Day Trip to St. Barth’s

When I think about a chic, posh place to vacay it’s the Maldives, Southern France, the French Polynesian, etc. Celebrities and yachts in the Caribbean also quickly come to mind, with St. Barth’s as one of those places {After all the Hilfiger’s vacay on St. Barths’ Shell Beach, so it’s obviously a place for the rich and famous.}. When a friend mentioned that St. Barth’s was a 30 minute ferry ride away from St. Maarten, I started thinking that I could totally be posh for a day on a med school budget, and so we did.

It is definitely a chic, gloriously expensive island, without a doubt. However, it was totally doable for us and I’m already planning a trip back after medical school. I loved it THAT much.

The only way I know how to describe this beautiful island is that it feels less like a Caribbean island and more like a town in the south of France. Even though I only saw a small area of the island, there was defiantly a ‘standard’ of the location that quickly stood out. There were no shops that screamed the typical tourism ‘BUY 1 GET 1 FREE’ promo or people begging you to take their taxi’s or to buy their cheap souvenirs. As soon as we got off the ferry I knew we weren’t in Kansas anymore.

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Yes, that’s a gorgeous Italian leather Louis Vuitton hammock in the window. Sigh.

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After living in St. Maarten you definitely understand and respect the Caribbean lifestyle. With any island {or community for that matter} in order for tourism to thrive and these places to be successful, you’re going to have low income people selling their island crafts that all tourists have come to know, love, and expect. You’re going to have people bombarding you to take their taxi to explore more of the island, people shuffling you into their restaurant or shop, and beach bums coaxing you into their beach chairs. It’s a given on an island. The hustle never stops and the bustle is always thriving. With that you also have to have a place for all of these people to live – that’s also a given. I’ve found that low income housing is typically nearby and behind the heavy tourism area.  People have to live and work, it’s reality.

However, on St. Barth’s I didn’t see any of that. No one asked me for a taxi, beach chairs, or to buy anything. I didn’t see anything that remotely looked like ‘low-income’ and 8-10 of the stores are sadly not in our med school budget. It was so fascinating. I literally felt like I stepped off a ferry into Southern France. The island also shut down for two hours at lunch. Everything closed, no one was on the streets – not even a car in sight. I was so confused, but at about 2:00pm everything started opening again and bustling around us. Siesta was taken very seriously, even on a Saturday.


From the ferry port in Gustavia we were able to walk everywhere we wanted on this first trip {there are two other areas I want to go on our next trip that will require a taxi}. After walking through the beautiful streets and admiring all of the luxury shops, we walked to Shell Beach. It was amazing and had the best snorkeling we’ve ever seen on an island. Pro tip for Shell Beach: wear water shoes. Those shells everywhere are no joke! Here is the link to my cute water shoes {I have the cute purple ones. Hair flip :}.

Click to purchase on Amazon

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We then walked back to town and stumbled upon the famous restaurant that Jimmy Buffett wrote Cheeseburger in Paradise about and it definitely lived up to its name. The atmosphere made the song and we completely understand why.

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It was a short but very fun, posh, exciting family day trip! I loved St. Barth’s and would recommend it to anyone! Definitely going back.

-XO, the WCW

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