• Dawn Beach, St. Maarten: The views of St. Barts, great beach bars, excellent windsurfing, and superb snorkeling enchant at any time of day.
  • Mullet Bay, St. Maarten: This beautiful beach has a couple of beach shacks serving food and drinks and a sprinkling of umbrellas and chairs, but nowhere near the activity it once enjoyed as the silky strand fronting the Mullet Bay Resort, the island's first resort and now in a state of (seemingly) perpetual ruin after Hurricane Luis took it out of commission in 1995. The blue pearlescent waters are calm, and the snorkeling isn't bad along the rocks.
  • Simpson Bay, St. Maarten: In spite of its proximity to the airport and the cluttered bar/casino/restaurant activity around the Simpson Bay area, this beach is quiet and peaceful, with long stretches of curving sand and sparkling turquoise seas. A good place to access the beach is at Mary's Boon Beach Resort.
  • Orient Bay, St. Martin: This happening strand may be clothing optional, but it also happens to be a beautiful beach. If you're looking for watersports action and a lively beach-bar scene, this is the place to find it.
  • Baie Longue, St. Martin: The longest and perhaps most private stretch of sand on St. Martin, and a fine place to spot celebrities staying at Belmond La Samanna.
  • Baie de l'Embouchure/Galion Beach, St. Martin: This crescent is encircled (and protected) by a reef, making it a prime family beach. But the steady breezes lure windsurfers, too. It's a great place to glide, and learn.
  • Happy Bay, St. Martin: You can only reach this pretty, remarkably deserted scimitar of sand by boat or by a short hike from Friars Bay; bring a snorkel and fins.
  • Pinel Island, St. Martin: This tiny offshore cay makes for a wonderful day trip with a perfect lagoon to paddle around in.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.