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SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me #182540
01/31/2019 03:32 PM
01/31/2019 03:32 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
First let me say, thanks for all the help. I feel like we are in the minority here since we are posting about travel to SXM with a younger family. But I appreciate all the insight I've learned here.
I asked about this a while back and was recommended to post a bit closer to the date.

We are going to be in SXM next month. We used to frequent Galion beach followed by Butterfly Farm but I understand both are no longer.
We were looking for new things to do with the kids. We loved Galion beach as it was pretty calm and the kids could wade out far without worrying about harsh waves. Anything equivalent?

Someone mentioned Karakter? What exactly is that?

Daytrips. Pinel Island vs Anguilla? Which is closer to SXM?

How about snorkeling? Any outfits you'd recommend? Or are there good beaches where the kids are snorkel without having to take a boat.

Also, someone mentioned Kim Sha and a playground? Whats that?

In the meantime, I am looking at Loterie Farm and Flying Dutchman for experiences. Anyone been to either?

I think we definitely have to do Parrotville.

As far as food, sounds like Fat Tonys and Marks Place are ideas. Not sure what lolos are but need to experience them.

And Jetskiiing....any recommendations?

SXM Sponsors
Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182544
01/31/2019 04:24 PM
01/31/2019 04:24 PM
Joined: Jan 2008
Posts: 12,904
Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
islandgem Offline
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islandgem  Offline
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Ottawa, Ontario, Canada
Karakter is a beach bar on Simpson Bay Beach. The beach is lovely but not always calm water there.

Pinel island is a small island off the French side of St. Martin. You take a small boat to get there and it is only about a 10 min. ride. The beach is lovely and water usually very calm. There are 2 great restaurants on the island and it is an enjoyable day with rental of beach chairs and umbrellas. Anguilla is an island about 12 miles off the island of St. martin and you can take a ferry to get there from Marigot. More expensive ferry ride and the day costs more overall. You need your passport as Anguilla is another country and you must go through immigration. These are two very different days. You can also take some boat cruises and spend the day in the waters of Anguilla but that does not give you the real feel of the island as a whole.

There are different places where you can book snorkling adventures. Aqua mania is one that is highly recommended. They also book many other island adventures.

Kim Sha Beach is in the Simpson Bay area and is great for families with several restaurants near by and always calm waters for the children .Buccaneer beach bar is right on Kim Sha Beach and is always a fun place.

Loterie Farm is always interesting to visit but it is an expensive day but does have several activities available.

Parrott Ville is a great place to visit and the children love it there. Often classes of school children come for school excursions several days each week. I visited there recently and totally enjoyed the experience.

I have never eaten at Fat Tony's but would recommend a dinner or lunch at Mark's Place. Great food and reasonable prices. You might also like to try Yvettes for local cuisine located in the Orleans area on the French side. There are also several LOLOS in the Grand Case area that have good food at reasonable prices. Not gourmet food but Caribbean cuisine as well. Of course there are several restaurants on both sides of the island that offer excellent food at higher prices so lots for you to try.

You can enjoy jet skiing on Orient Beach. the hurricane damaged almost all of the beautiful area but many businesses are coming back and the beach is one of the best on the island. A must see.

You can also visit Maho Beach to watch the plans arriving and departing right over the beach. Truly a sight to see! Have a drink at Driftwood Boat Bar or spend the day there as you prefer.

So many wonderful things to enjoy on this beautiful island I have been blessed to visit for over 25 years!

Hope I have helped to answer some of your questions and if you have more do not hesitate to ask.




Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182545
01/31/2019 04:26 PM
01/31/2019 04:26 PM
Joined: Oct 2009
Posts: 667
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phillygirl7 Offline
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We are going on a cruise to St. Maarten, many of our group signed up for SNUBA. Some kind of gear you put on and gives you zero gravity in the water. That sounds like a fun morning or afternoon. Kim Sha is by Buckaneer Beach bar, on Friday's they have a lot of vendors and events going on. Beach right there too so there are activities to partake in the water. Karakter is a restaurant right on the beach. Usually good food here, it can be very busy at lunch time, and parking can be a zoo over there. Lots of differences between Anguilla and Pinel, but for an afternoon, I would pick Pinel. If I could stay overnight, it would be in Anguilla. I am sure others will pipe in with ideas.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182548
01/31/2019 04:45 PM
01/31/2019 04:45 PM
Joined: Oct 2017
Posts: 742
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SammyM Offline
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Hello Captain ... you sure have a lot of questions, but that's what these forums are for! Some I can help answer, but there are folks on this site that know much more than I do about certain parts of St. Martin so maybe they will chime in too. La Galion beach was terrific for kids, and I believe the facilities there (snack bar, etc.) are long gone. But, the beach would still be there for a visit. And sadly, the Butterfly Farm -- one of my personal favorites -- got destroyed in the hurricane and has not been rebuilt the last time I checked. They were trying to raise something like 50,000 euros to rebuild, but I think that never really got going. As for an equivalent there are several other good choices. Might want to consider Great Bay Beach along the boardwalk in Philipsburg if calm seas are desired.

Pinel Island is really cool, and would be a shorter trip than Anguilla. There is one popular beach here, and a more isolated beach to the north that you can take a short hike to. You can also grab a quick bite to eat here. Just drive or take a taxi up to Cul-de-Sac on the French side and catch the small ferry across to the island. I believe it costs about 12 euros per person, but I'm not positive. Snorkeling can be somewhat limited on St. Martin. Maybe some others with experience will be able to lend some advice here.

Karakter is the beach area along the north shore of Simpson Bay that begins just west of Mary Boon's Resort and extends west towards Zafiro's Resort. It is a lovely stretch of beach for a day trip. Kim Sha is a beach at the east end of Simpson Bay. There were always water related activities here (boat charters, etc.), but I'm not sure what's presently up-and-running today. There were a few casinos nearby, but scratch that thought when visiting with a younger family.

Loterie Farm is known for there hiking trails, and this would be fine for older kids but maybe not for real young ones. There used to be a pool and a snack bar here, but I haven't heard much about this place since the hurricane. Maybe someone else on this board has made a recent visit? Also, I have no idea what the 'Flying Dutchman' is, but I assume it's the big zip line that was added a few years back. Not sure of it's present status, either.

Good idea to visit Parrot Ville. I believe it opens daily at 9:00 or 9:30 so a nice day trip would be to stop here and visit in the morning, and maybe continue on to Pinel Island in the afternoon. There's also a few other places that you may want to research such as the Yoda Guy Museum in Philipsburg (super nice guy when I met him, but I believe he's back in England), Fort Amsterdam, and the St. Maarten museum (also in Philipsburg). But, the museum might be a bit boring for kids. If heading west out towards Simpson Bay then I would suggest visiting Maho Beach and watching the planes land right on top of your head! Children that I've observed love this and between landings you have the beach right there.

Finally, when it comes to eating there is no shortage of excellent dining on SXM. That's why so many people are on this message board! Mark's Place is excellent, as are several other restaurants in the Simpson Bay/Maho area. We also like Chesterfield's near the cruise port in Philipsburg. Most are budget friendly, as well.

I hope this was helpful!

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182551
01/31/2019 05:06 PM
01/31/2019 05:06 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,489
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Someone on this board recently told me to pass on Fat Tony's. Plenty of Pizza places on island.

Lookout , near Le Galion, can watch parasails, other islands in the distance, shelfs of shallow water easy for walk out. Don't know where you are staying but if you left Phillipsburg go to end of Front Street take left (right goes to cruise ship dock) stay straight follow signs Capt. Oliver's, Oyster Pond. Bear right Pizza Place on left down hill bear left (notice L'Oasis restaurant at right) a little further down on left restaurant BZH (kids might like a stop here for crepes). Follow this road about 2 miles brings you to the Lookout. There was a staging but not sure if it was wiped out with last hurricane. Pull off road anywhere. Water on your right.

Along this road before Oyster Pond is a left turn to Parrotville.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182556
01/31/2019 05:22 PM
01/31/2019 05:22 PM
Joined: Feb 2007
Posts: 3,489
Rhode Island
RonDon Offline
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RonDon  Offline
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Also on Tuesday evenings in Grand Case there's Harmony Night. Street closes, foods, vendors, ice cream, nuts, crepes, clothing, jewelry, made by locals, music, parade. Go early to find parking. A lolo might be a good choice that night for eating.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182571
01/31/2019 07:13 PM
01/31/2019 07:13 PM
Joined: Jul 2013
Posts: 45
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ColinsMema Offline
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I think Fat Tony's is great food and very laid back. I always try to go there a few times every visit. Lots of medical school students frequent there. But worth the trip.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182622
02/01/2019 09:04 AM
02/01/2019 09:04 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Posts: 156
the Long Island
Thanks for all the tips. I’m gonna print out a map as I need help visualizing. Good info as we should branch out and experience more.

Oh and yes, we visitors Yoda Guy in 2016 and they loved it. Mr Marley was a genuinely inspiring nice guy and a positive role model for the kids.

Thanks again! never did a lolo so it’s anout time!

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182633
02/01/2019 09:42 AM
02/01/2019 09:42 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 17,474
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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St Maarten
Gave Fat Tony's a third try last week since everyone seemed to like their pizza. It was a decent pizza, but both Bill and I had a bad stomach for two says after. Three strikes and you're out!


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: BillandElaine] #182656
02/01/2019 11:36 AM
02/01/2019 11:36 AM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,036
Auburn, WA
SXMScubaman Offline
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SXMScubaman  Offline
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Auburn, WA
Originally Posted by BillandElaine
Gave Fat Tony's a third try last week since everyone seemed to like their pizza. It was a decent pizza, but both Bill and I had a bad stomach for two says after. Three strikes and you're out!

That's good enough for me not to want to go there. Thanks.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182669
02/01/2019 12:27 PM
02/01/2019 12:27 PM
Joined: Dec 2005
Posts: 1,860
Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
Biturbo Offline
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Royersford, PA (30m NW of Phil...
We've never tried Fat Tony's, but in the same area (maybe a block away & across the street) is Bar Code. Excellent casual dining, laid back atmosphere.


"In a yellow El Camino, listening to Howlin' Wolf" - Lucinda
Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #182682
02/01/2019 01:45 PM
02/01/2019 01:45 PM
Joined: Sep 2004
Posts: 73
Brunswick - Upstate NY
Islandercpl Offline
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Brunswick - Upstate NY
The Captain......We've been to both the Loterie Farm and Flying Dutchman, and really enjoyed both. We actually have actually done the zip lines at the Loterie Farm a few times. There was/is a smaller line for kids, a zip line with many obstacles....lots of fun, but you will be working and will definitely get sweaty!!! It's good exercise...LOL There also was a more extreme line.....just farther up the mountain and basically a straight zip. Last year we did the Flying Dutchman......absolutely loved it! This is also a straight zip down the mountain...but very cool. There is a chairlift ride up the mountain which is smooth and slow.......when you reach the top there are several areas for picture taking, the views are gorgeous!! There is a refreshment stand also. You have the choice to ride the flying dutchman, do a smaller zip line, tube down a section of the mountain or just ride the chairlift back down. In my opinion, it's a must do for the adventurous or semi-adventurous. It's the tallest mountain on the island......so if you are afraid of heights this may not be for you, but if you're not, definitely check it out.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: Islandercpl] #183086
02/04/2019 06:08 PM
02/04/2019 06:08 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Posts: 156
the Long Island
Thank you all for your input. We usually stay at La Terasse and spent time at Maho (Im a self proclaim avgeek) and Galion, so we've never taken the time to discover Simpson Or Orient. Since I speak french and the 12 y.o is starting to, should be a nice immersion experience.

But I can't overstate it. Yoda Guy was excellent. The Fort is great. And Carousel rocks!

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #183505
02/08/2019 09:33 PM
02/08/2019 09:33 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Posts: 156
the Long Island
Oh and btw, my kids also say thanks! Got a 9 and 12 year old that love the sun sand and zip lines lol. They lived all the recommendations. Also looked into Snuba, just gor this interested.

Anyone recommends loc place to buy the kids new face mask and snorkel? Want them to buy local vs Amazon.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #183515
02/09/2019 06:40 AM
02/09/2019 06:40 AM
Joined: Sep 2003
Posts: 17,474
St Maarten
BillandElaine Offline
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BillandElaine  Offline
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St Maarten
Island Water World for the water gear.


Elaine
*********************************
God Bless the broken road....
Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #184113
02/14/2019 09:26 AM
02/14/2019 09:26 AM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Posts: 156
the Long Island
Thank you again. Added to the list. A few days to go. Never been during presidents week. Should be interesting. Haven’t booked any trips yet but I guess maybe I should reach out to some companies today. Already feel like I’m on island time.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #184182
02/14/2019 08:11 PM
02/14/2019 08:11 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 262
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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When staying in Cole Bay a few weeks ago, I would see a tour consisting of a group of dinghies leave Cole Bay. I believe they may be called Rhino Riders. Small boats holding approx. 2-3 people.

Last time out sailing we also saw a group of people in yellow dinghies or some type of small powered vessel motoring from Happy Bay to Marigot and into the Lagoon.

Certainly fun for a 12 year old.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: d_fish] #184188
02/14/2019 09:32 PM
02/14/2019 09:32 PM
Joined: Mar 2009
Posts: 12,036
Auburn, WA
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Would be fun for a 12 yr old but I would not think old enough to be a driver. Passenger yes, driver no.

Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: SXMScubaman] #184192
02/14/2019 09:51 PM
02/14/2019 09:51 PM
Joined: Jul 2007
Posts: 262
Tustin CA
d_fish Offline
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d_fish  Offline
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Tustin CA
Agree... I do not believe a 12 year old would qualify to "drive" the dinghy. I am sure a driver's license is required. With that said, it would be fun for the 12 year old to be a passenger.

Last edited by d_fish; 02/14/2019 09:52 PM.
Re: SXM with 12y.o.- Please bear with me [Re: the captain] #184194
02/14/2019 10:07 PM
02/14/2019 10:07 PM
Joined: Nov 2015
Posts: 156
the Long Island
the captain Offline OP
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the captain  Offline OP
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Posts: 156
the Long Island
Thank you all again.

Have a huge list of restaurants already recommended. Having never been to Kim Sha, Simpson Bay or GC, we Cardi it have options! Parrotville, Pinel, Mardi at Grand Case, Karakter Beach.... Marigot Market on Weds, so many ideas


And shopndropsxm is already in play! Thanks all!


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