Islands Eats in Saint Martin aka Sint Maarten
Why go: Because the island is split between France and the Netherlands, you get a hearty dose of these two cultures as well as the added bonus of being on a Caribbean island. Sip guavaberry cocktails on the Dutch side, where most of the nightlife is, or sample the rich French-Caribbean food on the other side - which, we might add, also specializes in nude beaches.
What to do: There are plenty of things to do on this tiny island aside from lounging on towels at Mullet Bay or Happy Bay Beach. For one, they have great snorkeling there, especially if you head to Pinel Island, just a quick ferry jaunt from the main area. The Butterfly Farm is beautiful to visit too, but for more exploration, Seaside National Park offers horseback riding on the sand, hiking, nature tours and kayaking. After your day of adventure, or leisure for that matter, head to the Grand Case, an area known for its food. Here, try the French-island fare at Bistro Caraibes, where the menu includes Caribbean lobster, braised red snapper in creamy mussel sauce with saffron, and homemade ice cream nougat. You can also try Canoa, which gets its name from the classic Caribbean dish of plantains sliced and deep-fried that then gets covered with tomato, ground-beef sauce and mozzarella. Yes, they serve this, and actually, it might be all you need, though traditional conch chowder and the grilled grouper entree are also nice.
Stay at: Since the French side arguably has the best food options, stay at the Radisson Blu Marina & Spa. This 18-ac. resort is located right by the teal blue water, and they offer cooking classes, rum tastings, mixology courses, and wine and cheese pairing, and, at sunset, there's an elegant champagne toast. Plus, their excellent C Le Restaurant artfully blends the local island specialties with French fare, so even if you never leave the resort, you know you won’t go hungry. Rates start at $330.