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St. Barts Beaches

Although St. Barts is tiny, many stretches of shore have been kept wild and undeveloped. Grande Saline and Gouverneur boast wide beaches, soft sand, and superb swimming, with deep water and strong waves. The landscape at Gouverneur is more dramatic, but you have to park by the side of the road on a steep hill; if you get there too late, it can be a long walk down. Grande Saline has easy parking and a few restaurants within walking distance for a casual lunch. For a more private setting, Colombier is tucked in a very calm, secluded cove reached by a short, pretty hike from La Petite Anse. If, however, you prefer lounging to swimming, nothing beats the Guanahani. Although hotel guests get first priority, you don't have to be staying there to enjoy their umbrellas, towels, and cushioned chaise longues. The water is too shallow to do much swimming, but when you're sitting outside eating steak tartare at its wonderful L'Indigo restaurant, you won't mind a bit.

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