Saint Martin’s Happy Bay Beach is the Quiet Nude Alternative to World Famous Orient Beach
Look online and you’ll see a lot about Saint Martin’s world-famous Orient Beach. It really is a wonderful beach to visit and explore. It’s also a must visit beach if you’re looking for a great place to bare it all for the first time with your spouse or partner. Many couples experience social nudity for the first time here. Orient Beach is actually one of five beaches in Orient Bay that together total nearly 1.3 miles of sand and surf paradise for vacationers.
The yellow umbrellas, blue ocean and tan boobs and bottoms is a sure sign you’re on Orient Beach in Saint Martin.
In the middle of the day, Orient Beach actually feels crowded. Add cruisers (people from cruise ships) walking in the surf and checking out all of the nude sunbathers who number in the hundreds; naked couples and families enjoying the sun and surf and yes, it is very crowded. While I can tell you the only time you truly stand out on Orient Beach is when you’re wearing a bathing suit, some newbie nude couples might not want to strip with a hundred strangers. Although when you’re comfortable with being naked on Orient Beach, a challenge many nude vacationers try each year is walking the entire beach in the buff.
Our last trip, I walked all three beaches on Orient Bay in my birthday suit. That’s more than 2.5 naked miles. While many people walk it naked, you have to do it early in the morning before the beach gets crowded.
Although I would still put Orient Beach on your must visit naked bucket list (there really is nothing like it), there are other beaches on Saint Martin that are quieter and more private to explore recreational nudity with your spouse or partner. Happy Bay Beach is a perfect place to drop your swimsuit or bikini bottoms in a quiet and relaxed setting.
Happy Bay Beach is between Friar’s Bay and Grand Case and is the perfect beach to try skinny dipping or nude sunbathing with your spouse.
Happy Bay Beach is the site of a former resort that was destroyed in a hurricane and never rebuilt. Mother Nature has reclaimed the cabanas and hotel buildings. What’s left is a quiet beach used by families and couples of all ages.
You’ll see it all on this beach. There are couples, gay couples, young families, old couples, vacationing teens from France (this is the French side of Saint Martin), and jet ski tours and sailing boats that stop by the beach throughout the day. On the beach, you’ll see people in conservative and skimpy bathing suits. You’ll also see women laying out topless and on the North side of the beach, you’ll see mostly nude couples enjoying the sun, peace and quiet.
While Orient Beach is loud and flashy, Happy Bay Beach is relaxed and more intimate. For the couple who are unsure about trying social nudity but want to try it, this is the perfect beach to get comfortable and get naked. Before I show you our pictures so you can enjoy the beach when you visit, here are suggestions for first timers to make the most of their first nude beach experience.
When you get to the beach go right. Head North towards the rocks and away from the BBQ snack and beverage shack. Once you pass the large tree in the middle of the beach, you can find the perfect place to soak up the sun without your bathing suit. There is no bad location. You can remain on the beach or set up your towels closer to the trees and brush at the back of the beach. The choice is yours.
Before you pull down your bathing suit or take off your bikini top, know that everyone who has ever gone naked on the beach remembers the mix of anxiety and excitement you’re feeling right now. It feels like you’re breaking all the rules and yet the thought of taking your suit off is so natural and freeing. It’s exhilarating. I still feel this same sensation every time I step onto a nude beach. The only difference is I know the sense of relaxation, freedom and love that comes from dropping my shorts and relaxing naked with my wife on a beautiful beach like Happy Bay.
Once you get through the anticipation and then the excitement when you take off your bathing suits, you’ll feel a little crazy. You’ll wonder why you felt so much anxiety for something that is so simple and feels so natural. Amazing how good it feels when all you’re wearing is a smile. In an hour, it will feel like you’ve been doing this your entire life. By the end of the day, you’ll be walking the entire beach in the buff and holding hands playing in the ocean.
Happy Bay Beach is the perfect beach for couples and many return year after year. I believe it could be your favorite nude beach too. So here’s how you find this wonderful beach.
As you’re headed from Grand Case to Frairs Bay, you’ll see a basketball court on your right. Take the first right turn (Rue Happy Bay) after going by the court. You’ll see a gate at the end of the road. This is was the entrance to the resort. If you can, there is a parking lot on the right. If not, park on the street. It’s about a 10-15 minute walk to the beach. It’s on a road/path the entire way that is well marked and not at all strenuous. There is also a path from Frairs Bay but I’ve never taken it and don’t know the route.
Rather than tell you where to go next, I thought our pictures would be best:
Here is the parking lot for Happy Bay Beach. While we haven’t heard of any problems, it’s probably best to take your valuables with you.
After parking, there is a path to the right of the gate that will take you to an easy step over the wall and onto the road leading to the beach.
The trail/road is well marked even as Mother Nature continues to reclaim what remains of the resort.
You’ll see many of the original hotel rooms and buildings. They’ve seen better days. We stayed clear of them. The road goes by them.
After going by the resort buildings the road becomes a dirt path and starts to go steadily down to the beach. You’re almost there!
There is a slight turn in the road and you’ll see the ocean for the first time. Just a few minutes more.
Finally the trail reaches the beach. From this sign you can go left to the clothed/topless section of the beach or to the right to the nude/clothing optional section. While everyone sets up their towels in different spots, we walked the length of the beach naked. No one cared at all. It really is a friendly, laid back beach.
This is the north end of the beach, which tends to be nude/clothing optional. Get naked and get comfortable. To me, this beautiful beach captures the very best in a nude beach experience: beautiful, laid back, not crowded, paradise.
Looking to the south of Happy Bay Beach, you’ll see the rest of the beach where the snack bar and path to Frairs Bay is found.
Happy Bay has a sand bottom and very little wave action. Each day we were there sailboats anchored and often their guests came ashore for lunch or to play in the waves. Most came on shore naked. Don’t be surprised if you see a few jet ski tours that come by too. Don’t worry about covering up. The tourists usually keep to themselves or drop their suits and go skinny dipping in the ocean.
We brought our lunch, snacks and plenty of wine during our visit. You can also go to the snack bar which provides water, beer, soda and BBQ foods. We of course packed up our trash so that future visitors can see the beach as beautiful and unspoiled as we did.
Regarding nudity and Saint Martin, technically nudity is only permitted on Orient Beach and all beaches can be used top free. There are however many unofficially nude/clothing optional beaches like Petites Cayes, Cupecoy beach and others. If someone asks you to cover up, you should out of respect for the locals and the law.
Please note that Happy Bay is used by the locals on the weekends and on Sunday’s the Police do patrol the beach to make sure everyone covers up (go to Orient Beach on Sunday’s).
Perhaps even more important is preserving Happy Bay Beach and keeping it natural and pristine. Respect the beach and nature and please don’t leave any garbage. Or better yet, pick up what others have left behind. And while Happy Bay is unofficially clothing optional, it is not a place to get it on with your spouse or partner. Nudity does not mean sex or intimacy. Enjoy your time together naked but keep intimacy for your bedroom. Trust me, after spending the day naked together, your alone time will be extra special later on.
This is the second of three blogs detailing our recent trip to Saint Martin. Look for blogs about another wonderful quiet clothing optional beach called Petite Cayes and a blog post about taking a naked vacation with friends. Have you been to St. Martin? We’d love to hear your thoughts on your experiences on the island and why it’s a perfect destination for couples to try nude recreation.