Trip to Anguilla
The beautiful, tranquil island of Anguilla is conveniently located only 20 minutes from St. Martin. Take a ferry from Marigot or book an excursion on a catamaran and enjoy snorkeling, swimming and relaxing on a pristine beach.
Events in St. Martin
St. Martin has unforgettable experiences awaiting you! Don't miss these annual events.
*Event dates are subject to change
St. Martin Carnival
From colorful parades to street parties, there’s never a dull moment during Mardi Gras in St. Martin. Celebrate with live music, delicious food, children’s events, pageants and more throughout these entertainment-filled weeks.
Experience four days of world-class boat racing featuring seasoned sailors from more than 35 countries cruising down the coast of St Maarten. Nightly parties sponsored by Heineken feature big-name musicians and make for the ultimate event.
DP Dance Salsa Festival
Watch the professionals salsa it out or participate in a workshop to learn some moves yourself. A weekend of dancing, partying and fun will have you glad you came.
On the French side of the island in the town of Marigot, find celebrations abound with live musical entertainment, a bicycle race, games, fireworks, food and dancing.
St. Martin’s Day
Celebrate on both the French and Dutch side of the island to commemorate the sighting of the island by Christopher Columbus in 1493.
St. Martin Christmas Serenade Festival
All month long, revel in the most wonderful time of the year with traditional treats, parades, Christmas concerts, children’s’ activities and more!