St. Barts is More Than Beaches
With its French style, language and natural elegance, St. Barts (or St. Barths) is the most upscale of the Caribbean islands today. Its breathtaking beauty, charm and welcoming atmosphere attract visitors of all types, from celebrities and corporate CEOs to vacationing families, young couples and adventurous backpackers. The 14 different gorgeous beaches, stunning harbor views and fabulous St. Barts villas make this island a favorite travel destination for many.
With flavorful meals and light dishes ranging from delicious fresh fruits and juices to gourmet French and international cuisine, stylish restaurants, simple eateries and friendly bars ranging from contemporary chic to rustic are abundant. Trendy boutiques share the colorful streets with arty shops displaying local clothing, jewelry, shells and beads. Whether your preference is a party-time excursion or a relaxing vacation basking on the beach while the kids swim and snorkel, St. Barts is your ideal destination.
Gustavia Town View
Colorful Cultural Influences in the History of St. Barts
The island of St. Barthelemy was visited in 1493 by Christopher Columbus who named it in honor of his brother, Bartolome. Since then, major influences, settlers and rulers have included French colonists, the Caribs, settlers from Normandy and Brittany and the King of Sweden. Traces of all of these different cultures can be found on the island.
However, the island is currently a free port as a territory administered by France. French is the primary influence and language on St. Barts today, and the French cuisine, chocolates and charm will entice you to abandon all responsibilities and cares, revise your travel plans and stay for a while. Treat yourself, your partner or spouse or your entire family to a fabulous stay in one of the stunning St. Barts villas of this island paradise with its pristine beaches and azure seas.
A List of Beaches on St. Barts
Whether you are staying in a luxurious villa or a more modest seaside cottage or guest house as your choice of St. Barts vacation rentals, your stay on this isle is sure to be fascinating, relaxing, inspiring and intriguing. There are myriad different areas, aspects and activities to explore on this colorful, fun and culturally rich Caribbean island.
Beach time and water sports never cease to delight one and all visitors to this fabulous island while staying in one of the beautiful St. Barts villas. All beaches are open to the public, and each one has its own distinct style, ambiance and St. Barts activities. Spectacular beach areas to be enjoyed by you and your partner or spouse, your entire family or your travel group include the following:
- Corossol Beach.
Located on the southwestern side of St. Barts, the terrain surrounding this beach is hilly. This creates a somewhat private atmosphere similar to the protected feeling of a cove. Corossol is known as a fishing village, and its waterfront displays charming cottages, many quite old, that highlight sightseeing trips during St. Barts excursions. The statue of a saint sits on a large boulder as a fishermen's memorial. This spot is ideal for quiet, peaceful swimming for the entire family, and it offers a glorious, romantic setting at sunset for young couples to enjoy. This beach is near Gustavia, the main town on St. Barts for celebrating a Caribbean vacation.
- Grand Cul de Sac Beach.
This is a classic style St. Barts Beach. It is the perfect choice for anyone with the desire to sample multiple culinary treats while enjoying a relaxing day on the pristine white sand. This beach is a favorite place for windsurfing, which is an exciting sport for older teens and adults enjoying St. Barts travel adventures and St. Barts activities.
This seaside venue is also ideal for kite-boarding and sailing, offering fun and healthy sports activity for singles, couples and families alike. Petit Cul de Sac, a second bay shielded by a reef, is a popular beach for safe swimming, snorkeling and basking in the sunlight by children and adults of all ages.
- Flamands, Marigot and Lorient Beaches:
These three beaches are great for vacationing families during St. Barts travel excursions as part of a Caribbean vacation. At Marigot Beach, all family members can safely go swimming or snorkeling off this peaceful, protected section of coastline. Lorient Beach is a surfer's paradise with plenty of warm, supportive Caribbean rollers to catch for a ride.
- Flamands is a lengthy and deep beach, somewhat secluded. It is the perfect location for surfing for beginners, body-surfing and boogie-boarding due to its characteristic gently rolling waves. Parts of this scenic beach are shaded by overhanging palm trees, and nearby is the famed La Langouste restaurant serving excellent brunches and dinners.
St. Barts Flamands Beach
- St. Jean Beach. This very popular beach adjoins the active community of St. Jean. As the second largest town on the island, Saint Jean is at the north coastline on Baie de St. Jean. This beach is the perfect spot for families or travel groups seeking an all-day seaside experience during a Caribbean vacation. Here, you can enjoy all of the amenities of full beach-side service between dips in the beautiful, warm coastal water, including delicious meals, snacks and beverages.
View of St. Jean Beach
Following your day on the beach, you can enjoy a leisurely stroll past the well-known landmark of Eden Rock to browse in the many charming shops. Afterward, you can linger to enjoy dinner at one of the town's fine quality restaurants. You may even want to return to the beach after dinner to experience the magic of dusk gliding into twilight over the deepening blue-green shades of the sea.
Events and Activities for Children to Enjoy on St. Barts Island
There are many other adventures and exciting activities for children as well as the whole family to enjoy on this fascinating island. After taking part in the many captivating beach events and water sports, your youngsters, teens and adult family members may be ready for other forms of engaging entertainment, sightseeing and fun. The following attractive choices are also available:
Hiking and Nature Walks
Even young children enjoy hiking. By starting out slowly, being prepared to carry your little ones if they grow tired along the way, you can share the joy of exploring the island on foot with the kids. In fact, even babies and toddlers like short hikes when traveling by stroller, "baby backpack" or halter-style baby carrier.
Children of all ages are delighted with nature walks. They especially like meeting up with the curious animal life along the way. A favorite activity for children is feeding hibiscus flowers to the tortoises and iguanas. Of great interest to youngsters are the large, slow-moving snails seen mostly during rainy weather.
St. Barts Islands Turtles
Hermit crabs are also a great curiosity to children as are the colorful pelicans as they dive energetically for fish in St. Jean Bay. Children of all ages like feeding the fish as they jump up to take the food from small hands. Of course, the seagulls will attempt to steal the fish food away, enhancing the action and excitement for the kids.
Museums and Landmarks
The museum in Gustavia has many captivating exhibits of the art of St. Barts and the neighboring islands. If your children like arts and crafts, you should take them to visit the Blue Gecko. This art studio features painting on ceramics along with other arts and crafts. Here, you can also buy some creative local souvenirs for displaying in the kids' rooms back home. For a real-time taste of local history, you can visit the series of intriguing old forts on the island.
St Bartholomew's Anglican Church
Playground and Sports Training
Near the sports stadium in St. Jean, there is a playground for children of ages 3 to 10 years. This is the ideal spot to meet both local and traveling families with young children eager to make new friends. During holidays and school vacation time, the sailing and windsurfing clubs on the island frequently offer training courses. The local tennis club also operates tennis camps for children who want to play sports.
Major Events of the Year on Saint Barts
The most celebrated events of the year on the island include the following to be enjoyed by locals and visitors of all ages:
- January - St. Bart Music Festival (a showcase);
- April - St. Bart Festival of Caribbean Cinema (featuring Caribbean documentaries);
- August - St. Bart Summer Session (featuring 10 days of performances by 30 different musicians); and
- October - The Taste of St. Bart (a local and international gourmet food festival).
Popular Restaurants, Bars and Nightlife on St. Barts
There are many popular and top-rated restaurants, bars and nightlife venues on St. Barts for older teens and adults of all ages to enjoy while staying in one of the ideal St. Barts vacation rentals. Among the best restaurants on St. Barts are the Orega serving irresistible sea bass and lamb entrées and L'Esprit featuring tender, flavorful scallops with warm foie gras. Another favorite spot for more casual foods is La Petit Colombe offering delicious sweet and savory pastries and flavorful quiche.
Popular bars for friendly nightlife action are the well-known Bar de L'Oubli in downtown Gustavia offering an extensive cocktail menu and the stylish Rock Bar at the top of the Eden Rock Hotel for creative drinks in a trendy-chic atmosphere. Other celebrated venues for nightlife entertainment include Le Ti St.-Bart in Pointe Milou in the northeastern part of the island featuring a colorful cabaret show.
Bar de L'Oubli
There is truly something for everyone on the charming, friendly and fascinating island of St. Barts, enhanced by a stay in one of the popular St. Barts vacation rentals. Many first-time visitors find it difficult to leave this warm, inviting and colorful Caribbean paradise, and most return visitors make a habit of frequenting this beautiful and unique isle of enchantment and intrigue.