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Day Trip Question

LuvsAnAdventure
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Day Trip Question

I'm planning a day trip to St. Barths this summer. I have read that places are closed from 12 until 3 or 4, what types are places are closed? I want to do some shopping and spend some time at the beach. I know the beach doesn't close, but do ALL the stores close mid-day for several hours?

Boston, MA
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1. Re: Day Trip Question

First off, are you taking the ferry or the plane to arrive for your day trip? I ask only the ferry port is on one side of the island and the airport on the other. Both have lovely beaches within walking distance, though.

If you are planning on doing beach and shopping, my suggestion would be to do the beach from arrival to mid-day, have lunch, then do your shopping from say, 4PM to 7PM.

If you are taking the ferry, you can walk to Shell Beach, have lunch at Do Brazil, then shop your way back to the ferry. If you are taking the plane, I would walk to St. Jean beach, have lunch at any number of places nearby, then shop back to the airport for your departure.

(The same agenda would apply if you're sailing and have mooring rights at St. Jean or Gustavia. If you do not have mooring at St. Jean, then put in to Colombier and spend your beach time there. Have lunch on your boat, then make for Gustavia for shopping and sunset, as Colombier is remote and has no foot-accessible services.)

Have fun!

Edited: 08 June 2012, 18:01
NY
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2. Re: Day Trip Question

Shops will close for lunch. This can be a long lunch i.e. 2+ hours. There is no specific time but 1pm to 3pm is typical. Could be as early as noon and as late as 4pm.

This mostly applies to the shops in town. Hotel shops will be open, as will be most other businesses i.e. car rental, gas station, airport, etc. Restaurants that serve lunch will be open as well, as French lunch can be a 1pm to 3pm or 4pm affair.

The best is to go to the beach, have lunch, go back to the beach, and then shop around 3pm or 4pm. If you want more shopping, plan ot do so in the morning. Make sure you don't come on a Sunday though. Many / most businesses are closed on Sundays.

LuvsAnAdventure
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3. Re: Day Trip Question

I'm trying to talk the other girls into flying because I don' t want to risk being sea sick when I arrive!

Thank you both for the info! Anything in particular that we MUST DO or MUST SEE while there?

NY
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4. Re: Day Trip Question

It all depends on what you like. I would recommend a long lunch on the beach at Eden Rock, La Plage or Nikki Beach, all on Saint Jean beach, with lots of Rose wine. Get a feel for the high life!

Go shop in the local dress shops -- lolita Jaca, the shop at Eden Rock, many others. Awesome but quite pricy. Try a few on and feel fabulous.

If you are there in the summer, you will see a lot of Europeans suntanning topless. Rent a lounge chair, order a drink and join in if you dare! You may find the experience very elegant, liberating and empowering.

Plan to get a drink on the harbor in Gustavia by sundown.

Note: If you get a chance, rent a car. It will cost you 50 euros for the day and is well worth touring the island. It's quick and fun. Also, ideally, I would say fly in early but leave on the last ferry. The airport closes around 5pm. Leaving on the ferry allows you to stretch your day until 8pm or 9pm.

Edited: 08 June 2012, 18:58
LuvsAnAdventure
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5. Re: Day Trip Question

That all sounds wonderful! Which ferry leaves at 8 or 9pm? I looked at Great Bay and Voyager and it looks like the lastest they leave is 5:30pm.

NY
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6. Re: Day Trip Question

I may be mistaken on the ferry. I was under the impression that one of them left well into the evening, but I may be wrong. I always fly.

BTW, I am not sure if your plans are all set, but I highly recommend Saint Barth over Saint Martin. I took a day trip to Saint Barth on my second trip to Saint Martin, and never came back to SXM. This was several years ago. Never went back to Saint Martin.

NY
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7. Re: Day Trip Question

The schedule I have shows great bay express departing Saint Barth at 6:30pm, and Carribean Ferry Express (i.e. Navegante) departing at 6pm on most days. Earlier than I thought. My mistake.

sbhonline.com/St-Barts-Transportation/St-Bar…

If you catch the 6:30pm Ferry you may still have time for a drink in Gustavia at the end of your day. You may check the flight schedules also. Not sure what time the sun sets in the summer. I assume around the same time.

BTW if you fly in or out, take Saint Barth Commuter from Grande Case. It is a lot cheaper than doing Winair from Juliana airport.

LuvsAnAdventure
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8. Re: Day Trip Question

This will be my first trip to SXM, so I do want to visit it, but I am considering splitting my time between the 2 places. I have my plans for SXM, so I would have to looking into housing options for a few days in SBH and consult with the rest of my party. But SBH looks beautiful and I definitely want to take a trip there.

London, United...
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9. Re: Day Trip Question

Visit St Barths AFTER you visit SXM otherwise you'll just end up crying every day in SXM wishing you had gone to St Barths, just like happened to us in April :(

Pittsburgh...
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10. Re: Day Trip Question

Just one idea...if shopping is important, I would recommend doing so first, when you arrive. The shops should be open by 10:00 AM and you can browse in Gustavia or St Jean (depending on how you arrive) and then hit a beach. If you wait until after beach and lunch, you will not have much time to shop.

Even if you arrive via plane, I would shop in Gustavia as its larger and has more choices. Then get a cab to St Jean as its a nicer beach than Shell. You can eat right in the sand at Eden Rock, Nikki or La Plage...or if you are on a budget, pick up some food at Kiki et Mo or Rotisserie.

Have a great day, and as others have noted, I think you may prefer St Barth to St Martin.

Edited: 09 June 2012, 11:58
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