If your perfect vacation day includes soaking up the sun, playing in the sand, or swimming in the ocean, then our Saint Martin/Sint Maarten guide is just what you need. Our 10Best list highlights the best places to soak up the sun, with Baie Rouge being a favorite of our editors and readers. Turn off the laptop, pack your beach attire, and get ready for a relaxing day of taking in rays.

St. Martin

This lovely stretch of beach is protected by a coral reef, granting ample opportunity for snorkeling and swimming. The white-sand beaches are popular with residents and tourists alike, and it's not difficult to find food, entertainment, rental...  Read More

St. Martin

Named for its reddish sands, this stretch of beach is flanked on either end by rock formations. Additional boulders afford extra privacy for sunbathers. Snorkeling is popular in the area, and gear can be rented nearby, along with beach chairs....  Read More

Grand Case Beach

The white sands of this beach aren't far from the town of Grand Case, so you'll likely be sharing space with lots of townfolk and visitors. Since the surf is generally mild, families frequent the area too, as do those who want to lounge in the...  Read More

St. Martin
Ilet Pinel

This secluded island is a fantastic destination if you're not averse to a bit of a journey. Shuttles from either Cul de Sac or Orient Beach deliver folks to the uninhabited island and charge only a few dollars for the brief boat ride. Once...  Read More

St. Maarten
Cupecoy Beach

Bridging the border between the island's French and Dutch sides, this popular beach is set against sandstone cliffs and ocean-carved caves. White sands are ideal for sunning, and swimming is pleasant when the waves aren't too strong. No...  Read More

St. Maarten
Dawn Beach

Named for the spectacular sunrises you'll see from this part of the island, Dawn Beach is also protected by off-shore reefs and offers great opportunities for snorkeling. Swimming is also consistently good, and when the water picks up, surfers...  Read More

St. Maarten
Mullet Bay Beach

This busy, beautiful beach is just as you'd imagine a tropical destination to be, complete with white, powdery sands and stately palms. Waters are generally calm, so swimming is certain to be good, and sunsets are worth waiting for, once the...  Read More

St. Maarten
Little Bay Beach

Just west of Philipsburg, this beach also pulls in its share of tourists, although it's a little less busy than Great Bay Beach. Little Bay rests at the base of Fort Amsterdam, and its off-shore reefs, along with quiet waters, make for incredible snorkeling.

St. Maarten
Maho Bay Beach

In the vicinity of several large hotels, this beach is well-attended by folks who come to enjoy its palm-shaded sands and terrific swimming and wind-surfing. The beach's most dramatic claim to fame is its location at the end of the airport...  Read More

Simpson Bay Beach

A relatively quiet beach, this curved length of white sand is perfect if you're looking for those things a beach is really about – swimming, walking along the shore, and maybe even windsurfing a bit. Facilities are minimal, but the real...  Read More