Happy Bay Beach is a beautiful, small, and secluded stretch of sand on St. Martin’s northwest coast. Since it requires a short hike to reach the beach, crowds tend to go elsewhere. The secluded nature of the beach makes it popular with clothing-optional sunbathers.
The untouched beach is a welcome change from the island’s more commercial beaches. Unpopulated and out of the way—accessible after a 10- to 15-minute walk from the street—Happy Bay is popular with locals and visitors looking to swim and sunbathe, sometimes in the nude.
Travelers who want to explore the area have options with half-day or full-day group or private tours that leave from Philipsburg or Simpson Bay. These tours often incorporate self-drive boat tours, extended snorkeling excursions, catamaran sails, and time to relax on the island’s gorgeous beaches. Many tours include stops at local restaurants for a meal and an island cocktail, while catamaran tours may stop at Grand Case, the island's culinary capital.
Things to Know Before You Go
- There is no commercial activity on the beach so don’t expect umbrellas, sun chairs, or beach bars, but palm trees do provide shade.
- Remember to bring sun protection, swimwear, and a towel.
- Travelers should know that this beach is a popular spot for nudists.
- Tours of the area may include round-trip hotel transport, meals, and rental equipment. Check specific tours for details.
How to Get There
Visitors driving to Happy Bay Beach may park near the trailhead in Friar’s Bay. Painted arrows point the way along the trail to the beach. The walk is about 10 to 15 minutes.
When to Get There
Happy Bay Beach is open daily year-around. High season is during winter; low season is during summer.
Don’t Be a Litterbug
Since there are no commercial enterprises at Happy Bay Beach, bring a separate bag for your trash, and take it with you when you leave.