Photo Courtesy of St-Barths.comView from Our VillaBeautiful sunset from Villa SantalSt. Jean BeachView of St. John's Beach in St. Barts from plane

Families will love:

  • French culture and cuisine
  • Time-capsule fishing village
  • Turquoise sea and watersports lifestyle

Left largely untouched until recent decades, St. Barthelemy, or St. Barths, welcomes families to pristine beaches and a traditional way of life that makes the most of nature's bounty.

Blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) by a dearth of freshwater and a mountainous terrain, St. Barths was long the forgotten child of the French West Indies. Discovered by ... more
Left largely untouched until recent decades, St. Barthelemy, or St. Barths, welcomes families to pristine beaches and a traditional way of life that makes the most of nature's bounty.

Blessed (or cursed, depending on how you look at it) by a dearth of freshwater and a mountainous terrain, St. Barths was long the forgotten child of the French West Indies. Discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1493 and named for his brother Bartholomeo, the fierce little isle resisted easy settlement.

It wasn't until the late 1600's that an enterprising band of Normandy Huguenots prospered by offering refuge to pirates intent on looting Spanish galleons. To this day, descendants still speak in the lilting Creole dialect that is heard in the quiet seaside village of Corossol. Strolling the harbor, you might imagine that you've stepped back in time when you spot colorful fishing boats and women weaving palms into baskets.

Amidst white-sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs, watersports -- such as diving, snorkeling, windsurfing, sailing, kayaking, and paddleboarding -- are a big part of an active lifestyle. Boats of all sorts can be spotted in surrounding waters, too: battle-scarred dinghies used for hauling in fishing seines, championship sailboats and even celebrity mega yachts.

The island's intact tropical paradise lures the rich and fabulous, who can be seen frequenting Gustavia's chic shops where you're more likely to overhear Parisian French. Even those on a limited budget enjoy stellar window-shopping, people-watching, architectural appreciation and stroller-pushing on the harbor-front promenade.

History, nature and Gallic sensibility come together beautifully in the island's food scene as well. A visit to St. Barths is not complete without at least one leisurely meal, featuring fresh fish, spicy Creole seasonings, artful presentation, and the elegance and romance of the French.

Be sure to check out our exclusive Caribbean Vacation Guide for Families, offering plenty of useful information about various Caribbean islands!

Written by Sandra Foyt less

St. Barths Planning & Tips
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