St. Maarten: Places to Visit in Philipsburg

St. Maarten Places to Visit in Philipsburg

The Caribbean region is known to be as a first rate tourist destination because of the island’s tropical weather and pristine beaches with crystal clear waters. One of the most sought after island by holiday seekers is St. Maarten (Sint Martin). It is the only island country in the world that is governed by two nations, the Netherlands and France, with Philipsburg (Dutch side – more popular for shopping and night life) and Marigot (French side – best known for gourmet food) as its capital cities.

St. Maarten also known as the “Friendly Island” is an absolute haven for those who love the beach as it has 37 beaches surrounding the whole island. It is warm and sunny all year round, the perfect weather to take pleasure in diving, snorkeling, catamaran sailing, jet ski or any of their watersports activities. It is a shopaholic’s Graceland with all the duty free shopping they can do. This melting pot of cultures is one of the most favoured vacation destinations in the region. Here are a few of the sites that I’ve had the chance to go and see. So, when you’re in St. Maarten don’t forget to put these on your list of places to visit in Philipsburg.

St. Maarten

St. Maarten

St. Maarten

The Beach

Great Bay Beach

  • Take a front row seat and stare at the grandness of cruise ships from a distance or just chill out and look at the horizon while sipping an ice-cold beer or pinacolada served from the bars nearby. Take a dip in its tranquil aquamarine waters or walk on its long stretch of white sand. Great Bay can be found along the Boardwalk with vibrant beach umbrellas and comfy chairs that are stretched out on the shoreline. More often than not, I just walk for about 15 minutes to get to the beach or if I’m too lazy to walk under the sun I take a taxi or a water taxi. This was the only beach I knew and was able to go to until I have discovered that there were more to see in St. Maarten.
Great Bay Beach
Walk along the Beach of Great Bay
Great Bay Beach
A full day of relaxation at Great Bay Beach

Little Bay Beach

  • It can be reached passing through Divi Little Bay Beach Resort with only a private peninsula separating it from Great Bay. I was not able to physically visit Little Bay Beach, but I have seen it from the hills of Fort Amsterdam and it could be a little less teeming compared to Great Bay which is good if you want some privacy. Sailboats and jet skis cross-over Great Bay to Little Bay and vice versa heading to the snorkeling site and a floating cottage right at the foot of the cliff from the Western Wall of the fort.
Little Bay
A view of Little Bay from Fort Amsterdam
Belair Beach Hotel
Belair Beach Hotel

Maho Beach a.k.a. Airport Beach

  • I have seen it many times in YouTube (if you haven’t, check it here) but I guess I wasn’t paying too much attention because I have no idea that it was in St. Maarten all this time. I went to see those planes for myself and in more or less 25 minutes from the Boardwalk, I have reached Maho Beach. It was a small beach right under the flight path of landing airplanes which is actually the main reason why people go to Maho Beach; swimming and snorkeling are only secondary.
Maho Beach Marker
Maho Beach Marker
Maho Beach
These people were eagerly waiting for planes to come to and go from the runway
Maho Beach
Enjoy swimming and snorkeling when there's no plane arriving or landing yet
Maho Beach St. Maarten
Watch the planes as they land passing over the beach

Mullet Bay Beach

  • The beach beyond the golf course. Mullet Bay has a longer stretch of shoreline and it is less crowded than Maho Beach, with a more captivating view where you can just bask under the sun. Its proximity to each other is very favorable for tourists as they can just stroll in about fifteen minutes to experience the charm of both Maho and Mullet Bay.

Mullet Bay Beach

A glimpse of Mullet Bay
A glimpse of Mullet Bay
Mullet Bay Cliff
Mullet Bay Cliff
Mullet Bay Beach
A peak at Mullet Bay Beach
Mullet Bay Beach
See the waves as it crash to the cliff

Food and Shopping

Boardwalk

  • If you’re looking for a place to eat to satisfy your cravings or just want to slow down and have a drink, The Boardwalk is the spot to be. Revel in beachfront dining in the miscellanies of local restaurants and bars that are lined along the side of the road. Several boutiques, shops and hotels sprout from its streets as well.
St Maarten Boardwalk Wharf
St Maarten Boardwalk Wharf
Boardwalk St. Maarten
Bars and Restaurants along the Boardwalk strip in St. Maarten

Front Street

  • From souvenirs, fashion items and electronics to diamonds and other precious stones, the Front Street is the shopping mecca in Philipsburg. It doesn’t only carry local items but high-end brands like Guess, Cartier, Lacoste, and MAC, to name a few, are also available here. If you’re a shopaholic you will absolutely be flabbergasted as you walk the Front Street and if you’re a skillful haggler you can certainly bag a good deal. One of the famous landmarks in the area is the Courthouse that was originally built in 1793. It was previously used as a post office and jail before becoming a courthouse. Another prominent landmark at the Front Street is the Guavaberry Emporium – the store that promotes the local concoction of liquor and guava known as the Guavaberry that is recognized as the national liquor of the island.
St Maarten Court House
St Maarten Court House
St Maarten Courthouse
St Maarten Courthouse Windows and Door
GuavaBerry Emporium
GuavaBerry Emporium
St Maarten
St Maarten Front Street
St Maarten Clock
St Maarten Clock
St Maarten Front Street
Walk along the Front Street
Front Street St. Maarten
Front Street St. Maarten

Back Street

  • Go further all the way to the street behind Front Street and you will reach Back Street (seriously, that’s what they call the streets, Front Street and Back Street 🙂 ) and there you can find more souvenir shops, ornaments and other local stores. Prices of merchandise are cheaper here and there are lots of options to choose from. This is where the locals themselves buy some of their own stuff. This is like their “tiangge” (bargain bazaar) part of town.

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Historic Site

Fort Amsterdam

  • Fort Amsterdam is the nearest attraction from the terminal aside from the Boardwalk. It rests atop of a hill keeping an eye on the enormity of Great Bay and Little Bay. It was the first fort to be built by Dutch settlers in the Caribbean, in 1631. It was then captured by the Spaniards and made it an important stronghold east of Puerto Rico. It remained under the control of the Dutch after the Spaniards left the fort in 1648. It remained under the control of the Dutch after the Spaniards left the fort in 1648. It is one of the two historic forts in St. Maarten (Dutch colony).
Fort Amsterdam
Fort Amsterdam Marker
Fort Amsterdam
Mountain Biking to Fort Amsterdam
Sail Away! Great Bay St Maarten
Sail Away!
Fort Amsterdam
I moved back a bit to get a better view of the Southeast Bastion
Fort Amsterdam
A view of Philipsburg from Fort Amsterdam
Fort Amsterdam
South Bastion Fort Amsterdam

When we hear of the word Caribbean, we associate it with beach, sun, vacation, enjoyment and shopping among others. With the thriving tourism as its proof, St. Maarten certainly lives up to the expectations of the tourists who have been to the island. Again, these are just a few of what I have visited and there are still lots more to see and do.

How about you? What would you like to do in St Maarten?

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St. Maarten Places to Visit in Philipsburg Portrait

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I have always yearned to try out new things but I tend to procrastinate or too reluctant to take that first step to making it happen and being an introvert only made it even harder. When In My Journeys is all about stepping out of that comfort zone and bringing all those aspirations come to life while exploring different places, trying the not so familiar things and meeting new souls. Seize the moment! Let us all Go Out, Travel, Enjoy and Live Life!

19 Comments

  1. aysabaw
    2016-12-15

    balita ko nakaka high daw hangin dyan sa St. Maarten haha

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-12-15

      haha. hindi naman. chismis lang yon. 🙂

      Reply
      1. aysabaw
        2016-12-15

        Haha dyan ka ba nagwowork? O nagbabarko ka at napadaan pang dyan? O turista kang talaga haha

        Reply
        1. wheninmyjourneys
          2016-12-15

          Sa barko, dito route namin. Tine-take advantage ko lang yung opportunity na makalibot ng libre ang pamasahe. 🙂

          Reply
          1. aysabaw
            2016-12-15

            Haha sabi na….enjoyin mo nga ang libreng byahe…ikaw na…sa carribean ka pa nakakagala hah ang galing

          2. wheninmyjourneys
            2016-12-16

            naka swerte lang. haha

          3. aysabaw
            2016-12-16

            😂😂😂

  2. Rashmi Gopal Rao
    2016-12-01

    Lovely! So colorful:)

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-12-02

      Thank you Rashmi 🙂

      Reply
  3. Timi Townsend
    2016-11-12

    A lovely post; it looks like you had a great time! I love the colors you obtain in your photos. Do you use a particular film?

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-12

      Thanks Timi. Yes, it was fun! I usually carry my Nikon D3300 and enhance the colors a bit in Lightroom.

      Reply
  4. Mel & Suan
    2016-11-11

    We’ll do what you have done because it seems so fun!

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-12

      And even more… 🙂

      Reply
  5. vinneve
    2016-11-11

    Beautiful photos! Good to know this place thanks!

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-12

      Thanks for dropping by Vinneve

      Reply
  6. danijordanbailey99
    2016-11-11

    Lovely post! Please check out my first blog! Please follow me and comment ideas for my ‘nature and animal’ based daily fact… animal of the week… all round blog 🙂 ps, what would your animal of the week be????

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-17

      Thanks Danielle. Will surely do.

      Reply
  7. Wild Wild Basch
    2016-11-11

    Thanks for sharing with us. In fact I had never heard about this island before. I have seen the planes landing in this airport I just had no idea it was located over here!

    Wonderful photos.

    Best regards!

    Reply
    1. wheninmyjourneys
      2016-11-11

      You’re welcome. Same here, I only see them in videos before. Thanks for dropping by. Happy Travels! 😀👍

      Reply

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