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.

Located near the heart of Philipsburg, Great Bay is on the North coast of the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten. You might want even if you are not staying in the immediate vicinity. If you can't wait to escape the stresses of city life, you'll appreciate that many of St. Martin's beaches are quiet and undisturbed. Then again, some vacationers seek out the loudest and the most active areas, and are better suited for one of the few lively beaches, like Great Bay.

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. There are several types of dining experiences that vacationers can enjoy in St. Martin, but trying local cusine right on the beach can be especially enjoyable. Sometimes, hotels offer to pack up on-the-go lunches for their guests. Otherwise, you could easily grab some of St. Martin's famous street food along the way.

If you're suddenly hungry or thirsty, the concession stand at Great Bay is the ultimate convenience.

You won't have to worry about finding a bathroom at Great Bay because there are public restrooms. You'll also find chairs and umbrellas, so visitors seeking a break from the hot sun will not be disappointed.

Remember to take into account that Great Bay's location is visited by quite a number of tourists, meaning the availability of certain amenities is likely to be affected.

What's Nearby


The beach is wonderful, but the surrounding area has a lot to offer, too. Look for it on St. Martin's North coast; the area hosts attractions such as Great Bay Boardwalk West, which is pretty close, so visitors have the option to walk or to take a cab.

To some, beaches and museums may see like an unlikely combination, but at least a few travelers find that museums like Yoda Guy Movie Exhibit (one of the closest to Great Bay) offer a fun learning experience and help share a different side of St. Martin.

If a visit to the Great Bay isn't enough to keep you busy all afternoon, this beach isn't far from any of the items in the following table.

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 Heritage Museum Museum 0.7 mi. ESE 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

Cities and Towns

Not far away you'll find Philipsburg, a town which is not lacking in exploration opportunities, yet also not overflowing with buildings. From the coast, Philipsburg is a quick trip away, maybe a quarter mile (a half kilometer).


The number of other people sharing spots in the sand can vary widely, it depends on several things: the season, the weather, even how many of the nearby hotel rooms have been booked. At this beach, you can expect to see a fair amount of vacationers who are staying in the area.

Visitors will find a good variety of booking options to pick from near the beach. The most convenient of which are shown in the table below.

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 Hotel & Casino 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 you're feeling hungry for a midday meal, this beach has you covered, so there's no need to go too far from the shore. One of the nearest places to eat is Antoine Restaurant. The restaurant offers both French and Italian dishes on the menu. They have become well-known, however, because of their seafood.

The table below lists restaurants closest to this beach.

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

There are plenty of beautiful beach locations to choose from on the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten, so Great Bay is just one of your options.

You may also want to try Back Bay, which is generally a pretty popular beach. You'll find it a mile and a half to the east-southeast. If you were hoping to find a tranquil beach scene with few crowds, Simpson Bay Beach may be a good choice. It is located a brief car or taxi trip away.

You may also enjoy Little Bay Beach, which is located within a couple of miles. Enjoy exciting watersports, or explore interesting historical sites while visiting Little Bay Beach.

There's plenty to see and do in St. Martin, and Great Bay offers just one way to spend time outdoors.


Help us improve! We welcome your corrections and suggestions.