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Photo courtesy of the St. Maarten Tourist Bureau

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Island adventures in St. Maarten
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  • The capital of the Dutch side of the island is the Mecca for shopping sprees. With hundreds of duty-free boutiques, you could literally shop ‘til you drop.
  • Once you have picked up one of everything in town, head north through the town square to the old courthouse built in 1793. Then stop off at the St. Maarten Museum, which exhibits an interesting display of Colombian pottery and Delft tableware.
  • Fort Amsterdam, one of the four forts on St. Maarten, was the first Dutch military station in the Caribbean. It not only offers a spectacular view of the Great Bay Harbor, but you can also see the ruins of the neighboring 19th-century Fort Willem.
  • Venturing outside of the capital, you will come upon the three-acre St. Maarten Zoo with 35 different species and a petting zoo.
  • A visit to any of the sun-kissed beaches on the island will prove to be a satisfying experience. Great Bay Beach stretches for more than a mile, while Little Bay Beach offers calm, clear waters for remarkable snorkeling. Other watersports rentals, such as water-skiing and windsurfing, can be found on the Pelican Keys.
  • The quaint fishing village along Simpson Bay makes it a perfect location for some ‘R & R’ on the beach, followed by a nice afternoon snack at one the many cafes lining the coast. With its high cliffs and private atmosphere, Cupecoy Beach is a natural magnet for couples looking for some quiet time alone. It is also a great snorkeling location.
  • Another choice is the summit of Cole Bay, which has an incomparable view of the surrounding islands.
  • Don’t miss St. Maarten’s carnival which displays colorful costumes, music, and a parade. The island hosts two carnivals, the first taking place on the French side during Lent, the second and more extravagant, on the Dutch side. The Dutch carnival runs 17 day and nights to coincide with Queen Beatrix of the Netherland’s birthday.
  • St. Maarten is home to one of sailing’s most popular events, the St. Maarten Heineken Regatta boat race which is held in March.
  • Fishing is a national pass time in St. Maarten. With both big game boat charters and fly fishing beach side, there are plenty of choices available for the avid or novice fisherman. The most popular catches on the island are Marlin, Dolphin, and Wahoo.
  • Golfers won’t want to miss the St. Maarten golf tournaments held throughout the year.

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