When you’re in Philipsburg, you’re never far from the sand because Great Bay Beach fronts the entire length of the town, and the proximity means it’s loaded with amenities. Beach bars abound, as do walk up rum shacks and street carts serving up ice-cold beers. The recently completed boardwalk adds to the cosmopolitan feel of this Dutch Caribbean city. It’s an ideal spot to people watch as tourists and local alike stroll, bike or zip along on segway tours past souvenir shops, restaurants, and bronzed sun-seekers in beach chairs. The brilliant white stretch of sand is one of the longest and widest beaches on the island, and it’s also one of the most popular thanks to easy access from the town and the cruise ship dock.
To get to Great Bay Beach from anywhere in Philipsburg, just head south. The town is only a few blocks wide, so chances are you can see the water from just about anywhere. If you’re visiting St. Maarten by cruise ship you can hit the beach with an easy, 5-minute walk from the dock.