Rent a car—it’s cheaper and more convenient than taking taxis—to check out the island’s 37 stretches of white sand. On the French side, Orient Beach, once famous for its clothing-optional policy, has since cracked down on wandering naturalists from nearby nudist colony, Club Orient. There’s several bars along the two miles of beach, and you can pick up chairs, umbrellas, snorkeling gear, and surfside massages anywhere along the way. Also on the French side (but on the western half of the island), neighboring Plum Bay and Baie Longue are more secluded and significantly less populated. Surfers and snorkelers go to Plum Bay (coral reefs can be found just offshore), while Baie Longue is favored by sun worshippers. There are no services on either, so you’ll need to bring your own provisions—stock up at Le Petite Market, which has sandwiches and handmade ice cream (44 Rhein; 599-545-3322). Go to Dawn Beach, on the Dutch side, for sunrise views of St. Barts and breakfast at Mr. Busby’s Beach Bar (599 543-6828).
3. What to Do
Published on Jan 15, 2008 as a web exclusive.