Gay St Martin, French West Indies: Cosmopolitan island of the Caribbean

Although it in only a few hours flight from Florida, St Martin is very European. It is alson the smallest island in the world that's divided into tw countries, one French, the other Dutch.

Here are some of the reason's St Martin has become a popular international destination.

Diversity: It is home to 100 different nationalities, creating an open-minded spirit.

Food: With such diversity, and the French influence, the village of Grand Case is known as the gastronomy capital of the Caribbean.

Beaches: With 32 to choose from, from quiet and secluded to vibrant and partying, from walking to nude sunbathing, there is a beach for everyone. Yes, St Martin features a gay beach, where snorkeling and scuba diving are popular. One diving facility is even a member of IGLTA.

Arts: There is a multitude of workshops, art galeries, where both local and International artists share their work,

Nightlife: From outdoor lounges to wild night clubs and busy casinos, there's plenty.

Duty free shopping: The streets of Marigot, the French capitol, features luxury boutiques. On the Dutch side, the Philipsburg front street has nearly one hundred boutiques for cruise ships passengers--perfumes, electronics, liquors, etc.

Gay life: While it remains some what discreet at time, wild at others, it boasts not only gay beach but a ga nude beach, gay guesthouses, art gallery, clubs and bars. Many American and European gays have established residencies here, in all avenues.

Getting there

There are 100 flights from the US every week, daily direct flight from Paris, Amsterdam, Montreal, Toronto and other cities during high season. From the US, American, Continental, Delta, United Airlines, US Airways, Jet Blue, and Spirit all have direct and connecting flights.

Once you are there

Upon arrival, consider renting a car because the beaches and nearby restaurants are not always within walking distance. The island is small, so distances are short, but the roads can be steep and bumping leading to to the gay beaches.

And from St Martin, you can very easily organize day trips (by boat or plane) to nearby islands, like Saba (the Unspoiled Queen) with nice volcano to climb, Anguilla (great powder sand beaches), or St Barth (for the rich and famous).

Restaurants to check out