St. Martin and Caribbean Queens
BY Jenn Kennedy
February 13 2013 5:00 AM ET
Venturing into the port town of Marigot, you’ll discover galleries featuring the work of island painters and craftsmen, a local mercado, and stellar duty-free shopping. Highlights include the Longchamp clothing boutique, where everything is a good 40% less than in the U.S., and Cartier, where you save more like 20%. Artistic Jewelers (ArtisticJewelers.com) carries David Yurman, Mikimoto, and Van Cleef & Arpels, among other brands. Many of the shops are full of tourist tchotchkes; however, once you find the quality section (near the marina), it’s definitely worth the trip.
Marigot also is home to Eros, the lone gay bar on the French part of the island. Relatively small, this easygoing club has a mixed crowd (gay, lesbian, bi) and attracts both tourists and locals. Check the club’s schedule, though, as it isn’t open every night (ErosClub-SaintMartin.com).
Fort Louis, built in 1765 to defend the French side of the island against invasion, holds appeal for the history-minded and others as well. The stairs to the top provide quite a workout, but the spectacular panoramic view of the city of Marigot and Simpson Bay Lagoon makes the climb rewarding.