St. Martin has been a romantic getaway destination for me in the past, but that’s not to say that there isn’t any fun on this 34 square mile island for kids to enjoy as well.
There are two parts of this island to explore. The French side (St. Martin) and the Dutch side (St. Maarten) both have a unique feel and style and you will need a car to get around.
Which side of the island you stay in depends on the type of travel experience you want, as well as your budget.
St. Maarten is often busier. Its Phillisburg area is a shopping mecca for tourists, most of which arrive on the larger cruise ships that dock nearby. It is also less expensive and has a collection of larger chain hotels that many are familiar with.
St. Martin is a bit more laid back, with not so much of the hustle and bustle to offer. We’ve prefer staying in their boutique style hotels as a couple, though these offer tons of amenities for traveling families as well.
Ideas on what to do
There are a total of 37 beaches to explore, though for families the highlights would be Anse Marcel for its really serene atmosphere and still waters, which would be perfect for little ones to play around in. We also had to visit Maho Bay to see the low-flying planes landing in the nearby airport. It’s a thrill to watch, though it offers little in the “relaxation” department due to the heavy tourist traffic and many beach bars nearby. Kids might get a kick out of visiting Oyster Bay, especially since during low tide you can walk to a nearby island and explore. Just make sure to watch out for the sea urchins!
Another great stop for families is the Carousal Gelateria, popular among visitors and locals a like, with a really fun carousel ride for kids to enjoy while parents take in the beautiful ocean views.
Afternoon treat at Carousel Ice Cream in #StMartin, the best ice cream spot on the island! #RiuPressTrip #GGTinStMartin A photo posted by Carol Cain (@girlgonetravel) on
A visit to Grand Case is also a must do, though its best to park the car and walk around. The beach is spectacular as are the views of the colorful local architecture. Lunch at a local lolo is a must for a taste of the typical cuisine of the island. My favorite spot is Sky’s The Limit in Grand Case. (Make sure to order the Johnny cakes!)
The beauty of a visit to the island is that no matter what side you choose to lay your head in, it is an easy enough island to navigate by car and to explore. Whether you travel as a couple or go as a family, you will find that the island caters beautifully to both and will leave you many happy vacation memories.
In partnership with Alamo Car Rental.