There are many fantastic beaches on St Barts. They are all public, and never crowded. As in Europe, you will see topless women sunbathing on all of the beaches. Nudity is officially prohibited, but still exists at the more secluded beaches, usually tastefully and discretely. A St Bartís vacation is a great time to get rid of those tan lines.
Columbier is a beautiful secluded beach accessible only by boat or on foot. The hike is about twenty to thirty minutes. There are two paths to take. The first is at the end of the road that goes through the town of Flamands. This path goes along the cliffs and has some fantastic views. Step carefully if thereís been a heavy rain. There will be many rocks and pebbles that shift under your feet, but the sounds of the prior eveningís rain water percolating down the hill is delightful. The second trail is at the end of the road that goes through the town of Columbier. This path is a great place to experience the flowers, fauna and butterflies while you walk on a slightly less challenging trail through the woods.
Flamands is a great beach for walking or running. The sand is harder near the waterís edge if you love the feel of waves over your toes. There are villas, a few small hotels and some great restaurants on this beach. The water can get a little rough just before or after a storm, so pay attention. As with all St Barts beaches there are no lifeguards. There are also seldom any crowds at Flamands.
St Jean is a nice flat long beach. There are all sorts of water activities here, and several hotels and restaurants. The airport runway ends on this beach. Heed the signs, and stay off the beach by the end of the runway. Nice calm water near the shore. Great for swimming, walking and wind surfing. A great beach if you have small children.
Gouverneur is a fantastic, serene beach at the bottom of a large hill. There is a large estate right behind the beach owned by Russian billionaire Roman Abramovich who paid a whopping 92 million dollars for it. The estate cannot be seen from the beach. Lots of nude back to nature sunbathers at the far end.
Corossol is a small beach located in a quaint fishing village. Itís a great place for watching the sunset. If youíre looking for something authentic to take home from your trip, ďthe palm ladyĒ weaves soft, fine palm baskets, hats and other beautiful, unique items. This is nearly a lost art. Sometimes the shop on the right side of the road has the door open, and sometimes you will find items on the top of the community seawall when you reach the parking lot to the beach. Be sure to take a picture of the huge rock the house is built around.
Shell beach, like its name suggests, is full of shells. When the tide or a storm force the waves toward shore, the waves lift the colorful shells from the ocean floor and flip them onto the beach. There are so many wave tossed shells on this beach, that the sand is nearly completely covered. Shell beach is on the outskirts of Gustavia at the end of the street where the school is.
Anse des Cayes is a small, rocky beach. Itís right next to the Manapany Hotel and Spa.
Lorient and Marigot are both small family beaches. Locals go there on the weekends.
Grand Cul de Sac has lots and lots of water activities. There are many hotels and restaurants on this beach. Itís very built up.
Toiny is a rough and rocky beach. The local surfers love it. Not for the faint of heart. Swimming is not recommended.