ST. MAARTEN, DUTCH WEST INDIES – Situated on spectacular Dawn Beach on the eastern end of Dutch St. Maarten, Oyster Bay Beach Resort is well-positioned for traveling families to take advantage of the many land- and sea-based options found on the island of St. Maarten / St. Martin.
While at Oyster Bay Beach Resort (OBBR), guests of all ages can enjoy the award-winning infinity pool or swim and snorkel in the waters of Dawn Beach. For guests that want to explore further, the OBBR’s concierge is the on-site expert for connecting guests to the adventure and activities on the family-friendly destination of St. Maarten.
OBBR offers a wide range of family-fun activities including Bingo, Salsa and Zumba lessons, Yoga and Corn Bag Toss competitions. The main pools have a zero entry area where kids can stand or swim in shallow water. For families that love to sing, the resort has karaoke a few times per night.
Action and Adventure on the Coast
St. Maarten / St. Martin is an island with an unusual coastline and 37 unique beaches. Family activities abound like kayaking in Simpson Bay, biking through historic Philipsburg and surfing on the challenging waves at various beaches around the island. There are dozens of scenic hiking trails that are available all around the destination.
Visitors can enjoy the exhilaration of yacht racing on the Caribbean Sea with the popular St. Maarten 12 Metre Challenge in which parents and teens can serve as the crew on the sailboats that competed in the America’s Cup Sailboat races.
The wildly popular Loterie Farm located at Pic Paradise on the French side is a place where adults and teens can experience the fly zone zip-line, take a hike through the light rainforest or enjoy gourmet cuisine at Treehouse Restaurant. The Ti-Tarzan adventure obstacle course is specifically designed for young children. Families can also enjoy the natural spring fed swimming pool and Jacuzzi.
For those traveling with smaller children who are not yet snorkeling but are eager to see the underwater world, experience it at Sea World Explorer. The Explorer glass-bottom boat reveals the nature reserve off the coastline of the French side.
Located close to Orient Beach is the unique Butterfly Farm, where kids can get up close and personal to a variety of butterfly species that live in an enclosed habitat. For children who want to encounter even more animal life, consider the Seaside Nature Park in Cole Bay on the Dutch side, where young travelers can feed the resident goats, pigs, and observe the sheep, tortoises, rabbits and donkeys. There is also horseback riding available for kids six years old and up.
Your Top 10 List of the Best in Family-Friendly Fun
For the family group looking forward to the best in every kind of family-friendly activity and destination on St. Maarten / St. Martin, here is a top 10 list to consider for your own visit:
1. Airplane spotting – The beach along the runway approach at Princess Juliana Airport has been named one of the top places in the world for the most amazing close-ups of plane landings.
2. Bird watching - A Reader’s Digest article cites St. Maarten / St. Martin as a top 10 destination for bird watching there’s the annual Migratory Seabird Festival or guided tours to the island’s 164 species with operator SeaGrape Tours.
3. Turtle watching - With Capt. Allan 3 island snorkel tours - where turtle sightings are always guaranteed.
4. Beaches – There are 37 beaches – many with calm waters ideal for families.
5. Zip lining – Ropes course, series of zip-lines, nature trails and a natural pool at Loterie Farm.
6. Kayak tours/paddle boarding – Operators like Tri-Sport offer kayaking and paddle boarding on the enclosed waters of Simpson Bay lagoon.
7. Rhino safari - Snorkeling adventures on your own outboard craft along the St. Maarten coastline.
8. Segway Tour – Glide on these stand-up wheels along the beachfront boardwalk of Philipsburg.
9. Go Karting - Take a spin on this safe race course near Grand Case.
10. 12-Metre Challenge - Experience the sailing thrills of the Americas Cup as you crew on a version of the premier international regatta.
Families planning a visit to the island can always look at the wide range of land and aquatic options on the island on the St. Maarten Tourism site at www.VacationsStMaarten.com – where individual locations and activities providers are listed.
About Oyster Bay Beach Resort
Located on Sint Maarten / St. Martin - one island, two countries, 12 casinos, 37 beaches, 300 restaurants and countless boutiques, shops, villages, galleries, bars, clubs and outdoor adventures – Oyster Bay Beach Resort is located on the eastern edge of Sint Maarten in the Caribbean. The resort is a member of the Interval International Exchange System and enjoys a Premier Rating. Owned and operated by Pearl Development, Oyster Bay Beach Resort attracts resort guests with its increasingly luxurious vacation upgrades, including beachfront villas, weekly and monthly high-end condominium rentals at the Lighthouse and penthouse suites in its Mainsail Pavilion. www.oysterbaybeachresort.com.