Great Bay

Photo credit: © Phil Comeau

Great Bay, located on the southern end of the island and in the heart of the capital, features a two mile long beach filled with lush white sand and beautiful palms. An extended boardwalk adds a party atmosphere to the beach.

Positioned near the heart of Philipsburg, Great Bay is on the North coast of the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten. You might think about stopping by even if you aren't staying in the immediate vicinity. Travelers who want to avoid long taxi rides will probably like Great Bay. There are so many things to do in the area, as this beach is right in the center of all the daytime activity.

How to Access The Beach
Great Bay is easily accessible from Little Bay Road. Taxis and buses also travel throughout the area.

Amenities and Ambiance

It is impossible to walk down the Great Bay beach without noticing the lengthy boardwalk, which has recently become center for shopping and fun. The long strip of beach itself is well maintained, with soft white sand and shallow, clear water. As the beach sits in the center of the capital city, the surrounding area gives the feel of a vacation hotspot rather than a secluded nature getaway.

You could always try the restaurant right on the water, if it suits your taste. Every region in the Caribbean has its own cuisine, and St. Martin is no different. One of the best places to discover local delicacies is right on the water. With this in mind, you might ask your hotel if they offer to pack picnic lunches for their guests. Or, on your way to the beach you could grab some carry-out from a casual dining spot.

The concession stand located here is another lunchtime alternative.

Great Bay does have public restrooms for your convenience. It's also good to know that you will have access to chairs and umbrellas here, so guests looking for some respite from the sun will not go leave unhappy.

Great Bay including its offerings for amenities will be located within an area that sees many visitors. What this means is that if you feel that these amenities influence your decision, naturally, it's a smart idea to make it earlier in the day before the other tourists come or perhaps even going to a more secluded beach elsewhere. If you arrive later, you could find all of the services being already claimed by other guests.

What's Nearby


Found on the North coast of the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten; it will be near other attractions like Great Bay Boardwalk West, which is pretty close, so some will want to take a cab, while others will find it a nice walk.

If you want to combine a cultural experience with your visit to the beach, you should consider a trip to Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit. It's located relatively close to Great Bay, so it would be an easy side trip to take after some time in the sun.

The beach is one type of attraction you can visit, but there will be more options available in St. Martin. The following table contains attractions that are the closest.

Activities and Attractions Near Great Bay
Attraction Type Distance Direction Island
Great Bay Boardwalk West Scenic Trail 0.1 mi. E the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Golden Casino Casino 0.2 mi. W the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Lb Scott Sports Auditorium Sporting Event Venue 0.3 mi. NNW the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
The Courthouse Historical Site 0.4 mi. E the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Wathey Square Park 0.5 mi. E the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Fort Willem I Historical Site 0.5 mi. W the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Nanette Bearden Fine Arts Gallery Art Gallery 0.5 mi. E the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
The Salt Pickers Monument 0.5 mi. E the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit Museum 0.6 mi. NE the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
St. Maarten Museum Museum 0.7 mi. ESE the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Diamond Casino Casino 0.7 mi. ESE the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten
Sucker Garden Salt Factory Ruins Historical Site 1.6 mi. NE the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten

Cities and Towns

Philipsburg is nearby and is not an overly urbanized area, but still has its fair share of things to do. From the shore, Philipsburg is a fairly short distance away, roughly a quarter mile (a half kilometer).


Whether or not you encounter many other people will depend on if you visit during a popular season, which is often indicated by how busy the hotels are. At this beach, you can expect to share the sand with more than a few travelers staying at the closest accommodations.

Beach-goers will find a pretty nice range of resort and hotel options to choose from in the area around the beach. The most accessible of which are shown in the table that follows.

Accommodations near Great Bay
Hotel Distance Direction Type
Sea Palace Resort 0.2 mi. E Hotel
Sonesta Great Bay Beach Hotel 0.2 mi. W Resort
Seaview Beach Hotel 0.3 mi. E Hotel
Horizon View Beach Hotel 0.5 mi. E Hotel
Holland House Beach Hotel 0.5 mi. E Hotel
Ernest Hotel -- -- Hotel
Midtown Motel -- -- Motel
Monte Oro Hotel -- -- Motel
Paula's Country Inn -- -- Hotel
Divi Little Bay Beach & Racquet Club 0.7 mi. SW Resort


If the heat at the beach has you craving a cool cocktail and a bite to eat, you'll have plenty of places to dine, without having to go too far. One of the closest restaurants is Antoine Restaurant. This restaurant offers both French and Italian cuisines. They are also famous for their seafood.

The following table lists nearby restaurants.

Restaurants near Great Bay
Restaurant Name Phone Cuisine Style Distance Direction
Antoine Restaurant (721) 542-2964 French, Italian Fine Dining 0.0 mi. ENE
Bay View Restaurant (721) 542-2446 Eclectic Very Casual 0.2 mi. W
Molasses Restaurant (721) 542-2446 International Informal 0.2 mi. W
The Waterfront Café & Pizzeria (721) 542-2446 Italian, Mediterranean Informal 0.2 mi. W
L'Escargot (721) 542-2483 French Informal 0.3 mi. E
Roasted Rooster Restaurant -- -- -- 0.3 mi. E
Air Lekkerbek Bar & Restaurant -- -- -- 0.4 mi. NNW
Bigwood Grill (721) 580-1191 American, Caribbean Very Casual 0.4 mi. E
Burger King Philipsburg (721) 543-2515 American Very Casual 0.4 mi. E
Caribbean Blend (721) 520-9669 Caribbean Very Casual 0.4 mi. E
Firehouse Bar and Restaurant (721) 580-2629 International Very Casual 0.4 mi. E
Front Street Cafe (721) 542-0342 Mediterranean Very Casual 0.4 mi. E

Other Beaches

Of course, you'll find other beaches besides Great Bay on the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten.

If the active mood at Great Bay is one of the features you love, consider also visiting Back Bay, another location where you'll find fun and action. You'll find it a mile and a half to the east-southeast. If you're looking for something a little more private, you might find what you want at Simpson Bay Beach. You'll find it a quick car or cab ride away.

Another sun-drenched spot to consider is Indigo Bay Beach, which is located only a short distance away. Enjoy exciting watersports, or explore interesting historical sites while visiting Little Bay Beach.

St. Martin has a lot to offer its visitors, but taking a swim at Great Bay is certainly a fun way to enjoy the area's natural attractions.


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