We spent a lot of time on this trip exploring various beaches all over the island. The idea was to hit the recommended snorkeling spots and then do some strolling and people watching at the more crowded beaches in between.
We started off at Dawn Beach where our beach access questions were answered helpfully by a Westin employee who told us we were welcome to use their parking garage and lounges. The beach was powdery white sand with plenty of palm trees for shade. Plus, we had the entire place to ourselves at 10am.
You can see in the photo that there are some close reefs offshore, but the water was pretty rough and the visibility was poor. When other people started spreading toward us, we headed back north to Orient Beach. Orient Beach is very lovely and easily the most crowded beach we experienced during our trip. We saw several people parasailing and even braved the nude beach down at the very end. (We declined to participate, however.)
But probably my favorite part…
We stopped in for a $2 beer and french fries, introduced myself to the friendly owner and we enjoyed a good laugh over having the same name.
At this point, we decided to skip the ferry ride out to Il Pinel because of the rough sea conditions, choosing to head back to our room for a quick lunch, then hit Friar’s Bay Beach. The water was much calmer on the west side of the island, but the coral was damaged and the variety of sea life was lacking.
The random cows in the road were amusing though…
The next day, we visited Mullet Beach on the far south end of the island, enjoying the wide expanse of powdery sand. Although the beach was very steep, which made walking in the water a bit difficult.
Our last beach experience of the trip happened when our flight got canceled and we needed to stay near the airport, on Simpson Bay Beach. The most interesting part about this beach is that it is adjacent to the airport, so you can easily walk down to the end and see planes taking off and landing. Not quite the same experience as Maho Beach, but a lot less sand flying around.
We took advantage of our hotel’s umbrellas and lounges and enjoyed our last night on St Martin watching the sunset and drinking beers on the beach.