Natural Attractions in Philipsburg

Photo Credit: © Patrick Hawks CC BY
 

Beaches, shopping, and dining are the top three reasons that tourists visit Philipsburg.  There is a fourth type of attraction that warrants some attention as well: sites that focus on the natural side of the island.  St. Maarten and St. Martin both have done a good job of setting aside some land designated as natural preserves, and those who stay in Philipsburg have easy access to these as well as a butterfly farm, historic plantation grounds, and even a zoo.  

Nature Preserves and Hiking

Loterie Farm Nature Reserve

Do you like spending time outside? You might be happy to learn the area has several nature preserves nearby.

Sint Maarten Marine Park is a popular nature preserve found 1.5 mi. Southeast of central Philipsburg. Visitors looking to explore the natural ecosystems of Sint Maarten will definitely want to look around the Sint Maarten Marine Park. The park is a breeding ground for countless fish, the home to a growing coral reef, and a designated Important Bird Area where migratory birds often stop to rest during their long journeys.

Those wanting to locate a another great natural attraction should consider visiting places like Loterie Farm Nature Reserve. This protected area is the largest on the island and a prime spot for any eco-tourist that find themselves in Saint Martin. The park offers numerous eco-orientated activities that will allow guests to enjoy the more natural side of the island.

Take some time to look through the following chart for more information.

Nature Preserves and Hiking Near Philipsburg
Name Type Location
Loterie Farm Nature Reserve Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 3.8 mi. North of Central Philipsburg
Sint Maarten Marine Park Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Sint Maarten Marine Park Eastern End Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central Philipsburg
Sint Maarten Marine Park Western End Nature Sanctuary/Wildlife Reserve 1.5 mi. Southeast of Central Philipsburg

Parks and Botanical Gardens

Travelers can spend some time in a few parks, or a botanical garden in and around Philipsburg.

Wathey Square is located in Philipsburg. Set in the heart of town, Wathery Square is a bustling port, shopping center, and more that serves as the unofficial town center.

A second attraction in this category is Emilio Wilson Historic Park. Emilio Wilson Park sits on the grounds of what was once a sugar plantation kept in operation by slave labor. In 1954, Emilio Wilson, the grandson of a former slave, bought the property and opened it to the public as a park in memory of the slaves who made St. Martin what it was.

The parks and gardens you'll be able to find can be seen below.

Parks and Gardens In and Around Philipsburg
Name Type Location
Emilio Wilson Historic Park Park Saunders, 1.7 mi. Northwest of Central Philipsburg
Seaside Nature Park Park 1.9 mi. West of Central Philipsburg
The Butterfly Farm Botanical Garden Orient Bay, 4.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central Philipsburg
Wathey Square Park 0.2 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg

Zoos and Aquariums

St. Maarten Zoo

If the concept of spending some time surrounded by animals tickles your fancy, you should visit St. Maarten Zoo. In December of 1991, the St. Maarten Zoo opened its doors to the public, and today it is the largest zoo and playground in the Caribbean. Families love to explore the hundreds of animals that live on property, including birds, reptiles, and mammals.

Another similar attraction is The Butterfly Farm. The farm offers guests the sight of hundreds of butterflies, caterpillars, and cocoons; offering visitors great opportunities for group photos and a good place for the children to have some fun. Guided tours educate guests about the evolutionary cycle of the butterfly, from an egg to the caterpillar, and finally the butterfly.

View the table just below if you want more information.

Zoos In and Around Philipsburg
Name Type Location
St. Maarten Zoo Zoo 1.0 mi. North of Central Philipsburg
The Butterfly Farm Zoo 4.2 mi. North-Northeast of Central Philipsburg

Plantations

Plantations Near Philipsburg
Name Type Location Island
Mary's Fancy Plantation Plantation Saunders, 1.6 mi. Northwest of Central Philipsburg the island of St. Martin and Sint Maarten

Land Formations

Another fun idea is to visit some of the more popular naturally occurring land formations. Other types of natural attractions in Philipsburg are shown in the following chart.

Land Formations In Philipsburg
Name Type Location
Great Bay Bay 0.5 mi. South West of Central Philipsburg
Great Salt Pond Pond 0.6 mi. North-Northwest of Central Philipsburg
Point Blanche Point 1.3 mi. East-Southeast of Central Philipsburg

Needless to say, you can find plenty of other kinds attractions available. Click this link to find our page regarding other interesting attractions for Philipsburg.

 

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