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A Typical Tour of My Island
After typing that heading, I’m not certain that the word ‘typical’ really works, as each of my tours is truly customized to your wishes, even as we drive along. I’ll give it an attempt here.
This is what we might do on Your tour if you don’t happen to have any other specific requests. You can check an island map online to follow along with this ‘tour’. Note that we can’t do EVERYTHING mentioned below, as we just can’t have the time unless you might like to spend a week.
Note that I am fully licensed, and will pick you up at the Cruise Facility gate. With your reservations we will confirm exactly where to meet. You will walk from your ship the short distance to where we will meet up.
After you are comfortable in my air-conditioned vehicle, perhaps with a cold bottle of water (or maybe later a cold beer), we will probably drive thru the nearby commercial and residential area of Pointe Blanche up the hill towards Monte Vista for a panoramic view and photo opportunity looking out over your cruise ship, Great Bay and Philipsburg. The Divi Little Bay resort will also be visible across the bay.
We will drive back down the hill and towards Philipsburg, where we might make a loop of the downtown area, first along ‘Back Street’ where most of the shops sell mainly to locals, then if it is open (it closes to vehicles with too many cruise ships) along the newly re-developed Front Street, which is probably the finest shopping experience in the Caribbean. If you are interested in shopping, I will point out many of the shops along the way, but shopping here will be later, or on your own after the tour.
We will probably then drive clockwise around the island.
Leaving Philipsburg, the first stop might be at Divi Little Bay Beach Resort. This will be a short stop so that you can see what the beach has to offer for your return visit to our island.
We will most probably continue over Cole Bay Hill, with a short stop at the overlook. There is usually a beautiful view of Saba, a nearby island, and sometimes other islands, depending on the humidity in the air. We will also have a beautiful view looking out over the Simpson Bay Lagoon with the marinas and yachts at anchor.
After Cole Bay Hill, we will shortly enter the Simpson Bay area. There are both a Simpson Bay (on the Caribbean) and a Simpson Bay Lagoon (the water in the ‘center’ area of the island if you look at the map). You will see a number of (timeshare) resorts and restaurants as we head towards the airport.
As we pass our new airport we reach Maho Beach. This is the famous beach at the foot of the runway where giant aircraft land, only 10’s of metres above the sand. The schedule varies, so we may or may not witness planes landing. To arrange to see the large planes would be a special request for your tour, as they are normally during the afternoon.
After we drive through the Maho area, a mix of restaurants, shops and a casino, we will be at Mullet Bay Beach. This is a very popular beach for locals, especially on the weekends. We can stop to view the beach, and maybe Rosie’s snack shop will be open?
From here we will probably drive straight through the Cupecoy area and cross the border onto the French Side. Our next stop is probably the open-air market on the Marigot waterfront (the French-side Capitol). Here they sell many tourist and souvenir items, as well as a collection of spices and local arts, local hand painted bottles of rum, etc. Wednesday and Saturday mornings are the best, but many booths are open each day. If you wish to purchase fresh (morning caught) fish or fresh goat, we would need to bypass some of the previous locations to get here early.
Here is your chance to climb up to the Fort St. Louis / Fort Marigot for a magnificent view of the island, with Marigot below, Simpson Bay Lagoon off to the left and the nearby island of Anguilla straight off.
After leaving Marigot we will drive past Grand Case, the small beachfront village with many, if not most, of the highly rated/reviewed restaurants on the island. We could arrange a short stop here if you desire, or could even plan ahead for a lunch stop at one of the many beach-front French Café’s or Restaurants or LoLo’s here.
We will soon enter the area of Orient Beach. The beach is almost 1.5 miles long, and there are many areas, some of which are clothing optional, as you probably know if you have researched visiting our island. We can do a brief stop here at Orient, and depending on your wishes, we can stop near the clothing optional portion of the beach or elsewhere. It is your tour, you can decide.
If you would choose to remain at Orient Beach (or other beach) for the afternoon, we could end the tour here, and you would return to the Cruise Facility on your own (about $7 or $8 per person) or I could arrange to return and pick you up (for an additional fee).
After Orient Beach, we are headed back to Philipsburg. You may choose to be dropped off in downtown Philipsburg for shopping, or we may deliver you back to the cruise facility. If you choose to shop, you may walk back to the ship (20-30 minutes?) take a taxi for about $3 per person, or take the Water Taxi from the Little Pier in front of the Court House, also for about $4 per person.
I certainly hope that you have enjoyed your Virtual tour of my island.
What might we have skipped or missed above?
We could spend more time at the beginning or end for shopping. Again, it is your decision.
We could have stopped at the famous Cupecoy Beach on the Dutch side, or Long Baie (home of the famous La Samana Resort where Mick Jagger stays on the island), or the very private Plum Bay (Baie de Prunes), which is beautiful, but has no public services.
Baie Rouge is more widely known, and is a very nice beach with a couple of beach ‘restaurants’ available for your pleasure, along with chairs and umbrellas. Decent snorkeling is available on the right hand side of the beach near the rocks.
There is very high-end jewelry and shopping available in Marigot, like Cartier and such. Many of their items are also available in Philipsburg. As well, there are many very ‘French Items’ in the shops throughout Marigot and in the West Indies Mall that are available mostly on the French side.
You may have heard of the Famous Ma Dou Dou flavored rums. We might pay a visit to their little office in French Cul de Sac for a tasting and purchase. Or maybe a wine shop for some fantastic French wines?
Le Galion is a very nice, calm, family friendly beach near Orient. There are food and watersport rentals available. They are very near the Butterfly Farm and Bayside Stables.
Dawn Beach is very beautiful, if out of the way, and is a wonderful stop if the winds are not blowing in. They have very nice beach restaurants at Mr Busby’s and nearby, as well as decent snorkeling if not bad weather.
On a completely different approach, I also have a list of Art Galleries and Exhibitions that we could attend around the island. That would, of course, be an entirely separate decision for a tour. Not many options for beach time with this choice.
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