We'll start with our number one favorite beach on St. Martin - Happy Bay beach, featured in this video. What could be a better name for this jewel of a beach on St. Martin? Happy Bay is the perfect secluded beach of soft white sand, gently lapping waves and palm trees. The video gives you an aerial view of this pristine-perfect beach so you can see how nicely it is nestled in a protected cove.
The beach can only be reached via a short 10-minute walk on an easy footpath from the neighboring beach of Friar's Bay. The photo below gives you an idea of what the path is like and the little slice of paradise that awaits you through the trees. The beach can also be reached on sailboat excursions, where people are dropped off on the beach for some swimming, snorkeling or sunbathing.
If you're looking for a quiet, private beach to relax and soak up some sun, then this beach is the one. It is considered one of the most beautiful beaches on St. Martin. Coconut palm trees are close enough to the beach to provide ample shade from the sun. You won't find any beach bars, snack stands, umbrellas or chairs on this beach so be sure to bring your own supplies.
The calm water and protected area of this beach makes it quite pleasant for snorkeling. Yes, there are some nude sunbathers on the beach but not very many, and it is allowed there, as with other beaches on the island. The absence of crowds, the tranquil setting and the beach's natural beauty make it an ideal beach escape.
4 More Beaches We Love in St Martin
The next on our list is Friar's Bay. Again, a nice quiet beach with minimal crowds, pleasant surf, good snorkeling and perfect for families. This one does have a couple beach bars as well as umbrella and chair rentals. Best of all, it's adjacent to Happy Bay where you can simply take a short scenic hike to the other side. These two beaches make a perfect duo for a peaceful and relaxing day at the beach. Explore it more with our dream video of this Caribbean beach.
Next is Dawn Beach, beautiful for its amazing sunrises and beautiful water with a coral reef easily accessible for snorkeling. This beach is a great location to stay during your trip as it's conveniently located on the island for accessing other beaches. Also, it's best to set up lodging here so you can catch that spectacular sunrise. There are several resorts and hotels here, as well as fine restaurants and casual beach bars. Learn more about this in our Dawn Beach video travel article.
Pinel Island is a truly special beach location. Exploring this little island gem just off of French Cul de Sac is a must as it has a beautiful marked nature trail with gorgeous views of the north and east end beaches, and of course an idyllic, perfectly calm, swimming pool-like beach on the main side. There are a couple beach bars here so you can enjoy some good food and drinks while you're relaxing on the beach. Come and enjoy our video about this island that is the #1 ranked video for searches on Pinel Island.
Maho Beach (photo credit: Flickr/Kelly Reeves CC-BY-ND)
Finally, we have Maho Beach, a beach of a different type. It doesn't make our list for relaxing and serene, however this is a beach for unusual thrills, that of huge jet planes flying within feet or meters over your head as they land at the airport. Be prepared for jet blast, loud noise and blowing sand, as this is a pretty unbelievable experience. The beach has pretty water, yes, that too, but this is all about the planes. Check out our full article on this beach for more information.
There are numerous other beaches on the island on the French and Dutch side including the popular Orient Beach. Many are beautiful, even the popular Orient Beach, but we found overcrowded and did not have the same beauty or experiences as the others. Much of the popularity of Orient has been driven by Club Orient Beach, a nude or clothes-free resort.