Saint Martin- Capital: Marigot
-The gourmet capital of the Caribbean, they blend French, Dutch and West Indian cuisines.
-A Lo-Lo is a small food shack that can be found along the pier – a great place to sample local delicacies like fresh grilled fish, jerk chicken and Johnnycakes (cornbread, usually cooked pancake-style on a griddle – chiefly New England). It is said that fast food has never been so delicious!
-In Marigot, police officers wear kepis, the distinctive cap of the French foreign legion, for a charming touch of the old country.
Sint Maarten- Capital: Philipsburg
-With over 10 miles of spectacular sugar-sand beaches
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Christopher Columbus sighted the picturesque island during his second voyage in November, 1493, on Saint Martin of Tours Day. He named it after the saint when he first saw the sandy shores.
Legend has it that a Frenchman and a Dutchman divided ownership of the island through a walk-off. The two men stood back-to-back and headed in opposite directions, walking around the island until they met. It is rumored that the Dutchman paused for a refreshing brew; as a result, the French ended up claiming 21 sq mi of the island while the Dutch got only 16!
Choosing between the French or the Dutch side of Saint Martin or Sint Maarten is like flipping a magical coin – heads or tails, you win. It is the smallest island-nation in the world shared by two nations. Displaying its Dutch heritage around every corner, Philipsburg, which was founded in 1763, graces the Netherlands’ side of the island. For a distinct European feel, explore Marigot, the capital of French Saint Martin.